William Street

From the Capuchin Annual Archive

Hay Harvesting, County Donegal, 1950 

Two views of Capuchin friars harvesting hay in the fields around Ard Mhuire Friary in County Donegal in about 1950.

Formerly the residence of the Stewart-Bam family, Ards House and its 2,000-acre estate, located near Creeslough, were taken over by the Irish Land Commission in 1926. The Commission assigned the northern portion of the estate to the Department of Lands for afforestation. This part of the estate, covering over 1,200 acres, is now managed by Coillte, the state-run forestry body, as Ards Forest Park, which is an important tourist site and publicly accessible amenity in the locality.

The remaining portion of the former Stewart-Bam estate was divided among tenants. Ards House and its adjoining farmland comprising about 100 acres was left unoccupied and gradually fell into disrepair. The house was acquired by the Capuchins in 1930. Ards House was renamed Ard Mhuire Friary which became a theological seminary. For many years afterwards, the friars continued to farm the land on the former estate.

The present-day Ard Mhuire Friary, situated on the shores of Sheephaven Bay, offers retreats, conferences, seminars, and periods of rest, relaxation and holidays.

Paupers’ Burial Place

KNOWN ONLY TO GOD: The main burial ground for those who died in Tralee Workhouse (now Áras an Chontae) during The Famine was the small cemetery that was opened in 1846 in the north-east corner of the site; it’s still possible to visit it. In September of ‘Black ‘47’, as the dreaded Gorta Mór raged among our people and as deaths and burials increased, the Poor Law Commissioners ordered that the authorities in every workhouse in the country were to bury their dead paupers in separate locations at a distance from Tigh na mBocht! It has long been the belief in Tralee that it was then that God’s Acre in Ballybeggan was opened as the Workhouse Cemetery. For over 160 years, people have been regularly visiting that very special little burial ground and devoutly praying for the souls of the departed; they pray especially for those ‘known only to God.’ That wonderful tradition continues!

Looking forward to Christmas

Christmas shop 2023 in Listowel Garden Centre

Below a lovely Christmas story from Ena Bunyan published in Hearthsong in 2009

A Thought

Remember when the streets were silent

Remember when we spoke through glass

We could not touch or hold each other

To say we hoped ‘this too shall pass’

Lemn Sissay

A Fact

The word Jeep entered the language during WW2. The vehicle it referred to was a general purposes vehicle often referred to as a GP. In the way words do, g.p. morphed into jeep.