Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys,
Alderman Michael Flanagan,
grew up on family farm,
He was taken by his father to see Daniel O'Connell speak c.1840.
He remembered The Famine (1845-50). [Frank Flanagan] said: "My father told me of the Famine, and the terrible times the unfortunate people went through".
He grew vegetables, starting on his father's small holding at Greenhills, Tallaght.
There is a story in the Ryan family that Marie Ryan (née Hughes) of Jamestown House, Inchicore (see 1829 to 1842 map), "walked out with" the Alderman when she was a widow [according to her descendant James Molloy]. The dates are unclear but it seems more likely she was a young widow (around the 1860s) rather than when they were both widowed in old age.
"Michael Flanagan" sp the bapt of his niece Mary Ellen Doyle 1865.
He wit his sister's mar, 6 Aug 1866 and got married himself days later.
He is listed as "gardener" (would be market gardener) at mar 1866 [GROI].
He is living Kilmainham at mar 1866 (possibly already living Royal Hospital, Kilmainham).
He mar 19th Aug 1866, RC chapel, Crumlin, S Co.Dublin [GROI] to Anne Collins [bapt 27th Nov 1842].
Marriage wit by Laurence Warren of Porterstown, Co.Dublin (see old map) and Mary Collins of Crumlin.
Fenian Rising 1867:
He was a nationalist. "He knew all the great Irish leaders from James Stephens to John Redmond." [Frank Flanagan's memoirs].
He was a supporter of the abortive Fenian Rising, 5th Mar 1867.
[Frank Flanagan's memoirs] say Tallaght: "was the place in which the abortive 1867 Fenian rising took place. The morning of the rising my father entertained Lucas, the leader, and his men to breakfast" [presumably at Greenhills, Tallaght, rather than at Royal Hospital, Kilmainham].
However, can't find any Lucas among names of leaders of the rising in Tallaght.
The rising was a disaster, as, in the "Battle of Tallaght", a tiny force of around 15 armed Irish Constabulary at Tallaght village police barracks held off hundreds of poorly-led rebels advancing on incoming roads. The police force was renamed the "Royal Irish Constabulary" Sept 1867 in tribute to its success against the Fenians.
listed as a
living Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin,
at The Bird's birth, Apr 1867
The Flanagans were NOT gardeners of the Royal Hospital.
Liam Cosgrave says the Alderman just rented the Garden Lodge at the Royal Hospital for a time after marriage, that he wasn't actually the gardener. Liam searched archives of the Board of Works (who restored the Royal Hospital) and found no record of Flanagan.
The Garden Lodge seems quite a good house to rent, though of course the fact that he had money by this time is shown by the fact that he soon moves to Portmahon House.
Michael and Anne
moved to Portmahon House, Rialto, Co.Dublin.
He purchased Portmahon House on 4 Apr 1867 [Deed of 1867], though baptism of dau in July 1868 still lists him at Royal Hospital.
He is listed at Portmahon House in [Thom's] from 1870 to 1932.
Listed as "gardener", living Portmahon House, at son's births 1870 and 1872.
"Michael Flanagan" sp the bapt of his niece Elizabeth Doyle 1870.
Listed as Michael Flanagan, farmer, of Portmahon House, in [Deed, 1871].
Listed as "farmer and kitchen gardener", of Portmahon House, in [Deed, 1873].
Listed as "market gardener", living Portmahon House, as at [Deed of 1873].
Listed as "market gardener", living Portmahon House, at Larry's birth 1874 [GROI].
He built up market gardening business.
He and his brother William inherited Greenhills, Tallaght after their father's death in 1874.
The only land Michael is listed as owning in [Owners of Land, 1876] is 6 acres at Greenhills and Crumlin.
Later he had acquired so much land in the area that apparently Dublin Corporation stopped him from buying any more.
[Liam Cosgrave] said: "his farming was mainly tillage and vegetables, at which work he employed large numbers of men and women. The ploughing was, of course, done by horses and the vegetables were sown and cultivated by men and women."
There is a story about the night of the Phoenix Park murders 1882. The Alderman was driving out to Tallaght, passed a sidecar with a group of men in it. Found out later it was the assassins. He noticed them because little traffic in those days. The Alderman did not know them, and did NOT help them.
Dublin Corporation councillor, PLG, Alderman, JP:
He was a prominent member of the Irish Parliamentary Party (the Nationalist Party, re-founded 1882 under Parnell).
He was a Nationalist Party local councillor on Dublin Corporation (for Usher's Quay ward) from 1884 to 1919.
He set the record for the longest tenure as councillor on Dublin Corporation [O'Brien, 1982, p.93].
[Thom's, 1884] lists him as Councillor for Usher's Quay ward for Dublin Corporation.
[Thom's, 1884] also lists him as Poor Law Guardian for Palmerstown district for the South Dublin Union. His younger brother William Flanagan was also a guardian for South Dublin Union. Thomas Cosgrave is listed as the other guardian for Palmerstown district. Cosgrave's son would later marry Michael's daughter.
Michael is listed as a "T.C." (Town Councillor) and "P.L.G." (Poor Law Guardian) in [Thom's] from 1884 on.
Listed as "TC" (Town Councillor) at Laurence Dunne funeral, 1886.
After his brother William died 1886 he inherited Greenhills, Tallaght.
The Parnell divorce scandal broke in 1890. [Frank Flanagan's memoirs] say: "My father knew Parnell and, although a very strict practising Catholic, he never wavered in his devotion to Parnell."
He was a friend of Andrew J. Kettle (a founder of the Land League).
He became an Alderman of Dublin.
Listed as Alderman and Justice of the Peace at his brother's death 1894.
