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The tombstone of Mícheál Ó Muireagáin aka Michael Morgan ‘the Blacksmith’ (d. 1816, age 75) can be found in Ennistymon cemetery, overlooking Liscannor Bay. This double grave, with a flat weather-beaten slab on one side, was the burial site for the Morgans of Lavarreen up until 1955.

The incsription reads:

“This tomb was laid by Darby Morgan
in Memory of his father Michael Morgan
who died on May 5th 1816AD. May the
Lord have mercy on his soul. Amen. Age 75.”

We know he worked as a smith, because there are smith’s symbols of a horseshoe, a hammer and old style pincers engraved on the headstone. Mícheál worked through Ireland’s Economic Boom of the 1780s, which may explain how his children could afford this tombstome. Mícheál's son, Darby Morgan / Diarmuid Ó Muireagáin, was a tenant farmer in Ballyvraneen.

We don’t know where Mícheál Ó Muireagáin lived or worked – could be Ennistymon or the townland of Moanreel. (There was a Michael Morgan, Smith, in Moanreel. The house owned by Maurice Mullins, Moanreel, was known as “the Halfway House”- half way between Ennis and Lisdoonvarna Spa. This was where the coach driver changed horses. Having a smith at this location would have been an advantage).

There are no Parish records for Mícheál’s lifetime. He lived during the time of Penal Laws in Ireland when Catholics were disenfranchised in every way possible, and the Anglicization of Gaelic names was forced upon the Irish.  By the time he would have been raising a young family, only 5% of Catholics owned their own land. He and his family may have attended secret open air masses and illegal outdoor schools known as ‘hedge schools’. Mícheál would have seen some reform but was 52 years old before he was entitled to vote. The only politically violent event of his time was the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1741 (circa)  
Date of Death 5th May 1816  
Occupation Blacksmith  
Names of Children Darby Morgan of Ballyvraneen Roger Morgan, Michael Morgan Jr., Eliza Morgan (m. Thomas Stack) of Old Deerpark, Ennistymon James Morgan of Woodpark, Ennistymon Frank Morgan of Lahinch 'Lahensy' Eliza Morgan (m. Dennis Ryan / Rouine)