Walsh Family, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Yes, indeed! There’s more to Ballinrobe, than just Ballinrobe!  On the way out of town are ‘The Cottages’ of Lough Mask Road.

Living in Australia for many years now, and with the opening of the Ballinrobe website recently, I could not let the opportunity go by without putting together a few words (and images) about the Walsh/Feeney Clans of Lough Mask Rd.

Solve a mystery?

There is also the hope that someone reading this will solve a lifelong mystery for me (the writer), and unearth an image of my mother, which has until now, seemed an impossible dream!

Sarah Walsh (nee Feeney) my mother, was born in 1922, daughter of Brigid and James ‘Jim’ Feeney, of Lough Mask Rd. She was one of nine children. Her brother Matt Feeney, recently deceased, lived at New St.

The Walshes

Martin and Sarah (nee Feeney), lived firstly at number 10, and later 24 Lough Mask Road Cottages, until 1960. Martin Walsh was born 1912 at Cavanquarter. He and Sarah married in 1943 at Ballinrobe. They went on to have EIGHT surviving children;  Anne, Martin, Patrick, Michael, Gerard, Marian, Angela and Vincent.


Neighbours and residents of ‘the cottages’ from the time, also included: The Joyces, Nearys, Flemings, Cusacks, Groarkes, Mrs Gibbons, and others!

Martin and Sarah

Martin Walsh was employed in 1950’s at O’ Hares Sawmill Ballinrobe (off Cornmarket). Sarah Walsh worked at the Valkenburg Hotel for a period. Sarah died at Castlebar Hospital in June 1960 (aged 38), and is buried at Ballinrobe Cemetery.
Martin Walsh (my father) died in 1981 in County Wicklow.

As a youngster of only seven years when Mum died I, and most of my family, have little recollection of her and, more importantly, what she looked like!

Missing link

I am hoping that someone somewhere, reading this, may be able to provide that huge missing link to me and the rest of my family!? Perhaps you went to school with Sarah at Ballinrobe Convent (circa 1929-1939)? She may be in a group photograph with you, at school, or elsewhere? We, like many Irish before us, made our way to foreign shores. Four of ‘us’ are now living in England, whilst I, and three siblings are in Australia.

Unlike today, photography and camera ownership were not common in the Ballinrobe of that era. Hence, there appears to be no images in existence of Sarah Walsh (nee Feeney).

However, you dear reader, may be able to shed light on this, and much, more about this brave lady:  Sarah Walsh of “The Cottages”, Lough Mask Road, Ballinrobe.

I hope the images, and this short essay, have contributed something to The Ballinrobe Story, and may even shed further light on this family saga.

Note:  Just click on images to enlarge and get further information.

Comments about this page

  • My grandmother Katie Burke and her family (Father and mother, Martin and Margaret Burke) moved to the cottages on Lough Mask Rd around 1910. I wish they were alive today because I am sure she knew all these families.

    I know “Baby” Cusack (there was also a Tom Cusack) was her friend who lived in the cottages into the 1980s along with other family members.

    My grandmother Katie was one of 11 children. Her parents, Martin and Margaret Burke lived into the 1940s and 1950s and lived in the cottages until their passing. Katie immigrated to US in 1921, later with Nellie and Thomas.

    Their baby sister Chrissie married a Moffat in Ballinrobe and sadly passed from TB in the 1940s in her 30s, along with a brother Martin and sister Anne.

    By Steve Miller (08/06/2023)
  • I’m not sure quite how I might relate to the Ballinrobe Walshes, but I know that my great great great great grandfather Myles Walsh (1806-1856), and his son Michael Martin Walsh (1843-1883), have a gravestone in Ballinrobe that my family has a photo of. Included on the gravestone is  Myles Daughter and Michael’s sister Marion Walsh. 

    Interested if anyone knows more. 

    Ian Walsh, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S.

    Editor: Can anybody assist this supporter please?

    By Ian Walsh (26/08/2021)
  • Dear Bob, as the one who put this Walsh/Feeney info on the site, I too am looking forward to what you might find on your ‘expedition’ to Ballinrobe! As you will have read, I am most interested to see if there is a photo of mum, in existence – Sarah Walsh(nee Feeney). All the best with your search! Gerry

    By Gerry Walsh (19/08/2014)
  • Well what a surprise, I am just about to embark on a trip to Ireland, my first since I visited with my mother Nora Patricia Fenton nee Feeney daughter of Bridget and Jim.

    One of my missions is to retake photos taken c. 1945. I will try to work out a way of getting them to you because I am sure they will add some interest for viewers.

    REPLY: Thank you Bob and have a wonderful trip! 

    By Bob Fenton (04/08/2014)
  • I have never seen this photograp of my Mother until now. My Mother passed away on 4th Feburary, 2002.

    REPLY: Deepest Regrets Josephine, from all at Historical Ballinrobe.

    By Josephine Boyle (26/04/2013)

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