Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland

Bridge Street

Bridge Street, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

The addresses for John and Fanny Walsh in Ballinrobe were Carnalecka and Knockanotish both of which lie at the far end of this road. This is the street they would have walked up to get to town and to the church and the market.

The card was not posted.

This postcard image is from a photograph taken between 1880 and 1900 by Thomas J Wynn, a Castlebar photographer. Notice that there is a street light about mid-way down the street. Given the date of Wynn's photographs it was most certainly a gas light.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Bridge Street, Ballinrobe"

This photo is later than the one above. Notice the telephone or electric poles on the left side of the photo. Everything else is pretty much the same. When did electricity come to Ballinrobe?

The card was not posted.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Bridge Street, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo"

The house on the left was the Kenny House. The view is towards town looking across the bridge over the Robe River. This is the opposite of the two images above which are looking from town towards the Kenny house.

Robe House or Robe villa was the name of the Kenny home (Information from Alfonso P. Duncan February 2006)

Waterfall, Mill and Bridge

"Waterfall and Bridge, Ballinrobe"

This is the Robe River and the bridge on Bridge Street in Ballinrobe. The falls in the background are the falls that powered the "Kenny Mill".

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

Waterfall, Ballinrobe

This the mill falls in front of the "Kenny" Mill just off Bridge Street in Ballinrobe.

These falls are faintly seen in the background of the previous photo.

Agnes Goehle Land took a photo of this view in 1980. See Ballinrobe Photos

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Buildings near the waterfall across from Kenny's mill. These are the backs of buildings on Abbey Street.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"The Waterfall, The Mills, Ballinrobe"

The mill is visible on the left.

The Mill, Ballinrobe, painted c. 1819 by J. A. O'Connor. Original in the National Gallery of Ireland. From the cover of BALLINROBE A TOURIST GUIDE

The Bowers 1800 as seen from the Mill beside the Kenny house. James Arthur O'Connor, National Gallery of Ireland. The Bridge, December 1972. Courtesy of John Doherty, December 2005.

Abbey Street

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Abbey Street, Ballinrobe"

Bridge Street is to the left and Glebe Street is to the right.

Glebe Street

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Glebe Street, Ballinrobe"

1886 April 24

"To Let - Glebe street, Ballinrobe, the house next to Mr. Gallagher's parlour, sitting room, four bedrooms, kitchen, back entrance, with good (word) accommodations, terms moderate, Apply to A Birmingham"

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

Main (Market) Street

Market (Main) Street, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

This view and the next three are looking from Bridge Street. Glebe Street is on the left.

Close-up of above postcard

Main Street Ballinrobe

This photo predates 1922. Note that the name on the corner store in the above photo is "M Fahy" and that there are no electric or telephone wires in the photo. In Bridie Mulloy's history of Ballinrobe, Itchy Feet and Thirsty Work there is another photo taken of the same corner. In that photo the name on the store was B. Joyce and there were telephone and electric poles in the picture. Bernard Joyce owned the store in 1922.

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

Postcard collection of Maggie land Blanck

Main Street Ballinrobe

This post card was mailed in 1913.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Main Street, Ballinrobe"

Note the name B Joyce on the store front and the electric poles in this photo.

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Main Street, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo"

This view is of Main Street looking towards Bridge and Glebe Street

In November 2011 John Henning wrote:

"The photo on main street with some small children in front of Cunningham's are named by who we believe is Delia M. Caulfield, sister of Margaret Caulfield. Both of these ladies were daughters of Patrick Caulfield and Bridget Murphy. The postcards were written to my grandmother, Hadassah Brown. It appears they were hand delivered as there was no postage or mailing information on the cards.
The message on the postcard reads:
"This is the street where we had our business. On Bowgate St- we had our residence. The boy and girl with the apron are Father Constine Cunningham and his sister Julia Mary. I am looking for myself as the photo was taken when I was there. It's a very pretty city."
The 1901 census in Ballinrobe lists:
  1. Main St. Ballinrobe, Mayo, Cunningham, Constantine (53) hotelkeeper, Minnie (42) wife/born Co. Galway, Pat Joe (23), Julia May (19), Charles (7), Bridget Laceney, (45) waitress/widow/born Co. Galway, Bridget Keansay (21) cook, John Walsh (22) boarder, first name illegible Parsons, boarder/commercial traveller

  2. Main St., Ballinrobe, Mayo, Caulfield, Bridget (46) victualler/widow, Henry (26), Delia (18), dressmaker, John (16), Mary Catherine (15), William? (13), Patrick (9), Ellen (7), Bridget Hennelly (46) sister in law/widow

The 1911 census lists:
  1. Cunningham Constantine, 66, Male, Head of Family, Catholic, Cunningham, Minnie, 51, Female, Wife, Catholic, Cunningham, Julia Mary 28, Female, Daughter Catholic, Benlse, Mary, 15, Female, Visitor, Catholic, Jones, Howard, 27, Male, Boarder, Church of Ireland, Carty, Mary, 25, Female, Servant, Catholic

  2. Caulfield, Bridget, 57, Female, Head of Family, Roman Catholick, Caulfield, Henry, 35, Male, Son, Roman, Catholick, Caulfield, Patrick, 19, Male, Son, Roman Catholick, Caulfield, Nina, 17, Female, Daughter, Roman Catholick

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

Similar view to the one above.

This Valkenburg Hotel image was shared by Pat King of Melbourne, Australia in April 2009. Pat's mother is Evelyn Valkenburg whose family lived in the hotel from about 1860 to 1950.

In 1857 Colonel Higgins accused Archbishop John McHale and the Rev. Father Conway of interfering with the local elections which prevented Higgins from being elected in favor of Mr. G. H. Moore. In court testimony of February 1858 concerning the incident, which involved violence and intimidation in Ballinrobe, a Mr. Lawson stated: "The mob were there all the time we were in the Volkenburgh's (sic) hotel." It was further stated that there were between 30 and 40 Ballinrobe and Cong men served porter and bread at Valkenburgh's (sic) hotel at the time of the incident.

The Valkenburg Hotel Girls, photo from Pat King

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Not posted

"Market Street, Ballinrobe"

Market Street is really a continuation of Main Street. The fence on the right is outside of St Mary's Catholic Church.

In January 2010 Kevin McDarby wrote:

"You called this street Market St. ? To my memory Bowgate St. ran into Main St. Weavers Row came from Cornmarket to Bowgate St.

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

"The prominent building with Hotel written on its gable end was the town's post office up until about five years ago. The street, therefore, is Bowgate Street. The Catholic Church would be on your left." Gerry Ryder, October 2007
The date should be about the same as the image of the old St Mary's R.C. church. Gerry points out that it is likely the two images were taken the same day.

Kevin McDarby wrote in January 2010:

"One of your photographs shows Bowgate street and a big building HOTEL on its gable end .... later to become the Post Office. The pillars at the far end of this street are the pillars of the gate/entrance to Ballinrobe castle and later to Cran more house. Possibility that the Barrack bridge to give access to the barracks rather than across the grounds of Cranmore house was built same time as the house!"
"POST OFFICE, Market Street, BALLINROBE, Jane Armstrong, Post Mistress. Letters from Dublin, England, Scotland, &c. arrive at half-past six morning and six evening, and are dispatched thereto at eight and ten night. Money Order and Telegraph Office and Savings Bank."

"The picture is looking towards the entrance to Cranmore House. The house itself was built about 1832, and was consumed by fire after 1923."

Gerry Ryder, October 2007

Photo by Gerry Ryder, 2007

In January 2010 Kevin McDarby wrote to say that if there was a fire the house was rebuilt. He knew the owners and played in the house in the 1950s. See more information on the Cranmore house from Kevin at Recent Images of Ballinrobe

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73

St Mary's R. C. Church, Ballinrobe

by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

"It should date from sometime around 1872, because it's the original layout before any extensions were built." Gerry Ryder October 2007
Several of the children of John Walsh and Fanny Feeny (including Joseph Walsh) were baptized in St Mary's. Patrick, James, and Bridget, the children of Mathias Langan and Penelope Bryne were also baptized here.

The Larners, a family of stoneworkers who were godparents to several of the children of John Walsh and Fanny Feeney, are credited with being the builders of St Mary's.


"The Roman Catholic church, which stands a short distance from the town, on the road to Castlebar, is well and substantially built. It is in the Gothic style of architecture, with a large east window; the interior contains eighteen marble pillars. The site and grounds were given by Colonel Knox, the liberal proprietor of the town, who also gave the site of the Sisters of Mercy convent. Both plots are in trust to his Grace the Archbishop of Tuam. A large number of girls are gratuitously instructed by the ladies of the convent."

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES: Market st - Rev. Jas. Ronayne, P.P.

There are some obvious changes between the photo take circa 1880 and the following images. The facade of the older church remains. Added to the church is a large extension at the back and a bell tower. The building to the left in the image above no loger appears to stand.

The next four images of the church look pretty much the same. There are, however, some minor differences. In the first image the trees on the left are younger and there is no electric line to the church. In the second image a thin line, which I believe is an electric line, can be seen passing the trees on the left. In the third image there are more lines to the church. In addition there are two statues that do not appear on the other images:

  1. A statue on the left which appears to be a seated figure.
  2. There are two statues on the right instead of one as seen in the other images.
In December 2014 John Henning pointed out:
"The Rectory building in the rear of the church appears to be two stories in the third photo. There is a building in the first two as well, but it now looks like it is not the same as the one pictured in #3."
Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Ballinrobe

St Mary's R.C. Church, Ballinrobe

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The facade, especially the window and the left side, clearly retained some aspects of the older church.

St Mary's R. C. Church, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Courtesy of John Henning November 2011

St Mary's R. C. Church, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

In 1924 stained class widows were added to the church. See St. Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, Mayo - Stained Glass Windows


May 1852 On Pentecost Saturday Mary Maid was baptized and received into the Catholic Church at Ballinrobe by the Rev. T. Hardiman, P. P." (Battersby's Registry for the whole world, with the complete ordo, or ... By W. J. Battersby)

1853: BALLINROBE ..... "large Roman Catholic chapel" (The Cabinet Gazetteer: a Popular Exposition of the Countries of the World ... By J. W.)

1857: In a foot note. "*How different this language is, to the letter of a Roman Catholic priest, lately published which is dated "St. Mary's, Ballinrobe, Feast of St. Peter s Chains, 1867," and in which he asserts, what all the world knows to be untrue, that "the schemes for proselytizing the Catholic people of Ireland having failed, as had previously failed the efforts made during years of famine to extirpate the whole Irish race"! (Sporting Magazine, 1857)

Father Peter Conway And The Building Of Saint Mary's church, see Religion, PICTURES now or at the bottom of the page.

Ballinrobe Chalice

Image shared by Michael Brabazon, November 2020

"The chalice was found in a house demolition at Cross East in 1922, assumed to have been hidden in the Penal Law times. It was made in Spain in 1663, probably in Bilbao. It's now in Tuam Archdiocesan House. The engraving on it is of Ballinrobe with a towering cross - the Abbey being referred to in a survey of the 1940s as the Priory of the Holy Rood."

The Old Church

The old church on the Partry road (AKA Chapel Road) dated from 1828 to 1848.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The cemetery is in the background.

