Family of Edward & Mary Gallagher

Edward Gallagher (1867–1949)

Edward Gallagher, the first son of Edward and Mary (Campbell) Gallagher, was born about April 1867, in Tavnaglass (map), Midfield, County Mayo, Ireland. (Tawnaglass or Tavnaglass in Irish is An Tamhnach Ghlas, meaning ‘the green upland field’.) His parents divided the family farm into four equal sections, between Edward his brother Hugh and sisters Ann and Onnie.

Edward’s share of the family farm consisted of 50 acres, approximately 25 of which were farmable and the rest was made up mostly of bog or peatland in the village of Carn next to Tavnaglass. Views of his farm are shown in the following photographs.

From this photo above you can see that all that remains of the family home is the front wall. The rest of the house was demolished by his grandson Teddy for health and safety reasons. To the left of the photo is the granary that was used by both Edward and his son Patrick, where they held their wheat and oats from their farm. To the right and out of shot are the family barns where they kept their livestock.

In this photo above is the hay shed where they kept the hay for their livestock and turf (peat) for fuel for the winter months. The front wall of the house is visible to right side.

Front of old house
Edward and Mary Gallagher, with Agnes McNichols (centre)

Edward married Mary Flatley (born about 1877), daughter of Patrick and Anne (née Lavin) Flatley.

They had nine children:

  1. Anna Josephine, born 22 Feb 1897
  2. Nora, born 24 Oct 1900
  3. Bridget, born 24 Oct 1900
  4. Edward (Ned), born 15 Nov 1903
  5. Mary, born April 1907
  6. Ellen, born 4 Apr 1908
  7. Patrick, born 29 Jan 1910
  8. Katie, born 23 Jun 1912
  9. Michael, born 18 Sep 1919
Brackloon School

The children walked to this school in the village Brackloon to the west of Midfield crossroads.  The building was divided, with the boys on the left side of the school and the girls on the right. Brackloon School closed on 21 June 1965 and they then moved to the new school called Midfield (St Joseph’s) School on 31 August of that year, which is to the east of Midfield crossroads, about the same distance from the crossroads as Brackloon School was.

Midfield School, 31st August 1965
Midfield School

Patrick Gallagher (7th from the left in the last row, directly in front of the tall fellow), the grandson of Edward and Mary (Flatley) Gallagher through their son Patrick, went to both schools. Also in the photo is his 2nd cousin Michael Jennings, grandson of Mick and Anne (Gallagher) Jennings through their son John (the altar boy 3rd from the left in the front row). In Michael’s final year in primary (grade) school they both moved to Midfield from Brackloon, where they were thought by their 3rd cousin Mr Pádraic Gavin (in the middle of the photograph) the great-grandnephew of Mary (Campbell) Gallagher who was great-grandmother of both Patrick and Michael.

Catholic Church at Midfield

Midfield Church was built in 1875, by then Parish Priest of Swinford Fr Bernard Durcan. Midfield was once a parish of its own, it was formally known as Brackloon Parish and based in Kinaffe, where there is a cemetery (where Katie Gallagher is buried). It is unclear when the Parish of Midfield came to replace Brackloon or when it joined Killconduff to form the present-day Parish of Swinford, however, it is most likely to have happened sometime after the creation of the town of Swinford in 1769. The Parish of Meelick also joined Swinford approximately 100 years ago and 3 villages from each parish where swapped over, the villages of Cashelsheenaugane, Rawbawn and Carrabawn were all transferred from Meelick to Midfield, whilst Lissanumera, Ballyglass and Liscottle were all transferred from Midfield to Meelick.

Edward and Mary’s three sons all served as altar boys at this church, Edward 1911–1917, Patrick 1918–1924 and Michael the youngest 1927–1933.

Edward Gallagher died on 19 March 1949 at his son Patrick’s house, next to the family home in Tavnaglass, and is interred in Midfield Cemetery. Mary Gallagher died in May 1957 at their daughter Mary’s house in Brabazon Park, Swinford, and is buried alongside Edward.

Edward and Mary’s headstone, photo taken by John McCorriston c. 1996, before refurbishment.
Edward and Mary’s headstone after refurbishment.

Edward and Mary’s grave, like the cemetery itself, was in a state of disrepair until the early 1990s, when their granddaughter-in-law Maureen started to clean it up, and over time got it back to a tidy state. In 2005, their great-grandson Eamonn had both graves refurbished and cleaned to their current state. To find out more about Edward and Mary’s descendants please see our family tree.

Left: Bridget Conwell, a cousin of Edward Gallagher, who lived in Toomore in the Parish of Foxford. Middle: Mary (Gallagher) Campbell and (right) her mother Mary (Flatley) Gallagher.