Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Lahinch)

On May 29, we took a walking tour of Lahinch. The tour was hosted by Thomsie O'Sullivan of the North Clare Historical Society. Thomsie has a remarkable amount of historical knowledge of the homes and businesses in the village. He shared that history with us that evening.

I taped most of the evening but I have far too much material, so am only going to post the introduction to the evening, which began in the Church. Thomsie discusses in this clip why and how a new Church had to be built.

(Sometimes, for reasons known only to God, I can't find the video I'm looking for when accessing it through my blog, to embed into my blog. Like this time. And sometimes when I try to retrieve the embed code itself, it doesn't work either. In both these cases, I am forced to either make a career out of figuring out why it doesn't work, or, I just give up and give you the link. Today I am not interested in a new career.)

Thomsie told us that the new Church was basically built through the village people volunteering their time, effort and hard labour. The people dug into 60 feet of the cliff behind the church which was mud and rock. They took away the stones themselves, and many people used the stones to build their own homes. The sustained effort strengthened the whole community. Fundraising was also going on the whole times as well.

Thomsie also remembered when there were 40 to 50 Masses going on in the summer because of all the visiting priests, and Thomsie would often have to serve four Masses. Often the priest would say to the alter servers before Mass: "Could you come down and caddy for me after Mass?" The reward was an ice cream after caddying.

I attended Mass here while in Lahinch. Sunday Masses were lovely, quick and solemn. In Ottawa, Sunday Masses are usually at least an hour long. In Lahinch, about 30 minutes. Very efficient. And often the priest would say the Our Father in Irish. I never caught it on audio, but here is a video of the Lord's Prayer being said in Irish.

The Parish also had two prayers that they said after each Mass. The first was their Parish Prayer:

"Father, pour out your spirit on us your people and grant us a new vision of your glory, a new experience of your power, a new faithfulness to your word, a new consecration to your service so that your love may grow among us & that we may make your kingdom a reality in our place and time. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen."

The second prayer I recognized  as one that St. Ignatius of Loyola particularly loved called Anima Christi, or the Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
0 good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Do not allow me to be separated from you.
From the malevolent enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
and bid me come to you,
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.

(A special thanks to Maureen and all her hard work on creating my videos)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Journey to Ireland: The series

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 Our trip to Ireland (fences)

Thursday, June 27, 2013 Our trip to Ireland  (Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Lahinch)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (looking for John Maloney, born Ennis 1819)

Sunday, June 23, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (meeting artist Michael Hanrahan)

Thursday, June 20, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (Music - the old and the new)
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (An Gorta Mór)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (Ennistymon)

Thursday, June 13, 2013, Our Trip to Ireland  (Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, The Burren etc.)

Monday, June 10, 2013, Our journey to Ireland  (the Gathering and Fleadh Nua)

Friday, June 7, 2013, Our journey to Ireland

Our trip to Ireland (looking for John Maloney, born Ennis 1819)

One of the reasons we went to Ireland in general, and County Clare in particular, was the faint hope I had of tracking down my great great grandfather John Maloney.

On our second trip into Ennis, we returned to the Clare County Library where genealogical records are kept. The first time it was closed which is why we returned.

I asked the librarian if they had any birth or baptismal records from 1819 when John was born. I knew that John was born in Ennis. I was told that there are really no records from before the 1840's, unless the person was part of the gentry or the clergy. I'm pretty certain that John didn't fall into either of those categories. I was apparently out of luck. The librarian suggested I contact the genealogist on staff there in case he had any further suggestions in tracking him down. Once I returned home I did email him a couple of times, but have received no reply as of yet.

Maybe there is someone out there in Internet land, who could point me in a direction to find something out further about my family. One problem in discovering our roots back to Ireland is the numerous spellings of our name:

and the Gaelic: O Maoldhomhnaigh

And possibly other spellings as well. No wonder I can't find any relatives.

What we do know is the following:
  • John Maloney was born in 1819 in Ennis County Clare (married to Deborah Moriarty, daughter of Daniel Moriarty and Julia Brennan, 1826, County Limerick)
  • Michael Maloney was born in 1816 (Probably born in Ennis as well, Married to Mary Dundin (1819-1873))
  • Patrick Maloney was born in 1820 (Probably born in Ennis as well, Married to Catherine O'Brien)
We believe that five brothers came over initially but we only know for certain, the names of these three brothers.

Then I found this information:
"Biddy, Edmund, George, James, John Michael and Patrick Molony all arrived in Canada in 1847."

Is that our Maloney's? This sounded intriguing so I contacted the site to find out how they discovered this information.

These are all the other places I have contacted as well. Will anything turn up? If there are no records for the early 1800's, as seems to be the case so far, probably not. Will keep you posted.

Library and Archives Canada here and here.

