The Martin's of Ballynahinch
One of the most colourful characters in the history of Connemara was Richard Martin. Known as Humanity Dick or Hair Trigger he owned the 100,000acre Ballynahinch estate -the largest landed estate in Ireland. He was an M.P. in the Parliament in Westminster and one of his achievements was Martin's Act. This is the basis of all animal rights legislation today. It is said that he imprisoned people he found mistreating animals on his estate in the small island castle on his estate.
John D'arcy -Founder of Clifden
John D'arcy founded Clifden as a commercial centre in order to raise the living standard in the area. The main resources were fishing, marble and wool. The classic 19th century design is still in existence today although many of it's buildings no longer remain. It had three main streets, a market, a gaol, a courthouse and a harbour. Clifden Quay was designed by Alexander Nimmo. The D'arcy home lies in ruins today on the Sky Rd.
Transport & Communications in Connemara
The building of the Galway to Clifden railway opened up Connemara to the outside world. It opened in 1895 and closed in 1935. In 1907 the first commercial wireless telegraph station was set up on Derrygimla Bog by Marconi. It developed into a large station and operated a 24 hour service between it and it's sister station in Nova Scotia. The station was destroyed during the Civil War and never functioned again.
In June 1915 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown landed in Derrygimla Bog. They had left Newfoundland sixteen hours twenty eight minutes previously in a Vichers Vimy biplane and had successfully completed the first trans Atlantic flight. A monument to this event is situated on the Ballyconneelly Rd.
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