St Mary's Church of Ireland

St Mary's Protestant Church

This building now houses the town library.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Cornmarket Street, Ballinrobe

Photo collection of Mark Douglas

In October 2009 Mark Douglas wrote and shared some Ballinrobe photos and history. Mark wrote about this photo:

"The photo I'm pretty sure is in Ballinrobe. I see a shop name to the right hand side which could be "Lynam". The person standing at the door looks like my aunt, Alice Goulden, (sister of my mother). They had a black dog named Countess and that's more than likely she lying on the pavement. I cannot identify the man."
In January 2011 Patrick O'Malley wrote:
"The picture is taken in Cornmarket, Ballinrobe. The house with the store front was owned by Lynachs. It was grocery/tavern. My grandfather William J O'Malley married Mary Lynach, and raised there family there. 4 Girls and 7 boys. Later in life one of the boys, George who is my father, married a Margaret Burke from Castlebar. They still live in the same house where they reared seven boys and two girls. The house on the left was purchased as a residents for my grandmother. It is now owned by my uncle, Patrick O'Malley, who lives in New York.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Cornmarket Street, Ballinrobe

The picture is the same as the one above.

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

"Augustinian Friary near Abbey Street. On the right hand side of the picture, you can make out the seven-storey tower of the mill at the back of Kenny's House." Gerry Ryder, October 2007

Barrack Bridge

Barrack Bridge, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Barrack Bridge, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The River Robe

The Riverside Walk, Ballinrobe

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The River Robe, Ballinrobe

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

With the kind permission of the National Library of Ireland - Library Reference Number: WYN73


by Wynne, Thomas J 1838-1893 photographer ca.1880

The River Robe, Ballinrobe
Postcard collection Maggie Land Blanck. Not posted.

The Riverside Walk, Ballinrobe

The men are standing on the Bowers Bridge

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

This postcard images is from a photograph taken between 1880 and 1900 by Thomas J Wynn, a Castlebar photographer.

Ballinrobe Canal, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The Bowers Bridge, Ballinrobe

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


In January 2010 Kevin Darby wrote: Man walking with stick and Woodbine poster in the background is in fact my late father-in-law.

Train Station

The station was located on Station Road, a spur off Kilmaine Road south east of the town itself.

According to Slater's Directory of Ireland 1881 the nearest train station to Ballinrobe was "on the Midland Great 10 miles distant".

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Ballinrobe 21.6.55

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Ballinrobe 21.6.55

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck


For more images of the local trains and Ballinrobe Station go to Emigration

1880 Images From The Graphic

The Graphic, December 11, 1880. Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

"Market Day in Ballinrobe During The Military Occupation"

See Captain Boycott, under Land Issues.

The Graphic, December 11, 1880. Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

"A Sketch At Ballinrobe After The Departure of The Troops

Ballinrobe in 1881

Slaters Directory of 1881:

"The market, held on Monday, is generally well attended. Fairs, Whit- Monday and December 5th. In 1861 the population of the parish was 7,614 and in 1871, 6,848, of which number the town contained 2,408."


CHRISTIAN BROTHERS' SCHOOL, Market st- Christian Brothers, teachers
PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, Market st - Louisa Crawford, mistress
SISTERS of MERCY SCHOOL, Glebe st- Sisters of Mercy, mistresses

RC Church Market st - Rev. Jas. Ronayne, P.P. RAILWAY - the nearest station is on the Midland Great Western 10 miles distant

Ballinrobe in 1882
"The land here seems very rich. I remarked this to my travelling companions, who told me that I was on the rich plains of Mayo. The fields are large and well cultivated. There were no signs of the abject poverty, wee, stony fields, horrible rookeries of houses that exist in the shadow of the Ox hills. Not that the houses of the laborers here were good; for that, a good, decent laborer's house, I have not yet seen in Ireland, except on Mr. Young's Galgorm estate. They may exist on other estates, I dare say they do, but I have not seen them. This country over which we were travelling was as rich with round-headed trees and wide meadows as a gentleman's park. The road, a particularly meandering one, passed through Hollymount - a lovely place - and through Carrowmore, my companions telling me of the landlords and the tenants as we drove along. The rent was high and hard to make up, the turf far to draw, that was all. There was no account of vexatious office rules or special acts of tyranny related to me at all.

Ballinrobe, on the river Robe, is near Lough Mask, and is another quiet, pretty, leisurely little town. I was troubled with neuralgia and did not see much of it. Opposite the hotel was the minister's residence, amid gardens, all shut in behind a stone wall high enough for a rampart. Through an archway from the street was the church where he ministered, sitting meditating among the tombs. I wandered into this place one day on my way to the post-office. Noticed the great number of the name of Cuffe who were buried there. Cuffe is the family name of Lord Tyrawley.

The Catholic church sits back from the street a good way and the ground before it is laid out in flowers. There are some images of saints through the grounds, which are set in arches of rock work, over which climbing plants are trained. There is also a community of Christian Brothers, who have a school here. Their building had so much glass in front, with so many geraniums in flower, a perfect blaze of them behind the glass, that it looked like a conservatory."

The Letters of "Norah" on Her Tour Through Ireland

Holy Well

The Graphic, December 11, 1880. Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

"Holy Well On The Road Between Lough Mask and Ballinrobe"

Lough Mask

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Lough Mask, Ballinrobe Co. Mayo

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Fishing on Lough Mask, Co. Mayo, Ireland Ballinrobe

Printed on back

Lough Mask, Co. Mayo: A large expanse of water, 10 miles long and 4 miles broad, is noted for its brown trout. On the island of Inishmaan are the ruins of a church built by St Comac in the 6th century. Lough Mask is connected with the larger Lough Carrib by an underground river which is accessible in parts, and where the limestone has broken away the caves formed may be descended.

Convent of Mercy
Convent of Mercy, Ballinrobe

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

"The Convent of Mercy is on your right hand side (south side) as one exits Ballinrobe in the direction of Tuam - out Gleebe street!"

