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Mayo Historical and Archaeological Society Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02


Historical Walk In Swinford
By N.O'N.
9, Aug 2008 - 21:00

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Walking Tour Of Swinford.

 

As part of the Siamsa Sraide street festival, Swinford businessman Mr. Michael Comer, led a walking tour of the town and pointed out many places of historical interest to a large and interested audience. He talked about some prominent people in the area, of particular interest was the former home of John “Jack” Feeney, the Swinford born tenor, who became very famous in the U.S.A.; his recordings were re-released in recent times on digitally re-mastered C.D.’s.

A visit to the old Swinford workhouse was a most poignant stop on the tour, Mr. Comer showed the spot, where many hundreds of inmates of the workhouse who had died of cholera, were buried without coffins in a mass-grave. He told the story of Dr. Henry, a physician at the workhouse, himself a victim of the cholera epidemic associated with the Great Famine, who was buried at his own request in a paupers graveyard in the town. The grave of this selfless and heroic man is marked with the only headstone in the burial ground.

Mr. Comer also told of the developments in the town, and of the input of the Brabazon family. A pillar, the only remains of a pre-ESB electricity generating station was pointed out, as well as the local handball alley which was built in the town before the setting up of the G.A.A.

The large attendance at the walk were most impressed with Mr. Comer’s depth of knowledge and his ability to articulate it in an interesting and humorous way

comer1__2_.jpg
A section of the attendance at the historical walking tour of Swinford.

Comer2.jpg
Michael Comer at the site of the mass-grave at Swinford Workhouse.



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