Thursday 3 July 2014

The Pilkington, Griffin, & Keane Photo Collection (1860s to 1960s) and Marcus Keane, the ‘Exterminator General of Clare’

The Pilkington, Griffin, & Keane collection of photographs was recently posted on Foto, Clare County Library’s online images of Clare service. The collection contains images of family members and friends from the Keanes and Pilkingtons of Ennis and their cousins, the Griffins. The Pilkingtons and Keanes were related through the marriage of Thomas Pilkington of Cragleigh and later Waterpark, and Anne Keane of Beechpark. The Pilkingtons, Griffins and Keanes had summer residences near each other at Kilbaha on the Loop Head Peninsula. Anne Keane was a sister of the land agent Marcus Keane, who managed almost 150,000 acres in Clare in the 1850s, c.60,000 of them in the Kilrush Union alone. His name is forever associated with mass evictions during the Famine period, earning him the title of ‘Exterminator General of Clare’ (Limerick and Clare Examiner). He was also an avid antiquarian and proselytiser. On his death in 1883, he was buried in Kilmaley Cemetery, but the vault was subsequently broken into. His remains were discovered elsewhere in the graveyard eight years later, and re-interred at his home in Beechpark, Ennis.

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