Rev. Dean James E. Coyle. – Dying for the Faith
Rev. Dean James E. Coyle - Dying for the Faith
A single display case contains an article on the life of Drum born priest, the Rev. Dean James E. Coyle, who was murdered in Alabama, U.S.A in 1921. It includes extensive coverage of the subsequent trial and the loathsome verdict of acquittal handed down after a court hearing, lasting several months. Also shown are several photographs of Fr Coyle’s funeral and the massive presence of clergy and people who attended from all parts of the United States. The display case also contains photographs of his birthplace in Kilmacormack and a later homestead in Ardnagowna from where he left to commence his studies at the Jesuit College, Limerick. He was ordained in Rome in 1896. In recent times a much acclaimed documentary by RTE, “Would you Believe”, tells the sad story of Fr Coyle’s tragic death in Alabama in 1921.

T.P O’Connor, M.P

A profile of former Parliamentarian T.P O’Connor born in Drum in 1868 includes a short biographical sketch beginning with his climb to fame, initially as a newspaper editor. Copies of pages of three of his newspapers are on display. He served for over forty years in the House of Commons and subsequently became “Father of the House”. A copy of one of his speeches from Parliament is also on view. He died in London in 1929 and a photograph of the memorial over his gravesite in Kensal Green cemetery can also be seen.

The World’s Greatest Maritime Tragedy
Model of the Titanic
A display about the sinking of the Titanic, an event that rocked the world in 1912, is shown with a collection of extracts from the reminiscences of Athlone survivors. The showcase contains a copy page from the New York Times dated 16th April 1912 reporting on the fateful tragedy. It also contains a photograph of the Captain and a listing of the first class passengers who survived the tragedy. Also shown is a copy of a letter written by a local girl, Delia Henry, to her aunt in America and was posted some days before she embarked. It arrived safely at its destination but she herself, unfortunately, was one of the fifteen hundred people who went to a watery grave. A scale model of the Titanic is also on view.

The Railways – The Great Western Network

Detailed texts recording the laying down of the railway network to the West of Ireland and its impact on the people of Drum, who obtained work particularly in the aftermath of the Great Famine can be read. The names of numerous railway workers from the Drum area and their work duties are mentioned throughout the text. The display also contains a number of photographs of the workers taken during the early years of the twentieth century.

Old Photographs – Down Memory Lane
Memory Lane
A special photographic exhibition features numerous old photographs of people and events associated with Drum Parish over the years. The photograph shown here was taken at a Land League Meeting in Drum in 1886. A colourful arrangement of family crests of surnames found locally explaining their meaning and origin coupled with a map of Irish family homes attracts much attention. For the benefit of visitors it is located alongside a historical map of Ireland, showing castles, cathedrals, abbeys, holy wells, landmarks, sites of ancient battles and areas of Ireland that were under the control of Gaelic land-owning families.

Emigration

There are a number of extremely poignant stories concerning emigrants who left Drum in the post famine years. In the aftermath of potato famine four McManus brothers left their family home in Drumlosh and decided to walk the one hundred and eighty mile journey to Cork, boarding a ship at Queenstown, which brought them to New York. A complete story of their climb to success in America is shown in great detail. In addition others who made a name for themselves after arriving in America is also mentioned.

World Champion Baseball Players
Lennon Brothers World Champion Baseball Players
The world Champion all-brother baseball team of 1903 from Illinois and their family connection to a Kilmacormack Lennon family is dramatically presented in one unit. It also includes a detailed presentation highlighting the pioneering work of Drum-born Ellen Lennon widow of Patrick Lennon (died 1847) and her family of nine children who set sail for America in 1853. It was nine of their grandsons who won the world title for an all-brother baseball championship in Illinois, U.S.A.

Boer War Veterans

Three Drum born men enlisted in the Connaught Rangers Army Regiment and after brief training at home were sent with their unit to fight in the Boer War. The three were lucky to have survived the horrific hunger endured during the Siege of Ladysmith and returned home when the war ended. Full profiles on each veteran and their wartime experiences are on display.