We have all heard of the famous stone flags from Liscannor, County Clare, however, I have uncovered the long forgotten “Kilrush Flags” which have been used since the early nineteenth century to pave streets from the UK to America.
As far I can ascertain, the stone was quarried from Money Point, located in the townland of Carrowdotia, west of Kilrush, County Clare:
The Advocate: or, Irish Industrial Journal, 6 February 1850:
The above article severely criticized, Vandeleur, on whose extensive estate the quarry was located. In particular, the article drew attention to Vandeleur for missing out on an opportunity to establish a profitable quarry in Kilrush. The article stated that such an investment could have provided much needed employment for the local population.
Ten days later, the Limerick and Clare Examiner, of 16 February 1850 also complimented Mr Franklin on his enterprising spirit while commenting that ‘the proprietor of the town withdrew on one occasion a subscription that was established to aid the starving inhabitants of the town.’
The Census of Ireland for 1901 recorded a number of individuals employed in quarries throughout County Clare. Associated occupations included: Quarry Labourer, Quarry-Boy, Quarry Man and Quarry Master. The majority of these sixty-four men lived in and around Liscannor in the north of the county.
In Knockerry West in the DED of Killimer, James Boyd Maclachlann from Scotland was recorded as ‘Quarrymaster’. Money Point quarry was located in Knockerry West.
Maclachlann’s Household Form (A) is below:
By the time that the next census was recorded (1911), the numbers working in the quarrying industry had dropped to fifty-one. Maclachlann does not appear on the census. However, Patt [sic] Cleary from the townland of Carrowdotia is recorded as ‘Quarry miner, retired’. His son, Pat, was listed as a ‘Quarry miner’. The Cleary family’s Household Form (A) is below:
More to follow…