Wednesday, 20 June 2012


A century of memories on St Flannan's Terrace
                                                                          Ennis, Co. Clare (Redmond Terrace / Fogarty Terrace)  
                                                                                                                               Brian Dinan outside his childhood home at St Flannan's Terrace. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

                                 A former American aircraft helicopter mechanic has high hopes there will be a rapid take off to his appeal for assistance to commemorate 100 years of memories in one of the oldest parts of Ennis.
Research is already underway by the St Flannan's Terrace Centenary Committee to discover and publish the history of the houses and the tales of former residents.It is being spearheaded by Brian Dinan, who served as an aircraft helicopter mechanic for the US Army from 1964 to 1967.Born in 26 St Flannan's Terrace in 1943, Brian live there until October 23, 1962, when he emigrated to the USA where he qualified as a mechanical design engineer, designing plans for tools and machinery.

After being drafted into the US army for a three-year stint during the Vietnam conflict, he received further training in Virginia and was based in West Germany. 
A member of the Fourth Armour Division, he was involved in the repair and maintenance of planes. 
At the time the US army had more aircraft in numerical terms than the US airforce, most of which were helicopters and small aircraft.
Now retired, Brian lives in Cooper's Place, Lower Drumbiggle Road, Ennis.

With the help of his three sisters, two brothers, relatives and friends, Brian hopes to commemorate the centenary of the building of St Flannan's Terrace with a special souvenir booklet.
Already, Brian has unearthed a lot of historical information from articles in the Clare Journal and The Clare Champion, not previously common knowledge, about these unique terraced cottages.
It is hoped that a lot more articles and photographs will be presented in a memorial publication, which will be launched at a function celebrating this work next October.
At the ceremonial laying of the foundation stones of both St Flannan's and Steele's Terrace on January 18, 1912 William Redmond, MP, stated, "It was very hard for a man to have the desire or the ambition to improve himself if he was living in a cabin – it was hard to rise out of sticky mud and therefore nice houses and nice homes were an inspiration to people to lift themselves up."
Nice homes came from the 46 houses constructed in 1912 on the Clare Road allotments.

The Morgan family, Elizabeth (Lizzie), nee MacNamara, originally from Ballyline, Crusheen, and Michael, originally from the Turnpike, Ennis, were the first occupiers of No 26 St Flannan's Terrace.They had four children, May, Christy, Tom and Mona, all of whom emigrated in their teens.An old photograph of this family was unearthed by the now 91-year-old, Eileen Dinan (nee Morgan).This picture was brought to America by her sister, Mona Morgan, (Mrs Braman) after a trip home in 1952 with a view to having it restored in the USA.
After corresponding with her sister, Eileen's concern grew when she realised this picture was not being restored. When her daughter went on a trip to the USA in 1985, she found the photograph in a poor state of repair.It had been stored in a cellar for some time, since the death of Eileen's sister. The A3 size print, in fragile fragments, was returned to Ireland by Elizabeth Kelly, nee Dinan and given to her mother, Eileen.Once Eileen regained possession of this photograph, she brought it to well-known Ennis photographer, Dick Wilson, who restored it to its present condition. This fortuitous action by Eileen was instrumental in retaining for posterity her family's oldest heirloom.
Brian hopes this episode will act as a reminder and inspiration to others to seek out and value their own family memorabilia.
People who are not living in the immediate area can contribute photographs, documents, memories or any information by contacting Brian at or Phone 00353 87 2369329

Courtesy of Larry Brennan

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