Teach an Chlochair aka Clogher aka Clogherbeg House was in its day, a fine 3-storey Georgian country house. It sat on the Clogher Beg side of the border with Clogher More, near Bellanagare. Mary Gormley writes that this house was built by the Knoxes who acquired some of the Plunkett of Castle Plunkett estate.
Hugh Thomas Stafford Esq. of Clogher, Elphin (1795-1858) was the eldest son of Thomas Stafford Sr. (d.1831) of Portobello. He was a Catholic magistrate and like his father, a strong supporter of Catholic Emancipation. In 1840, his son, John Stafford of Clogher, petitioned for Catholic Rights and was present at the Great Repeal Demonstration in 1843.
In 1844, Hugh Thomas Stafford of Clogher had a decree made against Thomas Staffor Jr of Portobello for the amount of £7,017. In 1846, Hugh's son, Richard Stephen Stafford Esq. (1823-1864) was appointed sequester to the decree, and took possession of Portobello with Hugh (the plaintiff) also moving in. By 1845, Hugh Stafford Esq. (previously of Clogher, Elphin) was residing at Portobello, and was shot at by Molly Maguires. [Limerick Chronicle - 5 February 1845 ]. His son John Stafford (1814-1873) was also residing at Portobello that year. Hugh Stafford had another run-in with the Mollys in 1846:
Some nights since a numerous party of Mollys assembled on the lands of Portobello, near Elphin, and levelled a wall which had been recently erected. Mr Stafford had the wall rebuilt, but the Mollys again assembled and levelled it. After posting some notices, and firing several shots, they deliberately marched off. [Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent - 5 May 1846]
By 1846, Thomas Stafford Jr (whose seat had been at Portobello) was residing at Clogher and acted as the letting agent for Ryefield on behalf of fellow Catholic landlord, Andrew Comyn.
In 1857, at the time of Griffith's Valuation, "Clogher" was valued at £6 and occupied by Thomas Stafford, who held it from James Murphy (Castlereagh). In June 1857, Thomas Stafford Jr of Clogher having satisfied the decree order of 1844, sought a court order to be allowed repossess his lands and Portobello. By 1858, Thomas Stafford Esq. had left Clogher for Portobello. Hugh Thomas Stafford Esq (1795-1858) did not return to Cloger but had removed to Corrigrane Lodge, where he died that year.
Much of this property is now in ruins.
[Research by Rua mac Diarmada]
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