Patrick Joseph Flannery, July 2007"

Patrick also suggested the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy website at Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

which says

"Ballinrobe was founded from Westport, on 19 February 1851 and as well as education and visitation the Sisters nursed the sick in the Workhouse hospital and helped the poor in every possible way. There were two foundations from Ballinrobe - Clonbur - four Sisters arrived there on Sunday 19 October 1924 and until the late 1980's the Sisters as well as educating the local children, were involved in all aspects of parish life. That house is now the property of the North Connemara Voluntary Housing Association."

Kevin McDarby says the covent is on the left side of the road.

Convent of Mercy, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Muddy Langan, the wife of Martin Langan, worked in the convent upon her return to Ballinrobe with her two daughters. See Martin Langan

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Convent of Mercy, Ballinrobe, 1980

Photo by Agnes and Bud Land

Creagh House

Creagh House, Ballinrobe

Built in 1875 by Colonel Charles Howe Cuff Knox, one of the big landlords in the area. Bridie Mulloy in her book about the area (Itchy Feet and Thirsty Work) says that many of the workers on the Creagh estate lived in Carnaleck.

In 1924 the Creagh estate became a TB sanatorium.

Photo from Souvenir of Ballinrobe (Co. Mayo) Album of Local Views, F Kilkelly, Bookseller, Ballinrobe, no date

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Creagh, Ballinrobe

Not posted

Postcard collection of Carolyn Copeland
Creagh, Ballinrobe

My Gt Grandfather worked as a Coachman for Mr. Knox at Creagh House and his daughter Elizabeth Kiddle also worked at Creagh House along with one of her sisters. I have a reference written for my Grandmother by Mr. Knox dated 1900. It is written on Creagh House headed paper. I also have a post card of Creagh House which was sent by my Grandmother's Sister who worked there to another Sister in England. I have attached a copy of this postcard."

Carolyn Copeland Birmingham, England

Creagh House, Ballinrobe

In June 2005 John D Clark sent me this wonderful photo of workmen at Creagh House doing renovations in 1929.

John wrote:

Back Row : L to R, My great granduncle, William Clark, Plumber, a native of Montrose, Scotland who came to Ireland with his brother David Clark, Plumber. William set up business in Ballinrobe. He died on 11th Feb, 1931 after being taken to hospital in Galway. Buried in Ballinrobe but have not been successful in finding his grave. (Scotch Presbyterian ?)

Back row : 3rd from right Tom McGreal a native of Cong, and subsequently a postman in Castlebar

Front Row: 3rd from left my dad David Clark who was 19 at the time this photo was taken apprenticed to his uncle William Clark as a plumber.

Unfortunately that's all the people I know in the photo.

In May 2013 Ross O'Malley wrote:
I showed this picture to my grandmother before she died just over a year ago - her name was Martha O'Malley nee Glynn and she grew up on Glebe Street. She doesn't appear on the 1911 census as she wasn't born then but her parents and Grandparents do, along with some of her siblings. They lived in the thatched cottage shown in one of your photographs.

Martha went on to marry Edward O'Malley of Bowgate Street, the son of the postmaster. Edward is pictured in one of your old school photos along with his older brother Jimmy O'Malley who eventually settled in New York. Edward (Eddie or Ted as he was known) and Martha moved and settled in St Albans England sometime in the 1930's.

The picture below above shows her father Patrick Glynn 2nd from the right on the second row, behind him 3rd in from the right on the back row is her younger brother Tom Glynn (Patrick's son). Both were plasterers and in this picture both are wearing their plasterers overalls. I think another correspondent has named the person in the picture as someone else.

Sadly, Tom died during the outbreak of T.B. not long after this picture was taken. Ironically, this picture is taken at Creagh House where he eventually died at the sanitarium there.

Eddie O'Malley's parents were Martin and Nora O'Malley nee Moran. Nora's family ran the Railway Hotel and I believe they still do.

Eddie had three brothers, Peter "Beef", Jimmy and Martin - Martin also settled in St Albans - and a sister Nora who is a retired nun in Monaghan. Beef remained in Ballinrobe on Bowgate Street and was quite a character.

Martha had 10 sisters all of whom moved to New York in the 30's with the exception of Agnes who remained in Ballinrobe and married the local barber. Her son Chris still lives there today.

In March 2021 Richard Glynn wrote:
"The person third from the right in the back row is Patrick Joseph Glynn known as Joseph who died in Creagh House in 1937 age 25. Tom Glynn was my father who left Ireland to join the British Army in 1940 to fight the Nazis. He settled in London and married Kathleen Finegan from Co. Monaghan. They had four sons, Thomas, Patrick (known as Joseph), Nichols and Richard. Sadly our father died in 1968 aged 48 and Joseph died in 1967 age 13."

Court, December 1889

The Graphic, December 11, 1880. Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

"At The Ballinrobe Police Court: Magisterial Examination Of Rioters On A Charge of Threatening Captain Boycott"

See Captain Boycott, under Land Issues.

The McDonald Family circa 1910

Photo courtesy of Carmel Jones, January 2011

Family of Joseph McDonald - RIC Constable Ballinrobe circa 1906

Carmel wrote:

The baby on my granny's knee was my aunty, Mary, born in 1905. She was probably about a year in the picture. The older girl standing was my mother (Catherine). The older boy was my uncle, Michael, & the other one my uncle, Jack. They both emigrated to Canada in the 1920s. There were 2 other boys born after that, James born abt 1906 or 7 & Francis 1908 (the one in the school photo). My grannie had one more child in 1915 named Bridget (my auntie, Bridie). The lady standing at the back was my grannie's sister (Anastatia). I think that about covers the picture. My mother attended the convent to the end of her school days. Her first Holy Communion was in 1908. Later on when grandfather retired from the police (not sure of the year) the family moved to Fermoy Co. Cork where Francis died from T.B. aged 23 years.

1911 Census house 14 in High Street (Ballinrobe, Mayo)

  • McDonald Joseph 42 Male Head of Family Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald Mary J 36 Female Wife Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald Catherine 13 Female Daughter Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald Michael P 12 Male Son Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald John 9 Male Son Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald James J 7 Male Son Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald Mary J 5 Female Daughter Roman Catholic,
  • McDonald Joseph F 2 Male Son Roman Catholic

Constable Joseph McDonald took part of the 1911 census for Ballinrobe.

Carmel Jones says that the family was listed in Portlaw, Co. Waterford in the 1901 census:

My grandfather Joseph was born in Dublin, his father's name was Michael. I dont have any info on his mother yet. My grandmother, Mary Josephine Ahern, was born in Ballynoe, Co Cork. The pair were married 15 Jan 1895 in Conna near Ballynoe, Co Cork. My grandmothers parents were Michael Ahern & Catherine Muillins.
See My Scottish & Irish Roots

Ballinrobe School Play circa 1907

Photo from A Century of Memories an undated magazine about Ballinrobe, xeroxed at the Castlebar Library in 2004. The child who I have highlighted with the red arrow is identified as Helen Langan. The caption reads in part
This is the cast of an old Ballinrobe School Play, but we're not sure of the exact year. It was certainly more than a few years ago........ Photo courtesy of Maureen McDarby
Maureen McDarby was not listed in Ballinrobe the 2003 phone book.*

Helen Langan the daughter of Martin and Ellen Langan was born in New York in 1900. Ellen Langan and her two daughters, Martha and Helen, returned to Ballinrobe circa 1900 where they remained until 1920 when they returned to New York. This would date this photo to about 1906-1908 guessing at the age of Helen in the photo. See Martin Langan

*In December 2009 Kevin McDarby, the son of Maureen McDarby wrote: "Maureen Mc Darby, my mother, died December 2000 and my father, Dr. Mac, died November 1999 thus no phone book number for them." See more from Kevin McDarby below.

Photo Taken October 1919 Ballinrobe

The following photo was graciously sent by John Doherty who got it from THE BRIDGE magazine "A Periodical of Ballinrobe Parish" circa 1977

Back row left to right: (1) Martin Mellett brother of Harry Mellett, New Street (2) Willie Joyce, Loughmask (3) Paddy Masterson lived up Glebe St, his father was either on the railway or in the army (4) Michael (Sonney) Joyce, Bridge Street (5) Andy Walsh, Friarsquarter (6) Willie Killeen, Hollymount (7) Gerard Moran, Bridge St. (Birmingham (8) Gerard (Sonny) May, Main St. (9) Jack Meenehan, Cloonkeerie, cousin of Wilson Jennings (10) Alec Lowery, New St. (11) Paddy Moran (Birminghams Bridge St. (12) Francis McDonald, his dad was a policeman, lived down Creagh Rd. (13) Maurice Menneghan, brother of Jack above (14) Paddy Hasty, Abbey St.

Second row left to right: (15) Paddy Flannery, Bowgate St. (16) Mick Farragher, Bowgate St. (17) Dennis Fitzpatrick, Main St. (18) Tommie Hennelly, from Partry, but lived with an aunt, Mrs. Kenny, Cornmarket (19) Christy Mellett from Kilkerrin (20) Jimmy O'Malley, Bowgate St. (21) Josie Bourke, Main St. (22) Cyril Staunton, Bridge St. (Newtons) (23) Jack Lyons from Roundfort (24) Leo Mc Hugh, Glebe St (25) Bill Faoan, his father was Station Master in Claremorris, he was later a guard in Ballinrobe (26) Martin Frawley, Abbey St, his father was a head constable in the R.I.C. (27) Luke Lydon, Glebe St.

Third row from top seated left to right: (28) Tommie Mellett, brother of Harry and Martin Mellett, New St. (29) Michael Frawley, Abbey St, brother of Martin Frawley (3) J. J. Costello, Abbey St (31) Fagan, brother of Bill Fagen Claremorris (32) Jim Cavanagh, out the Convent Road (33) Burke, nephew of Mrs. Hession, Bridge St. (34) Paddy Bennett, his father was a teacher at Newbrooke School (35) Jack O'Conner, Glebe St (36) Willie Malley, Bowgate St. (37) Luke O'Malley, Ballinew (38) Thomas J Hollernan, Glebe St.

Second row from the bottom left to right: (39) O'Mara, his father was D. I. of police, lived out at Mile Hill House(40) Willie Gannon, Church Rd. (41) Christy Donnellon, Church Rd. (42) Charlie Murphy, Cornmarket (43) Paddy Donnellon, New St. (44) Johnny Loeby, Loughmask Rd. Cottages (45) Alphonsus Leydon, Glebe St. (46) Ned O'Mara, Milehill, brother of the other O'Mara in the same row 947) Owney Joyce, Bowgate St (48) Michael Walsh, Glebe St. (49) Eddie O'Malley, Bowgate St. (brother of Jim O'Malley)

Bottom row seated on the ground left to right: (50) Mattie Walsh, Bowgate St (51) Willie O'Malley, High St (52) Wilson Jennings, Main St. (53) Harry Murphy, Cornmarket (54) Mikie May, brother of Gerard May, Main St (55) Frank Loeby, brother of John Loeby, Loughmaks Rd. Cottages (56) Jack Power, Glebe St. (57) Paddy Conner, New St.

April 2008 Syl Walsh wrote to say he was born in Ballinrobe in 1944 but left in 1960.

"My father was born in Bowgate Street 1914. On the third to last picture, old Photo's shows my Uncle, Mattie Walsh."
In November 2010 Carmen Jones wrote that Francis McDonald (no 12) was her mother Catherine's brother. Catherine's father was Joseph McDonald R.I.C. constable.

1911 Census house 14 High Street (Ballinrobe, Mayo) McDonald, Joseph, 42, Male, Head of Family, Roman Catholic, McDonald, Mary J, 36, Female, Wife, Roman Catholic, McDonald, Catherine, 13, Female, Daughter, Roman Catholic, McDonald, Michael P, 12, Male, Son, Roman Catholic, McDonald, John, 9, Male, Son, Roman Catholic, McDonald, James J, 7, Male, Son, Roman Catholic, McDonald, Mary J, 5, Female, Daughter, Roman Catholic, McDonald, Joseph F, 2, Male, Son Roman Catholic

Constable Joseph Mc Donald took at least part of the 1911 census in Ballinrobe.

Photo Taken Ballinrobe 1935

The following photo was graciously sent by John Doherty who says that the picture was kindly loaned to him by Mary Rankin, nee O'Malley, niece of Bridie O'Malley who appears in the picture.

"The attached picture was taken about 1935 and shows girls at the Convent School, Ballinrobe. I have names for only two of the subjects. The third from the left on the front row is Bridie O'Malley from Frenchbrook, Kilmaine. She was related to a cousin and died, sadly, in 1949. On the right end of the second front row is Delia O'Connell of Ballinrobe. The last I heard she was still living in Ballinrobe last year."

Images from Eamonn Morris

The following photos was graciously shared by Eamonn Morris, April 2009

Christian Brother's School

"1937, 6th year. My father is shown second row from front and second from the right [looking at the pic]."

"The second is the local football team 1907/1908. I believe my Grandfather Peter was the club secretary at that time. There are likely to be Feerick boys in both photos that may be indentifiable by others."
See Feericks, Ballinrobe now or at the bottom of the page for more information on the Ferrick family of Ballinrobe and for Ferrick images.

Photos From Syl Walsh

In May 2008 Syl Walsh contacted me to share some old Ballinrobe photos.

Syl Walsh was born in Ballinrobe in 1944. His father was born in Bowgate Street in 1914. Syl's uncle, Mattie Walsh, is in the 1919 photo of the boys, see above.

Photo collection of Syl Walsh

Lane number 1 — Mrs O'Malley, Syl Walsh and Ann O'Malley, about 1946

In June 2011 Bill Reilly wrote:

I confirmed with my mother Breege Reilly (nee O'Keeffe of High Street before moving to Claremorris) that it is indeed her sister, my Auntie Nancy O'Malley and cousin Anne with Syl. Anne left Ballinrobe for New York in around 1960. Nancy stayed there until her death in January 2007. Her husband Luke died in the 1970's if I remember correctly. Her sons still live in the family home. Thanks again for a great website. Bill

Photo collection of Syl Walsh

Syl Walsh and his sisters, Kay, Mary and Fran — 78 New Street Ballinrobe 1951

Photo collection of Syl Walsh

The Ballinrobe races 1952

Ned Healy — a prominent figure in the town at the time, was the Garage owner for many years

McElroy — The Police Man (Garda) family that lived in New Street

Mary and Silvie Walsh

Photo collection of Syl Walsh

Mary and Fran Walsh — Convent School 1957

Photo collection of Syl Walsh, August 2011

The Christen Brothers School Ballinrobe around 1954. Front row; first from left my brother John (Sean) Walsh. Seventh from left me Silvie Walsh. Second from right front row; Tommy McTigue who got some years after. Back row (Not sure who it is) but one of them became the Head Teacher at the Ballinrobe School. So sorry that I cant remember all the names that I should! It would be so good if someone could fill in the blanks Best Regards, Syl

Photos From Mark Douglas

In September 2009 Mark Douglas contacted me to share some old Ballinrobe photos.

His family were the Gouldens who were Chruch of Ireland. Sergeant Henry Richard Goulden was in the RIC. See Other Families in Ballinrobe

Photo collection of Mark Douglas

Gordon Douglas and Harry Calvert, Creagh, Ballinrobe May 1934.

Photo collection of Mark Douglas

"Wedding day in Ballinrobe, 15 May, 1941. My aunt Alice, my father Gordon Douglas, my mother Florence (Flo) Goulden and her brother Jim (James).The wedding took place at St Mary's Church, Ballinrobe. This church was closed sometime ago and as far as I know it is now functioning as a library. The Rev. Canon R.Francis officiated. Canon Francis also officiated with the Bishop of Tuam at my mother's confirmation on 28 April, 1929.

Mark Douglas, October 2009

Photo collection of Mark Douglas

"the just married couple leaving on a train. I wonder was this taken at Ballinrobe railway station?"

Mark Douglas, October 2009

The Hearn Family in Ballinrobe

In March 1881 John Hearn age 65 of Killoshine cottage was shot. See. Land Issues

Maggie Haywood said the shop with the FAHEY sign once belonged to Michael Hearn and it passed to his son George Hearn, Draper/Merchant.

Michael Hearn died in 1906 and George his, son lost, his wife Mary nee Gill and then he took the whole family to USA about 1913.*

Joseph born 1899 Ballinrobe, youngest son of George, became a Cistertian monk at the Monstery Valley Falls (later Cumberland) Rhode Island. He died 18th July 1923 of TB."

* The USA immigration records indicate that Mary Gill was still alive when the family immigrated to NYC in 1911. See below.

The 1901 census in Ballinrobe listed three Hearn families in Ballinrobe:

  1. Ballinrobe T./The Common, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Mayo, Household, Hearn, Bessie (36), shopkeeper/not married, Alice Donnelly (23), servant/not married, Phill McDermott (18) shop asst./born, Co. Roscommon, Willie Staunton(16) shop asst.

