Liam O Raghallaigh recalls how John Ford picked Ballyglunin Railway Station for some unforgettable scenes in the film, The Quiet Man
In May, 1854, the local ‘gentry’ in and around Ballyglunin, (Ballyglooneen) a village a few miles south of Tuam, County Galway, decided that they should have their own ‘Passenger Train and Station’, and so they formed a Committee.
Included were Martin J. and Charles Blake, Robert Bodkin, Denis and John S. Kirwan, (Tribes of Galway) David Ruttledge, Robert Henry and John V. Cannon.
The Blakes were ‘the’ local family, then owning 10,000 acres in the locality, and had been there since 1677, when they first bought 1,895 acres from Cromwellian grantee, Charles Holcraft.
In January, 1858, the Committee got the appropriate Bill passed in The House of Commons, and in 1859, engineer, William Dargan, was given the assignment.
The track was completed in November, 1860, with a 225-foot platform on the east side at Ballyglunin, which became a station on the Limerick to Claremorris network.
A first-class carriage was provided for the gentry and their visitors, and Robert Blake would often have his dinner delivered to Ballyglunin station in special hay-lined boxes – the thermal containers of the day – from The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Our first ‘Takeaways’?
In 1878, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, came to Ballyglunin to join the hunt and a cannon was procured to welcome him. Somehow or other, a passing goods train got the royal salute, but Arthur remained the station’s only Duke until 1951.