Down by the shores of Lough Carra, a marl lake in the south of Mayo, lies Moore Hall. Once the mansion of the local landlord, this fine three-storey over basement ruin is now home to one of Ireland’s most north-westerly populations of Lesser Horseshoe Bat.
Built in the 1790s, Moore Hall’s famous family included George Moore, John Moore, George Henry Moore and George Augustus Moore.
George’s son, John, became President of Connacht for a short period during the 1798 Rebellion. Along with many of his tenants, John Moore joined the French force that had landed at Killala in September of that year. Moore was eventually captured by crown forces and interred. The following year, 1799, John died in captivity in Waterford. In 1961, almost 200 years later, his grave was finally discovered and his remains were transported to Castlebar, where they were reburied in the Mall, with full military honours.
George Henry Moore was John’s nephew and is remembered for his good deeds during the Great Famine of 1845 – 1849. In that first year of famine, he ran a horse, Coronna, in the Chester Cup in England and betted on him winning, The horse obliged and George Henry won £ 17,000. Much of this he spent on famine amelioration efforts, including the chartering of ships to bring corn into Mayo.
George Augustus Moore, son of George Henry, was a writer who was involved in the Irish literary revival of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and the founding of the Abbey Theatre. When Moore Hall was burned down in 1923, George Augustus received £ 7,000 in compensation.