Saturday, June 27, 2009

Guy's Postal Record of Newmarket in 1914

Guy's Postal Record of Newmarket in 1914 shows some details for both my grandparent's families - click here for webpage.

Thomas Hurley (my great-grandfather) is listed as follows:


Newmarket Dairy Co Ptd,Churchline, Thos Hurley, mngr

There is no direct mention of O'Loughlins, but there is a "Jehr O'Loughlan" of Barnacurra listed as a landowner:



Electoral div. Barleyhill.

O'Loughlan Jerh, Barnacurra

My third cousin Catherine believes this to be Joseph O'Loughlin of Barnacurra.

I will update my family tree with these details and the census links from previous posts.

Census 1911 - my Hurley Great Grandparents

Previously I mentioned that I had found my grandfather PJ O'Loughlin and his family in the National Archives 1911 census. I knew my grandmother (Kathleen Hurley) also lived in Newmarket, Co. Cork, but I could not find her or any Hurleys in the census data. Thanks to my third cousin Catherine Culloty, who lives in Newmarket, for finding the census return for them under the name "Hurby".

Details of the Hurley household in April 1911 can be found here. My grandmother was seven years old at the time and is listed as "Katty Teresa". Her mother's name was Bridget and her father's name was Thomas. Also listed is my grand aunt Hannah Mary who became a Loreto nun (Sr Bridget), Patrick Peter (my grand uncle Pat), and Ellen Agnes (my grand aunt Eileen, or "Mrs D" as she was affectionally known). Missing are two grand uncles who were boarders in my old school CCR - Charlie (1908-1912) and Tim (1909-1914). They are listed in the census return for CCR here - they are numbers 56 (Charlie) and 62 (Tim). I showed the census return for the Hurley household to Dad who was fascinated to see his mother listed as "Katty" - it was also proof to him that his mother was older than his father as he always suspected but never find out (she was very secretive about her age). She is listed as 7 years old in April 1911 - her birthday was in August. PJ was 6 years old at the census (seven in December 1911), so she was 1 year and four months older than him.

I have logged a correction of the family surname on-line - hopefully the census folks will make the correction in the next 2-3 months.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinner with Mary Hanafin in the Oireachtas Restaurant

Last evening Roma, my brother-in-law's wife Dorothy, my colleague Pramod, and I were entertained to dinner at the Oireachtas Restaurant in Dáil Éireann by the Minister for Social Welfare Mary Hanafin. Mary is also our local TD and I have voted for her at every election (number 1). I had bought the dinner at a Lion's Club auction and was looking forward to the evening. We had a bit of a wait when we arrived, but we were brought into the restaurant by Mary's P.A. - Martine. Mary joined us after a few moments - we were in the centre of the Member's Restaurant. I was already spotting some well known politicians such as Senator David Norris, Rory O'Hanlon, and Micheál Martin. We had a very pleasant chat about the Dáil and politics - she is very good company and very much at ease with strangers, though Roma, Dorothy, and I have met her briefly before. After the main course a vote was called in the Dáil chamber and she had to go to vote on the Crumlin Children's Hospital Private Members vote - she invited us to the public gallery to watch proceedings. I was impressed with the ceremony and grandeur of the occasion, though a lot of TDs looked bored. I was pointing out who everybody was to Pramod and having fun naming all the TDs and Ministers.

The TDs voted electronically, but this wasn't good enough for the opposition who called for a traditional going through the Lobby vote. It was during this time that Mary pointed us out to Taoiseach Brian Cowen and he recognised me from school - he waved and I waved back! When we were returning to the restaurant Mary told us that the Taoiseach wanted to meet us - he came out of the Dáil chamber to greet us. We were all delighted to shake his hand. The banter was about which of the two of us had aged the least - good stuff!

