Background to Stanwix Hospital and Alms-houses

By Fr. George Bourke Retired PP/AP

The familiar red-brick terrace of small houses, in their own grounds, has stood in Kickham Street, Thurles, since 1889. Colloquially known in Thurles as “The Widows’ Homes”, their official title is “The Stanwix Hospital and Alms-houses”. The first residents, ten widows, moved in at the beginning of September 1890. There was a Matron to supervise, and by the end of 1898 the 2nd phase of the complex was completed, with the addition of a further 8 houses. Ever since, they have provided sheltered housing for women in retirement, faithful to the vision of the founder Emma Slaughter Stanwix.

Emma Stanwix, an English woman, an absentee Landlord, a private and reserved lady, an artist, lived for many years in Versailles, France. She inherited her estate of 14 towns-lands in Moycarkey parish from her father Thomas Slaughter Stanwix, a high-ranking Officer in the English army.

Wilson’s Directory lists Shanbally Castle, near Moycarkey, as the residence of Thomas Slaughter Stanwix, though he rarely, if ever, lived there. Away on army duties, he was commissioned as Lieutenant-General in 1806. Going further back in history, during the Cromwellian Wars (1649-’52), Cromwell and his forces spent over six months in Mid Tipperary. His cannon shelled Moycarkey Castle, doing considerable damage. Moycarkey Castle was the home of the Cantwell family, Anglo-Normans, at the time. William and John Cantwell held substantial lands, and these were confiscated in the Cromwellian Plantation (1653). Army Generals were sometimes offered Plantation Lands in lieu of pay, so it appears that a General James Slaughter was granted some of the Cantwell Estate. A career-soldier, he never took up residence, until we find his grandson, the above Colonel Thomas Slaughter Stanwix, listed in 1786 as having his seat at Shanbally Castle. Away in different parts of the world on army duties, he had at some stage changed his name to Stanwix, his wife’s name. She and her daughter Emma were resident in England before they moved in later years to Versailles in France.  For him, and for his daughter Emma who succeeded him, (her brother Jeremiah had died) agents collected the rent from the tenants. We have no record of Emma Stanwix visiting her Estate or her tenants, except one interesting episode which finds her in the new Chapel in Moycarkey on Christmas morning 1838, presenting a painting to the Parish Priest, Fr Robert Grace (See Appendix 1 below).

Emma Stanwix obviously had a social conscience, so from her faraway residence in Versailles she determined that much of the revenue collected from her tenants would be directed towards serving the needs of the poor, especially widows. Her Will, dated 11th November, 1852, had Sir Thomas Redington, Kilcornan, Co. Galway and Dr. Charles Shrimpton, Paris, listed as Executors. On her death on 2nd December, 1857, her very detailed Last Will and Testament had bequests to some of her household staff; but the main stipulation of the Will was that the residue of accumulated rents and profits from her Estate would be directed towards the building of a Hospital in Thurles for those afflicted by accidents and incurable diseases (except fever). She also directed that “contiguous to the hospital,    shall be erected an Alms-house for poor old Widows, aged more than sixty; and that persons living on my own estate shall always have preference over any other applicants, without any distinction of religion.” She further directed that on the death of her Trustees, the Catholic priest and the Protestant Minister of the town of Thurles would act to have her wishes executed.

An interesting footnote to her Will decreed “Within two months of my death, all framed portraits of my dear father, mother, brother and of myself shall, with the exception of my portrait as a child with a doll, by Dowman (which I hereby bequeath to Miss Catherine Willis) be burned in their frames, in the presence of my executor.” This stipulation may need further analysis, but it would seem to speak to us of a woman who sought anonymity, and who only wished to be remembered for the quiet work which she hoped the Charitable Trust would achieve over the years.

It would be over thirty years after her death before her plan for the Alms-houses would come to fruition. The Estate in Moycarkey, consisting of the towns-lands of Ashill. Ballyhudda, Butler’s Farm, Coolkip, Drumgower, Killurcan, Pouldine, Knockroe, Kilnoe, Smith’s Farm, Knocknanus, Knockstowry, Shanbally and Maxfort were let to 54 tenants. They and the many labourers and people of no property on the Estate had been through times of great privation including the Great Famine in 1847 – the population of the Estate was 957 in 1841; by 1851 it had dropped to 372. Tenants were often seeking rebates of rents or allowances for improvements on their holdings. The Executors were remote and some reports say that their agents were unreasonable, with many evictions.  In 1866 the Executors were petitioning the Court of Chancery to allow the Charity to be inaugurated, but the Court ruled the funds were still insufficient to proceed.

A letter to the Tipperary Free Press from 2 women tenants in 1884 speaks in praise of Harry Langley, Esq., J.P., Archerstown House – they say that on behalf of the Trustees, he had been responding to the grievances of the tenants “for the past 18 years”, and he was much more amenable to the needs of the tenants on the Estate.

By 1886, correspondence with Archbishop Croke indicate that the plans were progressing. In 1888 land purchased in Pike Road, Thurles, containing one acre, one rood and five perches, under a lease dated 8th of November, 1888, from Denis St. George, Baron of Dunsandle on the one part and Henry Langley and Denis Bray O’Brien  on the other part – at a yearly rent of £5 to be paid twice a year, for the term of 1000 years. The annual gross Rent from 54 Tenants could amount to £785-7-10 before deductions, so by the late 1880s £3108-12-10 had been accumulated. Albert E. Murray, a well-known designer of hospitals, based in Dawson Street, Dublin was chosen as Architect, and the building contract at approximately £2,500 was entrusted to Mr. J Kiernan, Talbot Street, Dublin.   

A detailed Scheme for the Management of the Charity called “The Stanwix Hospital and Alms-Houses was approved by the High Court of Justice in Ireland – this was filed on 12th August, 1890. This document has 31 Clauses indicating how the Charity was to operate under the governing Trustees. The first Trustees are designated: 1) the Most Rev. Thomas William Croke, D.D. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel; 2) the Rev. Caesar S. Cooke, Rector of the said parish of Thurles; 3) the Rev. Thomas Fennelly, parish priest of Moycarkey; Edward J. Armstrong, of Mealliffe, Thurles; 5) Joseph Molloy, of Thurles, Merchant; and 6) the Rev. Nicholas Rafferty, Roman Catholic Administrator of Thurles. One of such trustees, other than the Rector as aforesaid, shall be member of a Protestant denomination. See Appendix 2 for full list of Trustees, 1890 to 2020.

The First Meeting of the Trustees took place on 8th September, 1890. Archbishop Croke chaired that inaugural Meeting in the Board Room, with all members present except Joseph Molloy. In accordance with the Scheme, two important officials had to be appointed – a secretary, who would be the agent of the Trust, overseeing the maintenance and furnishing of the buildings, convening meetings, keeping the minutes, looking after accounts and finances and collecting rents from the tenants on the Estate. His allowance was to be £10 annually and 5% of rents collected. At that first meeting in 1890, Maurice Power was elected as Secretary, a position he held for thirty years – Secretary to the end, he died on 19th November, 1919,  aged 84 years.

The post of Matron was advertised in the Clonmel Chronicle and the Nationalist. Mrs Johanna Russell was elected as matron at the second meeting on 13th October, 1890, on a salary of £35 per annum. The Matron was obliged to reside in the apartments provided for her, to superintend the inmates  the widows were known, and to see to it that all regulations “made by the Trustees for good order were observed”. She was to be provided with a uniform each year and other allowances.

At last the plan conceived by Emma Slaughter Stanwix in her home at 21 Avenue de Paris, Versailles as she made her Will on 11th November,, 1852, could now be implemented. The need was still there in 1890 – widows then had no pensions, and could be homeless. And so, at their 3rd Meeting, the Trustees had no difficulty offering accommodation to 10 widows, following the defined procedure – each Trustee had the right to make a nomination for a house, repeating in turn the same sequence, until all houses were filled. By co-incidence, the first widow to accept a house was from Maxfort on  the Stanwix Estate. Accommodation was free and each resident was to get ten shillings each week and a gratuity of five shillings each year at Christmas and Easter. There was to be no distinction as to the religion of the “inmates”. For all residents, there was strict set of Rules, which the Matron was expected to oversee and enforce – re cleanliness, good order and respect, observing the visiting hours, elimination of any alcoholic drink on the premises, etc.

