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Lissadell and closed roads

category sligo | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Saturday March 31, 2007 16:45author by B Scanlon - right of way/sligo Report this post to the editors

disgrace to her name

The house that countess Markievicz was born in now has exhibition in her honour. This woman born into wealth gave her live to Ireland and its poor. Bertie Ahern kicked the show of on Friday for his friend the owner Eddie Walsh the very man who had closed of rights of way on the estate to the people of the area

The new landlord of Lissadell house had closed of rights of way that was used for generations. To have an exhibition to countess Markievicz life and work in the place of her birth where Irish people are been blocked by a Irish landlord is a disgrace to her memory and everything she believed in. To have the Taoiseach there to open it is two fingers to everyone in the area and their right to walk on Irish roads

author by f cuffe carneypublication date Sat Mar 31, 2007 16:59Report this post to the editors

How can the leader of this country disgrace the name of this great woman. To surport this landlord who is locking gates and puting up electric fences is a sad sign of the times

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Mar 31, 2007 19:05Report this post to the editors

Everything is for sale -really.

It now costs 25,000 euros to have a park bench on the Cliffs of Moher named in your honour.
There was a shortfall after the new interpretative centre was put up [about 1 million euros]
they have banned busking and theatre from the site and they opened it up to the public
one week after a young girl and her child died there. I thought it incredibly insensitive
of the Taoiseach to attend an opening at that time.

This is a land of poets and musicians and our history is incredibly important to
us, we witness the debasement of our culture and collective memory through
the destruction and sell off in Tara and the abolition of Duchas.

There are walker's rights groups online, maybe you should check them out and see
how it applies to the rights of way in your area.

Lissadell is truly beautiful and part of the whole openess and beauty of the countryside
in Sligo. Local heritage groups can emphasise this fact ;and research methods
of making sure that other generations have access.

author by Deirdre Clancy - N/Apublication date Sat Mar 31, 2007 19:47Report this post to the editors

Once again, Eva Gore-Booth gets overshadowed by her sister. I find this ironic. One of the most profound and complex pacifist thinkers Ireland has ever produced gets ignored, despite all the talk of peace processes and reconciliation. She was a more complex and interesting figure than Constance by any stretch of the imagination, who lived her truth in a more consistent manner. She rejected landlordism outright and chose to work in the slums. She was way ahead of her time in her writings on gender, war and - toward the end of her life - mysticism.

I was appalled when the government didn't buy Lissadell. Two remarkable women were born and reared there. It was a travesty.

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Mar 31, 2007 20:06Report this post to the editors

there is a contact form on this site that may be of assistance:-

author by bc/sligopublication date Sun Apr 01, 2007 20:57Report this post to the editors

Bertie' said at the opening I can see the place is in loving hands, Handed over to one of his buddys for peanuts is what he was thinking

author by Zydeco-Bill - Unattachedpublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 00:54Report this post to the editors

What a shamefull display on friday. Bertie snogging the Walshes, Jimmy Devins looking for Ministerial position, the party faithful lining up to bask in the reflected glow. For once it was good to be outside despite having a longer standing Fianna Fail pedigree than most of those present.

author by A10publication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 13:04Report this post to the editors

Put somthing like 2.5 MILLION of his own money into Lissadel house to restore it to it's former glory,while "socialist republican " Bertie & Co werent arsed in buying ,restoring or doing anythin about this historic house and landmark for the Irish people.Not to mind that a historic collection of artifacts on local zooology wasauctioned off and went West from Lissadel.
Now this fellow who saved your precious Countess house is now branded a landlord.? Good on him if he denys the lumpen Irish poleitariat from his grounds! You lot deserve to lose every bit of your culture to people who can buy it.You had it for so long,did fuk all with it apart from let it fall into further ruin.Then you bitch and moan when somone buys it and re develops it.???? Use it or lose it.Hypocrites!

author by Duncaolog - Aeoluspublication date Sat Nov 08, 2008 20:22Report this post to the editors

When bemoaning the fact that the Irish government didn't buy Lissadell House it is pertinent to ask: what would they be buying? There was almost nothing left in the house that had any relevance to Constance Markievicz ever having lived there. It was cleared out at two auctions (Mealey's) by the last owner, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth, who hated her just as much as his forbears did. Before the sale, when asked by commentators what he thought of her all he could say of her was: 'She was a cold fish'. It was almost as if he was making sure that artefacts relating to her would be scattered to the four winds before he sold the house.

