Donnelly Canada

Recording the memories

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Barber Family

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(Submitted by Richard Barber and Patricia Barber in April 2009)

Up until the 1960s, the blacksmith’s shop (forge) serving the entire area around Tierworker was located a short distance from the Tierworker crossroads along the road to Cormeen. The last blacksmith was Dickie Barber. Dickie and Annie Townley were married in Tierworker Chapel in 1934. Dickie was reared in a little house on Fartha (Fertagh) hill next to Carnaville (Cornaville). He had three brothers and two sisters. His father and grandfather were also called Richard, as are his son, grandson and great-grandson.


Curran Families

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(Based on information provided in April 2009 by Julie in Australia)

The family name of Curran has long been associated with Tierworker. When the old national school of Edendugally was built on the Lough-an-leagh Mountain in 1835, two of the principal sponsors were Edward (a publican) and Dug Curran. It remains to be verified, but there is a high probability that Edward Curran was the proprietor of the commercial premises now known as the Royal Breffni Lounge at Tierworker crossroads. On April 5th 1860, Loughlin Curran, who was then 21 years old and possibly the son of Edward Curran, sailed out of Liverpool on the “Young America” bound for Australia.


Donnelly Families

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(Original submitted by Philip Donnelly in September 2009)

(Modified on October 31, 2016 with more recent information about Peter Donnelly and Bryan Donnelly)

In the late 1800s, five related Donnelly families lived contemporaneously on farms in the townland of Greaghnadarragh, about 3 miles east of the town of Bailieborough. Greaghnadarragh is in that part of the old Parish of Moybolgue which is now known as Tierworker.

Martin Families of Kingscourt

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Submitted by Peter Martin

For more details and current research by Peter Martin: Click here
Patriarch James Martin
I have been gathering information on my family roots for several years but so far have only been able to trace back to James Martin & his wife Bridget (Carroll) to the late 18th century. James Martin’s family originated from Tory Bush - a crossroads on the Bailieborough to Kingscourt Road R165, about 3 miles from Kingscourt. It is in the townland of Collops, between Kingscourt and Bailieborough & several references to deaths in ‘Tory Bush’ have been unearthed & several family members have visited the house.
Martin House at Tory Bush
at 90 degree bend on Main Road R165, halfway between Kingscourt and Bailieborough
Martin House at Tory Bush
front yard view
Ann Eiller visited Tory Bush in 1990 - “there was a huge thorny bush growing over the wall at the front of the house”. 

McCabe Family

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(introduction to be written)


An ode to Johnnie McCabe

Published with the permission of the authors, Patsy McDermott and Susan, of Killinkere, County Cavan, 2009.

Johnnie McCabe, centre, and his sister, Rose, at right, enjoying an evening with friends at The Royal Breffni in May 2009

Verse 1

The second Wednesday night was draughty, as far as I remember

The month I’m not too sure of – I think it was November

Herself and I sat by the fire, she turned to me to say

“I think we’ll go to the Royal Breffni, it’s not that far away”.


The Eyes That Shone - from Ireland to Canada in the 1950s

But a word of warning! The Eyes That Shone is not a saga filled with horrible tragedy and dysfunctional relationships, but rather a celebration of family lives in Ireland and Canada, in other words, a happy story featuring:

  • Memories of life on small farms in Ireland before 1950 and before tractors and electrification, when growing food depended largely on human sweat and muscle
  • Recollections about people and events in the Department of Public Works of Canada where the author worked during the period 1957 to 1991
  • Intimate perspectives on living and dying, politics and religion, home and family