Thursday 12 June 2014

Revamped Clare People on library website

The Clare People section of Clare County Library’s website has been recently revamped. Clare People consists of short biographies of Clare people, or those associated with the county. The first biography concerns Ellen Hanley, known as The Colleen Bawn. A native of Limerick, Ellen – then barely sixteen – was murdered at the instigation of her husband in 1819 and dumped in the Shannon. Her body was later washed ashore on the Clare side of the river at Moneypoint, and she was buried in Burrane Graveyard. Grace Reeves nee Vandeleur, of Bessborough House, which is situated near the graveyard, erected a Celtic cross at the head of the grave. The cross no longer exists – it has been chipped off by souvenir hunters. Both Ellen’s husband and her murderer were hanged for their crime. The Colleen Bawn has been commemorated in song, play and story in the years since her death. The photograph above, from the Vandeleur Collection, shows Grace Reeves (on right) at the grave of the Colleen Bawn.

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