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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.
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.