Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Eyre (Clifden)


Estate(s)

Name Description
D'Arcy (Kiltullagh & Clifden Castle) The D'Arcy family of Kiltullagh, parish and barony of Athenry, county Galway, was founded by Patrick D'Arcy, a younger son of James Riveagh D'Arcy in the early 17th century. The D'Arcy's Connemara estate was granted to them under the Acts of Settlement. It had been confiscated from the O'Flaherty clan and by the 19th century amounted to over 12,000 acres mainly in the parish of Omey, barony of Ballynahinch. The head of the family at the turn of the 19th century was John D'Arcy (1785-1839) who founded the town of Clifden. Shortly before his death he mortgaged his estates to 2 English brothers Thomas and Charles Eyre of Bath and London. Following the Famine his son Hyacinth D'Arcy was in severe financial difficulty and his estates were one of the first to be sold in the Encumbered Estates' Court. The sales included 697 acres at Kiltullagh and part of the D'Arcy of New Forest estate in the barony of Tiaquin, county Galway, the two D'Arcy families had intermarried. Much of Hyacinth D'Arcy's Connemara property was purchased by the Eyre brothers and Thomas Eyre subsequently bought out his brother's interest. A consortium, which included James Sadlier, appears to have bought the townland of Kylemore which they advertised for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in May 1859 and was purchased by Benjamin Lee Guinness. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Thomas Eyre was the occupier of the part of the New Forest estate that had belonged to the D'Arcys of Clifden.
Duncan (Kylemore) At the time of Griffith's Valuation the Reverend Joseph Duncan owned 2 townlands containing 1913 acres in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway. He also had a lease from the D'Arcys of over 300 acres of the townland of Kylemore for 999 years, dated 11 April 1842 and had built a hotel by the time of Griffith's Valuation. The D'Arcy sale rental for the Kylemore estate dated 13 July 1852 contains 2 small lithographs, one of which features Kylemore lake and hotel. Kylemore appears to have been bought by a banking consortium of John William Burmester, Farmery John Law and James Sadlier and was offered for sale again in May 1859. The sale rental refers to the Reverend Duncan who had built a handsome residence and had converted it into an excellent hotel "in consequence of the great influx of tourists". Kylemore was probably purchased by Benjamin Lee Guinness at this time.
Eyre (Clifden) Thomas Eyre of Bath, Somerset, bought much of the property of John D'Arcy of Clifden, county Galway, for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court in 1850, including the Kylemore estate which he purchased in 1852 and part of the New Forest estate in the barony of Tiaquin. From 1837 the D'Arcy estates were mortgaged to him and his brother Charles Eyre. At the time of Griffith's Valuation he owned about 20 townlands in the parish of Omey, 3 townlands in the parishes of Moyrus and Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch and 4 townlands in the parish of Kilkerrin, barony of Tiaquin. In 1864 he handed over his Connemara estates to his nephew John Joseph Eyre of London, who is recorded as owning 8,204 acres in the 1870s. The Eyres were absentee landlords and after J.J.Eyre's death in 1894 a trust was set up to administer their property until most of it was purchased by the Land Commission in 1931. The agents for the trust were Joyce, Mackie and Lougheed, solicitors, Galway.