Home » Breaking News » Lecture revisits dark period in Clare history
A photograph from the Vandeleur Evictions era

Lecture revisits dark period in Clare history

Aircraft Technician
Aircraft Spraypainting

THIS Tuesday, the Kilrush and District Historical Society conducts a lecture on one of the most famous evictions and resistance movements during the Land War which took place in July 1888 on the Vandeleur Estate near Kilrush.
The Vandeleur evictions are still remembered locally as one of the darkest periods in the area’s history.
Spectators to these evictions numbered in the hundreds, and there was even a sizeable press corps to document the events.
Major E. J. O’Shaughnessy, a visiting Irish-American activist, his wife Margaretta Dunn O’Shaughnessy, and her sister Ellen Dunn, were among the witnesses to the evictions, and Major O’Shaughnessy subsequently wrote extensively about his experiences.
Major O’Shaughnessy’s great grandson, Ed O’Shaughnessy, has spent over six years studying the many photographs taken during the evictions and the photographers who took them.
He has the wonderful advantage of access to family archives and memories handed down since 1888.
KDHS has arranged with Ed to deliver a lecture on his findings over Zoom from the west coast of the USA this Tuesday at 8pm Irish time.
This won’t be Photographing the Evictions 101, but rather a more complete discussion.
Ed was a US Army line officer and a University of Washington executive staff member.  He has master’s degrees in public administration/political science and executive management.
He also has an equivalent degree from the US Army War College. He is now twice retired from employment and happily engaged in historical research and publication.
He develops articles from an ancestor’s participation in some historical event and has published articles in journals in Clare, Montreal and New York City, and has also produced articles for the O’Shaughnessy Society newsletter.
His most recent Zoom presentation was to that group about emigration from the port of Limerick to Montreal in 1847. He has been an avid follower of KDHS via the internet for some years.
Ed lives near Seattle, in the foothills of the Central Cascades, having first come to Washington state to attend college.
His Clare ancestors includes Finucanes as well as O’Shaughnessys. At the time of emigration from Ireland in 1847, the family is thought to have lived near Coolmeen.
Follow the Zoom link below at the time of the lecture, in order to participate.
Meeting ID: 830 4652 5302. Passcode: 552224
Another upcoming Zoom talk which may be of interest to Kilrush people is “The Life of Dr. Julio Burke” by Deborah Dudgeon, hosted by Killaloe-Ballina Local History Society on Wednesday, June 23 at 19:30. To register for that event, please email that society directly at
Further details can be found at
Dr. Julio Burke’s wife (Mary) Agnes Culligan (b. 1870) was a daughter of Denis Culligan (d. 1888), who had a drapery business on what was then known as Church Street in Ennis (now Abbey Street).
Denis Culligan was a son of Sinon Culligan of Ballynote (d. 1845), who is buried on Scattery Island. Simon’s sons John (d. 1904) and Timothy (1835-1912) and sons-in-law Patrick O’Connor (d. 1868) and Michael Murphy (d. 1895) were all also involved at various times in the drapery trade in Kilrush and/or Ennis.
A branch of the Culligan family later occupied Bonnie Doon in Kilrush and there are still relatives of Mrs. Burke living in Kilrush.
The KDHS lecture programme will resume on September 28 with a talk by Damian Shiels on Recovering West Clare Voices from the American Civil War.

About Kevin Corbett

Check Also

Clare Olympian all set for World Championship test

Clare’s Liam Jegou is set to race at the 2021 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships …