Cloonyquinn House — The Birth Place of William Percy French

Cloonyquinn House was the birthplace of Percy French. The last French to live there was Harry French, or Major French as everyone called him, a son of Arthur French and a nephew of Percy.

In the late 1950’s Harry French put the house and land up for sale. A Mayo man, John Derrig, bought the property. He owned hotels in England and in Claremorris and had the intention of turning Cloonyquinn House into one much to the delight of Mr. French. Unfortunately Mr. Derrig died suddenly and the property went up for sale. The Irish Land Commission acquired the property in 1960 and sold it to a Mr. Stratford who was in the demolition and salvage trade. The house was stripped: lead taken off the roof, internal doors and windows removed, and anything that could be salvaged was sold at auction.

Roscommon County Council paid a local man, Marty Keogh, £3 6s 8d to demolish the house in 1964. The stones were used to make a road through a neighbouring farm at Carnakit. However, the house’s front porch had been built with the finest cut stone and this was purchased by Mr. Cornelius McDermot of Drumboylan and used at the Cathedral in Sligo. In 1965 the land was divided among local farmers.

Taken from ‘Frenchs of Cloonyquinn’ by Michael Stroker and ‘William Percy French 1854–1920′ by Fr. Austin McKeon