Craggaknock and Kilrush
Muintir Uí Cheallaigh
Kelly Clan Gathering
9:45 a.m. Saturday 20 May 2017
The Armada Hotel, Spanish
Point, County Clare
John Kelly sr. and Anne Butler (m. c. 1790)
- Kelly family tree (register here)
is conflicting folklore as to when the Kelly family first settled in
- In 1794, Charles Mahon, Esq. (expired 1822) leased
for the lives of
- Wm. O'Dwyer
- John Kelly
- James Shannon
- Charles O'Dwyer, second son of the lessee (expired 1839)
- Patrick Shannon, fourth son of the lessee (expired 1845)
- John Kelly, eldest son of the lessee
- Information on John and Anne's children comes from the
Mahon v. Mr. John Kelly jr. and Mrs. Alicia Shannon at the Clare
the Clare Journal 5 Mar
- The jury in this case found that the John Kelly named in
the lease had died in infancy and
was an older brother of the John Kelly still alive in 1846.
- Several of their siblings, all highly respectable members
of the west
Clare community, gave evidence to the contrary, but this was rejected
by the jury.
- In the Ennis Chronicle of 26 Sep 1799, the names of those
from Clare who "deeply interested in the peace and prosperity of the
Co. of Clare and Kingdom at large" approved "of the Measure of a
LEGISLATIVE UNION with Great Britain on equal and liberal principles,
and on a sense of mutual interests and affection, as the only means of
tranquilizing this County, and abolishing those religious distinctions
which have unhappily distracted this Kingdom" included:
Hervey Kelly, Cragknock
John Kelly, ditto
Anne is buried in a house
transcribed by the late Brian Cantwell [NLI lr 9295.c.4]
remains of Anne Kelly
1834 aged 74 years
husband John Kelly Esq.
- By Griffith's
Valuation in 1855
- Edmund O'Dwyer (second husband of John and Anne's son
Patrick) occupied (no. 17) a house and offices with rateable annual
valuation of 4 pounds on 186a 3r 14p
- James Kelly (see next section) occupied (no. 18) a house
and offices with rateable annual valuation of 30 shillings on 41a 3r 1p
- OSi map
O'Kelly of Craggaknock (d. 2 Jun 1868)
- Unclear whether he was John's son or brother
- `defendant [John jr.] had a rich uncle who had no children
- The James who died in 1868 was young enough to be John
Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index,
1864-1958 about James Kelly
Name: James Kelly
Estimated birth year: abt 1791
Date of Registration: 1868
Death Age: 77
Registration district: Kilrush
FHL Film Number: 101584
- Obituary in Clare Journal 11 Jun 1868 describes him as
uncle of John sr.'s other sons:
`LATE JAMES KELLY
On Thursday last, all that was mortal of James
Kelly, Cragaknock, were deposited in the family vault, at
Clohanes. The deceased was father to T. Kelly, Esq.,
(draper), Ennistymon, and uncle [sic] to the Very Rev. T.
Kelly, P.P., V.G., Kilrush, and Mathew Kelly, Esq.,
Manager, National Bank. In all his relations with the
people as a public officer, he merited the esteem and good-
will of all, as was amply manifested by the immense
number that attended his remains to the grave, and the
many bitter tears shed over it. During life, he was re-
marked for his piety, charity, and indulgence to the
poor, who have lost in him a kind and good benefactor,
and as a reward, died fortified with the last rites of
his Church, and the hope of a happy eternity. -
- Buried in Clohanes
with his eldest son
John Kelly jr. (1), died in infancy
- The existence of
this John Kelly was the subject of Mahon v. Kelly
and Shannon at the Clare Assizes in 1846.
- Various witnesses estimated
the date of death of the older John Kelly jr. John Hassett
he `died in the year '95'; Connor Cahill said `he is now dead, for
about 50 or 52 years'; Mary Kelly née Gorman said she was `married in
1790; ... was at his wake ... was four or five years married when John
died ... the eldest boy was old enough to go to school'; John MacNamara
said `he is dead and buried in Kilmurry.'
