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Heritage Ireland

Horahan Grave

This monument is located on the cloister walk at Ennis Friary. The stone reads: IHS / Here lies the Body of Anthony / Horahan who Depd this life / ye 28th of March 1808 Aged 67 yrs / Also his Son Thomas Horahan / Depd this life Decembr 8th 1805 / Aged 22 years. Erected by his / beloved Wife Bridget Horahan alias Hogan for her & Family

The stone records the deaths of Anthony and Thomas Horahan in the early 19th century. Anthony ran a mill and bleach green in the town of Ennis, and his son Thomas sadly lost his life there in 1805 (Spring, Sean, 2013, A Broad History of a Narrow Street). In historical references the family's name is spelt Horohan rather than Horahan as it is spelt on the gravestone.

The mill and bleach green were located beside the mills of Ennis and operated from 1790 until 1815, with Anthony Horohan in possession in 1804, and Martin Horohan in 1815 (O'Dalaigh, Brian, 2012, IHTA No. 25 Ennis). The mill and bleach green processed linens. The linen would have to be boiled and rinsed several times in this processing and then laid out in lengths upon the green to be bleached white by the sun and rain (Hannan, Rosemary, 2020, The Story of the Linen Bleaching Mill at “Waterpark” Doonass 1760 – 1849). Linen production was not a significant industry in Clare, but was carried out with some success in the east of the county and to a lesser extent at Ennis (O'Dalaigh, B., 1995, Ennis in the 18th Century).

Sadly, as noted above, Anthony's son Thomas died at the bleach green in 1805. The Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser of Wednesday, December 11, 1805, reported the tragic accident, part of which reads: "About nine o'clock on Sunday night, Mr. Thomas Horohan, son of Mr. Anthony Horohan, proprietor of the Mills and Bleach-yard of this town, proceeded to discharge some duty, connected with the concern, and which he had been accustomed to do; when, he unfortunately fell from a plank, over which he had to pass, and being precipitated into the water-course of great rapidity - he was hurried into Eternity '. His father Anthony died three years later but the business appears to have remained in the family as in 1815 it was in the possession of Martin Horohan.


Spring, Brian, 2013, A Broad History of a Narrow Street, Clare Roots Society 2013, pg 32.

Hannan, Rosemary, 2020, The Story of the Linen Bleaching Mill at “Waterpark” Doonass 1760 – 1849

O'Dalaigh, Brian, Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 25, Ennis, 2012, Royal Irish Academy 2012, pg 6, and pg 18.

O'Dalaigh, Brian, 1995, Ennis in the 18th Century, Portrait of an Urban Community, Maynooth Studies in Local History: Number 3, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, pg 52.

Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser, 11 December 1805. Year 1805 available online at Clare County Library website

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