Michael Flanagan, farmer, Greenhills, is listed under Tallaght in [Thom's] at least 1896 to 1960 (obviously many later entries are stale, the estate was then owned by Frank, it seems he left his father's name on it).
Story about him declining Lord Mayoralty and Baronetcy:
at Portmahon House
He is listed as Alderman,
Justice of the Peace, farmer.
Portmahon House has 13 rooms, 8 windows in front of house. There are 32 out-buildings - consisting of 6 stables, 3 coach houses, 1 harness room, 1 cow house, 1 calf house, 1 dairy, 1 piggery, 1 fowl house, 1 boiling house, 6 barns, 1 turf house, 1 potato house, 1 workshop, 4 sheds, 1 store, 1 forge and 1 laundry.
He is listed as Alderman, Justice of the Peace, in [Deed of 1902].
[Obituary of Nora Flanagan, 1957] says the hounds of the South County Dublin Harriers were kennelled at "Portmahon Lodge" around 1909. Think this is error for Portmahon House.
W.T. Cosgrave (son of Thomas Cosgrave) became Sinn Fein councillor for Usher's Quay ward in 1909. (W.T. would later marry Michael's daughter.)
Anne dies, 1910:
Anne died Sat 16th Apr 1910, at Portmahon House, age 67 yrs, after an illness of only a few days.
The United Irish League passed a vote of condolence on Sat evening, 16 Apr. See Freemans Journal, April 19, 1910.
See death notice and report, Freemans Journal, April 18, 1910.
Funeral Mon 18 Apr, bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
Huge attendance at the funeral, including W.T. Cosgrave, John Stanislaus Joyce, Daniel John Hishon, and the Lord Mayor and many city councillors.
See funeral list, Freemans Journal, April 19, 1910.
See funeral report, Irish Independent, Apr 19, 1910.
Dublin Corporation passed resolution of sympathy for "Alderman Flanagan", 19 Apr. See Irish Times, April 20, 1910.
See death notice, Irish Times, 23 Apr 1910.
The Alderman is
[Census, 2 April 1911]
living Portmahon House.
He is "agriculturalist",
He and his children live with 2 servants.
The house has 6 rooms,
3 windows at front of house.
There are a total of 20 out-offices and farm buildings
(consisting of 4 stables, 2 coach houses, 1 harness room, 2 cow houses,
1 calf house, 1 potato house, 6 sheds, 2 stores and 1 forge).
He sold vegetables to Covent Garden, London, 1912/13.
"He was most successful, and as well as supplying the Dublin market with vegetables, he exported to Liverpool and I think possibly the Continent before and during WWI." [Liam Cosgrave].
He exported hay to Glasgow, cabbages to Scotland.
The massive Flanagan estate of SW Co.Dublin probably reached its peak around 1914.
Liam Cosgrave says his father W.T. told a story of visiting Portmahon some time before he married the Alderman's daughter in 1919. The Bird was attacking Sinn Fein, not really to annoy W.T. but rather to annoy his own father. Eventually the Alderman said to The Bird: "Are you sober enough to know you're drunk?"
[Thom's, 1919] for Usher's Quay ward lists Michael Flanagan as Alderman, W.T. Cosgrave as Councillor, and two other Councillors.
The Alderman finally retired from Dublin Corporation 1919, age 86 yrs.
He was succeeded as Alderman by his son-in-law W.T. Cosgrave who became an Alderman after the Jan 1920 local election.
He lived to see a number of the 4th generation, outlived most of his children.
[Frank Flanagan's memoirs] said: "no matter how busy he was, he went to 12.00 mass daily until his last illness".
Liam Cosgrave remembers going to 12 mass in Adam and Eve's on Merchants Quay in the trap with his grandfather the Alderman, late 1920s. Poor fellas would be hanging round outside. The Alderman would throw them six pence.
Liam remembers the Alderman using a trap in the 1920s. He was not interested in getting an automobile. His son Frank eventually bought him his first car.
Liam said the Alderman had a strong voice. When there was a game of cards on "you could hear him in the next parish".
Liam recalls visiting Portmahon House in the 1920s, with the Alderman upstairs confined to bed, and his unmarried sons Michael (died 1929) and Frank living there.
His will is dated 14th Mar 1930. Liam Cosgrave says the Alderman left a provision in his will that if there was any contest, they would forfeit - ensured no rows.
He died Portmahon House, 16th Oct 1931, age 98 yrs.
See obituary, Irish Times, October 17, 1931.
Funeral 19 Oct, bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
Mass celebrated by Fr. John Flanagan, also presiding was Michael Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe.
Present at the funeral were the Alderman's son-in-law the President of the Irish Free State, his entire cabinet, and a long list of politicians and clergy, including Eoin MacNeill, John A. Costello, Sean Mac Eoin, Batt O'Connor, Sir Thomas Esmonde, The Ceann Comhairle, The Chief Justice, The President of the High Court and The Lord Mayor.
See funeral report and photo, Irish Times, October 20, 1931, [NLI] microfilm, (todo) see original.
See notice to creditors, Irish Times, October 28, 1931.
Will pr 13th Nov 1931 [NAI] ref. IA-7-45, "farm produce merchant".
Personal assets £18,600, land £6,500. This totals about £5m in today's money. But also many debts.
Michael and Anne had issue:
Marriage of Michael Flanagan and Anne Collins, Crumlin church (Rathfarnham parish), 19 Aug 1866 [Rathfarnham RC par records].
Alderman Michael Flanagan with his grandchildren Liam Cosgrave (left, born 1920) and Míceál Cosgrave (right, born 1922).
Garden party at the Cosgrave house, Beechpark, 1925.
The officer on RHS is Free State General J.J. O'Connell, who was kidnapped by the republicans at the start of the Civil War, June 1922 (later released unhurt).
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