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REALIZING THE DREAM OF RECLAIMING A FAMILY HOMESTEAD IN IRELAND
In 1998 Joan Killian Gallagher began the restoration of the original cottages on the Irish farm where her great grandfather, Laurence Killian, was born in 1833. Fifteen years later The Killian Homeplace received the All Ireland Pride of Place Award. The 60-acre compound has been reimagined as a meeting place that fosters the educational and cultural exchange for students, relatives and friends from all over the world.
In an article in EnterprisingWomen magazine, Joan wrote: "For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to have a little stone house somewhere. … On Sept. 19, 1996 I had even written in my journal, "Who knows what my stone cottage will look like, or where it will be … maybe Ireland. It may be old, but for sure it will be in a beautiful, peaceful place, and I will be content there." Less than 2 years later she was the successful bidder at a land auction in Longford, Ireland, for half of the Killian homestead that included the Killian farmhouse. Her article "Going Home" in EnterprisingWomen magazine tells the story of the purchase, renovation and reinvigoration of this ancestral property.
Going Home, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)
This content first appeared in Vol. 6, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine (www.enterprisingwomen.com) and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
RECLAIMING THE OTHER HALF OF THE HOMESTEAD TO RESTORE THE WHOLE
A follow-up article in the same magazine adds to the story, beginning: "In the heart of Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon, my great, great grandmother did something absolutely unheard of in her time. In 1893, Anne Furey Killian took a stand and bought the family farm. She took advantage of newly enacted land legislation and broke free of controlling British landlords that had held them economic hostage for centuries. As tenants, the family enjoyed few rights and women had even less. But she was utterly determined to become the proprietor of her family land so that her children and their children would always have a place to call home. This formidable woman, Anne Killian, was 82 in 1893 and had been widowed for almost thirty years." Joan goes on to tell the story of acquiring the property and restoring it, explaining the steps in her own story and her motivations for restoring the Killian Homeplace to her family.
The Heart of Ireland, by Joan Killian Gallagher - (PDF file size = 1 MB)
This content first appeared in Vol. 20, No. 3 of Enterprising Women magazine (www.enterprisingwomen.com) and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
VIDEO: A FAMILY VISIT TO THEIR HOMESTEAD IN THE OLD COUNTRY
This 10 minute video was made when Joan Killian Gallagher and some of her family traveled to Ireland to visit the restored Killian Homeplace.
The two articles above were posted by Joan Killian Gallagher as a featured item on this site on November 3, 2019. The video is new. Thank you, Joan, for sharing these stories, images and video, and congratulations on being able to keep this homestead within your family.