Shanagolden Danaher's

Seated : Stephen Danaher and his wife Marie Hurley

Standing : Fr William Danaher CSSP and possibly John or Moss Danaher


Stephen Danaher grandson of the above Stephen told me that the public house premises in Shanagolden where he still lives was acquired by my Grandfather John 'Boss' Danaher in the 1880' / 1890's  for the sum of £350. Seemingly he bought it from relatives who had got into difficulties with the Bank. It seems likely to me that these relatives were surely Philip Danaher and his wife Marie O'Sullivan who emigrated to Australia in the early 1880's.

Stephen Danaher pictured above was a son of John "Boss" Danaher from his first marriage to May Woulfe. He was subsequently given the property in Shanagolden. 


Family Tree for Stephen and Marie Danaher :

 reunion tree-10.pdf 


Samuel Lewis the noted topographer recorded that in 1831 Shanagolden :  "consists of a long irregular street, comprising 150 houses, of which three only are slated, the remainder being thatched, and all are small and ill-built. It is a constabulary police station; and petty sessions are held on alternate Mondays. Fairs take place on the Wednesday after Trinity Sunday, and on 4 September, chiefly for cattle and pigs. A new line of road from the town joins the mail road on the banks of the Shannon, at Robertstown, opening a ready communication with the county of Kerry. 






The ruins of Shanid Castle, an important Anglo-Norman stronghold, is located a short distance away from the village. The castle was possibly constructed in 1230 on land associated with the FitzGerald family which settled in the area after 1169 and was a fortress of the Knights of Glin before being burned in 1641.


Two important battles were fought in this neighbourhood. In the "Wars of the Gael with the Galls" in the year 884, there is recorded a defeat inflicted upon the Danes, by Donadhach, chief of the Ui Fidhgeinte, at a place called Senati, Seannad, or Shanid. Considerably later, in enumerating the severe defeats which Mahon, elder brother of Brian Boru, inflicted upon the Danes, the same annals mention the " red slaughter of the foreigners" after the victory of Sen-Gualainn (Shanagolden), the Old Shoulder, so-called from the shape of the hill.


North of Shanid is Knockpatrick, which is said to mark the extreme limit of St. Patrick's missionary journey in Munster. From the summit of Knockpatrick he is said to have bestowed his blessing on the west, and to have pointed out Scattery island, in the distant estuary of the Shannon, as a centre where the light of the gospel should radiate to the surrounding districts left unvisited by him. The prediction is supposed to have received its fulfilment in St. Senan. St. Patrick's Well and Chair are still pointed out a short distance below the highest point. The summit is crowned with a grave-yard which at present contains no remains of any antiquity or interest. T h e view from this point is very fine, embracing large districts of Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, and Kerry. The lower part of the Shannon lies spread out like a sea, Scattery island stands out clear and distant and, with its round tower, forms an

interesting spot in the broad estuary. 


Shanid Castle occupied a prominent spot overlooking al of county Limerick from Tipperary to the borders of Kerry 



Legend of massacre that took place in Cloonlahard on 12 March 1580.

When Sir William Pelham ( Commander of the English forces and later Lord Justice of Ireland ) in his pursuit of the earl of Desmond was encamped near Shanid castle, a man named Mac Shane approached him and said that he would lead him to the Cloonlahard woods, where over four hundred people had fled for safety. Mac Shane, who had been a Gallowglass ( mercenary soldier ) in Desmond's army, was a man of repellent features and revolting habits. He fell in love with a girl named O'Dowd, who refused to have anything to do with him. The O'Dowd's were tenants of the Walls of Dunmoylan and lived at Balliston, a townland with an interesting history. They also sought refuge in Cloonlahard. When Pelham's troops, led by Mac Shane, entered the wood they found the people clustered together, kneeling in prayer. When the slaughter began some of the young people fled and escaped.

One of these was Philip Geoghegan. Philip's sister, who was married to Hugh Cummane, climbed an ivy-clad tree and escaped detection. She witnessed the merciless slaughter of her friends and relatives, which was all over in a short time. Only one person's life was spared. That was the O'Dowd girl, whom Mac Shane had taken prisoner. Pelham's troops soon vacated the woods and pushed on towards Glin. Mac Shane returned a little later, accompanied by his prisoner, and began to search the clothes of the dead. While doing so he laid aside his battle-axe. As he was bending down his prisoner seized the weapon and with one swift blow she clove his skull. She later married Dermot Dore, who also escaped from the carnage. She became a legendary figure and many people in that locality were proud to claim descent from her.






Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.