George Briscoe (b. 1921)
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George Briscoe (b. 1921)


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Ballinter House was owned by the Preston family in earlier days, and John Joseph Preston left the property to Gussie Briscoe, the grandfather of George Briscoe. Gussie’s son and George’s father, Cecil Briscoe, spent a period working in Cheshire, and following the death of his brother he returned to Ballinter House. During WWI, he was stationed in Belfast where he was involved in the care of horses, and after the war he leased the property in Ballinter and moved to Tralee where he met his future wife, Phyllis Stawell Heard, the daughter of George Bennet Heard from Coolmaine Castle near Bandon. (The Stawell Heard family history may be accessed through the Irish Life and Lore Great Houses of Ireland at George Bennet Heard was an officer in the RIC and was stationed in Tralee, and many stories about his tenure in the Co. Kerry town are recounted by his grandson. When Gussie Briscoe inherited Ballinter, the estate extended to 6,000 acres, and included the heritage site at Tara Hill. Fascinating details are recounted about archaeological digs at Tara during the 19th century, stories about which have been handed down through family lore. Cecil Briscoe moved back into Ballinter House in the 1930s following the restoration of the property, and George explains that his father’s skills in engineering were put to good use. He instigated a water supply system to the house and a generator to provide lighting. The extent of the lands had decreased to 800 acres by this time and the demesne was very well cared for. Salmon fishing on the River Boyne, which ran through the estate, was excellent. George discusses his education, and recalls some great days hunting with his father with the Tara Harriers. He succeeded his father as Master of Foxhounds in 1932. He recalls taking over Ballinter and supplying Merville Dairies in Finglas with milk produced on the estate. (The story of Merville Dairies may be accessed through Irish Life and Lore Horseracing Ireland Collection – Recording of Roy Craigie, CD 33 ( The Ballinter estate was sold in 1954 and George Briscoe took over the management of the Bective estate for U.S. industrialist Charlie Bird.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Heritage Collection 2016


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

69.2 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Ballinter House, Co. Meath

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore