Rush Street c1900. Courtesy of the Wynne Collection.
An old and small street, Rush Street’s name can’t be accurately proven. Rushes were sometimes used in thatching and it could be that there is a connection to rushes. Also this part of the town was known to be marshy, where rushes would have been abundant.
Rush as a family name cannot be entirely ruled out but if there was a family name Rush in the area they have been long forgotten. Liam Egan writes that a branch of the clan ‘Ui Fiachra’ were called ‘O Luachra’ which translates to Rush. However they were confined to North Mayo are not associated with the Barony of Carra. He also puts forward another theory that just as Rush (Ruis) near Dublin translates as ‘the place of thewood’, this might also apply here.
A story also exists that the street was named in much the same way as Staball Hill. During the 1798 Rebellion, as the French and Irish forces charged the British Army that had set up a blockade at the crossroads at the bridge, somebody shouted ‘rush them’ and the name stuck.