The Trust still had rights to collect rent from the tenants on the Estate. An annual rent gross rent of £785-7-10  was possible, from 54 tenants, before deductions of Head rent and Tithe charges. Many tenants were struggling to pay, and the Trustees had to respond to requests for drainage schemes and other alleviations. Pressure was mounting for an end to this system of land tenure, but, in the meantime whatever Maurice Power, the Secretary collected was lodged with the Commissioners of Charitable bequests. From that invested Capital, the Commissioners would eventually pay an annual dividend for the running and the maintenance of the Alms-houses.

In September, 1894, the trustees were considering the provision of extra houses, on the same lines and plans as the original 10.  Murray again would be the Architect, and by January 1898, Tenders had come in for the building of seven houses from 6 contractors in Dublin, Waterford and Tipperary, varying in price from £1,900 to £1,400. This lowest tender from Williams, Borrisoleigh, was accepted, and the Trustees authorised Williams to proceed and carry out the building of the seven houses in accordance with the plans and specifications prepared by Mr. A. E. Murray, Architect. Application was to be made to the Lord Chancellor to grant a portion of the money held by the commissioners for Charitable donations. At a Trustees’ meeting on 5th May, 1898 it was resolved that on the recommendation of the Architect, the builder was to asked to construct an 8th house, as the builder was agreeable to special terms. The project was completed by the end of that year, with a final settlement with Williams for £1,605.  Six nominations were made for accommodation, and in all 18 houses were then completed the red-brick terrace “The Stanwix Hospital and Alms-Houses.

The two-storey building near the entrance was originally designated as the Hospital, but it never operated as such. From the beginning the Trustees recognised that Thurles had adequate hospital services, so that attractive part of the complex provided accommodation for the Matron, the meeting room for the Trustees, and was to be available for other needs as they arose.

The original Minute Book is a valuable record of the working of the Trust on behalf of the widows, from the first meeting on 8th September, 1890. The Trustees, 4 Catholics and 2 Church of Ireland members, the membership structure agreed in the legal foundation document, worked diligently to fulfil the wishes of Emma Stanwix. They met regularly, three or four times a year, and the day-to-day operation of the Alms-Houses or Widows’ Homes was in the hands of the Matron and the Secretary.  See Appendix 3A and 3B  for full list of Secretaries and Matrons since 1890.  

Accommodation for the widows was fairly basic, but there was constant demand for the houses. The women, in addition to getting free accommodation, received their gratuities, and other benefits as funds allowed. They also received a copy of the rules with a reminder that breaches were liable to warnings, or even expulsion! There were designated hours for visitors, and times for the opening and closing of the gates each day.

Rules for the Matron, outlining her duties, were also drawn up, as the Secretary continued with his responsibilities, collecting rents from the estate, overseeing the buildings and reporting on the income and necessary expenditure. An annual financial report had to be prepared and sent to the Commissioners of Charitable Bequests. The role of Chairman at Trustees’ meetings rotated among the members, and all legal processes had to be followed whenever a trustee resigned or died. Carrigan, Solicitors, handled legal matters for the Trustees. The Charity was fortunate too in that those appointed to the office of Secretary and Matron were generally long-serving, leading to great stability and continuity.

In 1924  a decision was taken to notify the Land Commission that the Trustees were satisfied to allow the tenants to buy their holdings under the 1923 Land Purchase Act. As some financial difficulties were becoming apparent, it was decided to let ‘The Hospital’ to a suitable tenant, with Dr. Mary Ryan accepted at an annual rent of £50. Some of the widows, at this stage, were eligible for pensions.  The Trustees in 1924 were also trying to ascertain their claim to a cut-away bog on the Estate, and to have its value assessed. In the mid 30s, the Land Commission was in a position to pay to the Trust £8,505 in settlement for allowing the tenants to buy their farms.

