Michael Timony / Míchéal O ‘Tiomnaidhe

Addergoole Civil Parish
Crossmolina Mayo
Cross at Lahardane donated by M. Timonny
Author's personal Collection
Inscription on Cross Lahardane
Author's Personal Collection
Michael Timony Bell Lahardane Church
Dympna Joyce Personal Collection
Addergoole, Crossmolina Mayo

Gaelic Scholar / Author / Folklore Collector

This Mayo Irish scholar was a noted collector of folklore also  an avid author.

Michael Timony was born in Cartron, Addergoole during 1853.  His father was John, his mother Lynn from Ballinalobaun in Crossmolina.  His family moved to Cooltuck, Crossmolina while he was in his youth.  He attended Rathkell National School where he was promoted to ‘Monitor.’  His preference was to be known as Micheál Tiomanaidhe.  His parents are buried in Kilmurray old graveyard with an inscription in Irish at the tomb. (Donohoe Tony Carrick Print Ltd ) [i]

This PDF states that the Rathkell school’s renowned Gaelic scholar Míchéal O ’Tiomanaidhe was born in Cartoon on 20th September 1853 then baptized two days later at St. Patrick’s Church in Lahardane.  His father was John, his mother Lynn was from Ballinabaun in the Crossmolina Parish. (Geraghty Margaret Carrarea, Hollymount 8th May 2007 ) [ii]

Michael O ‘Tiomanaidhe was a famous Gaelic scholar, Irish writer also an avid folklore collector.  He was born in Cartoon on 20th September 1853 then baptized two days later in St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane. [iii]

Early Careers

His work life commenced with a position as an apprenticed to Messrs. O ‘Beirne’s merchant of Ballina.  He emigrated to England then to Australia. Michael Timony laboured in the gold fields also on sheep farms where he sheared wool plus hauled produce to markets.  He edited several manuscripts while in that country.  [iv]


He emigrated to England also to Australia.  He lived & worked in the gold fields also on the sheep farms: while he sheared or hauled wool for twenty-two years.[v]


Michael Timony returned during 1894 to Ireland.  He taught Irish language & writing.  Timony immersed himself in the Gaelic movement with travels in Ennis in County Clare as he collected Gaelic songs plus poetry as well as folklore.  He invited Seanchaidhthe to his home to record their stories. [vi]


‘There were 31 tales in all and Mr. Michael O ‘Tiomanaidhe, of Lahardane, near Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, submitted them.  These tales were written down by Mr. Timoney, during the years 1905 / 1906 in the county of Mayo, in Achill and Crossmolina Districts.  As this collection is one of the most important ever made in this country.  I feel it necessary to make a brief statement regarding the collector, his informants, how the collection was made, and its importance from a national and international standpoint. I made the acquaintance of Mr. Michael O’Tiomnaidhe for the first time on Sunday December 4th 1927 when, on learning that he was in lodgings in Rathfarnham, I visited him at Washington House near Loretta Abbey, Rathfarnham.’  [vii]


He became a close friend of Douglas Hyde also Padraig Pearse from whom he received a Gaelic League certificate when he attested that he had attended Tuar Mhic Éadaigh College in County Mayo. [viii]


He became a ‘Timire Gaeilge’  an itinerant teacher of the Irish language.  (It has been believed that he taught Janney Flanagan Eamon De Valera’s wife) Míchéal O ‘Tiomanaidhe was a member of the Folklore Commission: they gathered then published old stories of Irish folklore during 1935.  [ix]


Michael Timony wrote with a quill, he used large sheets of paper that were often three feet square.  His publications were penned in the Irish language.  Timony won his first prize for The Life of Archbishop John MacHale.   He was awarded prizes at Feiseanna in Ballina, Ballyhaunis, Ballinrobe in Mayo also Tuam in County Galway.  [x]

His literary works included Amhrán Gaedhilge an Larthair, Scéalta Gearra, Lampa Draoidheachta  also Leabhra Filidheacht.  He published Brian Carabine’s The Prophecy of Red Brian Carabine.   The story in chapter one narrates the tale of Brian Rua’s acquisition of his gift of prophecy.  [xi]

Michael Timony ‘s literary works included the following: Amhrán Gaedhilge an Larthair,  Scéalta Gearra, Lampa Draoidheachta  also Leabhra Filidheacht.  [xii]

Lahardane Cross

During 1937 Michael Timony had a Celtic cross erected at Lahardane in memory of Fr. Conroy.[xiii]

In 1937 he erected the cross in Lahardane to the memory of Father Andrew / James Conroy, the parish priest hung by the English in Castlebar for his association with General Humbert’s forces and local volunteers, during the Year of the French in 1798.  The following report appeared in the daily newspaper in August 1937.   An imposing 18ft. high limestone Celtic Cross, commemorating the memory of Father Andrew Conroy, P.P. Addergoole, the Mayo patriot priest, who was hanged by the English Yeomanry in Castlebar in 1798, was unveiled at Lahardane today by Rev. J. Harte, C.C., Lahardane, in the presence of Mr. P.J. Ruttledge, T.D., Minister for Justice and a gathering representative of the public bodies and principal towns of the country.  An oration in Irish was given by Thomas Ban Ua Coinheanainn, Galway.  The Monument was the gift of Michael Timoney, now 82 years old, the author of many classical works in Irish.  He was unable to be present owing to his great age, and was represented by his nephew, Mr. Timothy Jordan, M.C.C., with whom he resides at Enniscoe, Crossmolina, about three miles from the site of the monument.’  During the 1930’s Míchéal Timony erected the bell at St Patrick’s Church Lahardane.  Bell’s inscription reads: St Michael’s Bell, erected by Michael O’ Timony in the greater glory of God and in honor of St Patrick.  [xiv]

