Poteen Still

Kathleen Desmond

Poteen Still

My family ancestors were decedents of the Galway tribe the Lynches, and were transplanted to Connemara as a result of the Cromwellian overthrow of the City. They were connected by marriage to the Martins, but retained their catholic allegiance. I imagine it was their connection with the Martins that gave them the tenantry of the townland of Bunscanniff in the parish of Kilcummen. Members of the Lynch family held and worked that land through very many troubled times until they eventually were given ownership of it some twenty years after Independence.
The Lynch family Bunscanniff worked as farmers, railway workers, coach/car drivers, horse breeders, teachers, and dressmakers. Very many members of the family emigrated to the USA primarily to St.Paul, Minnesota, from where their offspring still frequently come to visit their original Irish homestead.
In 1908 and 1914 two of the Lynch girls Margaret and Mary who both worked as dressmakers in Oughterard married RIC officers from the village. One James Moor and the other John Callanan. The picture (attached), which turned up in Lynch family ownership in St. Paul shows them in the “line of duty” at the time arraigning a poteen maker, who our sympathies go out to, unfortunately got caught in the act.
Because of the family connection we are sure that these were officers of the Oughterard branch of the RIC at the time. On disbandment of the RIC in 1922 one of the officers Moor emigrated with his family to St. Paul. The other officer’s family Callanan lived all their lives in Oughterard although John himself died at a young age.
It would be fascinating to know if anyone had any more information on the officers in the photograph.

This page was added on 08/06/2020.

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