Kelly jr. (2), corn merchant
- John Kelly jr.'s date of birth was the subject of the legal
at the Clare Assizes in early 1846.
- Married Bridget McMahon in 1819
- Son Matt (1) d. 3 Mar 1824 aged 4, bur. Kilrush
- On 22 January 1840, John Kelly, Peter Foley and Denis Behan
each appear to have
signed separate leases renting parcels of land on Frances Street in
Kilrush from Colonel
Crofton Moore Vandeleur for 999 years, having already completed
building their respective stores.
- Under the 1840 lease, Vandeleur demised to John Kelly `the
of ground, tenements and premises whereon the said John Kelly had
lately built stores, bacon house, offices and yard, measuring in front
and rere 99 feet 6 inches, in breadth 256 feet, bounded on the east by
Mr Peter Foley's Store and the plot of ground upon which the said John
Kelly had erected some small offices, on the west by Drimna, on the
south by the road leading from Kilrush to the Custom House and on the
north by part of Drimna.'
- OSi map
- Only Behan's store is shown in the 1849 Illustrated
London News sketch
- John Kelly was described shortly before the Famine as an
`extensive corn and provision merchant in the town of Kilrush' and `a
gentleman of considerable business' (Clare Journal, 2
Mar 1843). Many decades later, his son's obituary described
as `an enterprising corn merchant when the town of Kilrush was the seat
of a flourishing corn industry' (Limerick Leader, 26
- He was part owner of a ship named the Lady
Grace launched in 1841 (Clare Journal, 9, 16 Dec
- The Clare Journal of 1 Feb 1844 carried an advertisement
`In the matter of John Bulger Bowler, a minor', advertising the
`Dwelling House and premises late in the possession of JOHN KELLY, Esq.
situate in the Town of KILRUSH, in the County of Clare' to `be let
during the minority of the Minor (now aged about 5 years)'.
The reference is most likely to no. 26 and/or no. 27 Frances Street
(the two houses to the east of Williams's Hotel) of which `Reps. George
Boler' were still the immediate lessors in Griffith's Valuation in 1855.
- Kelly's Store is mentioned in the
Kilrush Board of
Guardians' minutes as one of nine auxiliary workhouses in Kilrush at the height of the Great Famine
- The Board of Guardians resolved on 29 September 1849 that
present Workhouse Fever Hospital (Kelly's Store) be converted into an
Auxiliary Workhouse in connexion with Leadmore, this arrangement being
calculated to give additional accommodation for 300'. Three
later, the minutes referred to this agreement, with the further
resolution `that all Fever Patients extern as well as Workhouse be
treated in the existing Hospital (Kelly's Store) which can be added to
at a small cost
- As it is not included in Lucas's tables nor mentioned in
list of officers and servants employed in Kilrush, Kelly's Store
appears to have been the first of the auxiliary workhouses returned to
its original use.
- When his daughter Honoria married Charles Kelly in 1852, he lived in Ballyurra House, another of the former auxiliary workhouses.
- In May 1854, John Kelly contributed 20 pounds
establishment of the Convent of Mercy in Kilrush.
- In Griffith's
(1855), John Kelly still occupied both Ballyurra House and his Frances Street store.
- When his daughter Bedelia married John D. Murphy in 1852, he lived in Kelvin Grove (Clare Journal, 13 Oct 1862).
- He died in
1865 (Limerick Chronicle, 11 Feb 1865).
