Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Ballygagin House

We have no information on when the house was first built. It is marked on the 1841 Ordnance Survey map which also shows an ancient ringfort close by. Griffith’s Valuation 1851 records that the house was owned by Thomas Garde who was leasing it to the occupant John Slattery. It was valued at £15.  Garde may have acquired it from the Dukes of Devonshire who had other land in the area, but this is not proven.

The Garde family are associated with Cork , Youghal and West Waterford. In the late 18th century a Thomas Garde was Irish law attorney to the Duke of Devonshire and lived at Garryduff House.

The Slattery family continued to live in Ballygagin and the Waterford Standard of 15 December 1897 reported that Thomas Slattery of Ballygagin was declared a bankrupt. However, the family held on to the house and were there in 1911 according to the census returns.

The census records the occupants as – Thomas Slattery, Poor Law Commissioner aged 67, his wife Johanna aged 65 and their three children: William aged 27, Robert aged 26 and Michael aged 24. They are described as ‘farm servants’. Patrick Dower aged 71 was employed as a servant. 

The house was described as 1st Class and had seven rooms with four windows to the front. The census also records Thomas and Mary Egan as living nearby or possibly on the farm. The Egan name is of interest as the Dungarvan Observer published an advert in its edition of August 1939 offering the ‘splendid country house’ of Ballygagin  and 143 acres for sale. The vendor was Patrick Egan.

In the late 1950s it was acquired by An Foras Taluntais as a Pomology Research Centre and it was known by local people as ‘The Institute’.

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