Glasson: a settlement history, 1600-1900

Wednesday 22 March at 8.15pm in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Athlone

Talk by Dr Aengus Finnegan

Summary – This lecture will discuss the development of settlement in Glasson and the surrounding area from the year 1600 to around 1900. Glasson is commonly thought to be an estate village developed by the owners of nearby Waterstown House, but this is not the whole story. In the nineteenth century, Glasson was famous for its mills, and the first settlement in the area may have developed around the mill on the Tullaghan river, a short distance to the east of the present bridge. This mill was in existence as early as 1630, and was known as Mollinglassen or Muileann Ghlasáin ‘the mill of Glasson’.

Speaker – Dr Aengus Ó Fionnagáin is a lecturer in Irish at the University of Limerick. He studied Irish and Geography at NUI Galway (BA 2007) and completed a PhD in Modern Irish (NUI Galway 2012). From 2013-15 he worked on projects such as (placenames database of Ireland) and Dú (digitisation of the national folklore collection). He has a keen interest in Irish placenames and surnames, and all aspects of Irish literature and language from 1600 to the present. Of local interest he has published articles on the island names of Lough Ree (2015) and on the sociolinguistic history of the Irish language in Co. Westmeath (2022). He is currently working on a book on the placenames of the Athlone area, and on a more long-term project on the townland names of Co. Westmeath. He is also the coordinator of the Westmeath Field Names Project (2018-22). This is his first talk on another of his areas of interest – local history.

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