History of Rockfield House; Part 2


Emily and friends outside Rockfield House

Emily’s ownership of Rockfield house was short enough lived. In the winter of 1918 she was on the brink of loosing it again, but it was nothing to do with the Mission Estate this time, it steamed from an event that was unfolding over three thousand miles away, the Russian Revolution. Emily had stocks and shares in Russian industry, which generated a substantial income for her for more at least a decade. These investments became worthless overnight and she lost her financial mainstay.

In a letter to her friend Margot Trench, she expressed that her income had been “denied from Russia” and was in great financial difficulty. She had at that stage returned to work as a nurse to survive. It is an ill wind that does not blow some good as the old saying goes, in Emily’s case it was the flu epidemic of 1918, where her services as a nurse were in great demand. She got a post at the Meath hospital straight away. It was at that time that perhaps the full extent of her financial woes were realized and the possible loss of her home.

“I had to leave Rockfield as I am getting no money from Russia… Miss O’Flaherty is at Rockfield now for the winter and it is nice to know she is in the house and looking after things…”

Emily did not loose the house then and there, but held on to it until 1925, when she got her husband’s estate sorted out nearly two decades after he died!The house and grounds were bought by the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Tuam Dr, Gilmartin.

National Library of Ireland. Department of Manuscripts, MS 46,331 /6 – 10 Coffey and Chenevix Trench papers, 1868-2007.
Photo courtesy of John ‘Twin’ McNamara