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Martin S Walsh, Tuam merchant, died 100 years ago

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 12:43pm
Martin S Walsh, Tuam merchant, died 100 years ago

A whiskey jar stamped MS Walsh.

Martin S Walsh, Tuam merchant, died 100 years ago

A whiskey jar stamped MS Walsh.

By Frances Walsh Quinn

THURSDAY May 29, 1884 was an exciting day for the people of Tuam. The great Charles Stewart Parnell, founder of the Irish National Land League, and one of the major advocates of Home Rule for Ireland, was due to arrive by train from London, via Dublin.

 Many people, including the most prominent professionals and merchants of the town, gathered to welcome him and pay their respects. The Tuam Herald, reporting on the occasion a few days later, describes the scene:

 ‘the town was wild with excitement, bonfires were immediately lighted, and the greatest…. enthusiasm [was] manifested’.

One of the men present that day, a well-known local businessman, representing the Tuam Branch of the Irish National League, was my great-grandfather, Martin S Walsh, Merchant, of Hibernia Buildings, High Street.

Martin Walsh was not originally from Tuam. He was born in Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, at the time of the Great Famine in Ireland. His birth date is unknown, but is believed to be around 1845 – 1849. His father died when he was a young boy and his mother struggled to bring up her children alone in the harsh environment of the time.

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