  2. Ballinrobe T./Main St., Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Mayo, Household, Hearn, George H. (42), draper/grocer, Mary C. (29), wife/grocer, Michael (84), father/widower/retired draper, Mary E. (7), Arthur (5), Patrick (5), Joseph (1), Bridget Nelson (30) dressmaker/not married/born Co. Sligo, Myles May (30?) asst.-Thomas Monahan(28) asst., Andrew Feeney, (18) asst., Martin Varily (17) asst., Michael Kelly (26) servant, Sara Kelly (24) cook, Maria Sullivan (18) maid, Maggie King (25) nurse, Pat Heany (18) grocers asst., Michael Conroy (17) grocers asst.

  3. Killosheheen, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Mayo, Household, Hearne, Robert Ernest (38) farmer/not married, also clerk of petty sessions, Mary Frances Moran (51) servant/not married, Mary Burke(22) servant/not married

Michael Hearn (1816-1906)

Maggie Haywood wrote in August 2010

" Michael Hearn b 1816 Ballinrobe d 12.1.1906 aged 90 Ballinrobe.

1st marriage Kate Costello died aged 21 possibly childbirth no children

2nd marriage Margaret O Sullivan birth unknown died aged 60 Ballinrobe


  1. Mary Elizabeth born 1850

  2. Joseph 1852 died in infancy

  3. Joseph 1855- 1941 Australia Jesuit priest awarded the Military Cross WW1

  4. Thomas 1855 - 1872 twin to Joseph

  5. Arthur M 1859 - 14.1.1886 Ballinrobe

  6. George Hearn (1859-1935)

    George Harry 1859 - 1936 USA twin to Arthur (Maggie Haywood, August 2020

    Birth Son of Michael circa 1859 Ireland

    Marriage: Mary Gill daughter of Joseph Gill of Westport.


    1. Mary E. c 1894-

    2. Arthur dob 1895 Died 1922

      WWIDR: Arthur Patrick Hearn, --- 6th Ave Brooklyn, dob July 3 1895, Ballinrobe Ireland. Rest of image does not come up.

    3. Patrick dob 1895 Died 1918

      WWIDR: Patrick A Hearn 214 6th Ave Brooklyn, dob July 3, 1895, Ballinrobe, Ireland, shipping clerk, rest of image does not come up

      WWI Causalities: Patrick Hearn State Registered: New York Death Date: 12 Jun 1918 Cemetery: St. Mihiel American Cemetery Cemetery Burial Plot: Plot B Row 10 Grave 35 Cemetery City: Thiaucourt Cemetery Country: France WAR: World War I Title: Private, U.S. Army Rank: Private Service: U.S. Army Division: 165th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division Data Source: World War I Honor Roll

    4. Joseph dob 1898 Died 1922

      WWIDR: Joseph Michael Hearn Ossening Westchenster, age 19, born July 4, 1898, Divinity Strudent --- Mission father George H Hearn, 35 Stirling Place Brooklyn, blue eyes brown hair.

    5. Henry 1901

      US Passport Henry George Hearn: Born Ballinrobe Ireland September 1, 1901 father George Henry Hearn, 35 Stirling Place, Brooklyn, New York, immigrated from Liverpool April 8 1911, naturalized in the Supreme Court Brooklyn, June 15, 1924, age 22, 5ft 11 inches blue eyes brown hair, occupation, salesman, going on the Celtic Aug 23 1924 to visit relatives in Great Britain and Ireland.

    Immigration of George Henry Hearn: January 22 1911, Campania, George Henry Hearn age 52, merchant, last residence Westport, Ireland, relative in country whence alien came, father-in-law, Joseph Gill, Westport to friend Joseph Gill 116 Lexington Ave NYC. George had been in the US before from 1887 to 1889 in Boston. born Ballinrobe.

    Immigration of Mary Gill Hearn and children: S. S. Laurentic from Liverpool April 17, 1911, Hearn, Mary, age 41, housewife, father Joseph Gill, Westport, Arthur age 15, Patrick age 15, Joseph age 11, Henry age 9, Elizabeth age 17 to Geo Henry Hearn, 116 Lexington Avenue new York New York. Mary born Westport children born Ballinrobe.

    Hearn Deaths:

    Erected in Loving memory of
    Mary C Hearn
    Died Nov 1 1913 Aged 41 Years
    Patrick Arthur Hearn
    Co. B 165 Inf. Died in Action June 12 1918
    Baccart France Aged 21 Years
    Arthur Patrick Hearn
    Co. B 165 Inf Died Feb 19 1922 Aged 25 years
    Rev Brother Mry Stephen O.C.R.
    Joseph Aloysius Hearn
    Died at Cistercian Monastery Rhode Island
    July 18 1922 Aged 22 Years
    George Henry Hearn
    Died Jan 21 1935
    Joseph A Gill
    Died Nov 30 1928

    Gill Families in Mayo, Ireland between 1700-1920

New York City Death Records

Hearn, Mary, 43 y, Nov 1, 1913, 20235, Kings

Mary Hearn, 1913 #20235, Brooklyn, 214 6th Ave Brooklyn tenement, married, age 43, housewife, born Ireland, in US 2 years, father Joseph Gill born Ireland, mother Marie Stone, born Ireland, sick from October 26, died Nov 1, 1913, lumbar pneumonia, buried Holy Cross Cemetery Nov 3, 1913

Gill, Joseph, 52 y, Nov 30, 1928, 9022 Bronx

Joseph Gill, 1928, Bronx, #90022, 728 E 165th Street, Bronx, tenement, single age 52, electrician born Ireland in US 40 years, father Anthony Gill, born Ireland, mother Bridget Moore, born Ireland, died Nov 30, 1928 carcinoma of rectum, buried Holy Cross.

