Census Day Sunday Next
Next Sunday April the 24th is National Census Day and it is important that we all cooperate with the process. This is a collection of national data on which many government, social and economic decisions and policies are arrived at. Also it a record of the state at a particular time. The word ‘census’ has its origins in a Roman word meaning ‘to estimate’. The process goes back nearly five thousand years in Egypt and later in Greece, Rome and China.
The great census in our region was undertaken in England when what is called ‘The Domesday Book’ was undertaken in 1086 by King William the first so that he could properly tax the land he had recently conquered. Copies of this record are still to be seen.
The first full government census of Ireland was taken in 1821 with further censuses at ten-yearly intervals from 1831 through to 1911. No census was taken in 1921, because of the War of Independence. The first census of the population of the Irish Free State was taken in 1926. To date censuses have been taken in 1926, 1936, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1979 (the census due in 1976 was cancelled as an economy measure!), 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2006 and in April 2011.
The original census returns for 1861 and 1871 were apparently destroyed by the decree of the British Government, for whatever reason, shortly after the censuses were taken! Those for 1881 and 1891 were pulped during the First World War, probably because of the paper shortage!
One of the tragic results of the beginning of the Civil War was that the returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were, apart from a few survivals, notably for a few counties for 1821 and 1831, destroyed in 1922 in the fire at the Public Record Office. This has left a huge gap in the genealogical record of this terribly important period.
The first basic census available online from the point of view of tracing your ancestry is that of 1901 followed by 1911. The next census to be available to the public will be the 1926 Census Returns will be released in January 2027.
In filling out the census try and make sure the biro mark is a clear and straight horizontal line across the allocated box. The forms when first encountered may seem intimidating but they are large enough to allow for a generous number of people being part of a household, so in smaller household a number of sections will not apply. The enumerator will of course always advise people with any issues.
Proclamation Signatory Eamon Ceannt
On foot of a conversation I had recently I decided to check back on some of the lesser known participants of Easter 1916. One of them was Eamon Ceannt who was born in Ballymoe which is geographically in county Galway but is part of St. Croan’s GAA club. Eamon was born in September 1881 the son of a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary i.e. R.I.C. The family moved to Louth and later to Dublin where he worked in local government. He became involved, like so many at that time, in various cultural organisations promoting Irish language, history and culture including the ‘Pipers Club’ he being a talented musician. Ceannt was a founder member of the Irish Volunteers and a member of the I.R.B. and was involved in the successful Howth gun-running operation of 1914. He was the commander of the Fourth Battalion of Irish Volunteers during the 1916 Rising and took control of the South Dublin Union (St. James’s Hospital). Ceannt was one of the seven men to sign the Proclamation of Independence for the Irish Republic and was executed on the 8th of May 1916.
Cork’s Thomas Kent
In the conversation mentioned above my colleague seemed to get Eamon Ceannt mixed up with Thomas Kent who was also executed immediately after The Rising. Thomas Kent was from Castlelyons in County Cork and with Roger Casement was one of the two ‘rebels’ who were executed outside Dublin after 1916. Kent had not travelled to Dublin for The Rising due to the countermanding order of Eoin McNeill ordering Volunteer units to ‘stand down’ from all manoeuvres on Easter Sunday when he became aware of the intentions of the inner circle of the Dublin I.R.B. to undertake a Rising in Dublin with Connolly’s Citizen’s Army.
Thomas Kent and family were known to the police as Republican activists and on word of the Dublin outbreak of hostilities they tried to arrest Thomas and his brothers. A fire-fight ensued and a policeman was shot dead and one of the Kent brothers died subsequently from wounds incurred in the gun battle. Thomas was executed by firing squad on May 9th after a summary trial and buried in Cork prison in a grave near his place of execution. He was for decades regarded as the ‘Forgotten Patriot’. In 1966 he was remembered with the railway station in Cork being re-named in his memory. After archaeological investigation in 2015 his remains were exhumed after being confirmed by DNA and were re-interred with full state and military honours in the family graveyard of Castlelyons.
(At ‘Ardcarne Remembers 1913-1923’ which takes place from Friday April 29th to Sunday May 1st the official Opening will be performed on the Friday night in Crossna church by Michael McDowell grandson of Eoin McNeill.)
What it Says in the Papers (the ones I’ve scanned)
Joe Brolly on Death in the Ring.
Joe Brolly had an incisive article in the Sunday Independent on Sunday last surrounding the recent tragic death of the Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho in the Mixed Martial Arts fight in Dublin. Joe also covered some of the historic deaths incurred as a result of boxing. He used a quote from one of the great heavyweights of the late sixties and seventies Joe Frazier who was involved in one of the most savage fights of that time versus Muhamad Ali, which took place in 1975 and became known as ‘the thriller in Manila’. Ali won the fight but it left its mark physically and mentally on both fighters. Frazier before he died in poverty said: “I got my money took, my brain shook and my name in the undertaker’s book.”. (I seem to remember Joe Frazier, who may also have been able to sing, performing in The Casino dance hall in Castlerea in the early seventies. Could that be right?). A sidebar to Brolly’s article was the text of the Bob Dylan song, “Who killed Davy Moore?”. Davy was a star American boxer in the 50s’ and 60s’ who died days after a fight in March 1963. The long song deals with Dylan’s interpretation of the role of the referee, the crowd, the manager, the gambler, the boxing writer and his opponent. Apparently nobody killed Davy Moore.
