From The Tuam Herald of Saturday, September 4th 1920: ‘A correspondent gives some interesting but sad details of the malicious burning of Tyrone House [County Galway]. It was in the late Georgian style and the finest house in Ireland. The ceilings were all painted by Italian masters and were regular works of art. The mantle pieces were all of rare Italian marble and very costly. In the hall was a fine full sized marble statue of Baron St George the founder of that once great family. It was the work of an Italian artist. The head was broken off the night of the raid deliberately it must be said. All the ceilings are now ruined and the mantle pieces also, and the entire structure an empty shell and ruin. There was no grounds for the report that the military or police intended or were to occupy the house, and agrarian motives are believed to have inspired and instigated this most foul and reprehensible act of purely wanton destruction. Of late years the place was freely allowed to be used by pleasure parties who came out from Loughrea and other places to have a dance which cost them nothing and to enjoy themselves, and who were never prevented from having their pleasure and a dance on the spacious floor of the dining room, and they can now no longer do so, and where in olden days the finest balls in the Co. Galway took place.’
This month marks the sad centenary of the burning of Tyrone House. For further information on the building and its former owners, the St George family, see https://theirishaesthete.com/2017/09/18/tyrone-house/ or watch on the Irish Aesthete’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=irish+aesthete
Sad indeed and having visited last September with my two sons, the building has fallen into further disrepair. As a footnote, my great grandmother grew up in the house.
I once brought Gordon St George-Mark out to visit Tyrone when he was on one of his visits to Galway. Dr Jim Higgins City Heritage Officer, asked me to bring Gordon out in my taxi. From that meeting we became friends, as he learned that I was chair of An Taisces local branch in Galway. He from then on used to ring me from his home in Chicago, asking if I had any news of plans to conserve the building. Sadly no one in a position to do anything was making any effort. While the owner of the land is asking too much for the site. Sadly I know of no current campaign to do anything about this sad situation and no government department seems at all interested in taking this on? Sadly, Gordon St George died some years ago without ever seeing progress!
Sad loss of some truly amazing interiors. I thought IGS were meant to be maintaining the building? I am very distantly related to the St George’s but from a time before they built Tyrone House and were still at Headford.
What a timely post!! I’m reading The Big House of Inver at the moment.