It was only at the end of January 1940 that a decision was taken to install Electric light in the houses, with the tender being awarded to Joseph O’Brien of Cathedral Street at £28. The Trustees agreed to cover the entire cost of consumption of Electric light. An allowance of coal had been available to the residents for several years, but in May, 1941, a decision was taken, on account of the war,  to grant to each widow 10cwt of turf every 3 months for the following year. In June 1951, Mr Carson, Engineer, gave the Trustees an estimate of £1,232 for sanitation – heretofore the residents had only outdoor toilets. In August 1951, Mr. Carson recommended that the Tender of John Dwyer at £1,500-7-0 be accepted. Through the ’50s and early ’60s, there was ongoing maintenance of the grounds, and anxiety about the need for improvements to the houses. Muintir na Tíre had helped with maintenance of the grounds in the mid 1950s. Thurles Lions Club was also helping into the 1960s  /  ’70s and  ’80s. In 1969 Archbishop Morris was suggesting a Public Lecture on Care of the Aged, to draw attention to the service provided by the Stanwix Homes and the need for support. The women being housed and the support of the Matron and Secretary were at the heart of work of the Trust. Generally the houses were full and the women could live independently, close to the town centre with all its services. The Lions were an ongoing presence maintaining and enhancing the grounds.

Talks too were taking place with the Co. Council re purchasing the vacant land for housing for the elderly or even taking over responsibility for the existing houses.  The Stanwix Trust invited the Co. Council Manager, Co. Secretary and Co. Engineer to a number of meetings to explore the possibility of Grants for extensive repairs and upgrading, and eventually some funding was made available to improve the heating and cooking facilities. The possibility of handing over the entire building to the Co. Council was discussed, but the Commissioners for Charitable Bequests were opposed to such a move.

In 1970 a decision was taken to develop House No. 18 as a Recreation Room with the assistance of the Lions Club and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In May 1982 the Health Board had a proposal to assist with the provision of showers. In the early 1980s Thurles Lions became involved in a more major decoration project, inside and outside the buildings, tiling and painting, all done under a Social Employment Scheme. Anne O’Grady had a two-page feature in the Christmas edition of the Tipperary Star on 23rd December, 1983 – with a history of the Stanwix Trust and photographs of the residents, Lions and Trust members. The houses were full, and there was a real sense of community, friendship and appreciation from the women. “We love it here” was a quote.

Negotiations for the sale the remaining asset of  land on the Stanwix Estate – the Bog in Knocknanuss, Moycarkey, were very protracted. As far back as 1924 the sale was discussed at meetings – £400 was mentioned over the years as the possible value.  Mr Langley negotiated with the Forestry Department and Fr. Breen was liaising with those who had turbary rights. Carrigan Solicitors made several enquiries about the delay, and established that the problem was occurring in the offices of the Chief State Solicitor. Eventually land for forestation had became much more valuable and £20,000 was received for the sale of the Bog in August 1986. Mrs. Mary Dunne retired as Secretary of the Trust in August 1986 having served in that role for 46 years, and she was succeeded by Mrs. Norah O’ Grady, who in turn retired in 1999.

The various Matrons had carried out their responsibilities diligently over the years, in constant contact with the residents, familiar with their living conditions, and always seeking improvements. Their salary had increased gradually over the years from the initial £35 a year in 1890 to an annual salary of £365 in 1988. From the late 1960s Mrs. Purcell held the position of Matron until the late 1980s, assisted in the latter years by her sister Mrs. Mcarthy.

In April 1991, the Trustees carried out repairs and redecoration to the Matron’s house, and in May of that year, three Mercy Sisters agreed to take up residence, with Sr. Mary Clement O’Brien taking on the role of Matron from May 1991. A new and final chapter for the Stanwix Homes was about to begin. Sr. Clement immediately set about her work, getting to know the women, their interests and their living conditions, and gradually helping to improve the surroundings, with the help of local groups, especially Thurles Lions. Sr. Mary Clement took on the role of Secretary as well in 1999 when Mrs. O’Grady retired. Approval had been sought from the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for changes to the criteria for admission to the Houses – and it was granted in November, 2001. From that date women – widowed, separated, unmarried, over 60, could be admitted.

