Ballymoe is situated on the Galway/Roscommon border between the River Suck
and its tributary., The Island River. It has many connections with famous historical
people. In his book “From Bantry Bay to Leitrim” Peter Somerville-Large says that
Ballymoe is believed to be 140 years older than Dublin. Queen Maeve of Connaught
built a fort there and Fionn McCool sent his warriors there to search for game.
Famous people with Ballymoe links:
It was the birthplace of Eamonn Ceannt a signatory to the the Proclamation.
He is remembered by many people as the man who played martial music on bagpipes
before the Pope.
James J Daly, leader of the Connaught Rangers Mutiny (shot in India) was also born
in Ballymoe. There is a memorial to him in St. Croan’s R.C. Church.
Fr. Flanagan of Boystown:
He was born July 13th 1886 into the large Flanagan family at Leabeg, Ballymoe.
At eighteen years he graduated from Summerhill College with high honours.
When his sister Nellie was returning to America from a visit home he went back
with her. He studied for the priesthood in Dunucoochie, Rome and Emitsbury.
He was ordained in Innsbruck, Austria.
His first appointment was St. Patricks Church, Nebraska.
Fr. Eddie always remembers his first sight on arriving in America, lonely boys
wandering the streets, fighting among themselves, with nowhere to go.
He wanted to help and confided his thoughts to a friend. He was looking for
a building with low rent. He got a house and ninety dollars, the first months’s
rent. “Boystown” as it is known was created. It went from strength to strength
and still exists today.
He was sent to Europe after the second World War and died in Berlin in 1948.
A place that could be related to in ancient history is the local Móin Móir
which is mentioned in the epci poem “The Táin Bó Chuailighe”. The gem in this
ancient site is a Norman mail clad effigy of Bagot. At his feet lies his faithful
dog, and under his mail clad head, a cushion. His sword by his side to signify
to all that he never killed another person.
Baggot Street in Dublin owes its origin to a Ballymoe landlord, John Bagot.