Monday, 20 November 2017

Ballinkeele House

THE MAHERS OWNED 4,950 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY WEXFORD

JOHN MAHER, of TullowMacJames, near Templemore, County Tipperary, married Catherine, daughter of William Lanigan, of County Kilkenny, by Mary, his second wife, daughter of Charles Gore, sixth son of Sir Paul Gore Bt, and had issue,
Nicholas;
MATTHIAS, of whose line we treat;
Gilbert;
one daughter.
The second son,

MATTHIAS MAHER, of Ballymullen, Queen's County (Laois), wedded, in 1799, Anne, daughter of Maurice O'Donnell, of Carrick-on-Suir, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Matthias;
Mary Anne; Margaret.
The eldest son,

JOHN MAHER JP DL (1801-60), of Ballinkeele, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1853, MP for County Wexford, married, in 1843, Louisa Catherine, daughter of George Bourke O'Kelly, of Acton House, Middlesex, and had issue,
MATTHIAS AIDAN, his heir;
GEORGE MAURICE, succeeded his brother;
John Pentheny;
William Stanislaus;
Augustine;
Mary Anne; Louisa Ellen.
Mr Maher was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHIAS AIDAN MAHER JP DL (1846-1901), of Ballinkeele, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1878, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

GEORGE MAURICE MAHER DL (1848-1932), of Ballinkeele, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1913, Captain, 7th Dragoon Guards.


BALLINKEELE HOUSE, near Enniscorthy, County Wexford, is a two-storey house which has a long office wing at one side.

The Mahers were considerable landowners in north County Tipperary and purchased Ballinkeele, about five miles east of Enniscorthy, in the early 19th century.

John Maher, MP for County Wexford, 1835, commissioned the architect Daniel Robertson to build his new house in 1840.

Ballinkeele is one of the few houses Robertson built in the Classical style and is his last surviving work.

The house is comprised of a ground floor and a single upper storey, with a long, slightly lower, service wing to one side in lieu of a basement.


The facades are rendered, with cut-granite decoration, including a grandiose central porch, supported by six large Tuscan columns and surmounted by an elaborate balustrade, which projects to form a porte-cochère.

The garden front has a central breakfront with a shallow bow, flanked by wide piers of rusticated granite.

These are repeated at each corner as coigns.

The interior is classical, with baroque overtones, and is largely unaltered with most of its original contents.

The hall runs from left to right and is consequently lit from one side, with a screen of scagliola Corinthian columns at one end and an elaborate cast-iron stove at the other.

The library and drawing room have splendid chimneypieces of inlaid marble in the manner of Pietro Bossi, while the fine suite of interconnecting rooms on the garden front open onto a raised terrace.

The staircase hall has a spectacularly cantilevered stone staircase, with decorative metal balusters.

As it approaches the ground floor the swooping mahogany handrail wraps itself around a Tuscan column supporting a bronze statue of Mercury, in a style that anticipates Art Nouveau by more than forty years.

Outside, two avenues approach the house, one which provides a glimpse of a ruined keep reflected in an artificial lake, while both entrances were built to Robertson’s designs.

The present owners are Margaret Maher and her children.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

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