Biggest hanks of wool in Ireland?


Biggest hanks of wool in Ireland?

Taken at McKeown’s in Leenane, Co. Galway. Must have been quite a sizeable enterprise to be called McKeown’s Industry?

Photographer: Almost certainly Robert French of Lawrence Photographic Studios, Dublin

Date: Circa 1902-1914

NLI Ref.: L_ROY_06770

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19 Responses to “Biggest hanks of wool in Ireland?”

  • derangedlemur says:

    Farmer and hotelier in 1901, Manufacturer and hotelier in 1911.

  • Niall McAuley says:

    James Murry and John Hannerty, Wool Weavers in 1911.

  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    [] Post 1901 then? And maybe quite late towards 1911? From the census form it looks as if Manufacture was written in almost as an afterthought.

  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    [] Wondering if this could be 35 year old John Hanerty or whatever his name was. If you have a look at the original census form, I think his name might have been transcribed wrongly…

    Maybe Haverty, maybe something else entirely.

  • derangedlemur says:

    [] Haverly, I’d have said.

    Edit: …though Haverty is apparently a very Galway name

  • OwenMacC says:

    Peter McNiven a weaving instructor, 1901 only. Photograph looks very staged! Carding, spinning and weaving all together, not to mind the woolly display. Great though.

  • Niall McAuley says:

    1902, On an Irish Jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara:

    After some hours of driving, we put up at McKeown’s Hotel in Leenane. "Mac" is a Pooh-Bah, a tall, strapping young Irishman, a "six-foot-twoer," with an intermittent laugh that takes most of the sting out of his hotel bills, and he holds the complimentary title of "The Major." He runs an up-to-date hotel, is postmaster, owns a store, has all the mail-posting contracts, rents salmon and trout rivers and lakes, ships salmon to London, and owns ten thousand acres of shooting-land stocked with grouse, hares, snipe, duck, and cock, which he lets to visitors, as well as seal shooting on the bay. He also owns a sheep mountain, from which he serves mutton to his guests in all the ways that mankind has ever known since sheep were first slaughtered for food.

  • Niall McAuley says:

    No mention of a weaving empire in 1902.

  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    [] Oh absolutely staged! But I think the man and woman on the right look quite proud and pleased to be photographed.

  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    [] Fantastic description, Niall, thanks!

  • John Spooner says:

    McKeown’s hotel gets a mention in The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, Saturday, June 03, 1899. "Spectator from Hallamshire" is coming to the end of his trip to Ireland. McKeown’s Hotel, Leenane, is, he says "is thoroughly well-appointed in every way, and abounds with a hearty plenty, while both are at least four shillings per person per day cheaper than such hotels as the Southern, Killarney, or the Parknasilla.". Mr McKeown takes ‘Spectator’ and his party to the burial of the mother of one of his men, up in "a little upland vale", "in the bare wild hill-land known as ‘Joyce’s Country’"

  • National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    Aha! From the Irish Independent on Tuesday, 7 February 1905 (big spread on Connemara Home Spuns – A Thriving Industry):

    [lots of praise for the standard of the tweed] … Between two and three hundred peasant folk, young and old, and of both sexes, are engaged amidst the wild and romantic scenery around the Killery [sic] in the prosaic process of producing homespun tweed. … The industry was established a few years ago through the public-spirited enterprise of Mr. McKeown, of Leenane. Mr. Kerrigan is the active and expert manager of the industry. He informed the writer in the course of a short chat that the King had visited his home on the occasion when his Majesty was passing through Leenane in 1903 and had manifested great interest in the local weaving industry. He added that both the Viceroy and Lady Dudley had generously helped the scheme, and quite lately the industry had been greatly developed. [150 women involved in the business]

  • John Spooner says:

    Spectator’s description of the burial near Leenane makes me wonder it took place at the Old Graveyard near Leenane
    Old Graveyard
    (I’ve quoted his/her description there).

  • Niall McAuley says:

    Mr. McKeown’s other enterprise:

    Cherry Bounce

  • sam2cents says:

    An absolutely beautiful capture. It’s so alive and interesting I wonder why there are not more shots like this taken today.

  • TEXASJOHN says:

    Photography would have been something that most people had never seen first hand like this!

  • en_la_bici says:


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