Bonniconlon in 1944 in Co. Mayo

There were 30 houses in Bonniconlon in 1944. Mr. Donal Faughnan of the Irish Tourist Association conducted a survey of the village in May 1944.

He opened his account by writing, "The village consists of a row of houses to the south side of the main road and a row to the north side which has intervening the church, the school house and a vacant plot. The village street is about two hundred yards long. Most of the houses are two-storeyed, slated and clean fronted, others are unkempt".

The Garda barrack is also on the north side of the street. There is reference to the property of Mr. McAndrew, this would have been John T. McAndrew, Oatlands Residence, the former site of the O'Dowda's Seat, and the seat of Charles Downing and Francis Barbour in the 19th and early 20th Century.

In 1944, there was no public water or electricity and no public sewerage system but a number of the houses did have their own private septic tank arrangements. There was a weekly bus service to Ballina. There were two dance halls but dances were not held on a regular basis at this time. The Grand Central was owned by Martin Bernard Durkan and the Palace was owned by Pat Lawrence who was a County Councillor then.

Mass was held in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Sundays at 9am and 11.30am. There was a post office in the centre of the village, the telephone switch board was there and people could use the telegraph operated by the post master to send telegrams in urgent cases.

On the cultural front there was a branch of the Gaelic League and they held an aeriocht or outdoor music and dancing event annually. The GAA played in local matches. There were no fairs or markets held in at this time. Pat Lawrence and Martin Bernard Durkan had hackney cars or taxis for hire.

As this was a survey to determine the potential that the area would have for tourism after the Second World War; much of the best scenery was located to the east of the village in places like Glenree and Drumsheen, and Kilbride. Angling, sight-seeing and shooting were the main pastimes for visitors to the area in the slopes of the Ox Mountains.

For a broader view of the Parish of Kilgarvan or Bonniconlon Visit the Mayo County Library website and type in Irish Tourist Association for further information.

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