Brother Anselm Conway

Ballinrobe's Good Samaritan

Ruins of Sanatorium Creagh Ballinrobe
Author's Personal Photo
Ruin of Sanatorium Ballinrobe
Author's Personal Photo
Plaque to honour Irish Christian Brothers in Ballinrobe Church
Author's Personal Photo
Bro. Conway's grave Ballinrobe.
Dympna Beckett Joyce, Personal collection

Ballinrobe’s Good Samaritan

When Brother Anselm was appointed to the Superiorship of the Christian Brothers Congregation in Ballinrobe on 20th  August 1943  no one could have foreseen his direct involvement on the lives of the ill patients with T.B. at Creagh, Ballinrobe Sanatorium. [i]

(This article also refers to one patient Little Kathleen Kilbane NBC)

Bro. M. A. Anselm was born at Grange, Co. Waterford during 1901.  Aged fifteen years he joined the Irish Christian Brothers.  He was given the name Anselm. [ii]


Along with his work as a teacher in the local secondary school also his administrative duties in the Monastery he befriended those who were seriously ill.  He especially spent time with Kathleen Kilbane from Cloughmore on Achill Island.  He documented his visits & chats also memories in notebooks / journals called No More Tears in My Eyes  following her demise  at  2am on 7th  October 1947.  Bro. Anselm also provided a grave with headstone for ten year old George Devery who died on 7th March 1944. [iii]


Bro. Anselm served in Ballinrobe until his demise on 12th November 1982.  He is buried at Ballinrobe New Cemetery his plot is shared with the little boy whom he promised would not be buried in an unmarked grave.  [iv]


Averil Staunton (Historical Ballinrobe) has honoured Bro. Anselm also Kathleen Kilbane in her article re No More Tears in my Eyes.

There are several articles also poems in the publication Kathleen Kilbane: The ‘Little Saint’ of Achill.   (NBC)

Allan C. Worthy & Victor Kennedy published Kathleen Kilbane: The  Little Saint’ of Achill 2017 with Dominic Kennedy as editor.  Allan C. Worthy 2018 edited by Dominic Kennedy The Kathleen Kilbane Story.   (CreatSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

This author co-edited St. Teresa’s Sanatorium, Creagh, Ballinrobe A Brief History with Allan C. Worthy within publication. (pages 30 – 35) (NBC)

Facebook pages are dedicated to Kathleen Kilbane at this link:

Several videos on YouTube honouring Bro. Anselm along with his little friend by Dominic Kennedy that may be of interest:

(14th July 2013)

 (7th January 2015)

(23rd  November 2015)

(12th October 2017)

(12th October 2018)

(28th February 2019)

(22nd November 2019)

(17th December 2021)



[ii]  Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

Comments about this page

  • Ed,
    Thanks that is a very nice tribute to Bro. Conway. He certainly was a generous miracle worker plus a kind person.

    By Noelene Beckett Crowe (16/12/2021)
  • Br Conway better known as Gosh taught me in Ballinrobe CBS between 1956 and 1961. He was a gentleman – quiet and inoffensive. In the 5 years he would not have been involved in games or other activity with the students and sadly we knew little of him. Behind the scenes he worked miracles and delighted that it is all coming out now to counteract all the bad press

    By Ed Ryan (12/12/2021)

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