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Cumberland’s Eyrecourt, 1781

Steve Dolan
Galway Heritage

The inspiration for this project was the visit by the dramatist Richard Cumberland to Eyrecourt in East Galway immediately prior to the death of Baron John Eyre in 1781. Eyrecourt, then staunchly loyalist and Anglican, was in its pomp. The town boasted substantial buildings and also had its own masonic lodge, and indeed freemasons had become increasingly influential over the century with many of the town’s prominent characters being members. By then Eyrecourt boasted the premier racing festival in the west and was noted for its hunting meets. It also acted as an economic hub and was the location of the courthouse for the wider district. Using various sources, from governmental to church records, this project seeks to tell some of the story of the town in the late eighteenth century and to place some of Eyrecourt’s personalities at the heart of that story. There will be an online lecture [free] and booklet [€5] launch. All proceeds will go to the Irish Workhouse Centre.

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