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Tag Archives: Michael O’Connor

The Great Famine and Scariff Workhouse

THE Annals of the Poor: Scariff Workhouse Union Counties Clare and Galway 1839-1851 will be launched this Sunday in Scariff by John Minogue, assistant principal of St Flannan’s College. The MC is Colm Madden. Gerard chose to conduct research and write this book because so little was known about the workhouse in Scariff and very little has been documented about it. Although he, together with Michael O’Gorman, published a book on workhouses in 1974, this book is a chronological account and references records that have only since been made available online in the last 15 years and, in particular, the work of Dr Richard Robert Madden. Dr Madden, no relation of Gerard’s, offered up a first-hand account of life in the Scariff Workhouse and his reports shed a lot of light on what was happening there, particularly with regard the diet of the inmates and mortality rates there. “His work was really important. He visited the actual workhouse; he visited …

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The late Michael O’Connor – a pioneer in farming

THE death took place recently of Michael O’Connor, Drumquin, Ballyncally, who contributed much to the farming community in Clare and spearheaded the introduction of the Simmental cattle breed to the county.  Aged 88 and a native of Birrinfadda, Cranny, he was a son of Jim and Susan O’ Connor. He was educated locally and his early years in employment were spent in West Cork in the Agriculture College in Clonakilty. He returned to Clare in 1953 to join the staff of Clarecastle AI station. After three years on the road with the operators, who travelled all over the county in their familar white coloured Volkswagen Beetle cars, Michael became progeny tester at the station, a position he held for over 30 years. He said that eventhough some farmers were sceptical about the AI scheme in the early years, it turned out to be a great success story. He was responsible for milk recording, carrying out tests in the progeny of …

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