Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Connacht Tribune

Once-great family laid low by war

Avatar

Published

on

Lifestyle – One-hundred members of the extended Persse family from around the world served in the Great War. Author Gerry Kearney tells THOMAS HACKETT how their story inspired his new book.

The impact of the First World War on one of Galway’s most famous families is brought to life in a new book, In Days that Were: The Great War and Beyond. The book by Gerry Kearney chronicles the harrowing Great War experiences of the prominent Anglo-Irish Persse family from South Galway and their descendants.

The Persses suffered tremendous loss during the war, as their sons served in some of the bloodiest battlefields of the conflict. Of those who fought, 18 men of Persse heritage would never return.

Gerry’s book starts in Galway and its reach is broad as it records the lives of more than 100 people from around the world who had Persse blood in their veins and fought in WWI.

The book features names from Ireland, England, South Africa and Australia – what they all have in common is that they’re descendants of Dean Dudley Persse (1625-1699), a Church of Ireland clergyman who established Roxborough estate near Kilchreest, Loughrea, in 1685.

“He was the first of the Persses to ever come to County Galway”, notes Gerry.

The Persse family went on to play a pivotal role in the history of Galway City and County – and probably became best-known for establishing Persse’s Distillery in Nuns’ Island in the 1840s. One Ireland’s most successful distilleries at the time, its label proudly displayed ‘as supplied to the House of Commons’.  It closed in the early 1900s, but the ruins of the distillery can still be seen today.

The most renowned family members included celebrated playwright Lady Augusta Gregory of Coole Park, near Gort, who was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and Sir Hugh Lane, who opened the world’s first modern art gallery in Dublin.

Lane was tragically killed when Germans torpedoed the Lusitania in May 1915, mere weeks after another Persse descendant, William Hugh Cornwallis Trousdell, was lost at sea following the sinking of another passenger ship, the SS Falaba.

“That was a real case of absolute murder, it was nasty stuff,” says Gerry of the Falaba incident.

His fascination with the Persse family history began while he was researching a previous book.

“I was doing a piece on my wife’s family called The Taylor Family of Ardrahan Post Office and, while in the graveyard of Kilchreest, I noticed many graves with the name Persse,” he explains.

He was hooked.

In Days that Were captures the history of the Persse family from the Tudor period of the 16th Century through to the Crimean War, the Great War and the Irish revolutionary period.

For more,  read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and  county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending