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Josie and Kathleen Kenny Ballinasloe connection

My grandmother Josie Kenny aged 8 yrs  was recorded in the 1911 census as a student in the Industrial School in Ballinasloe. Her sister Kathleen was also there aged 9 yrs. I also have a record of these girls before a Petty Session for begging on the street in Ballinasloe following a compliant from Fr.Glynn in 1905. I do not know how they ended up in the Industrial school but I would love to find out. I suspect that they were either put in voluntarily or were put in for failing to attend school following the 1908 Act.  I also believe that a parish record for September 1913 in Ballinasloe has these girls as part of a group of eight from the Industrial School making their confirmation. The record shows the same parents John and Margaret Kenny. Not sure if this information is true.

My grandmother moved to Roscommon to the Convent of Mercy to work in the laundry. In her State Marriage record in 1931 she is described as an Inmate of the Convent of Mercy. The record shows her father’s name as Francis and states her parish of origin as Ballinasloe although the priest puts a hand note beside the record which indicates that she did not produce her papers.  

My Grandmother never talked to her children about her family but Kathleen did visit a number of times from England. The last letter from Kathleen came in 1968 two years after Josie died. As a small child I was my grandmother’s eyes as she went blind near the end of her life. While half of her children are dead she still has three daughters alive in Roscommon but they do not know anything. I have engaged with the Mercy order who claim that they never had these girls in Ballinasloe. Despite checking records I have never traced where these girls came from and the reason for them ending up as children In the Industrial School. I would greatly appreciate any assistance in working out this dilemma. Paul Croghan, Grandson


Saturday 25th March 2017, 11:38PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Paul:

    Many thanks for your post to the Ireland Reaching Out message board. 

    Unfortunately, we do not deal with queries that are less than 100 years old due to privacy and data protection laws.

    However, your best point of research would be to write to the Convent of Mercy. 

    In addition, you can do your own research using the Civil Registration Indexes (births to 1916, marriages to 1939 and deaths to 1965) in order to try to trace your ancestors.

    The link for that website is here:  It is the Civil Records that you will want to look at.

    If you need further assistance, you can email me at:

    The best of luck with your research.


    Kind regards,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Wednesday 29th March 2017, 07:58PM