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Tragedy at Menlo Castle

In the early hours of July 26 1910 Menlo Castle, on the bank of the river Corrib, was totally gutted by a fire. Sir Valentine and Lady Blake’s daughter, Ellen, was lost in the flames. The cook Delia Early, who lived on the attic floor, jumped to her death. Delia shared a room with housemaid Anne Browne, who waited until her clothes were in flames, before jumping. She landed on a pile of hay placed by other household staff to break her fall. Severely injured and burnt, Anne was driven on an open truck, slowly into the Galway Infirmary, lying on a door to ease her movement and pain. Local farmers gave her milk to drink to try to cool her down.

Menlo oarsmen

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One of the great sporting achievements of the last century was the remarkable success of a group of Irish speaking farmers and local men from Menlo. During a very wet spring when they could do little work on their farms or on the bog, as they watched rowing crews going up and down the river, a group of them decided to form a rowing club. They asked to become members of Menlo Emmetts Hurling Club and adopted the name. Many of them would have spent a lot of time on the river, but that did not mean they knew how to handle a racing boat. When they took their clinker out for the first time, it took them a good while to steady the boat. A local man watching, described them as “The Wobblers” and this name stuck for a few years.

 

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