In 2002, 57 Eccles Street was a derelict building opposite The Mater Hospital. It belonged to the Sisters of Mercy who in their wisdom donated the building to the Neurology Department at The Mater Hospital for renovation. It now houses Ireland’s first Neurological Institute. The Institute is an essential facility for people with Neurological conditions in Ireland.
We are privileged that the Dublin Neurological Institute is based in a beautiful Georgian building – 57 Eccles Street. This house was built circa 1750. While trawling through records in the various libraries and museums in Dublin, the earliest tenant we have located is Mr John Adams who was living here in 1847.
Mr John Adams – Barrister.
Mr Adams was born in Dublin on 4 June, 1802. He was the 5th son of Samuel Adams and Eliza Filgate. He had two sisters named Alicia Anne and Anne Elizabeth. His brother Rev Anthony Adams from the Vicarage, Collan, Co Louth owned No 57 Eccles Street and John was his tenant. He also had a brother Robert, who was a medical doctor of great renown and had a practice in St Stephen’s Green Dublin. John was educated in Trinity College Dublin and later attended The King’s Inns. He was called to the Barr in the Michaelmas Term of 1828. The Dublin Statistical Society was established in Trinity College Dublin in November 1847 for the purpose of promoting the study of Statistical and Economical Science in Ireland. John Adams is recorded as being a founder member of this first committee. John appeared to have been a wealthy man and owned property in 43 & 44 Lower Leeson Street and also Ardee, Co Louth. We have records of the Co Louth 1865 voting register and John Adams from 57 Eccles Street was named as a Landlord in the Barony. He died on 4 February 1869 and his estate was valued at almost £7,000
Mr John Gallagher – Retired Publican.
John Gallagher is recorded as being the owner of No 57 Eccles Street from 1876. John Gallagher was born in Co Wicklow in 1831 and his wife Johanna Egan was born in Co Tipperary in 1839. They were married in the Pro Cathedral Dublin on 27 November 1872 by Fr T.J. O Reilly. Before their marriage John lived in Phibsboro Road and Joanna lived in Gardiner Street. John was a publican and his premises was located on 36 Phibsboro Road. A licenced premises at this address still exists – now called The Phibsborough House. They had six children named Michael, Mary, Margaret, Joanna, Elizabeth and Catherine. All six were baptised in St Paul’s Church, Arran Quay – Margaret & Joanna were twins. The 1911 Census records John Gallagher as being the head of the household in No 57 Eccles Street. At this stage he was 80 and Johanna his wife was 72. The Gallaghers shared the building with Bridget Connolly, aged 47 from Longford. Bridget was listed as a domestic servant and had in 1911 been married for 23 years with only two of her six children still alive.
None of the persons registered at 57 Eccles Street were listed as having any of infirmities classified in the census – “deaf and dumb” “dumb only” “blind” “imbecile or idiot” or “lunatic”. The building was listed as a 1st class house based on the number of rooms (13) the quality of the roof and building material (non-perishable) and the number of windows in the front of the house – 13 in total. John Gallagher died on 16 September 1912. His daughters Mary & Margaret were the Executrices of his Will. His estate was valued at £3,735.1s.9d. He left £50 to his son Michael and all of the residue of his real and personal estate to his wife and daughters. His daughter Joanna who was born on 19 May 1876 is listed as being a tenant in No 57 Eccles Street in the 1970s.
This issue of the journal Innisfail (dated January 1895) was found by Mr James Sweeney, the site Foreman during the renovations of No 57 Eccles St. It was used as padding and support for a window in the drawing room. This is the earliest known copy and the National Library of Ireland were delighted to accept it. Innisfail was an illustrated monthly journal designed “to encourage Native Arts, Industries & Manufacturers to Foster Temperance, Thrift and Mutual Aid Associations”. The full journal can be viewed in the National Library and we also have a copy of this in the DNI. It is interesting to note that the mailing address of the editor of Innifail was 58 Eccles Street – we’re guessing that’s how it ended up as window insulation at no. 57!
See the link below to read the story of how the 1895 Newspaper found during our initial restoration work was lovingly restored by the National Library of Ireland: