Patrick Halloran 1860 - one for the Nostalgia People?

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Posted by M - for Barry McCann on January 13, 2002 at 18:22:40:

This was posted to the Roots Page but it might be one that the Nostalgia People may know something about? - M


Dont know if you can help or point me in the right direction but I am actually trying to track down more information about my great grandfather who lived just outside Castlebar at the turn of the 19 century and left under rather awkward circumstances.

His name was Patrick Halloran. He was born in Castlebar in 1860, the son of Patrick Halloran and Mary Walsh. I have a copy of his Certificate of Baptism from the register of the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary which was issued on 20 June 1925, though Patrick was actually baptised 8 July 1860. He married a girl from Westport called Sally Anne Conway and they lived as tenant farmers some where outside Castlebar; no address details known but Patrick used to walk into Castlebar every week to pay the rent - if he made it past the pub that is.

They had two sons, two daughters. Around 1896 (we think) Patrick was involved in a shooting incident where he killed a bailiff (other versions of the story suggest a soldier). At the inquest he apparently claimed to be shooting rabbits and hit the man accidentally. He got away without being charged but the pressure was on him to leave the area (we think he may have been a Fenian but this is speculation). The two sons remained at the farm (though later left for America) while Patrick, Sally, daughter Nellie and baby daughter Sarah (my Nan) came to England and settled in Widnes.

My mother wrote to a local priest during the 1970s and was informed that the story of Patrick Halloran shooting the English bailiff had become a local legend and that there was still one old man living in to town who remembered him. If it was local legend I think it must have died with the generation who knew of him. I have been to Castlebar several times and found no one who knew the tale. I also tried the library to see if they had any local paper at the time on microfiche (the incident was bound to make it into the local press) ; they very kindly said I could search through the archive but with no definite dates to hand it could be a needle in a haystack affair - maybe I shall come over for a week sometime and undergo a thorough search.

If you can help in any way I would be very grateful. One of the stumbling blocks we are coming up against is the spelling of the surname; the baptism certificate say Halloran, but we have also seen it spelt Hallorhan. My American cousins insist it is Hallinin!

Many thanks for your time. By the way has anything been done with the old Convent school building? It was rack and ruin last time I was over, though one of the locals said it had been sold and had an owner. Just curious.

Yours faithfully,

Barry McCann

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