Through her contacts, Sr. Mary Clement succeeded in raising €40,000 in donations, so now she and the Trustees could plan a phased programme of refurbishment – a number of the smaller adjoining houses were converted into one, gables, roofs, timber-work, extensive painting were addressed, as well as insulation, provision of showers, storage heaters, repairs to the belfry, etc. Improvement to the grounds, with tarmac for the driveway were tended to.

Hospitality and respect were ever the hallmarks of Sr Clement’s period of service. With her fellow Sisters, she personally knew all the women residents and always had a special welcome for new residents, helping them to settle in to the Stanwix family. Into the 21st century economic conditions for widows and the other residents had improved substantially – so from 2004, the women were encouraged to pay a small weekly rent, and if affordable contribute to the decoration of an apartment when taking up residence. As time went by, demand for housing dropped slightly, as Local Authorities and Voluntary Housing Associations were building small houses in towns and villages around the county.

Gradually Sr. Mary Clement’s health began to deteriorate, and in November 2015, Sr. Peggy Collins, Provincial Leader of the Mercy Congregation, announced that the Mercy Sisters would be leaving the Stanwix Homes in the Summer of 2016. The final Board of Trustees now had to address an urgent situation – care for the small number of women still in the houses, the lack of funds for running the Trust, and the urgency of major refurbishment of the complex – truly transition times. The Trust members, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Rev. Alison Seymour-Whiteley, Diane Langley, Fr. Martin Hayes, Eithne O’Meara and Fr. George Bourke, carefully considered all the options over several meetings.

Soon it became clear that the way forward would be to invite Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association to become involved. The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests / now the Charity Regulator would have to be satisfied. Every stage of the winding-up process had to receive attention. TLTHA were meticulous in drawing up their plans for continuing the vision of Emma Stanwix on this site. The remaining residents received their undertakings that they would have a place in the new Stanwix Village when completed. The Stanwix Trust which faithfully carried out its mandate from the beginning of September, 1890, was finally dissolved in  December, 2020.



Appendix 1

The following report was published in The Tipperary Free Press on 29th December, 1838 –


A beautiful painting was presented a few days since, to the chapel of Moycarkey, by Miss Stanwix upon whose estate the chapel stands. The subject is the Holy Family from the pencil of Miss Stanwix herself, executed at Versailles with purest taste, and set off  in a richly embossed gilt frame.

Though any one of the figures would by itself make a beautiful picture, that of the Virgin surpasses the others in design and exquisiteness of colouring; the drapery flows with unstudied ease, the form is graceful, and in the countenance mildness, ardent devotion and maternal affection, are most happily blended. A judge, if not informed that it is the work of Miss Stanwix herself, would ascribe it to none, but the hand of one of the Old Masters who excelled in that divine art.

The people of Moycarkey with their worthy Parish Priest, the Rev. Robert Grace, to whose indefatigable zeal, aided by the liberal contributions of Miss Stanwix, and other Protestant and Catholic landed proprietors of the parish,  are indebted for one of the best country chapels in Munster. They have thanked Miss Stanwix in a very handsome manner in the following address – which was unanimously and enthusiastically  adopted at a general meeting of the Parishioners, held in the chapel on Christmas Day, 1838, the Rev. Robert Grace in the chair:-  We, the clergy and inhabitants of the parish of Moycarkey, accept with gratitude the beautiful painting, which you have been pleased to present to our new chapel, erected on  your estate. Believing that whilst God dwells in the highest Heavens, he vouchsafes to take up his abode in the midst of us, and that although for an example to us, and for our redemption he was born in a stable, yet the house in which he specially dwells, should not be unworthy of his divine Majesty. We have, with our humble means, succeeded (thank God) in erecting one of the most spacious, commodious, and even beautiful chapels in the country. One thing only was wanted – an altar painting suitable for the house – and we have to thank you for one such as our means or opportunities could never reach. We set an especial value on this exquisitely finished picture, as being the work of your own hands, and its worth is enhanced more and more when we call to mind, that the person who thus contributes with her gifted pencil to the embellishment of a Catholic chapel, is herself a Protestant.