Related Link:
author by paddy - nonepublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 23:14Report this post to the editors

i see the walshs have closed the house because they didnt get their way with the council CRYBABYS

author by fiorgaelpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 18:07Report this post to the editors

Walsh/Cassidy bought the house as their family home.

They spent millions of their own money restoring it to its former glory.

They allow the public use many of the estate roads and have facilitated visitors to the estate and house.

Walsh/Cassidy are perfectly correct. If the trogs of Sligo Council wanted to make a public highway out of the grounds of this private house they should have bought it themselves.

Private individuals who might restore precious heritage with their own money and who also might generously facilitate public access will have taken note.

author by Lissadell Admirerpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 18:26Report this post to the editors

Walsh/Cassidy are within their rights having spent a fortune on the house to restore it.

It is now their property and as others have said if the local County Council want to try and run roughshod over them now with rules and regulations on what is their private family home for themselves and their children then they should have bought the property in the first place and then if they owned it they could do as they wished.

The family after spending so much to restore the house then opened it to the public which they did not have to do thus sharing it with those who wished to view it. It is a shame now that because of the County Council these visits will stop but who can blame them.

When they paid for and own the property they should make the rules for it within their walls and gates.

author by Beamishmanpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 19:04Report this post to the editors

A few facts - I have visited Sligo and stayed with friends within 150 metres of Lissadell at least four times a year for the past 31 years, and walked unimpeded through the grounds on each occasion until the Walsh-Cassidy takeover at which point the blocking of access became progressively more pointed and severe until the gates were finally padlocked. I have walked those roads with locals who had had access for many more years than I and who believed that there had always been a right-of-way in existence back through the generations before them. The road from the gate-house to the beach has always been a popular walk for locals. I have never seen one incident of anti-social, abusive, or dangerous behaviour on my walks, and there was always a good rapport between the locals and the Gore-Booths, with never a suggestion from them that this access was in question. I have never seen, or heard about, joy-riding through the estate, one of the bould Eddie Walsh's claims, used to justify closing the right-of-way.
In my opinion, the Walsh-Cassidy purchase represents an unbelievably good buy - for them but not for us. The estate should have been purchased by the State, or the State and Sligo County Council jointly. Not only is it historically and culturally very significant, but properly developed would be of far more benefit to the county and the State than Farmleigh which cost probably 20 times as much. If an East London barrow-boy was the likely purchaser then I suspect the State would have stepped in, which leads to the question of why the estate was allowed be sold to Eddie Walsh and Constance Cassidy at a knock down price. I had better keep my opinions on that to myself, but there are clues to that for those who want to see them.
So, Jocelyn Gore-Booth signed a piece of paper stating there were no rights-of-way at Lissadel? Big deal! I could do that, and it would be just as worthless. Jocelyn had little contact with Lissadel until he inherited the place and does not seem to have had much emotional engagement with it. Just another commodity really. Break it up, flog it off.
In my opinion there is a right-of-way that is well established over time. In an interview she gave around the time she purchased the Lissadel Constance Cassidy claimed to have a high regard for Constance Markievicz who was born into and grew up in Lissadel. Knowing what I know of Markievicz's affinity with ordinary Irish citizens of the new Republic that she helped to create I think she would be scandalised by the attempt by the Walsh-Cassidy camp to close off access through the estate, especially to local people. I am sure she would repudiate Constance Cassidy's attempted association with her.
We live in a republic of equal citizens. We are not slaves. We do not have an aristocracy, other than those vulgarians who imagine themselves to be better than the rest of us, and we should reject them whenever they display that contemptible attitude.
Preserving rights of way is vitally important - the pseudo-aristocrat blows in and blows out of the big house, but once a right of way is extinguished, the ones most affected are the local citizens, the constant, permanent population with the greatest stake in the local environment.
Let me say this to counteract the snide insults offered to those local citizens elsewhere on this thread. I know them to be in the main decent, honourable people who have taken an active interest in the well-being of Lissadel estate and the local environment over many years while the Gore-Booths were in residence. I know that had the Walsh-Cassidy alliance approached their new neighbours with the same degree of respect offered by the Gore-Booths prior to Jocelyn's arrival, that that respect would have been readily reciprocated. My reading of the mood locally is that far from being respected they are despised for their attitude and their actions
I hope that the Council will hold steady and refuse to be intimidated by threats from the Walsh-Cassidy Law Library alliance.
Now if only we could find a judge who is intellectually and ethically independent of the Law Library, beholden to no-one, and prepared to judge the case on its own merits and on the evidence presented, we might find a legal resolution to the issue of rights-of-way at Lissadel. I live in hope. But that will not repair the breakdown of respect between the local citizens and the landlord. In that regard, the Walsh-Cassidy alliance is the big loser.