John and Deborah from the Maloney Geneology compiled by Bill and Clara Maloney in 1979

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (meeting artist Michael Hanrahan)

In one of our numerous visits to Kenny's gift shop in Lahinch, we spied the same print of a painting of Lahinch, that was also in our rented home.

We bought most of our gifts in this shop, where the prices were very good and the selection was extensive. Towards the end of the month, Rosie would laugh when she saw that we had come back. Yet again.

The painting in question, was done by local artist Michael Hanrahan. Attached to the gift shop was an art gallery and this is where we also saw the print.

Our daughters were interested in possibly purchasing it, so after they left I set about to contact the artist.

We met, and Michael kindly offered to take Fred and I to his art studio in Ennistymon to look at his works there. He told us that he had painted for the Queen of England, and for the Kennedy foundation, among others. He also taught water coulour painting on cruise ships.

We settled on a price for the print and now Michael's beautiful art is in Canada.

Michael and I with the print of his Lahinch painting.

Michael at his home in Lahinch (Also note the lovely stone fence. Michael told me that it is probably 200 years old. Just in case you hadn't noticed it.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Music - the old and the new)

On May 16, 2013 we saw the Irish band, Hermitage Green play live at Kenny's Pub in Lahinch.

They were very good and I shot one of their songs with my cell phone. The pub was very full and the patrons were very loud so it was hard to enjoy the music. We stayed a while but eventually left because it was difficult to really appreciate the music properly, with the non-stop chatter and noise of the audience. I guess we are old now.

Hermitage Green:

Once we hit the cold air outside I knew I was in desperate need of the ladies room. You know. To powder my nose? We then went in search of one. When I came out, Fred was looking intently inside at Danny Mac's Pub. There was a trio playing traditional Irish music. So instead of going home like we had planned, in we went to listen.

Yvonne Casey, Kirsten Allstaff and Yvonne Casey were playing. We plunked ourselves down at the table next to them. I was able to tape some of their music, and even made a short video of one of the patrons expressing his obvious admiration of the music. (See video below.)

We then returned the following Thursday to hear them again. Awesome music.

Me in front of Kenny's Pub. Notice the exceptionally attractive yellow boots.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (An Gorta Mór)

Here is more information on the Memorial outside of Ennistymon. I mentioned it in yesterday's post. From Wikepedia:
"The 'An Gorta Mór' [the Great Famine] Memorial was erected a mile outside Ennistymon on the road to Lahinch to commemorate the memory of the victims of the great potato crop failures/famine of 1845 to 1850 known as the Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór). It was dedicated on August 20, 1995 – the 150th anniversary of that tragedy. Located across from Ennistymon Hospital, itself built on the grounds of the local workhouse, it was erected by a combined effort of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Board of Erin and Board of America and the Clare County Council.

The FallsThe monument was designed by an artist from Co Kerry and depicts an account found in the Minutes of the Meetings of the Boards of Guardians for Ennistymon Union held in the County Archives. [1] The account centered on a note that was pinned to the torn shirt of a barefoot orphan boy who was left at the workhouse door on the freezing cold morning of February 25, 1848. The note read:

"Gentlemen, There is a little boy named Michael Rice of Lahinch aged about 4 years. He is an orphan, his father having died last year and his mother has expired on last Wednesday night, who is now about to be buried without a coffin!! Unless ye make some provision for such. The child in question is now at the Workhouse Gate expecting to be admitted, if not it will starve. -- Rob S. Constable''
One side of the memorial depicts a child standing before the workhouse door, while across from that is the head of an anguished mother and two hands clenched in frustration or anger above the sorrowful text of the pleading note."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Ennistymon)

(Updated June 19)
One morning we were having coffee in Danny Mac's pub and I noticed an abandoned Tim Horton's take-away cup on the counter (notice my use of the correct Irish word for take-out). Yikes I thought, Tim Horton's in Ireland? We asked the waiter who it belonged to, and he pointed out the customer to us. The man said he got it in Ennistymon which is about 4.5 km from Lahinch.

When I got home and googled it, I couldn't find any Tim Horton's anywhere in Europe never mind in Irland. Oh well, we were going to Ennistymon anyway so we would check it out when we goth there.

We walked to the town on May 13. We had our rain coats on of course, and about half way there it began to pour. Then there were ice pellets. It was about 10 degrees and naturally, it was very windy. I was glad I was wearing my long johns. Until it began to sleet. Because now, not only were my legs drenched but my long johns were as well. Long johns adhering to legs. Gross.

We got there in one piece, soggy but otherwise okay. Pretty soon the sun came out again and we were carrying our raincoats.

We stopped at a pub for a coffee and as soon as I walked in I said uh oh. They were smoking inside, the first time we had seen smoking in any establishment. We asked for coffee and thankfully we were told that we might want to instead go across the street which we gladly did. There was a nice little cafe where we had coffee and scones and jam. Two ladies at the next table started talking to us, Ann and Nora. Ann asked us if we were from Lahinch. She had seen us walking past her house mornings on Station Road. We told her about our one month stay in Lahinch and had a nice chat with them, and then they left.

We finished up and I wondered if my clammy legs would ever dry.

We went back outside and walked around for a bit, and lo and behold we saw another Tim Horton's cup walk across the street. With a person attached to it. I asked the holder of said cup, where he had got the coffee and he said at the "Spar", a small grocery store. Naturally we went in to it, and there it was: a small Timmy's counter with a coffee machine and even donuts in a display case. Fred was pretty excited. He got one to go and we left.

We headed out of town for our trek back to Lahinch. The skies looked kind of ominous and we thought we are going to get dumped on again. I had noticed the church when we came into town. (Our Lady and Saint Michael, Ennistymon, I had to google it's name. The Irish don't seem to put the names on many of their churches. Not sure why.) I knew the church would be opened, as all the Irish Churches we had seen were open, which was wonderful. This way I got to go into them in every town we visited.

Sure enough we went in, sat down, and the deluge began. We waited a bit in silence and I took some pictures. When we left, the rain had passed and we were able to get home in the sunshine. It was up hill and windy so the going was a bit intense but by the time we were home we were as dry as a stone (as in stone fences).

More pictures along the way including the four at the bottom below that depict the Ennistymon work houses during the famine. County Clare was hit hard during the famine. Ireland lost one third of its population to starvation, one third emmigrated and one third stayed. I believe my great-great-grandfather John Maloney, came over from Ireland during the famine along with his two brothers in the 1840's.

Ennistymon Falls
 No description needed
 The Church
Inside the Church
 The plaques on the road to Ennistymon discussing the famine

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Trip to Ireland (Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, The Burren etc.)

(Updated May 14)

On May 6, our neighbour Michael popped over and started to chat with me. He and his wife were in their summer home for the weekend. Michael is the brother-in-law of Helen, the woman we had rented from. He was very chatty and invited me to come over and meet his wife Eileen which I did. Before I knew it I was drinking wine with them.

I had just run over to their house with my slippers on (not expecting to stay long), when Fred came downstairs shortly thereafter and I was no where to be found. He saw that my shoes were still at the door and puzzled over that. Where had I gone in my slippers? Hopefully not too far. He finally figured out where I had run off to, and before he knew it, he had joined us for a lively conversation with our new friends in their big kitchen.

Before we said good-bye, Michael had invited us over the following morning for an Irish breakfast and promised to drive us about the area before their return to Dublin that afternoon.

It was an offer we couldn't refuse. It was especially appreciated, since we didn't have a car of our own to drive and we would get to see some of the area.

Breakfast the next morning was wonderful (Irish bacon, eggs, sausages, coffee, juice, grilled tomatoes and bread. I said no thanks to the blood pudding; Fred said yes thanks.) and off we went on our little tour.

Doolin, Liscannor (where Pope Francis is the Parish Priest. I kid you not.), the Rock Shop in the Burren, St. Brigid's Well (many miracles have been attributed to St. Brigid here). Michael also pointed out to us where the famous Cliffs of Moher were, although we didn't actually see them that day.

It was a fun morning and gave us a better idea of where we were going to return to later. We had already decided that we would visit these same spots again via taxi or bus hire.

And we did return on May 22 after our daughters had arrived.

We hired Pete McNamara to take us out on his bus to do the tour that day. He took us to all of the same places and it was a full day event this time.

Pete was a wonderful guide, explaining all the sites with lots of stories along the way and leaving us to explore the places for as long as we needed. The day included the Cliffs of Moher which were awesome. We were also very taken with the Burren and it's rocky beauty.

Naturally I took a ton of pictures.

We bought a few gifts at the Cliffs, had lunch in O'Connor's Pub in Doolin (very yummy) and bought rocky road chocolate (and other varieties of chocolate) at the chocolate store on Pete's recommendation.

And the sun shone the entire day. Praise Jesus.

Michael, Fred and Eileen on our foray into Clare country  

The Burren 

Purple flower in the Burren whose name I don't know (a friend let me know it is a purple orchid)

 O'Connor's pub in Doolin 

St. Brigid's well. The grotto is on the left. The graveyard is behind. And the pub is on the right. Of course there's a pub.

Inside St. Brigid's well. People leave all kinds of things here.

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher looking the other way

 The Burren and a lovely stone fence

The Burren and another lovely stone fence

Maude, Pete, Johanna and Fred. A good time was had by all.

And one more lovely stone fence. I know you wanted one.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our journey to Ireland (the Gathering and Fleadh Nua)

When we had planned our trip to Ireland, we were unaware that Ireland had a tourist initiative on for 2013 called the Gathering. It is a tourism-led initiative to bring peoples of Irish descent back to Ireland.

