Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Rorke (Clonbern & Bermingham)


The descendants of the Reverend John O'Rorke, a Protestant clergyman, who acquired land in the Tuam area of county Galway. Lady Molly Cusack Smith,the first lady Master of the Galway Blazers,was a member of this family.


Name Description
O'Rorke (Clonbern & Bermingham) The Clonbern estate in the barony of Ballymoe, county Galway, was bought from the family of Archbishop Beresford of Tuam by Reverend John O'Rorke in 1828. From 1801 Reverend John O'Rorke was curate of the Church of Ireland parish of Moylough, county Galway. He also leased land from the Bellews of Mountbellew and held land in the parish of Taghboy, barony of Athlone, county Rsocommon. In the 1870s the late Reverend John O'Rorke of Moylough is recorded as owning over 1,600 acres in county Roscommon and 217 acres in county Westmeath. He was not at all popular in the Moylough locality and frequently was involved in law suits, particularly with the solicitor and neighbouring landholder, Daniel Moore Kilkelly. In the 1840s Reverend O'Rorke was appointed rector of Foxford, but he continued to reside in Moylough. He married three times and died in 1849. His third wife was Elizabeth Dennis and their eldest son, Charles Dennis O'Rorke, built Clonbern House in the early 1850s and inherited Bermingham House, near Tuam, from his uncle, John Dennis, the famous huntsman. By the 1870s Charles O'Rorke owned 1,302 acres in county Galway and over a thousand acres in county Kerry. By the early 20th century he was advertising for sale an estate of about 1800 acres in the baronies of Dunmore and Ballymoe. In June 1927 the ''Tuam Herald'' reported that the Land Commission had acquired an estate of over 5,200 acres belonging to Charles Trench O'Rorke of Clonbern.
Dennis (Bermingham House) In the 1830s John Irwin Dennis leased Bermingham House and estate from the Trotter family and bought the property in 1851 in the Encumbered Estates' Court. At the time of Griffith's Valuation the estate of John Irwin Dennis was situated in the parishes of Dunmore and Tuam, barony of Dunmore, county Galway. John Irwin Dennis left his Bermingham estate to his nephew John Dennis, a remarkable horseman and huntsman. Although located in the townland of Birmingham Demesne, the house and estate appear to be generally referred to as 'Bermingham'.