Co. Westmeath

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Alton, Ernest Henry

Alton, Ernest Henry (1873–1952), classical scholar and public representative, was born 21 September 1873 at Marlinstown, near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, eldest son of James Poë Alton, banker, of Limerick and Marguerite Alton (née Keely). His abiding passion for classical literature…

Ardgal

Ardgal (d. 970), son of Matudán and overking of Ulaid 950–70, was of the Dál Fiatach dynasty. He succeeded his father Matudán son of Áed, overking of Ulaid 937–50, who was slain by the Uí Echach. During the reign of Ardgal, the Ulaid faced a threat from the Northern Uí Néill; in…

Bellew, Dominic

Bellew, Dominic (1745–1813), catholic bishop of Killala, was born in May 1745, probably in Co. Louth. Since the forebears of his mother Judith (née Byrne) were the McDermotts of Thomastown, and his father probably a Castletown Bellew, he was accorded descent from two of the chief…

Bradstreet, Dudley

Bradstreet, Dudley (1711–63), spy and fortune-hunter, was born in Co. Tipperary, youngest son of John Bradstreet, a landowner whose family had received considerable Cromwellian land grants. Raised by a foster-family because of his father's high-living, Dudley later attributed his…

Broderick, John

Broderick, John (1924–89), novelist, was born 30 July 1924 in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, only child of John Broderick, baker, and his wife Mary Kathleen Broderick (née Golden). His year of birth is often wrongly given as 1927, an error in which he acquiesced. Broderick's father…

Burke, John

Burke, John (1789–1845), priest and political activist, was born in January 1789 at Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath, and was educated at St Finian's College, Navan; nothing is known of his parents. He began his final theological training at Maynooth in August 1808 and was ordained…

Burke, Ulick

Burke, Ulick (1604–58), 1st marquess of Clanricard , politician, was born at Athlone in 1604, the only son of politician and landowner, Richard Burke (qv), 4th earl of Clanricard, and Frances, daughter and heir of the Elizabethan secretary of…

Bury, Charles Kenneth Howard-

Bury, Charles Kenneth Howard- (1883–1963), soldier, explorer, plant collector, and politician, was born 15 August 1883 in London, though his parents generally lived in Charleville castle, Tullamore, King's Co. (Co. Offaly). He was the only son of Captain Kenneth Howard, army officer…

Carbery, James Joseph

Carbery, James Joseph (1820–87), Dominican priest and bishop, was born 2 May 1820 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, son of Christopher Carbery, small farmer, and Catherine Carbery (née Dodwell or Dowdall). Making preparatory studies in the catholic seminary at Navan, Co. Meath, he…

Carron (Caron), Raymond (Redmond)

Carron (Caron), Raymond (Redmond) (c.1605–1666), Franciscan visitor apostolic and theologian, was born in Co. Westmeath near Athlone around 1605. He joined the Franciscans, probably at Athlone, before studying at the friary at Drogheda and then at Salzburg and Louvain. He…

Casey, John Keegan

Casey, John Keegan (1846–70), poet and Fenian, was born 22 August 1846 at Mount Dalton near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, son of Luke Casey, the local schoolmaster; nothing is known of his mother. He was educated at Mount Dalton and at Ballymahon, Co. Longford, where his family moved. A…

Conmee, John Stephen

Conmee, John Stephen (1847–1910), Jesuit priest, writer, and educator, was born 25 December 1847 in Glanduff, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, the son of John N. Conmee, a prosperous farmer. His family later moved to Kingsland, Co. Roscommon, and it was here that he spent his early…

Cooke, Adolphus

Cooke, Adolphus (1792–1876), eccentric, was born in Cookesborough near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, illegitimate son of Robert Cooke, landowner, and an unnamed servant. Adolphus's mother was sent away, and he was raised by a nurse, Mary Kelly, in a two-room thatched cottage, forbidden…

D'Alton, John

D'Alton, John (1792–1867), historian and genealogist, was born 20 June 1792 at Bessville, Co. Westmeath, first son of William D'Alton and his wife Elizabeth Leyne. He was educated privately by the Rev. Joseph Hutton before entering TCD (…

Daly, Leo

Daly, Leo (1920–2010), writer, was born on 23 January 1910 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, one of seven children (six boys and a girl) of William Daly, a railway engine driver, and his wife Rebecca (née Forman). Leo was educated locally at the Presentation convent, St Mary's CBS Boy's…

Darby, Tom

Darby, Tom (1928–2009), trade unionist, was born in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, on 28 February 1928, one of seven children of James Darby, a labourer, and his wife Rachel (née Keenan). His family was poor and, after leaving Kinnegad national school at age 14, he worked locally as a turf…

Dillon, Eleanor Mary

Dillon, Eleanor Mary (c.1601–1629), nun, was born at Killenfaghny, Co. Westmeath, one among five daughters and seven sons of Theobald Dillon (qv) (d. 1624), 1st Viscount Dillon of Costello-Gallen, Co. Mayo, and his wife Eleanor…

Dolan, Joseph Francis Robert ('Joe')

Dolan, Joseph Francis Robert ('Joe') (1939–2007), pop singer, was born 16 October 1939 in the county hospital, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, youngest of eight surviving children (five boys and three girls; another boy had died in early childhood) of Patrick Dolan (c.1890–1950) and…

Edgeworth, Kenneth Essex

Edgeworth, Kenneth Essex (1880–1972), soldier, engineer, economist, and astronomer, was born 26 February 1880 at Daramona House, Streete, Co. Westmeath, eldest child among two sons and a daughter of Thomas Newcomen Edgeworth (1850–1931) and Elizabeth Dupré (née Wilson; d. 1929),…

Elliott, James

Elliott, James (1838–83), boxer, was born in March 1838 in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. His family emigrated to the US when he was an infant, and he grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father abandoned the family shortly after their arrival in America and Elliott worked from a young age in…

Fagan, Luke

Fagan, Luke (c.1656/7–1733), catholic archbishop of Dublin, was born to a gentry family in Lick Bla near Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath. He may have attended an Irish Jesuit school during the restoration period and appears to have been ordained in 1682. He was received as a…

Fagan, Sir John

Fagan, Sir John (1843–1930), surgeon and inspector of reformatory and industrial schools, was born 16 July 1843 at Lismacaffrey, Rathowen, Co. Westmeath, the eldest son of James Fagan, esq. Educated at St Vincent's College, Castleknock, Co. Dublin (1858–61), and the Catholic…

Fitzpatrick, John

Fitzpatrick, John (1870–1946), labour leader, was born 21 April 1870 in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, youngest of five sons of John Fitzpatrick, farmer and blacksmith, and Adelaide Fitzpatrick (née Clarke). Within a year of his birth his mother died, and by the age of 10 he had also lost…

Fitzpatrick, Sir Jeremiah

Fitzpatrick, Sir Jeremiah (c.1740–1810), physician, inspector of prisons, and social reformer, was born at Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath. Of his parents and education little is known, but it can be inferred from the elder Fitzpatricks’ burial in the Old Relic graveyard on the…

Gaynor, Anna (‘Sister Mary John’)

Gaynor, Anna (‘Sister Mary John’) (1826–99), Sister of Charity and first superior of Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin, was born 17 March 1826 in Athlone, one of six children (five daughters and one son) of John and Anne Gaynor of Roxborough, Co. Roscommon. One of the…