Bushypark: Our People-Our Place- A Parish History was produced as part of the 175th celebrations of the building of St. James’ Church.

This high-quality 490 page publication, a first by the author, and a winner of a Mayoral Award in 2017 by Galway City Council, is the result of over 4 years of painstaking research and documentation of the history of the people and places of the parish of Bushypark.

The 22 chapters in this publication are presented in a very clear and concise format. The topics range from, a detailed history of each of the 21 townlands in its immediate catchment area, the encumbered estates, the schools, church, the workhouse, what it said in the papers, to people stories, emigration and parish personalities from the past.

Among the stories which may intrigue many outsiders is the story of the Widow Wilkins which was documented in a court case, held in Galway Courthouse, for a breach of promise in 1817.

Another which should intrigue the readers is a war of words in the 1820’s between the families of Sir Valentine Blake, of Menlo Castle and Anthony Martin (a half-brother of ‘Humanity Dick’) of Bushypark House, over rights of way or the story of the 87 girls – each listed – who managed to be released from the Galway workhouse and/or its auxiliary in Dangan and who set sail for Australia during the Great Famine. This scheme became known as The ‘Female Orphan Scheme to Australia’.

Another interesting story is about a man named Frank Bailey who raced the train on his bicycle in the early 1900’s from Clifden to Galway

The book contains 138 photographs, many of them in black and white, together with 15 maps, some of which were taken from the documents of the encumbered estates. It is a must for anyone who has an interest in local history, oral heritage and archaeology.

The book costs €20 with P&P costs as follows, Ireland and N.Ireland €10, Great Britain and Europe €14. The rest of the world €20. The postage prices are the current postage prices becoming effective from 4th April 2018.

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