Old presbytery once home to vet behind daring ‘heist’

Originally called ‘The Presbytery’, The Old Parochial House in Rosscahill was built in approximately 1901 for the parish priest in Killannin and has a very colourful history.

The ownership was with the clergy for many years and the last person who actually resided in the property was William P Fogarty.

Fogarty was one of the finest vets of his time, but equally had from a rather shady and eccentric past. In 1956, he assisted Paul Hogan who was studying at Dublin College of Art and was also his close friend in carrying out a daring ‘heist’ at London’s Tate Gallery as a protest to highlight Ireland’s claim to the Hugh Lane collection.

Having first tipped off the Press, they managed to walk out with the world-famous Jour d’Eté (Summer’s Day) by Berthe Morisot, which is now valued at approximately stg£7-£8 million.

It was returned to the Tate Gallery and both parties returned to Ireland, with the Director of Public Prosecutions in England resolving not to prosecute, for fear of turning the pair into ‘martyrs’ for the Irish cause.

The house has been lovingly refurbished and renovated with great attention to detail by the current owner with many of its original features and charming assets retained.

These include doors, architraves and window shutters throughout. There is great attention to detail in some of the retained stonework which is exposed and carefully and lovingly repointed. With circa metre-thick cut stone walls, high ceilings and spacious reception rooms this lovely family home retains most of the original features of the house.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.