Fr. Conroy Monument

Michael Timony erected the Fr. Conroy monument in Lahardane.[xv]


Michael Timony funded the purchase & installation of a bell for St. Patrick’s Church in Lahardane.  (It is this bell that tolls uniquely in the early hours of 15th April annually to honour the memory of those who sailed on the ill-fated Titanic) [xvi]


Michael Timony’s demise occurred during 1940.  He was interred within Killmurray Cemetery. There is a large Celtic cross on his grave. [xvii]

Míchéal O ‘Tiomanaidhe’s demise occurred during March 1940 at eighty-six years of age.  He was buried in Killmurray Cemetery.  A tomb stone is erected there to his memory by an old neighbour & friend Sean Mac an Niallaigh, Dervin, Crossmolina.   [xviii]

Míchéal O ‘Tiomanaidhe’s demise occurred during 1940 when he was aged eighty-six years. He is buried in Killmurray Cemetery in Crossmolina Parish. [xix]


During the winter of 2009 / 2010 both the Timoney bell with the Conroy monument were restored by a descendant of Michael Timony.  On 7th March 2010 to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of Michael Timony’s demise the restored Bell & Memorial were unveiled.[xx]

Further Information

Michael Timony’s collection of stories & tales are housed within the archives of University College Dublin.  They are recognized as one of the most important of that period. [xxi]

This article recounts memories of ‘Tom’ who was employed at Tom Jordan’s Enniscoe with Michael Timony during the years 1932-1935.  [xxii]

This article may be viewed at this site by Lorna Siggins Descendants toll bell for Mayo 11 who perished on board ‘Titanic’  in The Irish Times  16th April 2010 had the following tribute according to Addergoole Titanic Society’s P R O Michael Molloy, the Timoney bell erected in St Patrick’s Church during 1937  was gifted by Gaelic scholar & folklore collector Mícheál Ó Tiomnaidhe:  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/descendants-toll-bell-for-mayo-11-who-perished-on-board-titanic-1.652688

This publication Richard Haye, Seanchanas Collector Extraordinaire; first Steps towards a Folklorist history of Blian na bFrancach: The Year of the French  Byrne Guy 2000 an Cumann le Béaloideas references Michael Timony’s papers.  This publication may be downloaded at these links: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20522556  /  https://www.academia.edu/21771300/Richard_Hayes_Seanchas_Collector_Extraordinaire_First_Steps_Towards_a_Folk_History_of_Bliain_na_bhFrancach_The_Year_of_the_French

This link of Folklore collections may be of interest: https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbeg/48315

It was reported that Mac Ruaidhrí & O Tiomanaidhe often sang together with their favourite song the ‘Fainne Geal an Lae.’    [xxiii]


[i] Addergoole It’s Land and People 2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[ii] Míchéal O’Tiomanaidhe (http://sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/8593/Michael_Timoney.pdf) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[iii] Addergoole Titanic Society (http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/contentPage/199011/great_gaelic_scholar) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[iv] Addergoole It’s Land and People  2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[v] Addergoole Titanic Society (http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/contentPage/199011/great_gaelic_scholar) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[vi] Addergoole It’s Land and People  2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[vii] Ibid

[viii] Ibid

[ix] Míchéal O’Tiomanaidhe (http://sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/8593/Michael_Timoney.pdf) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[x] Addergoole It’s Land and People  2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[xi] Míchéal O’Tiomanaidhe

(http://sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/8593/Michael_Timoney.pdf) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xii] Addergoole Titanic Society (http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/contentPage/199011/great_gaelic_scholar) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xiii] Addergoole It’s Land and People  2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[xiv] Míchéal O’Tiomanaidhe

(http://sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/8593/Michael_Timoney.pdf) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xv] Addergoole Titanic Society (http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/contentPage/199011/great_gaelic_scholar) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xvi] Ibid

[xvii] Addergoole It’s Land and People  2000 [assessed 23rd April 2021]

[xviii] Míchéal O’Tiomanaidhe

(http://sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/8593/Michael_Timoney.pdf) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xix] Addergoole Titanic Society (http://www.addergoole-titanic.com/contentPage/199011/great_gaelic_scholar) [Assessed 10th May 2021]

[xx] Ibid

[xxi] Ibid

[xxii] Addergoole It’s Land and People 2000 [Assessed 23rd April 2021]

[xxiii] The Mayo News  [Assessed 15th December 2020]


Comments about this page

  • Yvonne regret delay in answering your query. Contacted several sources but was advised that perhaps you may get advice from the North Mayo Heritage Centre at Enniscoe House.


    By Noelene Beckett Crowe (04/01/2023)
  • I was just reading the information about Michael Timony (Míchéal O ‘Tiomnaidhe) – I am related to John Timony (born c.1845) who owned and ran the pub (and later owned the lodge) in Killala. Could he have been a cousin of this Michael?

    I would be grateful if you can add anything

    Yvonne Murphy

    By Lorna Elms, on behalf of Yvonne Murphy (01/11/2022)

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