We returned to the restaurant and finished our meal - I was surprised that Mary had so much time for us as she stayed with us to the end. Beverly Flynn TD also came over to say "Hello" to Dorothy anad Roma (from her home town Castlebar). On leaving the restaurant I passed by the Taoiseach again and he stopped to shake hands - we chatted for a few minutes about Roscrea, and the Monastary. He also asked "what do you do with yourself?" and I told him I worked for NCI and even asked him for money for the College! We said our goodbyes and Mary brought us on a brief tour of Leinster House, including a visit to the Senate. A great end to a most interesting evening in Leinster House. Roma, Dorothy, and I stopped off at the Shelbourne Hotel for a jar before heading home.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RYA - Level 1 - Start Sailing Complete

Last evening I completed my fist sailing lesson in a yacht and received my first certificate of completion. the class was a follow on from Saturday's indtroductory class. There were only two students (Carmel and myself) with Donncha as Instructor. Conditions were quite calm - too calm. We had to be towed out into the middle of Dún Laoghaire harbour to get what little wind there was. We did get moving and once we left the harbour it was a bit easier to sail. We practiced what we had learned last Saturday in Scotman's Bay - nothing was too difficult as the light winds made tacking easy. It was a lttle boring at times - especially when the wind dropped completely for about 15 minutes.

Overall - I think I'd still like to do more sailing. Being out on the sea is great - especially when the sun is shining and the wind not too strong. I have to work out a way of getting a small boat!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Last Christmas, Roma gave me a voucher for a sailing lesson at the Irish National Sailing Club. Yesterday I went along for the Beginner's Level 1 course first day - the course concludes on Monday evening. The course was scheduled to run from 11.30 to 18.00, but it was a bit late starting and finished up far too early (more about this later). We had a beautiful day - lots of sunshine and a nice breeze to learn how to sail. We were kitted out in waterproof gear and buoyancy aid - I was far too hot, though it was a bit cooler out to sea.

We went straight out to the boats, but not until after a long walk down the West Pier. The boat was a 1720 like the one pictured here. My classmates for the day were Carmel, Jason, and Brendan - we were ably instructed by Andrew. The day was all about getting used to sailing and understanding the wind. I had a reasonable knowledge of how to work the wind from last year's lesson in a dinghy. I had plenty of opportunity to work on the ropes for the jib and main sail. I also got an opportunity to man the tiller and to tack into the wind, but not without a little awkwardness at first. It was good fun and we all worked well as a team. We even got to go outside Dún Laoghaire Harbour where there was plenty of waves to increase the fun. We had a break for lunch - even though this was scheduled for a half hour, this took over an hour by the time we got off the boats, ate lunch, and went back out again. Disappointingly we were instructed to finish before 5 o'clock by course director - even our own instructor thought we had more time. While it took a long time to come in tie up, I was on my way and home before 6 o'clock - the time the lesson was supposed to end. While I appreciate that the course schedule would be complete when we were back at the Club House, it did seem very early to be ending.

However, I enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone interested in the sea. The 1720 is a four person boat and a bit big - I'd be interested in something smaller, but bigger than a dinghy. Maybe some day!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The War of the Worlds

Last evening Roma and I went along to The O2 to see Jeff Wayne's musical version of The War of the Worlds. TWOTW is the only vinyl LP I ever owned (I preferred cassette tapes) and I really like the music. It is the 30th anniversary tour - the original double LP being released in 1978. Jeff Wayne himself conducted proceedings with a great orchestra supported by The Black Smoke Band. I expected special effects and was not disappointed. The O2 was full - mostly with middle aged people like myself. One of the great things about The O2 is that you can get a beer and bring it in to the show (which I did).

The show featured a hologram of a youthful Richard Burton who was the narrator in the original version, however he is unfortunately dead and cannot take part in the show. So too is Phil Lynott. But Justin Hayward was there and got a great reception for his rendition of Forever Autumn. Jennifer Allison was excellent as Beth, with great performances too from Shannon Noll as Parson Nathaniel, and Chris Thompson (formerly of Manfred Mann) as the soldier. A Martian tripod descended onto the stage during the show, which was cool, but it tended to block out a lot of the screen behind. The movie part was good - mixing old photos, cartoon drawings, animations, and film. All was excellently timed. Pyrotechnics too!

One of the interesting things about the show was that you could order a copy of a recording of the concert to be picked up straight after the show. For €25 I thought this would be an excellent souvenir - so did about 1,000 other people. There was a half hour queue after the show to pick them up. I'm listening to the CD right now as I write this and the quality is excellent. The show itself is was just a bit too loud. The recording (as it live) also has a few inadvertent additions from voices probably of the guys making the recording. This adds unnecessary authenticity - the TWOTW folks should work on this. Also, disappointingly, the tracks are not tagged - so quite a bit of work is involved if you want to have artwork and track titles available on your iPod. Of course as I am in the audience, my applause and cheers are on the CD (along with everyone else's) - this is a first for me to be on a CD!

