Tuesday, 5 May 2015




The Mayor of Ennis Cllr. Johnny Flynn

will launch two new books

Thursday 14th May at 8pm

 in the Old Ground Hotel


Mary Fealy-McMahon


 Lucille Ellis





Next Thursday night the 14th May at 8.00 p.m. in the Old Ground Hotel, Clare Roots Society will launch two books, Bindon Street and Bank Place by Lucille Ellis and The Grottos of Ennis by Mary Fealy McMahon. The books will be launched by the Mayor of Ennis Municipal District Cllr. Johnny Flynn.

Both authors have published previous books with the Society. 
Lucille is author of Ennis at Work in the 19th Century while Mary published Memories of Cusack Road / Claureen.

Bindon Street and Bank Place and the people who brought the street to lif

tells the story of the building of the street and the unusual and interesting experiment in building speculation which took place in 1836 called “The Tontine”. We are introduced to the background of the women of Bindon Street and the story of those who spent their lives in service in the street. Along with researching the residents on each of the streets she has researched the buildings and people associated with the Banks, Post Office and St. Columba’s Church and the Clergy.

The first house to be built on Bindon Street is the current Number 12 now occupied by Casey Solicitors. The next houses to be built are the current Numbers 3 to 6 which date from 1832. We learn that in 1855 a Presentment was made to the Clare Grand Jury to build a new road between Mr. William Kean’s house in Bindon Street (No 6) and the end of Bow Lane in High Street including a new bridge, later to be known as Carrolls Bridge. This bridge was completed in 1862. The National Bank building was completed in 1864 and the new church was built between 1869 and 1871 at the end of Bindon Street.

The research includes the standard building blocks in family research, Civil birth, marriage and death records and the parallel Church records, the Griffiths land valuation records along with the Valuation books and Field books which continued the ownership of land records up to the mid-twentieth century. Use was also made of the 1901 and 1911 censuses, leases of lands, and marriage settlements. Some of the best sources of information came from the newspapers of the day, both local and national.

The book is illustrated throughout with newspaper advertisements and photographs, old and new.
Lucille Ellis was born and is living in Dublin but has two grandparents from Clare. Twenty years of family history research have established that related families are still living in West Clare and East Clare on the same lands, since the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries respectively, with one branch having Ennis connections. Now retired, she has the time to spend on her two interests of family and local history in County Clare.

The Grottos of Ennis & Surrounding Areas takes us to 19 locations where we get a brief history of the following Grottos: Ballybeg, Buttermarket, Cathedral, Connelly Villas, Dalcassian Park, Davitt Terrace, Erinagh Fountain, Franciscan Friary, Hempfield, Claremont, Clarecastle, Hermitage, Lees Road, Loughville, Marian Avenue, Market Street, McHugh Villas, Peoples Park Lifford, Poor Clares Convent, Our Lady’s Hospital, St. Michael’s Villas.

The book tells the story of the background and people associated with the erection of these grottos. 

While the bulk of the grottos date back to the Marian Year in 1954 we also are brought up to date with the one in Dalcassian Park, erected in 2001. In addition we get a reminder of the long removed Grotto of Market Street through a rare photo.

Mary Fealy McMahon was born in Claureen Road and is daughter of Mary Byrth and James Fealy. She currently lives at Cahercalla Estate with her husband Gerry. A lady with a keen interest in family history and painting, she and Gerry were founding members of Clare Roots Society.


  1. Could you please tell me what Hempfield was in the early 20th century? I have a relation who emigrated from there. I know her to have been an orphan. Was Hempfield the name of a building, perhaps an orphanage? I would appreciate any help you could give me. Thank you.

  2. Hempfield is a village, not too far from Ennis..between St. Anthony's Grove and Killone. You'll find it on Google maps. If you are on Facebook, we have a very helpful Co Clare group there, where you might be able to get more help.


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