Hearn George 80 y Jan 21 1935 1867 Kings

George Hearn, 1935 #1867 Brooklyn, 234 89th Street, private house, widowed, age 80, wife Mary E Hearn, retired buyer, born Ireland, in US 25 years, father, Michael Hearn, born Ireland, mother, unknown born Ireland, cause of death, chronic myocardytes, died January 21, 1935, buried Holy Cross Cemetery Queens January 24, 1935

  • Edward Norman 1861 - ?

    Edward Norman 1861 married Mary Macdonnell they had 8 children. They ended up in London but I can't find a death date for Edward.

  • Charles Michael 1862

  • Elizabeth 1864

  • Corbett in Ballinrobe

    In July 1894 American boxer, James J Corbett, visited Ballinrobe where his father, Patrick, was born at Ballycusheen, Ballinrobe parish - about 14 km (8 and a half miles) from the town of Ballinrobe. James Corbett gave a performance in Ballinrobe town hall to benefit the church in Partry where his uncle, the Reverent James Corbett, was the parish priest.

    James Corbett known as Gentleman Jim was born September 1, 1866. He was a World Heavyweight Champion who was best known for defeating John L. Sullivan. James Corbett's father, Patrick was born in Ballinrobe circa 1835 and emigrated in 1854.

    1880: San Francisco, Patrick J. Corbett 45, stable keeper, Catherine Corbett 43, Frank Corbett 20, stable keeper, Edward H. Corbett 19 Hester Corbett 14 James Corbett 12 John Corbett 10 Teresa Corbett 8 Mary Corbett 8 Kate Corbett 7 Joseph Corbett 5 Thomas Corbett 3, parents born Ireland, children born California.

    Joe Corbett played pro baseball for a short while for the Baltimore Orioles.

    In August 1898 at San Francisco, Patrick Corbett shot his wife, Catherine, and then shot himself. The both died almost instantly. He was said to have been mentally unstable for some time.

    The Rev. James Corbett, C. C. born c 1845 in Ballycuscheen was an early leading member of the Land League. He was at Claremorris for a while and then became parish priest at Partry from 1883 to 1919. He died in Ballinrobe Jan 1, 1919. He complained when Walter Bourke carried his gun into church. See Walter Bourke in Land Issues

    He was involved in the Land League oat harvest near Claremorris in 1881, which was written about by the American journalist, James Redpath.

    Here is what Father Corbett says, parish priest of Partry, alluding to people dying before his eyes from starvation:
    "I hate this begging business if I could help it. It is heartbreaking to myself, and demoralising to my poor people. But what can I do? I must seek aid somewhere, or let the people starve before my eyes. No doubt outdoor relief is doled out to an enormous extent, but in such miserable pittances of Il. 6d. and 2s. a week to families of eight and ten members as to be nothing short of a mockery. Besides, there are scores of needy people who will not touch it at all, and who are literally starving on half meals a day of Indian meal, procured on credit."
    The parliamentary debates By Great Britain. Parliament, 1898

    Tons of images of James J Corbett are on the Internet.

    To see more recent images of Ballinrobe click on


    or the 2005 image of Glebe Street

    A Great Web Site by Gerry Ryder With Old and New Images of Ballinrobe

    Ballinrobe ......... a century of change

    The National Library of Ireland has images of Ballinrobe.

    Ballinrobe - Historic Calendar 2011
    Non profit venture, all funds go to the newly formed Ballinrobe Archaeological and Historical Society. Their aim is to eventually produce a Digital Archive of Ballinrobe with the assistance of the National Museum of Ireland, Folklife Dept. Education Dept., Castlebar Co. Mayo.
    See also Historical Ballinrobe

    If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

    Emigration from Ireland

    HOME -
    Other Photos of the West of Ireland - Photos of Castlebar - Photos of Mochara - Photos of Shrule - Local Landlords

    My Association With Ballinrobe

    John Walsh, born circa 1827, married Fanny Feeney in Castlebar in 1856. They had at least 11 children born in Ballinrobe between 1861 and 1881. John Walsh was a stewart on the Kenny estate in Ballinrobe. At least eight of John and Fanny's children emigrated to New York City between 1886 and 1894. Their son Joseph, who was my maternal great grandfather, was born in Ballinrobe in 1873. He emigrated to New York in 1894. I do not know if any of the children of John and Fanny remained in Ballinrobe.

    Maggie Langan was born in 1875 in Mochara in Shrule Parish, the daughter of Matthias Langan and Penelope Byrne. Matthias, born circa 1841, was the son of Mathias Langan and his wife Margaret. Penelope was the daughter of Michael Byrne and Nappy Naughton of Mochara. Matthias and Penelope had five children between 1866 and 1879 (Pat in 1866, Martin in 1872, Maggie in 1875, James in 1877, Bridget in 1879). The whole family emigrated to New York City between 1886 and 1892. Before leaving Ireland the Langan family lived in the town of Ballinrobe. Matthias Langan returned to Ireland (perhaps in 1916) and died in Ballinrobe (at age 80) in 1920. Mathias Langan had at least two siblings, Pat and Bridget. Pat never married. Bridget Langan married John Ferrick. Bridget was listed in the 1901 Census on Creagh Road in Ballinrobe. Martin Langan born in 1872 married Ellen Moghan. Ellen and her family were also from Ballinrobe. Sometime before the 1911 census Ellen and her two daughters returned to Ballinrobe where they remained until October 1920 when they went back to New York City.

    Joseph Walsh and Maggie Langan married in New York City in 1895. They probably knew each other in Ballinrobe: both because it was a relatively small town and because they lived in the same quarter of the town. Joseph and Maggie had 10 children. Their fourth child was Isabelle born in 1901. Isabelle married Frank Goehle, a German American, in New York City in 1921. Their first child was Agnes, my mother, born in 1922.

    Maggie Land Blanck, January 2010

    © Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2004 - Last update February 2021