1780s – Lissard House, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford
The demolished Lissard House was a three-storey block of late eighteenth-century construction, possibly incorporating earlier fabric dating to the turn of the eighteenth century, and was associated with the O’Ferrall/More O’Ferrall family for much of the nineteenth century. It was sold in 1952 and subsequently demolished. The lands were purchased by the Forestry Department.
The location of an infamous incident during the 1930s. In August 1934 Gerald More O’Ferrall was appointed land agent for the Sanderson (Edgeworthstown) estate. He was a large landowner himself and set about his appointed task of collecting the outstanding rents for the Sanderson estate with vigour. When tenants refused to pay this rent he secured eviction orders against 11 tenants.
On Saturday 9th February 1935, Gerald More O’Ferrall was hosting a dinner party and family reunion at Lisard House when four men, three of whom were dressed in Garda uniform, knocked on the hall door at Lisard House. They were all carrying loaded revolvers. When the door opened the four brushed past the startled maid and rushed into the dining room asking for Gerald. Two of them grabbed Gerald and after a scuffle his son Richard was shot in the back. The assailants then fled from the scene without obtaining their objective of removing Gerald from the house. One of the guests went to Edgeworthstown for the doctor and Gardai. Richard lost a lot of blood and was moved to a Dublin hospital where he died on the 20th February.
The architect Michael Scott tells in his memoirs to Dorothy Walker, that he was at the dinner, and initially ducked under the table when the gunfire started. He also says that he was responsible for going for the doctor and the Gardai. He refused to identify men on an identification parade on the grounds that they would face the death penalty if convicted. And this caused him to fall out with the More O’Ferrall family.