author by Sea airpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 23:53Report this post to the editors

I hope the legal aspects of access to the woods and the adjoining seashore at Lissadell will soon be clarified. I have driven along the perimeter road to reach the seashore several times in the summer or autumn, especially with visiting friends who wanted to see the house mentioned in W.B.Yeats's famous poem that begins with the lines:

The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.

[From William Butler Yeats'
In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth
and Con Markievicz ]

I have also gone to a specially constructed hide at the edge of the woodland with members of a birdwatch group to observe 400+ barnacle geese feeding in an adjoining field owned by a local farmer who has an agreement to keep animals away during the autumn-winter seasons when these protected migratory birds are resident in the area.

Many families in North Sligo had ancestors working on the Lissadell estate, as groundsmen, as stable and coach workers, as agricultural and forest workers, as domestic servants and cooks. Some members of these families, now of pensioner age, remember working on the estate themselves.

For reasons of national history, of literature and song, of local folklore and social history, of natural beauty and environmental conservation - for these and other reasons the Lissadell house and its surroundings constitute a rare national heritage. The government of Ireland and the Sligo County Council cannot adopt a detached attitude to developments at the Lissadell estate.

author by paulinepublication date Fri Apr 10, 2009 20:25Report this post to the editors

Cllr Jimmy Mc Garry surpassed himself in the Sligo County Council Chambers last week with his attack on people associated with the Lisadell Campaign.His fellow Labour Councillor Veronica Cawley rightfully disassociated herself from his remarks and also said she felt ashamed and apologized to the council officals who were attacked.Cllr Joe Leonard a former colleague of Mc Garrys when he was in Fine Gael also took him to task as did Sinn Feins Sean Mc Manus.The question now is as to the timing and reasons for Mc Garrys support for the closure of the rights of way.,and his cap in hand subserviant obedience of the demands and wishes of the Masters of the Big House.

author by Brit.publication date Fri Apr 10, 2009 21:28Report this post to the editors

" Mc Garrys support for the closure of the rights of way"

Only a motorway or some vast piece of infrastructural development can close an English right of way.

English Civil War Mark 2 ensues otherwise.

author by jolly green giantpublication date Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:28Report this post to the editors

Would this now be an opportune time for Sligo County Council to buy the estate from the owners at post Celtic Tiger prices, on behalf of the people.After all they were prepared to squander millions on a footbridge at the Glasshouse that only Jude Devins and the developer wanted.

author by Sea airpublication date Sun Apr 12, 2009 13:31Report this post to the editors

When the remnants of the Gore-Booth family put the house and estate on the market about ten or more years ago interested parties like the county council and the Yeats Society called on government to buy it for the nation, but government said it didn't want to take long term responsibility. The new owners paid about 5.7 million euro for it. Since that time they have paid a lot of money into rehabilitating the woodlands and some of the dilapidated 19th century outbuildings. They hired a German expert to reinvigorate and further develop an organic gardening unit and renew the forest.

If the current owners ever decide to put the estate on the market they would expect to recap monies spent on rehabilitation of the house and its environs. An old rambling building of this kind needs continuing maintenance.

In the short term public access to the perimeter road leading to the seashore is a matter of concern among residents in Sligo city and the area of north county Sligo.

author by freddypublication date Tue Apr 14, 2009 19:08Report this post to the editors

Cllr Jimmy Mc Garry supports the closure of public access to Lisadell.If he is successful the general public will no longer be able to use the beach as they have done for generations.

author by Kimmagemanpublication date Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:35Report this post to the editors

The Lord and Lady backed down and reopened! No doubt this had NOTHING to do with the legal requirement (as reported in the Irish Times) that they HAVE to open 60 days a year to qualify for tax breaks!

author by The History Manpublication date Wed Nov 25, 2009 15:20Report this post to the editors

The owners employed a researcher who discovered that the internal roads were maintained at public expense. This has been supressed. However, the truth will emerge in the resumed Court case.

author by jo carney - nonepublication date Thu Nov 26, 2009 23:46author email joload at gmail dot comauthor phone 003539039787Report this post to the editors


According to The Newfoundland & Labrador Newspaper, The Independent:

Corruption on an astonishing level seems to have been the norm among many of the most powerful politicians and business people in the country, and the story is far from over.

