Banthiarna Atha an Riogh - Lady Athenry

According to O'Sullivan, Lady Athenry was Lady Mary Nuget (1694-1725), daughter of Thomas, 4rth Earl of Westmeath. On September 22, 1716 she married Francis Bermingham, 21st Baron of Athenry. Shortly after the death of his father in 1692 Francis Bermingham became Protestant doubtless for the purpose of maintaining his estates, and took a seat in the Irish House of Lords in 1713. He died in 1749, succeeded by his son Thomas who died without issue in 1799.
During Carolan's time Lord Athenry lived at Athenry Castle at Bermingham Demesne, near Tuam, County Galway. Lord Athenry's family name was Bermingham. They were descended from Meyler of Bermingham who was the third in command of Strongbow's expedition in 1170. His son Piers was the 1st Baron of Athenry, given the title after the battle of the Ford of Kings (so named because the King of Maine and the King of Connacht were slain). The line is referred to by the Irish as Mac Fheorais (son of Piers) rather than Bermingham. During Tudor times Sir John Bermingham founded a Francisan monestary (1325) near Thetmoy in Offaly which was their principal residence at the time. The district became known as Mainister Fheorais (Piers's Abbey), or Castropetre. O'Sullivan, v 2 p 5.


Notations are courtesy of Carolan, the Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Donal O'Sullivan 1983 Celtic Music edition, vol. 1 pg 165.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack, IrishPage.com 2004
Replay background music: Lady Athenry


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