Overall, a great show. There are a few slow moving parts, but it is faithful to the original recording. Well worth seeing - very powerful orchestral stuff.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Diep Le Shaker

Last evening Roma and I were out to dinner at the Diep Le Shaker restaurant courtesy of Ciarán and Catherine O'Connell - we had never been there before. As we were a little early we had a quick pint in The Pembroke Inn across the road first - a very quiet spot where Roma and I tried to remember if we had once heard that The Pembroke had lesbian nights. Last night was my first time ever in this pub (and I didn't see any lesbians!).

Diep Le Shaker was a very noisy and crowded restaurant - Recession how are ye! It took a long time to get inside the door as there was quite a large hen party taking their time coming out. We had a really nice meal - mine was a tasty prawn curry served in a pineapple with its core removed. I don't normally go a for a curry when eating out, but the prawns were cooked just right in a mild coconut sauce. The restaurant has a busy atmosphere with fantastic looking Thai food - it was really hard to select one meal from an excellent menu. Roma had crispy sea bass so I tried some of that - delicious. For dessert I had a Toblerone cocktail (recipe), which was delicious but hard to consume with a straw - I gave up and used a spoon. We had an excellent chat and gossip over dinner in a super restaurant with great service. Diep Le Shaker is certainly recommended - especially if you don't mind some noise.

Afterwards there was time for a last drink in The Pembroke Inn - still no lesbians, but I has a nice pint of Guinness to round off a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Google Street View Camera

Today while out for one of my favorite lunchtime walks through the three green fields (Merrion Square, St. Stephen's Green, and College Park in Trinity) I spotted the Google Street View car with its camera on the roof. I was just outside the Provost's House in Trinity located at the centre of the map below:

It was an ordinary saloon car with a curious roof rack on which was a clearly visible camera on top. I had heard that Google had stopped using a van in favour of a lower car due to privacy concerns. There was a guy in the back of the car with a laptop computer - as he passed he was looking in a folder at some files, so I'm not sure that he was actually recording as he drove past me.

I felt like waving to the camera, but I did not want to look stupid for posterity on Google Maps Street View. I do hope they were recording - I have no problem being shown on Street View. In fact I will probably be disappointed if they blot my face out! I'll be on the lookout for the Street View outside the Provost's House whenever Google get this on-line.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The 1911 census

The National Archives of Ireland is currently working on a project to digitize the 1911 census of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Archives for Co Cork, where my Dad's family were from, have recently been released and I decided to take a quick look around what's available. After some searching I found the census form for my great-grandfather Joseph O'Loughlin's family. They are listed under the family name of "Loughlin".

The actual document signed by my great-grandfather is scanned and available for viewing on-line - click here to see a PDF version. He is listed as a widower - his second wife Julia had died in 1907, his first wife Mary died in 1902. His only son "Pattie" is listed aged 6 - this of course is my grandfather PJ O'Loughlin. Interestingly there is also a Eugene Loughlin listed, aged 28, as a "farm servant". It's possible that he is a relation, but I don't have him on my family tree. I'll check this out with my third cousin and O'Loughlin family guru on all things ancestral - Catherine Culloty.

It's fascinating to see such an old document. I intend to print off a copy to give to Dad - I'm sure he has never seen his grandfather's signature before, and I know he'll be fascinated to see the document with his father listed as a child.

Post number 200 on Eugene's Blog

This is the 200th post on this blog!

My first post was on 13th November 2006 - I posted only this and one other time in 2006. In 2007 I upped the rate of posts a bit, but still managed only 15 posts in the whole year. By 2008 I had got the hang of it and made 124 posts over the year - averaging about 12 per month. So far in 2009 I have posted 59 times (including this post) - an average of about 10 per month.

I have blogged on many items: restaurant, books, and movie reviews, family events, conferences and meetings that I have been at, golf, football, Preston North End, my Harley-Davidson, holidays, Brian Cowan, pies, and more recently on the Ryan Report. I enjoy the freedom of expression that a blog provides - I would never have thought that I would be putting my thoughts on the web for anyone to read. Even though there are very few readers of this blog (there have been more lately), I still feel free to express on anything that I take a notion to. I hope to keep going and post on almost anything I can think of. I don't feel the need to post every day, nor do I worry unnecessarily when I haven't posted for a while.

Long live Blogging - and here's to the next 200 posts!