Pictured at the launch were Mary Chambers, author and historian Anne Chambers, John O'Donnell, John Chambers, Mary O'Donnell and Michael O'Donnell.

Launch of biography of Lord Mayo by Ann Chambers

The launch has taken place at Ballintubber Abbey of author and historian Anne Chambers’ newly-published biography, Lord Mayo.

Lord Mayo author Anne Chambers pictured at Lord Mayo's tomb in the Sacristy of Ballintubber Abbey

Based on hitherto un-researched 16th and 17th century manuscripts, the book tells the remarkable story of Tibbott-ne-Long Bourke, youngest son of the Pirate Queen, Gráinne Uaile, who died in 1629. Chambers explores the fascinating controversy over the title which erupted over 130 years after his death, a controversy which remains unresolved to this very day.

Paul Feeney and Darren Cawley, Westport House with Lord Mayo author Anne Chambers

It started on the death of John Bourke, eighth Viscount Mayo, in 1767. As he died without a male heir a battle commenced for his title and property around Castle Bourke in the barony of Carra and in the barony of Murrisk.

It was first claimed by David Bourke, a Catholic freeholder of lands owned by the Viscount Mayo estate in Asgalan, near Louisburgh.

Aingeal and Máirtín Ó Maicín, Balla.

He made his claim on the basis of being the next male heir in direct descent from Richard Bourke, the fourth and youngest son of Tibbott-ne-Long.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne and Nora Coyne, Castlebar

Anne Chambers uncovered that David Bourke has numerous sworn depositions in his favour, including one from the Chief Herald of Ireland.

His claim was opposed by John Bourke’s son-in-law, Edmund Lambert, who claimed that Tibbott-ne-Long had only three sons.

Biddy Hughes and Declan Sweeney.

However, Anne Chambers’ research discounts this.

“But because of David Bourke’s perceived unsuitability by the government of the day, by virtue of his background, education and religion and despite the extensive evidence supporting his claim, in 1780 the Viscount Mayo title was deemed extinct in the male line by the authorities.

Fr John Kenny with Lord Mayo author Anne Chambers.

David Bourke died without a male heir in Dublin in 1790 while pursuing his claim to the title through the courts,” she said.

Mary Fergus, Chris and Bernadette Gaughan from The Granuaile Centre, Louisburgh.

There was a big turnout for the launch of the book which was published by Mayo Books Press, Castlebar.

Paul Soye and Finn McCarthy, Ayle, Westport
Padhraic and Margaret Corkell, Ballintubber

The book is on sale at local outlets.