07. Waterslade House

Waterslade House a townhouse built circa 1650 was remodelled in 1810 by the Burke family of Knocknagur, Tuam.[1] William Burke who was married in 1827 resided there for a time. Noteworthy sons of his were Augustus Burke who was a famous painter and Thomas Henry Burke, Undersecretary of State of Ireland who was murdered in the Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1882 by the ‘Invincibles’ and Lieutenant Colonel Theobald Burke 13th Baronet of Glinsk and Knocknagur.[2]

O’Connell’s visit to Tuam

Doctor Prendergast was living in the house in 1839.[3] When Daniel O’Connell opened the National Bank at the site of the present Bank of Ireland on Dublin Road in 1844, he was entertained at Waterslade House. It was said but cannot be confirmed that there was a very big celebration and event to coincide with O’Connell’s visit to Tuam in that year with bands from all over the West of Ireland marching. Doctor Prendergast left the house to his son Richard Cuffe Prendergast and it was auctioned in 1876 and sold to James McDonnell who had a business on the Square at the site of the present AIB bank.[4]

Fred McDonagh, a solicitor from Dunmore, Co. Galway and nephew of James McDonnell became the owner in 1920. He passed it to his son Stephan. It was sold by auction to Doctor Midie Farrell on May 31st 1962.[5] He passed it to his sister Kathleen Farrell and Martin J. Farrell who had a pharmacy on the Square died there on April 17th 1982.[6]

Castle Ellen House

The gates to the house stood originally at what is now the entrance to Waterslade Apartments. When the present day front door was installed at the back of the house, new gates were installed located where the inner relief road starts at Foster Place. These came from Castle Ellen House near Athenry which was also owned by James McDonnell.[7] Lord Edward Carson was reputed to have practiced his hurling skills against them as a boy. The gates were moved to their present location in 2010.[8]

[1] National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, ‘Waterslade house’, (www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=GA&regno=30331003) (10 Nov 2017).

[2] Mary Stratton Ryan, ‘The Burke family of Waterslade house’ in Journal of the old Tuam society, No. 6 (2009), p.46.

[3] Tuam Herald, 2 Feb 1839.

[4] Tuam Herald, 12 Aug 1876.

[5] Tuam Herald, 28 May 1962.

[6] Tuam Herald, 15 May 1982.

[7] Tuam Herald, 24 April 1993.

[8] Mary Stratton Ryan, ‘The Burke family of Waterslade house’ in Journal of the old Tuam society, No. 6 (2009), p.46.

This page was added on 03/03/2018.

Comments about this page

  • I found this reference (by chance I am actually looking for the laying of the stone) The Pilot – Wednesday 04 May 1836 “National Bank of Ireland Tuam, the Tuam branch of the establishment was opened this day, Manager James Browne Eaa,, Directors Denis Kirwan Esq. Thomas Browne. ” Your article says it was opened in 1844. I suspect a new building was built then

    By Margaret Gallery (24/08/2021)

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