• Tommy Hourigan, Raheen, Limerick

Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 24)


The Clancy Family of Grange

This week's (week 24) article from the Grange Book is about the well-known and highly-regarded Clancy Family of Grange. The article was co-written by Pat Clancy (New Line, Lower Grange) and Seoirse Clancy (Upper Grange).

The first Clancy to come to Grange was George (1809-1890). He was born in Doneraile, Co Cork. He married Margaret Hickey (1810-1873) in Doneraile in 1831. They had twelve children. He came to Grange with his young family in 1854 to work as a carpenter at the Croker estate. He died in Crean in 1890 and his death was registered by Ms Hanora Ahern.

Accounts of and references to the Clancy family are to be found elsewhere in the Grange Book, including the story of Seoirse Clancy, murdered Mayor of Limerick who was a grand uncle to both Pat and Seoirse; the memoirs of John G Clancy, uncle to Pat; and the Bulfin Family story. These book articles will be posted in due course.

The following are extracts from Pat and Seoirse's article:

"Our great-grandfather, John Clancy (Johnny) was born in Doneraile and came to Grange with his parents at around six years of age. He learned his trade as a carpenter from his father, George. He worked at the Croker Estate in Grange as a very young man. He married Bridget Farrell from Annacotty/Monaleen at the church there. They had twelve children, of whom seven survived into adulthood."

"After working at the Croker Estate for a number of years, Johnny set up his own carpentry business at his home in Lower Grange and trained our respective grandfathers and our granduncles to the trade."

"These men became excellent tradesmen and operated a workshop in Grange for many years. Amongst other activities, they made cars for horses and donkeys - for people over a wide radius. They also made horse traps, and they painted and decorated them which was very tedious work."

"Not far from the carpentry shop in Lower Grange, there was a forge which was owned and operated by the Madden family, well-known blacksmiths, and it was there that all the wheels made by the Clancy carpenters were banded. It was skilled work."

"Our great grandmother, Bridget Clancy (nee Farrell), had an important role in running the Clancy post office and public house. As she died at forty years of age, our grandaunt, Bridget Clancy (later to become Mrs Thomas Bulfin), left school at twelve years of age to look after both. Subsequently, on 24 March 1919, she was appointed postmistress by Mr Gallagher, Post Master at Kilmallock."

"Telephones were very scarce at the time, and only a few knew how to operate them. Consequently, our grandaunt, Bridget, assisted people wishing to make phone calls from the post office. In those times, all phone calls to private subscribers were routed through the post office exchange. She operated effectively as both a journalist and adviser to many."

By Seoirse

"My [Seoirse] grandfather, Jack Clancy, moved from Lower Grange to Upper Grange when he married Margaret Fitzgerald and lived in the house later occupied by my uncle, Tony and his wife, Breda. He constructed a workshop there, where his three sons Paddy (1917-1993), Tony (1920-1993) and my father, George (1924-1962), all learned their trade as carpenters."

"He had one daughter, May (1914-1975), who inherited the Meanus Post Office from her cousin, Joe Clancy, and she lived there with her husband, Liam Hayes, until the thatched premises was burned out, circa 1956."

"My [Seoirse] father, George, married Mary Neilan from Gort, Co Galway, and he built a new house at Chapel Road. They had three children, Angela (born 1949), Jack (born 1950) and me, George (Seoirse) (born 1952)."

"My father, George, worked as a carpenter also in the family business in his earlier life and also worked with various companies in Limerick. He followed Uncle Tony to work with Limerick County Council and with Roadstone Ltd. Unfortunately, he was killed in an industrial accident on the 17th November 1962, aged 38 years. My memories of my father are of great love and fun. Many children enjoyed his company playing hurling on summer evenings and at weekends in Paddy Carmody’s field, adjacent to the rear of our home. He bought a tape recorder to record his escapades in the local bars and Fleadh Cheoil sessions all over Clare. He loved ceili music and, indeed, used to play pop music from Radio Luxembourg to entertain us after our exertions in Paddy’s field."

By Pat

"My [Pat] grandfather, Patrick Clancy, was a carpenter, and he married Bridget Higgins from Skule. Bridget worked as a cook for the Croker family. Patrick was elected as a Labour Party TD to Dáil Éireann in 1923, where he held a seat for ten years. He was defeated in the 1932 election when he stood as an Independent Labour candidate. The following is an extract from the Magill Book of Irish Politics provided by the Office of the Tánaiste to my family in June 1995.

'Patrick Clancy (Lab) Born Kilmallock, Co Limerick 1877. A carpenter. Prominent in the Land and Labour Association from about 1900 and an active trade unionist. Member of the Irish Volunteers and IRA in East Limerick 1914-21. Elected in 1923 and both elections in 1927. Defeated in 1932.... Subsequently, he worked for the Land Commission'."

"Patrick had three sons and one daughter: Egan (my [Pat] father); Jim married and lived in Limerick City; John G (Jack) married and lived in Doneraile; and Bridget who married Bill Madden and lived in Grange."

"One of many incidents that Dad [Pat's father, Egan] recalled was a night when he was coming home from a dance in Bruff. He had no light on his bicycle and was being followed by a Garda, who had the advantage of riding a superior bicycle. Dad turned off at The Pike and with the law still in pursuit, he led the way to Fedamore. Dad turned into Johnny Flavin’s property and knowing his way through the fields, he soon lost his pursuer."

"Another incident arose one night at The Hamlet public house when the Gardai raided it after closing time. When customers left through the back door, some asked, 'Do I turn left or right?' Dad responded 'left', and those who took that option suddenly found themselves in the piggery! In the meantime, Dad, knowing the layout very well, made his escape."

The Grange Book Article, The Clancy Family of Grange, may be read in full HERE.

Next Week (week 25) we will suggest another book article for reading.

Kind Regards to All.


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