- His son James (1833-1909) became a newsagent in Kilrush; his
son Timothy (1888-1961) sold Irish
Hospital Sweepstake tickets and is buried in Kilrush
Timothy Kelly (1)
- died in infancy, according to the evidence of his
sister-in-law Mrs. Ellen Kelly
Timothy Kelly (2), P.P., V.G. (d. 13 Mar 1869)
1 Picture 2
- educated for the priesthood in Maynooth (Murphy, The Diocese of Killaloe
1850-1904, 1995, p. 453)
- appointed curate of Kilmacduane & Kilmihil in 1828;
elevated to Parish Priest in 1830 (Murphy, pp.406/453)
- built churches in Cree(?), Kilmihil (1834) and Cooraclare
(1836), and later finished the building of Kilrush church (Murphy,
- during the Great Famine, transferred as first
parish priest of the separate parish of Kilrush in 1848 (Murphy, p.453)
in succession to his sister-in-law's first cousin, John Kenny (who also
had responsibility for Killimer)
- note in the Kilrush baptismal
register states `On this Day October 16th 1848 V.
R. T. Kelly
took posession of Kilrush Parish'.
- Fr. Michael Meehan of Little Ark fame was briefly Fr.
Kelly's curate in Kilrush
between the latter's arrival in that parish in 1848 and his own
transfer in 1849 to Moyarta and Kilballyowen as Fr. Malachy Duggan's
- Fr. Kelly imported food to Kilrush and sold his own horse
to buy food (Murphy, p.453)
- Rev. Timothy Kelly was listed in Kilrush in Griffith's Valuation
in 1855 as the occupier of no. 19
offs., yard & sm. gar., with rateable annual valuation of 18
pounds) and no. 17 John Street to the rere (office,
yard & sm. gar. ),
renting from Denis Hynes
- Matthew Kelly (his brother) was next door in no. 20
- Fr. Timothy was a candidate for coadjutor bishop of
Killaloe in 1858 (Murphy, pp.60-62)
- instrumental, not least through his substantial personal
financial contribution, in bringing the Sisters of Mercy to Kilrush in
1855 (Murphy, p.139)
- Laheen (The
Jesuits in Killaloe 1850-1880, 1998, p.137) reproduces
the list of subscribers towards the establishment of a Convent of Mercy
in Kilrush (28 May 1854) which shows that the brothers `Very Rev. T.
Kelly, P.P.' and `Matt Kelly, M.N.B.' contributed £500 and £50
- Shortly after Griffith's
Valuation, Rev. Timothy Kelly,
appears to have
moved along Frances Street from a future hotel (no. 19) to a former
hotel (no. 36, now The Monastery). His curates probably moved with him.
- In January 1859, James Smith, already occupier of the
Vandeleur Arms Hotel at no. 17, took over at no. 19 from the clergy.
- Fr. Kelly died on 13 Mar 1869
- A sculpture of him was erected and stands to this day in a
niche in the right hand
wall of the main aisle of Kilrush church, where he is buried and also
commemorated by two stained glass
windows designed `by
his loving [but anonymous!] sister' (probably Mrs. Anne O'Gorman) and `by his brother
Matthew Kelly, Esq.'
- Rev. Michael Dinan came to Kilrush in 1869 to succeed the
Timothy Kelly as Parish Priest, his first residence was Bonnie Doon
which he rented from Thomas Slattery.
- An Orphanage was established in Fr. Kelly's former home,
after St. Timothy, opened under
the patronage of All Saints on All Hallow Eve, 31 October 1870
- A splendid new building was erected
for this purpose a few years later.
- In 1875, the Christian Brothers, represented by
Patrick Flood, took over The Monastery.
- A biography by Archdeacon
(1891-1972) on the Kelly Clan website sums up his life:
Judged by the standards of priestly attainment
Father Tim Kelly was a
man of acknowledged sanctity, selflessness, intellectual caliber,
pastoral activity and achievement comparable with the best of his time
within his own country. Familiar as I am with the outstanding
reputation he enjoyed in three present West Clare parishes and having
heard of him at first hand from many who knew him I feel that no priest
ever known to have belonged to the Corablascin territory has been his
peer as a priest, or none that has known to have ministered there - and
it has had its celebrities - capable of bearing all round comparison
with him. I regard Father Tim Kelly as the greatest ecclesiastic that
adorned this country since Saint Sinon himself.
Kelly, J.P., bank manager
- Probably began his career as a merchant like his brother
- Married his third cousin Mary Kenny in 1824
- Limerick Reporter 23 October 1840
TO CONTRACTORS AND BUILDERS.
THE NATIONAL BANK OF IRELAND are
willing to receive Proposals for erecting a BANK
HOUSE at KILRUSH, County Clare, according to
Plans and Specifications to be seen between the 26th Oc-
tober and the 2d November, at the Office, NATIONAL
BANK-HOUSE, Limerick, between the Hours of Eleven and
Approved Security will be required for the due perfor-
mance of the Contract, and the lowest Tender will not ne-
cessarily be accepted.
Tenders to be sent in on or before 12 o'Clock, on THURS-
DAY, the 5th November.
- 25 Sep 1841
Lease of plot of building ground in Frances St, Kilrush, Co. Clare–in
front 35 feet and from front to rere 100 feet by Crofton Moore
Vandeleur to the Kilrush Branch of the National Bank of Ireland.
- Clare Journal
21 Feb 1842
The foundation stone of the new National Bank at Kilrush was laid on
Wednesday. Mr. Burgess is contractor for that work at £5,000.
- Matt was probably the first resident manager of the
National Bank in Kilrush, certainly holding the position by 5 Mar 1846,
when the Clare Journal
reported that he swore in his evidence in Mahon v. Kelly and Shannon
that he `Is manager of the Kilrush National Bank' (see also Slater's 1846 Directory)
- During the Great Famine, Fr. Timothy was ministering to the
starving and pleading for relief; John was renting his store as an
auxiliary workhouse and shipping corn; Matt was bankrolling the
bankrupt Board of Guardians.
- Matt eventually became a Justice of the Peace and a minor
- Clare Journal
4 May 1874, quoted in Christian
Brothers Kilrush 1874-1974, p.110:
Now to the merchants and
traders; I have only to say that a few men like M. Glynn, Esq.,
J.P., Garret Doherty, Esq. John Egan, Esq., in the
commercial world; and M. Kelly, Esq., J.P., D. Bolger
[sic, recte Bulger], Esq., and J. Dowling, Esq., &c. in the
world would make as enterprising and stirring a town of this as any in
Ireland, even were it as small as one of our remote and obscure
villages, with the Shannon to assist them.
- Later had a country estate at Doolough Lodge; Weir (Houses of Clare,
1999, p.103) writes that Doolough Lodge `was built on two hundred and
one acres circa 1850, for Matthew Kelly, Esq., D.L., of Kilrush'.
- Buried in spectacular family vault in Kilrush Churchyard
- General Sir Thomas Kelly-Kenny was baptised in Kilrush parish
on 7 February 1840
- grew up in the National Bank on Frances Street (now the
Bank of Ireland)
- appointed Ensign without purchase in the 1st Battalion of
The Queen's (Second) Royal (West Surrey) Regiment of Foot in the
British Army on 2 Feb 1858
- in 1874 Thomas Kelly assumed the additional
surname of Kenny under the Will of his [maternal] Uncle Matthias Kenny
J.P. who left him estates in Co. Clare
- he saw very little active service until the South
African War of 1899-1901 as he rose through the ranks, but gained
a well-deserved reputation for administrative work
- in 1905, by royal appointment, Gen. Kelly-Kenny accompanied
Prince Arthur of Connaught on a special mission to the Mikado
- became friendly with several members of the royal family
- his diary confirms that on 11 Feb 1910 King Edward VII
called and had tea with him in Hove
- a still unproven myth has arisen about a royal visit to
- probably the most senior Catholic in the United Kingdom administration
- died in Hove on 26 December 1914.
- left £ 78523 15s. in England and £ 78,317 16s. 11d. in
- Shortly before his death in 1914, Sir Thomas Myles (of 1914
Myles Creek fame) said that he had a leader for the Irish Volunteers in
the person of Kelly-Kenny, a retired General in the English Army.
- biography in Wikipedia