Hannah Sheehy Skeffington – Loughmore Mill, Loughmore, Templemore, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
A State commemoration ceremony for Francis Sheehy Skeffington and journalists Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre, all who were executed together in Portobello Barracks (today known as Cathal Brugha Barracks), in Rathmines, Dublin, was held recently on the 26th April of this year.
It is however possibly less well known that Hanna Sheehy (1877-1946 & wife of Francis Sheehy Skeffington) lived and received her early education at Loughmore, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, at the end of the 19th century. This historic occurrence, today, closely connects the now presently inactive Loughmore Corn and Wool Tucking Mill, with this same unfortunate April 26th 1916 event.
About 1878 David Sheehy (Hanna Sheehy’s father), his wife Bessie (née McCoy), and their eldest child Hanna, came to live; renting the Mill in Loughmore. David was born in County Limerick and attended the Irish College, studying for the priesthood, in Paris with his older brother, Eugene,[*1] latter known as the ‘Land League Priest‘ and also one of Éamon de Valera’s teachers. However he (David), was sent home from Paris during an outbreak of cholera, there in 1866. On his return home he became implicated in the ill-fated Rising of 1867, after which he fled the country going to sea. After a few years he returned home and ran a mill at Kilmallock and later at Kanturk, before renting the mill at Loughmore around 1878. It was while in Kanturk that he married Bessie McCoy,[*2] who was from the region of Ballyhahill, in Co. Limerick.
[*1] In 1886 Fr Eugene Sheehy was C.C. of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick and later P.P. of Bruff. He resigned in 1909 because he had gotten into trouble with his bishop, Dr Edward Thomas O’Dwyer. He went to live with the Sheehy’s who were then living in Dublin. He was jailed in Kilmainham with Charles Stewart Parnell. He died in 1917 and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery.
[*2] Bessie’s sister Kate was Mrs Kate Barry of Barry’s Hotel, Dublin.
David and Bessie went on to have seven children, six of whom were born in the village of Loughmore, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Before the end of the century the whole family had moved to No 2. Belvedere Place, Dublin. David became Secretary to the Irish Parliamentary Party and an M.P. for Meath and later for South Galway; a post he held until the Sinn Féin landslide of 1913. James Joyce, a student at the nearby Belvedere College was a regular visitor to No 2. Belvedere Place, in 1896-1897 and he nursed a secret love for Hanna’s sister Mary, who was later married to Irish economist, journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier and Home Rule politician Tom Michael Kettle. Bessie died in 1917 and David around 1932/33, at the age of 86.
Before moving to Loughmore, his eldest daughter Hanna Sheehy had been born 3 years earlier in Kanturk, North Co. Cork, on the 24th May 1877.
The text hereunder is reproduced from an old newspaper clipping from the year 1938.