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Fact, History, Old Images

CLARE FACTS – Family who lived under a bridge

doonbeg-bridgeDoonbeg in West Clare as photographed by Thomas Mason as part of the National Library of Ireland’s Mason Photographic Collection.

The central point of the West Clare village is this architecturally significant seven-arched stone bridge which crosses the Doonbeg River and divides the village. This photo features a doorway in the centre of the bridge which was once part of a famine era habitation.

The Illustrated London News of 29 December 1849 carried a sketch of Judy O’Donnell’s habitation under the bridge at Doonbeg wit the following caption: “Two wretched families have taken refuge under the bridge in a hole. They consist of two widows, one with three children, all ill of jaundice, and the other with five.”

judyodonnel
The Crack’d Spoon Theatre Company performed a re-enactment of the story of Judy O’Donnell and her family at the bridge during the 2013 Famine Commemoration. More here

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About Mark Dunphy

Founder and Editor of The Clare Herald, Mark Dunphy is a native of Connolly in County Clare. Mark also operates Dunphy PR.

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