We were pleasantly surprised that on one of the two days we travelled to Ennis by city bus, that we were able to take in one of the Gathering events, which coincided with the Fleadh Nua. The Fleadh Nua is a festival that happens in May in Ennis every year, to celebrate traditional Irish music and culture.

We were also happy that the buses weren't on strike. After our first visit to Ennis two weeks before, the buses went on strike. Since we weren't driving ourselves, we were thankful to be able to take the bus.

From our schedule of the Fleadh Nua, we noted two concerts we hoped to attend on the day (May 24, 2013) we were in Ennis. The first was called the Riches of Clare at 1:00 at the Clare Museum. Alas when we reached it, the room was full, and we couldn't get in. We checked out the next event, which was at the Old Ground Hotel on O'Connell St. at 3:00.

We found the room in the Hotel where the concert would be held. We were told that the room we were in had been a church at one point, and indeed, it looked like a church but I can't find the history of that fact. I just spent about an hour trying to find the website for the Old Ground Hotel to find out the history about this room. No luck. And I can't even find the hotel's website--all of the hotel booking websites kept coming up. No, I don't want to book a room, thank you very much, I want to find the Hotel's website. But I digress.

The concert was fantastic. There were about 40 musicians who sat in the room with the audience. I sat between a flute player and and a violinist. It was very informal, with visitors and musicians coming and going throughout the two hour concert. There was also some traditional set dancing. I made some audios of the music, including quite a few solo ballads sung by different musicians.

My sister Maureen put together a lovely slide show video of some of these ballads, along with some of the pictures I took of West Clare during our visit. The video is just under 15 minutes. The other vidos following are around three minutes long.

This last video is of the musicians. I tried to embed the actual video code here but for some reason that I can't figure out (I think it's the leprechauns they seem to be out in full force today) I can't embed the code. Here is the direct link.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our journey to Ireland

We recently returned from a month long trip to Ireland. I had been there in 2004 on a bus tour with my sister and her husband--of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. The 2004 trip was great, but I knew I needed to return and spend more time in Ireland itself, the country where my ancestors come from. And I wanted Fred to come too.

Neither of us are world travellers, and in fact don't really like travelling that much. We decided we wanted to settle down in one place, and preferably not drive while there--you know the wrong side of the road and all that? So wherever we chose to go to, it had to have all amenities within walking distance of where we stayed. I also wanted to have the choice to be able to cook, and not have to eat out all the time. It also had to be in County Clare where my great-great-grandfather John Maloney was born. I was hoping to find out more about John who was born in Ennis, County Clare.

I started searching for a place to stay, and we ended up deciding on the small village of Lahinch on the West Coast of Ireland. Lahinch is a lovely place known for its surfing, it's beach and its (apparently) fantastic golf course. A lot of Irish families have summer homes there. We were not disappointed with our choice.

We rented a beautiful home from a lovely family. We were about a 10 minute walk from numerous pubs, restaurants, and a small grocery store where we were able to buy all the food we needed. And a fantastic gift shop.

It rained a fair amount, but it never rained for the entire day. It is also very windy in Lahinch, much windier than we are used to. It was apparently cooler than normal for the time of year, with temperatures ranging from about 8 decrees Celsius to about 13 degrees. The weather did not deter us though. We brought our raincoats which we used almost every day, and umbrellas that we never used because of the wind. If we had used the umbrellas, we would have done a Mary Poppins across the bay.

I think this vacation was the best we have ever had. I knew as our time there unfolded that I would have to write about it upon our return. Nothing out of the ordinary happened there really. Other than enjoying every minute; talking to many lovely people and trying to understand what they were saying with that Irish accent that makes one want to weep it's so beautiful; seeing some of the most gorgeous countryside in the world; eating great food; listening to awesome traditional Irish music and singing; watching the set dancing in the barn in Kilfenora; meeting an Irish artist; attending a Gathering concert in Ennis; drinking the best beer in the world; eating lots of potatoes and scones--yum; seeing so many stone fences and sheep that I managed to take nearly 1,500 pictures of it all; visiting all the churches in every town we went to, some of which date back to the 12th century; and knowing when I left that I wanted to return again with my sisters in tow. That's all. Nothing too special really.

I hope to write more about the trip in the coming weeks. A trip that was truly, a gift from God.

Notice the different spellings of Lahinch: Lehinch and An Leacht, its Irish name. Most, if not all signs provide the Irish names as well.

This was probably a house at one point but appeared to be converted to a barn

Cows taking shelter behind a stone fence from some pretty ferocious winds. We couldn't see the cows until we made it to that side of the fence. This was taken up on the School Road overlooking the village and bay.