Roscommon Holiday

Roscommon Ireland

Frenchpark

Frenchpark is a village in County Roscommon that takes its name from the French or Ffrench family, who were given the title of 'barons de Freyne', which meant a representative of British government, and who occupied the French Park Estate until 1952. Historicially the village is known as Dungar, from the Irish Dún Gar, meaning 'the fort of favour'.

The first President of Ireland and founder of the Gaelic League, Dr Douglas Hyde, grew up in Frenchpark. His father was a clergyman who was appointed as rector in a neighbouring village in 1867 and he moved his family to Frenchpark in 1867, when Douglas was 7 years old.

The French family in the area can be traced back to 1749. A manor house on the French Park Estate was built in the 17th century and rebuilt in Georgian style in the 18th century. The French family sold the entire estate in 1952 to the Irish Land Commision who demolished the buildings in several stages until no structures remained in 1975. Charlotte Despard was a cousin of the family and spent time visiting Frenchpark, which was the birthplace of her father. She went on to form the Irish Women's Franchise League with Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington and Margaret Cousins and the Women's Prisoners' Defence League during the Irish War of Independence with Maud Gonne.

 

While the French Park Estate manor has been demolished a smokehouse remains in the Desmense. Frenchpark is also home to an art gallery and several sports clubs.