The Old Pound Loney, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Visiting the Old Pound Loney Neighborhood of Belfast - 2008
Visiting the Old Pound Loney Neighborhood of Belfast – 2008

Recently while researching our Doran clan of West Belfast, Northern Ireland, I realized that our family lived in a specific neighborhood called the Old Pound Loney, near Shankill and the Falls.  This was a section near to where St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Cathedral was built. The word “loney” comes from an old word meaning lane. I took this photo while visiting Belfast with my daughter, Kelly, in 2008. We went up and down many of the streets and visited both St. Peter’s and Saint Paul’s Roman Catholic churches, in West Belfast. To read more about West Belfast, The Old Pound Loney, please click here:  Belfast District The Old Pound Loney.

My great-grandfather, Bernard Doran, married Mary Hall on 15 November 1884 at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. It hadn’t yet been re-named as a cathedral. Bernard’s address was given as 19 Getty Street, and his parents as John and Ellen Doran. They had five children that lived to adulthood:  Ellen, Elizabeth, Bernard – my grandfather, William, and Joseph. All five came to the United States to live as adults.

I’ve had very good luck this year researching the other children of John and Ellen Little Doran. Most of them lived in this neighborhood. I haven’t found records of any of these distant relatives leaving Northern Ireland, except occasionally to work.

John and Ellen Little Doran’s daughter, Ellen, married Arthur Lewis on 25 February 1884 at St. Peter’s. Her address was given as 37 Plevna Street, Belfast.  They had a large family. The children’s names were Mary, Arthur, Catherine Ann, Hannah, Jane, Ellen, John, and Thomas Lewis.

Another daughter of John and Ellen Little Doran was Mary Anne.  She married Thomas Perry on 21 May 1892 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Belfast. Mary Anne Doran’s address was given as Marquis Street.  Thomas and Ellen Doran Perry had at least two children called Mary Kathleen and Thomas.

John and Ellen Little Doran’s daughter Hannah married Daniel Murray on 17 June 1899 at St. Peter’s. Hannah Doran’s address was given as 49 Marchioness Street in Belfast.  Daniel and Hannah Doran Murray had four children:  James, John, Alice, and Annie.

Another son of John and Ellen Little Doran that I have found a marriage record for was John Doran. John married Elizabeth Campbell on 17 April 1900 at St. Peter’s.  John’s address was given as 2 Grosvenor Place in Belfast. For the first time John Doran, Sr., was listed as deceased. John and Elizabeth Campbell Doran had three children – John, Mary, and James, and another child that died in infancy.

When Ellen Little Doran died on the 19th of March in 1907, she had been living with her son John, and daughter-in-law, Lizzie Doran, at 72 McDonnell Street in Belfast.  She had died at age 63 of bronchitis [Source:, record accessed 12 January 2015].

That same year my great-grandfather, Bernard Doran, remarried. Mary Hall Doran had died about 1899.  From family accounts Bernard hadn’t taken care of the children, but instead left them with his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hall, to raise. Bernard Doran married Mary Kane on the 14th of December 1907 at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Belfast. His address was 26 Weaver Street and her’s was 30 Weaver Street. Weaver Street wasn’t in the Old Pound Loney neighborhood, but in another Catholic area off Shore Road, near Jennymount Mill.

For a searchable map of Belfast please click here.  Below is a copy of the Belfast map that my daughter and I used. The green marker was to show the areas and roads we took. You can click on it to enlarge the map.

From the Michelin map of Ireland - City of Belfast
From the Michelin map of Ireland – City of Belfast

I also came across this delightful old poem, The Litany of the Streets, naming the streets of this area of West Belfast – Pound Loney.

The Litany of the Streets.

The body of the parish lies stretched below the tower,
Its main arteries are weakening and dying by the hour.
There are clots of bricks and mortar in the little veins of streets,
And the talk is all of ‘ flitting ‘ with everyone one meets.

So from Albert Street and Alma Street and Abercorn Street North,
Ardmoulin and Abyssinia Street, the people must go forth;
From historied Alexander Street, already well gone west,
Will go Baker Street and Boomer Street and Bow Street and the rest.

Bosnia Street and Bread Street, Brooke Street and Belgrade,
Will be with Boundary Street and Balkan Street in Balaclava laid;
Cape Street, Cyprus Street, Cupar and Crane
Will with Christian Place and Cullingtree fade into a lane.

Conway Street and Cairns Street, further up the Falls,
With Dover, Divis, David and Derby lose their walls.
Then Dysart Street and Dunville, Dunlewey, Devonshire,
Will share the fate of Durham and fade into the mire.

English Street, with Elizabeth and Frere Street must go,
With Granville Street and Garnet Street, the pace will not be slow.
The fate of poor old Gilford Street, we already know.
But Grosvenor Road and Grosvenor Place will have a later show.

Gibson Street and Getty Street with Irwin Street will fall,
And Inkerman with Leeson Street will soon receive a call.
Lincoln Street, Lemon Street, Lady, Lower Clonard,
With Mary and Merrion will go the way of Milford.

McDonnell and McMillan will go with Marchioness,
With Milliken and Milan that will be some hundreds less.
Nail Street, Norfolk Street, Northumberland, North Howard,
And Osman, Odessa and Ormond will be ploughed.

Knocking down Pound Street made the senses reel,
And this will happen also to Plevna and Peel,
While Panton Street and Percy Sreet will fall with Quadrant,
And Ross Street and Raglan Street will be reduced to sand.

Roumania Street and Ross Place with Sevastapol will cease,
And Scotch Street and Sultan Street with Spinner see decease,
Sorella Street and Servia Street with Theodore and Ton,
Will disappear with Varna, now the work is nearly done.

Already Whitehall Court has disappeared from view,
There may be some I haven’t mentioned, streets, and people just as true,
But I’m sure that in the future, whatever ill befalls,
The glory of St Peter’s will still shine around the Falls.”

The above poem, listing some of the streets in St Peters parish, Belfast, comes from a wee book I got from the library today called,
St Peters; Cathedral Church of Down and Connor 1866-2005.
It is actually an extract from a Fr Crillys book, Donkey’s years ago (1987), where he explained:
” Before that multitude of streets was swept away to become of interest only to some historian poring over an ancient history of the city in years to come, I felt that I ought to compass them in a garment of verse.”

I hope it brought back fond memories to those exiles of St Peters, and in particular, the Pound Loney.

(still searching for Magee, McCaighy, Madden and Savage families from the Lower Falls)
This thread:
The Litany of Streets. brian magaoidh [This was copied and his email was given].  Thu, 13 Oct 2005.

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© 2014

St. Peter’s Cathedral where the Doran clan walked up the aisle.

Good luck researching your family names and locations!  Marriage records were accessed at various times this year.

Copyright 2015 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.


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