It all started with Larry Goodman, Meat Baron, and now we have Gardai in Donegal, Politicians, Bankers, Business people and now the Legal Profession emersed in dubious cultures, see websites: &

The Independent tells how Irelands corruption tribunals came into being and says, its fair to say our own government scandal looks petty in comparison.

They are all found out in the end! No one can hide forever!!

This brings us to a High Court case in recent years involving the Cagney Family, First National Building Society, First Active plc, and others.

It would appear that the Judgement in this case was published in the Internet to do maximum damage to the Cagney Family. As the Judge in this case said The only evidence that he found to be reliable in this case was the Bank Manager. He made genuine efforts to answer questions and he was not evasive in any matter put to him.

Nothing could be further from the truth in the light of the facts and the papers we have in our possession.

From what was said at the hearing it was quite obvious that the Cagney Family invested a large sum of money in First National Building Society in the mid ninetys.

This money was not put into the Cagney Family account. The High Court made an Order under Discovery that the transactions regarding this money had to be disclosed from the moment it was given to the Bank Manger and into what named account it was put in and all the transactions arising thereon. Arthur Cox & First Active plc (First National Building Society) refused to comply with this Order.

Two cheques for 118,000 approx. & 23,000 approx. were given to the Bank Manager to lodge into the Cagney Account. The Manager did not lodge the two cheques and said he put them in the system.

The Manager stated The two cheques were put in the system and 100,000 was lodged to one account and 41,161 is allotted to the other. The system will automatically generate the description.

It would appear from the evidence given in the High Court that there was a problem with documents provided by the Bank & the Legal team involved and which the Cagney Family pointed out in Court. From documents and Affidavits now in our possession it is quite clear that some were bogus, some were altered and falsified, even down to declaring a deceased lady signed documents three years after her death.

From the information in these documents it is quite clear that there is a serious case of injustice done. These documents were provided under Oath in Discovery by the Solicitors involved and First Active.

We are at present investigating every aspect of this case, which is very complicated due to the documents provided, some true, some false etc.

From what we have seen in the papers to hand, the dishonesty and corruption involved is appalling.

We will keep you fully informed as our investigation progresses.

author by Johnnypublication date Wed Jan 20, 2010 21:57Report this post to the editors

Why do the newspapers always introduce this dispute as between Sligo County Council and the owners. In most court cases the description of the case normally starts with the plaintiffs. In this case the plaintiffs are Mr Walsh and Ms Cassidy. Is this a subtle D4 thing to give the impression that the Council are the baddies here.
I understand there is a long process for declaring a right of way and many a turn (pun intended) before a right of way is declared. Cllr Leonard merely requested the County Manager to start the process. It was unlikely that all of the councillors would have voted for all of the roads (past the house, etc) to be declared public especially if the owners had voiced their objection in the normal way. It looks as though the judge in the case now going on will be the one to have the last word on the issue which may not suit the owners in the long run. As the barristers for Walsh and Cassidy are probably not going to charge anything, their cost will be minimal even if the case is lost. If they win, the Council can expect a hefty bill, i suspect.

author by Geraldinepublication date Wed Apr 21, 2010 18:48Report this post to the editors

Lissadell was built in the 1830's after the forced clearances of the local people from ther homes. Their land was taken and the wealth of the Gore Booths maintained by the rents they extracted from the poor farmers. Sir Robert was investigated after the Famine for the dreadful condition in which his tenants arrived in Canada. In 1909 those remaining tenants who survived were able to buy their land back from the Gore Booths. The people of Ballygilgan and the nine carneys were not so lucky as this was the private estate. The Government of Ireland should be investigated as to how they as one arm of the law were able to transfer the remaining acres to another arm of the law and once again deny the local people acess to their own land. Shame on them all.

author by observerpublication date Sun Apr 25, 2010 17:31Report this post to the editors

Wondering whether the denial of access and the closing of rights of way is in any way related to the first of what may become regular (and very lucrative) music festivals on the grounds of the estate?