We know not which to admire more – the taste which executed this truly beautiful picture, or the kindness of heart which prompted you to make such a present to your tenants

Were we able to express our thoughts as strongly in words, as you have represented on the canvass, the fine conceptions of your mind, then and only then, could we fully convey the value we  set on your donation, and the gratitude we feel towards the donor; but we make your kindness better return. When we raise our eyes to the work of your hands, our thoughts are devoted to the objects you have so beautifully delineated; and we beseech the Virgin, by her powerful intercession to support our prayer to her divine Son, that he may bless you for making your elegant taste tributary to the adornment of his house, and the piety of his worshippers.

May you enjoy long life and health and happiness, and when you are called to another world, may your eyes behold in their true forms of immortal glory, that Child with his Virgin Mother, whom you have imagined with such force, and depicted with so much beauty.

Fr. Robert Grace, Adm. from 1832 and Parish Priest of Moycarkey from 1848 to 1852 had a number of dealings with Emma Stanwix – as well as accepting her Painting for the Church in Moycarkey on Christmas Day, 1838, he purchased a site for a new National School from her Estate at Drumgower (Pouldine Cross) in 1846. The School was opened in 1847, and it  is still in use, now as a pre-School facility. Fr. Grace also acquired 10 acres of land from the Stanwix Estate at Butler’s Farm in 1849.  It was on that site that a Parochial House was built in 1912.  



Appendix 2

List of Trustees from 1890 to 2020

From their 1st Meeting on 8th September, 1890, the Board of Trustees faithfully carried out their mandate according to the official Scheme for the management of the Charity called “The Stanwix Hospital and Alms-Houses.” They maintained the required composition of the Board – 4 Roman Catholic members and 2 from the Church of Ireland. There was a constant turnover of members, as individuals were transferred, resigned or died. There was a statutory procedure for notifying the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests of any change in membership.

Over 130 years, 63 Trustees have served on the Board – 7 Archbishops, 12 Church of Ireland Rectors, 9 Parish Priests of Moycarkey, 24 Administrators of  Thurles Cathedral Parish, 6 Church of Ireland lay people, and 5 lay people from the Roman Catholic Church. All would have brought their own skills, and worked together harmoniously to safeguard and enhance the Homes of the different women who lived there in their autumn years. Three members of the Langley family served on the Board, and had a very significant input into the workings of the Charity. Equally, three members of the Barry family from Thurles were Trustees, two Medical Doctors and Mary Barry, Solicitor (RIP). The different Administrators, sometimes were in their role only for a short time, but being in the Town, they knew the women better, through their pastoral work; and often too they were able to lobby the Urban Council for various improvements to the Stanwix Home. The last of the Administrators, Fr. Martin, now Bishop Martin Hayes played a major role in all the different aspects of transitioning from the Stanwix Trust towards the exciting development now underway by Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association, carrying on the vision of Emma Stanwix.

Many of the women residents lived to a ripe old age, so it was fitting that when a presentation was being made in the Munster Hotel to Archbishop Morris  in June 1989, after 28 years service on the Board of Trustees, the woman chosen to make the presentation was the oldest resident in the house at the time, Mrs. E. Mockler, aged 100 years.  


