Commemoration of the Colleen Bawn 200 Ellen Hanley Ballycahane, Croom

Jeanette Leahy as the Colleen Bawn Stephen Chawke as John Scanlon

The story of the Colleen Bawn Ellen Hanley who was murdered on the River Shannon in 1819. Ellen Hanley eloped with John Scanlon and a form of marriage took place. Scanlon wanted the marriage to be kept secret. He soon grew tired of his young bride and decided to get rid of her. He arranged for his servant O’Sulllivan to take her out in his boat and murder her. John Scanlan was arrested at his father’s castle and residence at Ballycahane Manister on March 16th 1820. The honourable Richard Jebb, justice of the King’s bench, convicted Scanlon for the murder of Ellen Hanley. The trial aroused great interest throughout Ireland and many parts of the world. It is said that the horses refused to cross the Shannon River Bridge and this seemed to indicate that Scanlon was not actually the murderer of Ellen Hanley. Scanlon was executed at Gallows Green situated close to Clare Street, Limerick. Ellen Hanley was buried at Barrane Graveyard near Moneypoint. The grave was given by the O’Connell family for Ellen Hanley to be interred. Many operas plays, and pageants have been created out of the tragedy and murder of Ellen Hanley, an attractive young girl from Croom. The Lily of Killarney was one of the operas. The Limerick Grand Carnival used to be held at the end of the 19th century in aid of St John’s Hospital and also to establish the Convent of St. John’s. It was also the staging of the Colleen Ban Festival in Croom in the early seventies and was one of the largest events in the area where a Colleen Bawn was selected each year. This year 2019 and 2020 there will be various events planned. One of the events is the Colleen Bawn Trail and also a boat trip to Scattery Island on the Shannon Estuary. Contact Mob 086 8872463 email for people interested in travelling. Retracing the story of the Colleen Bawn.