Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - Flanagan - Contents

Portmahon House, Rialto, Co.Dublin

Off the South Circular Rd, Rialto, Co.Dublin (now SW Dublin city).
Near Rialto Bridge (formerly Harcourt Bridge) over a now-drained extension of the Grand Canal.
Not far S of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
Portmahon appears to be in Goldenbridge South townland, St. James' civil parish, Co.Dublin.

Portmahon House, front view (from S).
Click to rotate.
From Google Street View.

The name "Portmahon" was in use in the area, though maybe not for this house.
Maps show that nearby "Portmahon Lodge" had that name around the 1850s.
There is a mid-sized house at the site (plot 19) in Canal Bank, Ushers Quay ward, Dublin city, in [Griffiths Valuation, 1854]. The house was held by Sir Simon Bradstreet (whose seat was elsewhere).

Portmahon House does not appear on the list of houses on South Circular Rd in [Thom's, 1868].
Maybe it had a different name.
[Scuffil, 1993] is wrong to identify this with Compton Lodge, which is another building to the W.

Alderman Michael Flanagan purchased Portmahon House on 4 Apr 1867 [Deed of 1867].
He is listed at "Portmahon House" (with that name) in [Thom's, 1870].
His son Patrick was born here 1870.
The Alderman built up market gardening business over surrounding area. There were extensive vegetable gardens in front of Portmahon House, and a farmyard (SE of the house) to manage them. Lot of local women had jobs gathering in vegetables.
Liam Cosgrave said there were only about 14 acres with Portmahon House. The Alderman's other land was elsewhere.

The Grand Canal used to run past back of Portmahon House, down to Guinness' Brewery, running under old Rialto bridge.
Liam Cosgrave remembered Portmahon from 1920s with canal at the back. Entrance was from the S. A door in the back garden wall opened onto the path running along the canal.
There were kitchens in the basement - many dinner parties given upstairs. The Alderman had a great reputation for entertaining.

The Alderman died at Portmahon House in 1931.
P.A. O'Farrell died at Portmahon House in 1933.
Portmahon House was sold soon after by Frank Flanagan.
New Ireland Road was built across the front of the house c.1935.
The road S of the house (built 1930s) is now called "Portmahon Drive".
"Joseph Brennan" is listed as living Portmahon House, S Circular Rd, in [Thom's, 1945].

Portmahon House was sub-divided into cheap flats for many years.
The canal was drained in 1976.
Christy Lynch, of a flat in Portmahon House, was convicted in 1977 of the murder of Vera Cooney in Strand Rd, Sandymount in 1976. His conviction was overturned in 1980.
Christy Lynch's nephew Joe O'Reilly was convicted in 2007 of the murder of his wife Rachel O'Reilly in The Naul in 2004.
Donal Kenny, of a flat in Portmahon House, was charged with burglary in 1985. See Irish Times, 3 Dec 1985.

Portmahon House was being lived in in 1997, but later got into a bad state.
It was derelict as at 2007, then for sale (derelict) as at 2010, then being renovated as at 2012.
It is now renovated and opened as 10 apartments.
Dublin City Council lists Portmahon House in its Record of Protected Structures.

The site of the future Portmahon House on 1797 map of Dublin.
See larger.

Portmahon House (above red cross) on the 1829 to 1842 map.
At least, it is a house on the site of the later Portmahon House. Maybe is an old building, since replaced. Or maybe the same building with a different name.
Looks like entrance is to N (on canal bank).
[Scuffil, 1993] said the entrance used to be to the N.
Architects have said that inside the house, the staircase is reversed from its original position facing a N entrance. There used to be steps up to the main door at the N side. Steps are gone. The door has been replaced with a window. The stairs reversed. New door opened to S side.

Portmahon House (plot 19, and 19 is also marked on the house) on [VO] Griffiths Valuation maps, Dublin city, Ushers Quay ward, sheet 24.
See full size.

Close-up of above.
Looks like entrance is to N (on canal bank).
Looks like steps up to main door on N side.

Portmahon House on Ordnance Survey of Ireland map. Date created: 1838. Date modified: 1864. From here.
Entrance from outside world is clearly to the N side.
Though a side N entrance takes you round the back to the S side with steps up.

Portmahon House on map from
This was meant to be Griffiths Valuation period.
Must be later map than the above.
Looks like entrance is to the S now.
Note Compton Lodge to the W.

The wall to the NW of the house is still there.
Photo 2012 from inside the house looking N. See full size.

Portmahon House on 1887 to 1913 map.
Looks like entrance is to the S.
Liam Cosgrave said entrance was to S. He said the buildings to the W side of the house were the stables. The E side (location "Fn") had a tennis court and conservatory. The location to the SE ("Lodge") was the farmyard.
Note Compton Lodge to the W.

The extensive Flanagan estate round Portmahon House.
On 1887 to 1913 map. See full estate.
Estate also included Portmahon Lodge and Rialto Lodge.

Portmahon House, satellite view.
Portmahon House is at top of Portmahon Drive.
Click to toggle map/satellite view. Click to zoom in/out. Drag to move.
From Google Maps.

Portmahon House. Close-up of above.

Portmahon House - The front

Portmahon House - The rear

Portmahon House - The interior

Portmahon House. Interior. The front hall.
Photo 2012. See full size.

Interior. Upstairs landing.
Liam Cosgrave said that in the 1920s, when there were two unmarried sons, Frank's room was on RHS, Michael's room on LHS, Alderman at back.
Photo 2012. See full size.

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