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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Governey Place

aka Wellington Square


Source: Michael Purcell c2008

Carlow Nationalist , June 1920.

To the Editor "Nationalist and Leinster Times"


Dear sir Words cannot express my delight on reading in the newspapers that at a recent meeting of the Carlow Urban Council, it was decided to make the above change.  It was high time, indeed, that the people of Carlow awakened from their seeming lethargy and culpable indifference, and paid some tribute of respect to Mr. Governey, in recognition of his invaluable service in connection with the development of the industrial resources of the town, but as a Carlowman, and knowing that the chief characteristics of its people are friendship and gratitude, I feel inclined to attribute the tardiness to an oversight, and not to a want of reciprocal kindness. Surely Mr. Governey richly deserves any honour that could be conferred on him. His has been a life unique, both in humane and commercial sense.


 "He hath opened his hand to the necessitous,

and stretched out his hand to the poor" (prov.xxx1.)


He also took a strenuous interest in all that pertained to the advancement of Carlow, and by his tact, energy, enterprise, and great business ability, made it what it is; i.e., one of the foremost and most progressing little inland towns in Ireland. Is it any wonder, therefore, why Mr.Governey should be commemorated in the name of the square of the town he has done so much for?

"Why withhold good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do."

Yes, sir. He has so to speak, formed the fulcrum of the town, and the magnet that attracted its patrons thereto. Let us suppose, explemia gratia, that Carlow was deprived of Mr. Governey's great usefulness, and what kind of town, may I ask, would it become? Well, I feel in truth it might be compared with, and assimilated to, Goldsmith's "deserted village." Hence I say that true worth should be recognised and appreciated.

 In early life he sowed good seeds,

Which produced fruit, both rich and ripe?

 as lasting monuments of deeds,

Done by men only of his type.

He sought by all the zeal he could,

Without a wish for worldly fame,

An independent livelihood,

Blessed with an upright, honest name. 

I think it would only gilding gold to dilate at any further length on Mr. Governey's good qualities. Suffice it, therefore to say, if I were to monopolise your valuable and influential journal with an eulogy, I would even then fall short in doing the subject full justice.

In conclusion, when "his life's long day is closing," and in the transient gleam of recollection and consciousness, how consoling will be the happy thought of leaving Carlow his debtor; and then:

When in death his peaceful ashes lie,

And some tongue congenial speaks his name;

Friendship shall never blush to breath a sigh,

And great ones envy such an honest name.

I beg to remain, dear sir,

Faithfully yours.

P.J. Scully

Extract from Nationalist

Saturday 25th April 1914.

Carlow Urban Council Meeting as reported

Chairman Michael Governey presided

Also present, Thomas Murphy, Patrick Lawler, John Murphy, J.D. McGrath, J. Brennan, William Purcell, Edward Duggan, John Foley, W. J. Jackson, J. D. McCarthy. Mr. W. A. Lawler, Town Clerk and Mr. Cardery, B.S. were in attendance.

A question arose as to the re-naming some of the streets of the town. - Mr MacCarthy referred to the opening of the Water Works in Carlow which the Chairman graced with his presence. It was suggested then that Hay Market should be called by the old name of Templeconey - Mr. Jackson suggested that Wellington Square be called Volunteer Square - Mr. Purcell said that for years he had in his mind that it would be right to call Wellington Square, Governey's Square. The Chairman, Michael Governey, said he would rather they would not insist on calling any street in Carlow after his name. - Mr. Purcell said he would insist on his proposition that Wellington Square be changed to Governey's Square. It was only fair as Mr. Governey had done great things for Carlow. - Mr. Governey still objected to putting the resolution. - Mr. Brennan : You have no call to interfere (laughter) . I say Wellington Square should be called Governey Square. - It was unanimously decided to call Hay Market, Templecroney Square and Wellington Square to be called in future, Governey Square.

Note; Councillor William Purcell referred to above was grandfather to our regular contributor , J. J. Woods and uncle to my uncle, the late Pat Purcell, 1895-1994, Killeshin /Carlow.

Source: Michael Purcell c2008

Governey Square (formally Wellington Square)

Corcoran’s Bar, Governey Square.
Photo Dan Carbery.
Corcoran’s is unfortunately no longer in existence and the factory buildings have been demolished. Corcoran’s Bar in Governey Square (formerly Wellington Square) is the only place the name is still displayed that we know of..
Source: By Dan Carbery, Carlow County Museum

Occupants of Houses in Wellington Square (Carlow, Carlow) according to the 1901 Irish census:

House Number

Surnames in House




View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)


Mc Wey

View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)



View occupants or original census form (as a PDF)

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