September Talk: The Foreshore dispute Speaker: Rory McKenna

We would like to thank Rory McKenna for his really interesting talk this evening on the Balbriggan Foreshore Dispute 1874-76. Rory gave a great insight into the Hamilton Family particularly George Alexander and his widow Amelia Fancourt and the town Commissioners of the time as well as the dispute that arose between the Hamilton family & Balbriggan Town Commissioners and the Bord of Trade over access to the foreshore.

The Foreshore dispute arose when the Hamilton Lands, which included most of Balbriggan, were being prepared for sale in 1874 and the foreshore and beach was included in the sale. This led to objections from the Balbriggan Town Commission and the Board of Trade in London. The issue arose again in in 1876 in relation to an application by Mrs Amelia Fancourt Hamilton for an exclusive lease of the foreshore adjoining her land, located where Hampton Cove is now. This led to an Enquiry in Balbriggan Courthouse in July 1876 before Arthur Fairfield an official from the Board of Trade in London.

Rory McKenna is a long standing member of Balbriggan & District Historical Society and an expert on Maritime history and has presented many talks for the Society, He will examine these very interesting events in Balbriggan’s History in two talks, the 2nd of which will be presented in 2020.