Mary Treasa Cooney, Ballinrobe

Mother of Dr. Noel Brown

By Gerard Delaney, South Mayo Family Research, Main Street, Ballinrobe

Mary Teresa Cooney, mother of the politician Dr. Noel Browne, a Minister for Health, was born in Hollymount on 28 November 1883 to Patrick Cooney, a police pensioner and his wife Kate Moran.  She married Joseph Browne, a policeman and a native of Athenry, in Roundfort church on 8th September 1905. The future politician was born in Bath Street, Waterford on 20 December 1915. His father died in 1923 shortly after the disbanding of the R.I.C. leaving Mary Teresa with seven children, just £100 and no widow’s pension.

The family moved to Church Lane in Ballinrobe where they lived in increasing poverty as the money dwindled away. Five of her children died of TB and one of meningitis. She contracted the disease herself and died in London in 1927.

Their circumstances in Church Lane were dire and when his Mother fell ill the children took over running the household, including drawing water from the Robe River. Joey, the eldest, had a back problem, but got a job as a messenger boy in a local grocery shop. Apart from the pittance he was paid, the free bag of bacon bits, which had fallen beneath the bacon-slicing machine, helped them to survive.


Dr Noel Brown:

Sanatorium at Creagh Ballinrobe:

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 19/08/2019.

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