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Sisters of Mercy ,Castlebar

Posted by Royal on February 28, 2005 at 14:06:04:

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Sr.Consillio recently (God rest her)but I remember that she did the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Castlebar,some years ago so I decided to take a second look.There was some interesting items:1) The Dowry : Up until modern times,it was traditionally understood that ladies comtemplating religious life,would have to provide a dowry which was huge between 400 to 700 so most entrants were daughters of professionals,doctors,business men,etc.
A 12 acre farm of land in Garryduff -(Bayne's Hill,now Viewpoint Estate)was given as part of a dowry in 1859 by the Livingstone family,Spencer Street (where the late Ethel Staunton lived)when both widowed mother & daughter joined the Convent.They were distant relatives of Josie Livingstone,Decorator,New Antrim Street & Frank Larkin,teacher in Davitt College.
The first candidate from the Town was Catherine Murphy,daughter of Henry Murphy,Merchant & she was a relative of the Kilkelly family,Main Street.
Other Townsfolk to enter were two sisters; Agnes & Mary Cunningham from Linenhall Street, where their father ran a business in the place now belonging to Rocky Morans.They were Great Grand Aunts of James Cahill,Solicitor,Ellison Street & Grand-Aunts of Doctors Aiden & Billy Bourke,Maryland.
Mary Berchmans Egan also entered & was a Grand Aunt of Eanya Egan,Mountain View.
2) It's also interesting to note that the Mercy Sisters up to 1983 at least were collecting ground rent from the houses belonging to the late Lily Egan,Bea Durcan,Hanley's Shop & the two houses next to it, because they owned them at one stage.

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