A description of Ballinrobe c. 1890 from Ireland (part II): East, West, and South including Dublin and Howth.

Photo:Transport c 1888

Transport c 1888


Photo:Index for Ballinrobe to Cong page207.

Index for Ballinrobe to Cong page207.

Photo:Before the magistrates at Cong, ten men were accused of the Maamtrasna murders

Before the magistrates at Cong, ten men were accused of the Maamtrasna murders

Photo:Pyramid on left just before entering The Neale heading towards Cong - near Ballinrobe

Pyramid on left just before entering The Neale heading towards Cong - near Ballinrobe

Extracts from two short passages on Ballinrobe, by a visitor, from a book published in London in 1888. It was written by Charles Slegg Ward, and edited by William Baxter) with maps by John Bartholomew 1831-1893. They describe Ballinrobe and its area:
By Averil Staunton

Ballinrobe (Valkenburg’s Hotel, very fair), is a neat and rather sombre town of 1800 inhabitants.  Close at hand, and west of the Main St., there is a pleasant walk along the river Robe, which flows hence into Lough Mask about 4 miles W. (page 204)

Mask anglers

As the recognised headquarters for Mask anglers, Ballinrobe is well known but tourists scarcely have found it out…

Ballinrobe to Cong

The road from Ballinrobe to Cong is over a flat plain with the hills of Joyce’s Country visible to the right, across Lough Mask.  The highest of them -2207 ft- is Maamtrasna, a name only too familiar in the records of agrarian crime**.  To the right, further away, rises the graceful cone of Croagh Patrick.  

Capt. Charles Boycott's house ("Boycotting") is near at hand on the right, but not seen.

The Neale 

At the hamlet of Neele [Neale] (4 m, from Ballinrobe), there is a pyramidal monument on the left of the road.


A little further we come broadside on to the wall that encloses the extensive demesne of Lord Ardilaun (Guinness). The road to the left and then right again round the wall leads to the pier, whence the steamer for Galway starts every morning; that to the right takes us direct into Cong.  Just before entering the village one sees on the right the canal by which an abortive attempt was made to effect a navigable channel between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask.

There were 12 editions of this book published between 1888 and 1911 with maps designed by John Bartholomew 1831-1893.


Early on Friday August 18 1882, John Collins, a tenant farmer, having heard disturbances during the night coming from his neighbour’s house, the Joyces, went to check if all was well. He must have feared the worst because he brought with him two neighbours, Mary and Margaret O’Brien. They discovered an appalling sight. Even today, when our senses have been hardened by so many atrocities, it was a scene of savage murder that cried to heaven. No mercy was shown to this unfortunate family.  See Galway Advertiser Jan 2010


This page was added by Averil Staunton on 04/11/2011.

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