Someone should write Mr. Cohen a letter explaing the situation - what harm can it do?

author by Jerome J Markiewiczpublication date Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:13Report this post to the editors

Interesting devolpment,as folks in Ireland become slaves to Property Worship, and the American Way of the Fast Buck Artist.
This would be as if they had Rock Concerts at George Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate in America.

author by Sligo Man.publication date Fri Aug 06, 2010 23:28Report this post to the editors

The whole county is beautiful.

Most of the county is more beautiful than that very ordinary estate.

Some of us do not like being required to like an ugly old house that a Polish Princess happened to live in.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Mon Dec 20, 2010 18:44Report this post to the editors

The High Court has ordered that the Public have a right of way through Lissadell House grounds. The lord & lady barristers will be upset by this.

The order was granted by Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, truly a Daniel come to justice! Full text at link.

The public has a right of way on the avenues on Lissadell estate in Co Sligo, the High Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Bryan McMahon rejected a claim by its owners, barristers Eddie Walsh and his wife Constance Cassidy, that no such right of way existed.

Sligo County Council affirmed the existence of rights of way in opposition to their claim.

Mr Walsh and Ms Cassidy brought the claim following local objections to the erection of gates on the entrances to the estate.

They sued Sligo County Council, which had passed a resolution in December 2008 supporting the existence of a right of way, claiming slander to their title to Lissadell and improper interference with their business interests.

Mr Justice McMahon said a right of way can be created by use from time immemorial, by statute or by dedication by the full owner of the land. Here we were concerned with a claim of public rights of way, he said.

The onus lay on the defendant in this case to show that the previous owner of the lands dedicated a right of way across his lands to the public.

The defendant county council called 25 witnesses to give evidence as "users as of right".

Most of them were from the townlands immediately surrounding Lissadell and many had strong family connections to the estate.

Related Link:
author by asidepublication date Mon Dec 20, 2010 20:59Report this post to the editors

These people do not have a bull's notion about their duties and responsibilites to history,
they only understand that their corrupt government and pals have allowed wanton destruction
and illegal ownership of irish Land.

This gives them a sense of 'entitlement' which is piteous to behold,because in essence
they have absolutley no rights and are effectively squatting because they own a heap of cash.

if they cannot handle their legal/moral responsibilites, then they should leave the house to those
who would both understand and care for it and for it's history.

of course, I reckon that History will judge the failures of Fianna fil and the Green party as
detrimental to irish culture, which both parties have attempted to cleanse through profteering,
planning and abuse.

it's all on the public record, as will any eventual repurcussions to this case, both in local and national annals.
it'll take years and years to uncover the absolute corruption of this planning but it has started and will continue,
here and in europe. People who do not get history or what appears on the record really ought to become
more literate.

author by Historymanpublication date Thu Feb 03, 2011 13:39Report this post to the editors

Costs were awarded against the landlords - justice is done. The Lord and Lady face a costs bill of up to 5 million. Could it be better???

author by Dorothy Galepublication date Thu Feb 03, 2011 13:45Report this post to the editors

Only if the lord and lady were evicted and the estate split up amongst local farmers labourers! Yee hah! I'm dancing with joy!

author by Corkmanpublication date Thu Feb 03, 2011 16:47Report this post to the editors

The magnificent Old Head of kinsale is now prowled by dogs to keep Cork people out.

No Cork People need apply.
Unless you are rich.

author by The Insiderpublication date Mon Feb 07, 2011 08:47Report this post to the editors

Perhaps the owners now realise that one cannot buy respectability !

author by The Insiderpublication date Mon Feb 07, 2011 08:58Report this post to the editors

And glad to see the media (especially the Irish Times) seems to have stopped printing the self-serving rubbish churned out by the odious owners' publicity machine.....all about how the local economy depends on it being open, and the owners privacy.
How appropriate are the words of Leonard Cohen - Everybody talking to their pockets! And the owners live in Morristown Lattin, Naas, Co. Kildare. Lissadell is a business enterprise and holiday home. Maybe they should sell the chateau and farm in France to pay the costs bill?

author by Kimmagemanpublication date Fri Feb 11, 2011 23:47Report this post to the editors

I lived near Mr. Walsh when he lived in No. 1, Dangan Avenue, Kimmage, Dublin 12. His father had a little shop in a small row of shops around the corner from his house, just across the road from the Submarine Bar. Mr. Walsh and his wife Connie lived in Dangan Avenue before they moved on. I am always amused by his accent, and how he has reinvented himself ! Lord Lissadell !!! Assume there is a better view from there than from Dangan Avenue!

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