Identity Statement for George O’Callaghan-Westropp
- Reference code: IE UCDA P38
- Title: Papers of George O’Callaghan-Westropp (1864–1944)
- Dates: 1896–1944
- Level of description: Fonds
- Extent: 30 items
Born in Attyflin Park, County Limerick, the home of his maternal grandfather, George was the only son of John O’Callaghan of Maryfort, Lismehane, County Clare, a former Colonel Commandant of the Clare Artillery and Captain of the 62 Foot Regiment. In 1885 he assumed, by Royal Licence, the surname and arms of Westropp in compliance with the will of his late uncle, Captain Ralph Westropp, and as a condition of his inheriting Ralph’s estate at Coolreagh, Bodyke, County Clare.
His military career began in 1882 when he joined the First Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles and lasted until 1889 when he surrendered his commission to run the estate at Coolreagh. He served as a Captain in the Clare Artillery until its disbandment in 1909 at which time he held the rank of Colonel in the Reserve of Officers. Throughout his time at Coolreagh, O’Callaghan-Westropp was prominent and active in the local community, acting as joint secretary of the East Clare Relief of Distress Committee, secretary and manager of the local drainage scheme, and chairman of the local railway committee. He served as a Grand Juror until the 1898 Local Government Act abolished the grand jury system as part of a sweeping reform of the local government system.
He inherited his father’s estate in 1912 and moved his family to Maryfort. His first wife, Henrietta Cecilia Rose Gobold who he had married in 1895, died in 1929. He remarried in 1937, his second wife being a young cousin, Muriel Battley. He spent his later years in Dublin.
This collection was deposited in the UCD Archives in June 1978 by Professor Kevin B. Nowlan. The collection had been given to him by Desmond Fitzgerald, Knight of Glin, who had acquired the papers for safe-keeping from O'Callaghan-Westropp's son, Conor John.
Damp press copy letter books and notebooks of Colonel George O’Callaghan Westropp containing copy letters to a very large number and range of institutions and individuals on a variety of topics including government policy, the land question, tenant affairs and evictions, the organisation of the local militia, legal and financial matters and his own family affairs. Correspondents include the Board of Agriculture, Board of Works, Land Commission, Congested Districts Board, Quit Rent Office, Valuation Office, Local Government Board, Kilrush Union, Scariff Union, Clare County Council and Clare Grand Jury.
Copy letters to the Chief Secretary and Under Secretary for Ireland with special reference to the East Clare Railway; to various railway companies including the Midland & Great Western Railway, Great Southern & Western Railway, and the East & West Clare Railway; to the Grand Canal Company, the Irish Game Protection Association and the Clare Cricket Club.
Copy letters to the editors of various newspapers including the Clare Journal, Cork Examiner, Daily Mail, Daily Express, and The Times; to members of the local Royal Irish Constabulary and Civic Guard, tax collectors and rate collectors in county Clare.
Copy letters to politicians and landowners including the Duke of Abercorn, the Marquess of Londonderry, Lord Clonbrock, Lord Inchiquin, Sir George Balfour, the Earl of Mayo, the Duke of Bedford, Viscount Castlereagh and Viscount Craigavon; and with other individuals including the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Bishop of Killaloe and the Archbishop of Dublin.
Further O’Callaghan-Westropp papers in the National Library of Ireland include deeds, wills, marriage settlements and family accounts, 1750–1895; estate rentals, 1830–42 and 1853–82; and manuscript maps of the Coolreagh estate, 1844, 1893–95.