The Slieve Foy Ballroom, the second ballroom in Omeath in the 1920’s was a wooden structure located to the north of Calvary in the townland of Ballinteskin. The ballroom consisted of a ballroom, dining room, bedrooms and living accommodation.
In the early 1930’s the Brennan family resided in the premises, and during this time no dances were held in the ballroom, instead the Brenan’s staged an occasional concert for the local people as the parents were a travelling music group that toured Ireland.
The Brennan’s had four children, Leo. Laurence, Tony and Rosemarie. The Music tradition of the Brennan’s who once resided in Omeath still lives strong to this day. Leo Brennan (RIP) was the father of the traditional Irish group Clannad and the Internationally famous singer Enya”.
The demise of the local ballrooms (Ballynoonan and Cornamucklagh in Omeath) and nationally came about by legislation. In 1935, the Public Dance Halls Act was enforced which required all public dances to be licensed and laid down the conditions under which licenses might be issued by district justices. With the act came the end of a way of life in rural Ireland where dances in neighbouring houses and having a Ceile became a common form of entertainment and also these house Ceile’s were commonly frequented by the local matchmakers who would assist in the romantic introduction of couples..
Thank you to Omeath Historical Society for this information on The Ballynoonan Ballroom.