Clareabbey townland 1896-1910
The changes observed in the 1896-1910 Clareabbey cancelled book could be said to reflect changes in land ownership and construction of new homes by local authorities in rural Ireland.
A major change is that lot 1A 189 acres occupied by Daniel O’Brien in 1896 was sub-divided into three parcels of land and notified to the Valuation Office 1906-1910. By 1910, Daniel O’Brien is shown as the occupier of lot 1Aa (eighty-three acres) and lot 1B (forty-four acres) while Andrew Hickey occupied lot 1C with fifty-seven acres. Thomas Crowe’s name was cancelled and In fee LAP (Land Act Purchase) recorded by the Valuation Office. The Irish Land Purchase Act United Kingdom  also known as the Wyndham Land Purchase Act “by providing generous inducements to landlords to sell their estates, the act effected by government mediation the transfer of landownership to the occupying tenant”. This is the first purchase of land under the LAP observed in the three townlands transcribed to date in this series.
The 1896-1910 revision/cancelled book records further subdivision of lot 1 and lot 2 for the construction and occupation of three new houses listing the Ennis Rural District Council as immediate lessor. The Council is also listed as the immediate lessor of one of the two houses erected about 1890 listing Guardians of Ennis Union as the immediate lessor. This change may be due to changes resulting from the newly proclaimed Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 which ‘established a system of county councils, urban and rural district councils in Ireland, based on the British model. The act brought to an end landlord control of local government in Ireland.’
Daniel O’Brien (1808-1897) who features in the Clareabbey townland cancelled books 1855-1910) died in 1897 but his name continues to be noted as the occupier. At the 1901 census the head of the family was Margaret O’Brien (1856-1937, nee Moran) widow of James O’Brien, Daniel’s son.
Sheedy notes that the Ennis Racing Club utilised part of the O’Brien’s farm for its race meeting in the early twentieth century. One field used was known as the stand field which may be where the race stand was located.
A preliminary meeting was held on 15 May 1905 to discuss again the siting of a new course for Ennis races, with Maj. C. W. Studdert in the chair. A proposal was made concerning a location at Mrs O’Brien’s farm at Clare Abbey that had been visited by Maj. Kenny, was 331 yards in circumference. This was regarded as a little small but sufficient, with space to erect a stand at the far side of the course. A rent of £60 was sought by Mrs O’Brien, with £10 to Pat Carmody for his part of the course, and 29 and 30 August were the dates suggested for the races. But the races were abandoned in that year.
Ennis races were revived, yet again, on a very fine day in mid-October (1907) over “a splendid new course” at Clare Abbey, when a huge crowd attended.
Clare Abbey was the venue again for the Ennis Races in mid-August (1908), the only complaint being that the course did not give a very good view of the racing.
The annual Clare Hunt Point-to-Point took place on Monday 3 April 1911 in the Clarecastle district, the finish being on the Clare Abbey course, with the hill opposite the stand affording a good vantage ground.
 (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Wyndham-Land-Purchase-Act) (30 Sep 2020).
 Kieran Sheedy, The Horse in County Clare, Vol. 1, 2001.
 With thanks to Eric Shaw of Clarecastle for this transcription.
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Cancelled Book 4 Clareabbey 1896-1910