Sphagnum moss collection in Galway

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Above: Lady Clonbrock, Augusta Caroline Dillon—in April 1916 Mabel Crawford Wright invited her to become local organiser in County Galway.

The west coast of Ireland, both by the sea and in the bogs, was a rich source for the collection of moss. One of the key figures who managed this effort was Augusta Caroline Dillon (née Crofton) (1839–1928). Her husband, Luke Gerald Dillon, 4th Baron Clonbrock, was the heir to the Clonbrock estate and a descendant of Anglo-Norman settlers. The estate was primarily in County Galway, and Ahascragh was where Lady and Lord Clonbrock made their home. On 4 April 1916 Mabel Crawford Wright invited Lady Clonbrock to become a local organiser. Although aged 75 at the outbreak of war, Lady Clonbrock worked tirelessly with the Irish Women’s Association to send necessities to imprisoned Connaught Rangers. A list of moss-collectors active in 1916 was included in the first annual report of the Sphagnum Moss Depot in Dublin. It listed Lady Clonbrock alongside 29 other women from County Galway who led local collection teams.

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