Michael John Kilgannon
‘For us, in our youthful innocence, the world began at Woodlawn Station; it was the place where real life began’, (Michael John Kilgannon, 2016, Woodlawn – A History p 90).
Woodlawn Station built 1851
George Willoughby Hemans designed the station at Woodlawn. It was built in 1851 at a cost of £3,279. Comprising the signal cabin, station masters house, waiting rooms and various stores this was a hive of activity up to the sixties and early seventies. The station itself would bring people from all parts of Ireland to Woodlawn to work as railway clerks, porters and station masters. Many locals worked here too.
May Craig’s Cafe
May Craig’s café/shop was a little hut where people could buy cigarettes, papers and magazines and a cup of tea while you waited for the train. This was a corrugated iron shed with a door and two small windows. It was located between the two pillars, still standing within the northern wall adjacent to the car park.
In the 1860s the American travel writer William Henry Hurlbert wrote: Woodlawn Station is one of the neatest and prettiest railway stations I have seen in Ireland – more like a picturesque stone cottage, green and gay with flowers, than like a station…… It was hard to believe one’s-self within an easy drive of the ‘cockpit of Ireland’. pg 160. Ireland Under Coercion: The Diary of an American. Today Woodlawn is still a characterful station situated at the end of a walled drive overlooked by three pretty period cottages.
The buildings at Woodlawn Station are listed buildings under Galway County Council List of Protected Structures (RPS 123). It is also included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. The station is described as a ‘Freestanding Tudor Revival-style limestone-built railway station’.
Stationmaster at Woodlawn 1911
Robert Foote (31) a widower lived with his sister Charlotte (38) and his son William John (2). Robert listed his occupation as a station master. Robert could read and write. There were no listed occupations for Charlotte and William John. Charlotte could read and write. The Foote family lived in a 2nd class house with 3 front windows and the house had 2 rooms. Railway Co. owned the land on which the house was situated along with 1 shed.
Thomas Coen (39) lived with his wife Mary (36) and his sons Patrick J (18) Michael (14) Thomas (12) Hubert (9) William (7) and Joseph (5) and his daughters Mary (16) and Katie (3). Thomas listed his occupation as a railway porter while there was no listed occupation for his wife Mary. Patrick spoke English and could read and write. Mary could read and write. Patrick J was listed as a gardener domestic. Michael was listed as a post boy. Mary, Thomas, Hubert, William and Joseph were listed as scholars. There was no listed occupation for Katie. Patrick J, Mary, Michael, Thomas, Hubert, William, and Joseph could read and write. The Coen family lived in a 2nd class house with 4 front windows and the house had 2 rooms. Railway Co. owned the land on which the house was situated along with 1 shed.