Fergal Keane on 1922.
Also in the Sunday Independent Fergal Keane has a testing article titled “Confronting our blood-soaked, vicious past the best tribute to Irish Republic”. Fergal is in the throes of writing a book about the War of Independence and Civil War in North Kerry and he certainly has some controversial episodes to explore there. These include one of the most horrific episodes that being at a place called Ballyseedy where eight Republican prisoners were killed by a mine in reprisal for the earlier deaths of five Free State troops.
West Cork was another area in which many tragic ‘incidents’ of reprisal also occurred. These have been regularly referred to by Eoghan Harris.
I have not heard anecdotally or otherwise of any such ‘incidents’ occurring in Roscommon during that period. Barry Feely in his recent book ‘They Dared to Challenge’- page 104- writes of the curious disappearances of four RIC from Frenchpark in May/June 1921.
So as the celebratory commemoration of 1916 passes we are heading towards a far more tricky period i.e. the Civil War from June 1922 into 1923. This is a period which laid the foundations for the politics of the last century of which we see ongoing evidence in the current machinations in Leinster and Trinity College no less.
Where would you rather be?
The above question was asked over a lovely picture of Lough Key bathed in sunshine on realboyle.com in the last couple of days. I had actually tripped across a series in The Irish Times online ‘Planning to return to Ireland? Here’s all you need to know” . There are a series of short essays covering the range of experiences and emotions by people who are in the various stages of the process including having come home and deciding to leave again! The headlines covering the essay contributions are illustrative of the confusion and challenge of such a decision.
Ireland is such an exasperating country in the sense that even though we are so tied to it emotionally and it having a good deal going for it, still it succeeds in driving so many fine young people to leave. Anyway the series in The Irish Times is an interesting if inconclusive exercise.
‘Veteran of Everest gets €40 k for fall on Wicklow Way trail’
The above was a headline on Saturday’s paper. Apparently the lady tripped on a Parks and Wildlife boardwalk which was part of the walkway. She got a gash to the knee which required seven stiches. “The 59 year old lady told the court that she had climbed in the Himalayas and to base camp on Mount Everest and could no longer climb or run marathons. She had been walking for over 40 years “all around the world.”’ Now what would you make of that and some of us thinking perhaps we had problems?
Impressive Strokestown too strong for under-strength Boyle.
Strokestown 1.19 Boyle 1.7.
Strokestown were convincing winners over Boyle in the senior league game on Sunday at Boyle. The first half was a close affair but in the second half ‘Town’ (as Strokestown abbreviate their name to regularly) went up through the gears and it was easy for them in the end. Colin Compton opened Strokestown’s account in the first minute of the game and this set the tone as it was Compton who was to add another 9 points to his sides total in a very impressive performance. Compton and Donie Smith of Boyle were the main scorers for each side in the first half, Smith scoring four times with 2 being frees and Compton scoring 3 points 2 including frees. The half-time score was Strokestown 1.6 Boyle 1.5. The goals came from Gareth Gilmartin for Boyle and Ml. Hagen for ‘Town’. Boyle would have felt they did well to be just a point in arrears at this stage. The second half provided a succession of evenly spaced points for Strokestown from start to finish and all Boyle could harness was just 2 scores. Stokestown were in control in the second half with good interplay and strong running and in Compton especially they had the finisher to transfer this into a healthy lead. It has to be said that Boyle were missing nearly half a dozen influential players through injury such as Sean Purcell, Enda Smith, Evan McGrath, Cian Beirne, and Roch Hanmore with Stokestown’s most notable absentee through injury being Cathal Compton.
Best for Boyle, mostly in the first half, were goalkeeper Tadgh Lowe, Ml. Hanmore, Tadgh McKenna, Gareth Gilmartin who did very well, Dylan East, Jim Suffin and Donie Smith. For Strokestown, apart from ‘Man of the Match’ Compton, they had impressive performers, for the most part in the second half, from Kevin Finn, Daniel Rogers, Paddy Brogan, Sean Mullooly and David Neary. Scorers; Strokestown; Colin Compton 0.10 (3 fr.) S. Collins 0.1, E. Molloy 0.2, D. Molloy 0.1, Ml Hagen 1.0, Kevin Finn 0.4 (2 fr.) Tom Corcoran 0.1. Boyle, Donie Smith 0.5 (2 fr.), Gareth Gilmartin 1.0 Colin Goldrick 0.1, Jim Suffin 0.1. Gerry Carmody did very well as referee.
On Sunday next Boyle play Oran in Rockfield, Oran at 2. If Boyle hope to remain in the Senior league this is a game they really need to win, though Oran showed that they too are a force to be reckoned with when defeating Clann na nGael on Sunday last in a high scoring game.
Boyle Celtic Two to Go
Boyle Celtic overcame Yeats Utd. on Wednesday evening in Carny on the score of Celtic 4. Yeats 2. It was a tough struggle on an ‘irregular’ surface with Yeats twice going in front. However the better football of Celtic saw them home with some outstanding performances especially from three-goal hero Shane Battles whose classic third goal would grace any level of the game. They now have two more games but can only afford one draw to win the Sligo Leitrim league for the second time in three years. Their next game on Sunday morning is v Calry at 11am where if they win the final game will be v Manorhamilton on Wednesday night when they will know for sure whether they are Super league Champions or not.