  1. Archbishop Thomas Croke 1890-1902
  2. Rev Ceaser S. Cooke
  3. Thomas Fennelly, P.P., Moycarkey
  4. Edward J Armstrong, Moyaliffe
  5. Nicholas Rafferty, Adm., Thurles
  6. Joseph Molloy, Thurles
  7. John J. Duan, Adm., Thurles
  8. Major S. Philips, Gaile
  9. Canon Wilson
  10. M.J. Barry, Turtulla
  11. Archbishop Thomas Fennelly 1902-1913
  12. James Hickey, Adm., Thurles
  13. Nicholas Duggan, P.P., Moycarkey
  14. Michael Bannon, Adm., Thurles
  15. Michael Ryan, Adm., Thurles
  16. Michael K. Ryan, Adm., Thurles
  17. Archbishop John Harty 1914-1946
  18. Major R. Philips, Gaile
  19. Canon Pike
  20. Denis O’Brien, Adm., Thurles
  21. Daniel Moloney, P.P., Moycarkey
  22. Thomas Barry
  23. Michael Maher, Adm., Thurles
  24. William Fitzgerald, Adm., Thurles
  25. John J. Ryan, Adm., Thurles
  26. Archdeacon Seymour
  27. John McGrath, P.P., Moycarkey
  28. John Meagher, Adm., Thurles
  29. Harry Langley
  30. Mr. Palmer
  31. Archbishop Jeremiah Kinane 1946-1959
  32. Thomas J. O’Connor, Adm., Thurles
  33. Philip Fogarty, Adm., Thurles
  34. Richard Power, Adm., Thurles
  35. A. K. Armstrong
  36. Christopher Lee, Adm., Thurles
  37. William Breen, P.P., Moycarkey
  38. Archdeacon McKinley
  39. Archbishop Thomas Morris 1960-1988
  40. Joseph Bergin, Adm., Thurles
  41. Mr. Johnston
  42. John O’Mahony, Adm., Thurles
  43. James Moynihan, P.P., Moycarkey
  44. James Meehan, Adm., Thurles
  45. Daniel M. Ryan, P.P., Moycarkey
  46. Ms Mary Barry, Solicitor
  47. James Feehan, Adm., Thurles
  48. Oliver Langley
  49. John J. O’Rourke, Adm., Thurles
  50. Richard Ryan, P.P., Moycarkey
  51. Archbishop Dermot Clifford 1988-2014
  52. Noel Young
  53. Daniel Dwyer, Adm., Thurles
  54. Joe Egan, Adm., Thurles
  55. Thomas Sherlock
  56. Eugene Everard, Adm., Thurles
  57. Peter Cole-Baker
  58. Diane Langley
  59. George Bourke, P.P. / A.P., Moycarkey
  60. Martin Hayes, Adm., / Dir. of Pastoral Development
  61. Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, SMA 2015-2020
  62. Alison Seymour-Whitely
  63. Ms Eithne O’Meara, Solicitor




Appendix 3 A

List of Secretaries for the Stanwix Trust

Maurice Power  – from 8th September 1890 to 10th November, 1990.


Joseph Hickey appointed on 17th May, 1920.  Miss Mary Hickey was appointed Temporary Secretary on 12th August, 1940.  Joseph Hickey resigned on 17th June, 1943 due to ill-health.


Mrs. Mary Dunne was appointed Secretary on 17th June, 1943, retiring in August, 1986,  after 46 years.

Ms Norah O’Grady was appointed Secretary for one year in December, 1986. Her appointment was made permanent, and she retired in March 1999.

Sr. Mary Clement O’Brien agreed to take on the role of Secretary, in addition to her duties as Matron, in March, 1999.


Appendix 3B

Matrons for the Stanwix Hospital and Alms-houses

Johanna Russell – appointed on 13th October, 1890.

Miss Tuohy – appointed Matron for six months on 7th February, 1922.

Miss Tuohy’s appointment was made permanent on 20th November, 1923.

Mrs. Josephine Laide was accepted as a tenant in the Hospial on 18th January, 1933, at a rent of £40 per year.   On 31st January, 1940,  Mrs Josephine Laide was invited to act as Temporary Matron. In March, 1942, the post was advertised in the Tipperary Star, and Mrs. Josephine Laide was appointed as Matron on a salary of £48.

On 12th February, 1958, there was a vote of sympathy on the death of Mrs. Laide.

Miss Aileen Laide was proposed as Matron, at £48 per annum.

On 12th May, 1968, the Matron’s prolonged illness was discussed, and  a request from her sister, Mrs. Anita Purcell, to do Temporary duty was approved.

On 11th March, 1985, it was noted that the Acting-Matron would be retiring due to ill-health. On 30th May, 1985, the Trustees agreed to leave Mrs. Purcell and her sister Mrs. McCarthy temporarily in the house.

On 14th May, 1991, the Mercy Sisters took up residence in the house. Sr. Mary Clement O’Brien accepted the position of Matron. Sr, Catherine Keohane was one of the Mercy Sisters there for a few years initially, and later Sr. Cáit Gannon and Sr. Pius Murphy would complete the community resident in the Matron’s House – a welcoming place always for Stanwix Trust Meetings, which during the term of Sr. Clement began each time with High Tea!