The People

OK I might as well point out that the famous people covered in this section, all lived in Drumsna in the past, most of the current famous residents are famously shy, so we have spared them inclusion for now!

Antony TrollopeAntony Trollope: (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882) was a remarkable man. After an unhappy childhood, and an unpromising start to his career, he went on to write 47 novels and rise to the top of his profession as a senior civil servant in the Post Office, he also was responsible for the introduction of the Pillar Box. It was during his stay in The Ivy Tree Inn (now Taylor’s Pub) Drumsna that Trollope was inspired to write his first (and we would say best) novel; The McDermotts of Ballycloran. Trollope based his story on local characters and set the plot around the melchony ruins of Ballycloran Castle on the outskirts of Drumsna Vilage, these ruins still stand today. Anthony Trollope went on to became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English language Novelests of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope’s best-loved works, known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day. Anthony Trollope died in London in 1882. His grave stands in Kensal Green Cemetery.

For more Information about Antony Trollope and his Novels visit the Trollope Society web site

Even more info on Drumsna Appreciation of Anthony Trollope and the Trollope Summer School here

Thomas Heazle ParkeThomas Heazle Parke, (1857 – 1893) was born in Clogher House, Drumsna, Co Roscommon.

He received his formal education at the Reverend Edward Power’s private school, which was located at 3 Harrington Street, in Dublin.

Parke studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons and practised in the City of Dublin Hospital in Baggot Street. He then served in the Richmond, Whitworth and Hardwicke Hospitals, before finally getting his license from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1878.

He served on the relief expedition to Khartoum to relieve the doomed General Gordon in 1885 and accompanied Sir Henry Stanley on his famous Nile Expedition of 1887.

When he died in Scotland his coffin was brought back to Ireland and drawn on a gun carriage from the Dublin docks to Broadstone station for his final journey to his beloved Drumsna. He was buried in the old village churchard, he was just 36.

A bronze statue of Parke stands on Merrion Street in Dublin, outside the Natural History Museum. On the granite pedestal is a bronze plaque depicting the incident on August 13, 1887 when Parke sucked the poison from an arrow wound in the chest of Capt. William G. Stairs to save his life. In addition to the statue, Parke’s uniform and some of his personal belongings (his uniform etc) can be seen on the first floor of the Museum.

Robert StrawbridgeRobert Strawbridge (1732 – 1781); The famous Methodist Preacher was born in Gortconnellan Drumsna, in 1732.

Strawbridge was a member of the only Protestant family in Drumsna. He moved first to Sligo and then emigrated to Maryland USA in the early to mid 1760′s.

Strawbridge formed the First Society of Methodism in America which met in the home of John England and the alter he built there was made with wood brought from his farm in Drumsna.

A second Methodist Class was formed nearby at the Andrew Poulson’s home, when the crowds became too large for the Poulson house, Robert would preach under an old oak tree in the meadow whih was called “Srtawbridge Oak”.

After 13 years as tenants on the England land, in 1773 Robert purchased 50 acres from Mr. John England for the sum of £50. However, in 1776, he was offered a home, rent free, on the Hampton Estate owned by Captain Ridgely, whose wife was an ardent Methodist.

However, his ministry was not to last much longer. On a preaching mission, in 1781, not far from his home, he succumbed to an unspecified illness and died at age 49 on the Wheeler farm in Riderwood. An early convert of Robert’s, Richard Owings, preached the funeral sermon, and Strawbridge was buried at the Wheeler Farm.

The Wesleyan historical society erected a memorial to Robert Strawbride in Drumsna in 1992.

Dr James Booth, innovator of the Public Examination in England was born in Lavagh Drumsna.

James Booth established a school at Wandsworth in England, the school catered for ‘the instruction of the children of artisans and small tradesmen in the knowledge of common things, that may be turned to practical usefulness in after life’.

In 1853 the Society of Arts (SA) proposed ‘a scheme for examining and granting certificates to the class students of Institutes in union with the society [of arts]’.

The first exam was offered in 1855 but only one candidate applied. (He was a chimney sweep called William Medcraft)
Exams were offered again in 1856, and this time 42 candidates presented themselves. (This time William Medcraft managed to obtain pass certificates in arithmetic, algebra and geometry.)

Booth is credited with much of the work on setting up the examinations and he became chairman of the SA Board of Examiners in 1855, and it was his revised scheme that can be called the blueprint for all future schools examinations.

Drumsna ChurchFather George Geraghy PP Annaduff was fluent in Irish, English, French and Italian. It was on a visit to the Vatican that Father Geragthy witnessed Rome’s street theare of clowns, conturers, dancers and accrobats. He also noticed the finacial rewards thrown by the ciziens in appreciation of these performances and decided to get in on the act. The Priest played the violin and danced beautifully to much acclaim. He continued to perform as he made his way back to Annaduff from Rome via France and used the proceeds of this “European Tour” to partly finance the building of the Church in Drumsna. The current Parish Priest in Annaduff is Father John Wall.