Category Archives: Friends

100 Years Ago

Summer on Achill

Emily, Anita McMahon, Eva O’Flaherty along with Marguerite Chevasse did all they could to bring industry to Achill so that the locals did not have to migrate during the summer months to earn a living. Many islanders traveled mostly to Scotland to help harvest the potato crop, some went to England to in industry there. In June 1920 400 men from the island found employment on the Birkenhead waterworks outside Liverpool. According to the article below entitled “Army of Giants” described “Achill Islanders as splendid specimens of physical strength“. Their work was valued so much that the company overseeing the construction of the waterworks laid on sporting events for their amusement!

The ladies maintained their campaign to bring employment to Achill, which they did with much success but that was after Ireland won independence a year or so later.

Sources

Birmingham Daily Gazette 25 June 1920

Daily Mirror 01 June 1938

St Patrick’s Day 1905

Irish is one of the oldest and most historical written languages in the world. The earliest evidence of this is on Ogham stones from the 5th century.

Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish language week)

Established by Conradh na Gaeilge in 1902, the festival runs from 1 – 7 March every year and has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It is now one of the biggest international celebrations of our native language and culture.

https://cnag.ie/en/

By 1904, two years after Seachtain na Gaeilge was introduced the festival was well established, and well attended thanks to the efforts of the Gaelic League. By 1905 the festival became a demonstration of Irish Ireland.

The Irish Language procession yesterday through the principal thoroughfares of the city afforded, one again, a very striking proof of the hold which the moment initiated by the Gaelic League has taken upon the Metropolis of Ireland and the districts adjoining. In most respects the features of the procession closely resembled those of previous years. the several branches of the League in the city and suburbs ewer well represented, and walked may hundreds strong, in the ranks of the processionists.

Irish Independent 13 March 1905

In 1905 the Great Language Procession, was an advance of the previous three years. It had by and large a political as much as a cultural element. It was as much a cultural protest; “The powerful protest against the hostility of the G.P.O. expressed dramatically in tableau, repeated in hundreds of printed legends, and echoed in countless personal denunciations.” as reported in the Irish Independent. It was a showcase for indigenous Irish industries too. Baker’s showed off their bread and cakes, even boot-makers showed off their wares too. The youth named as “Young Ireland” was well represented by pupils from the Christian Brother’s as well as other organisations.

The good and the great of the Gaelic League were present founder, Douglas Hyde, Dr. Walsh Archbishop of Dublin and Patrick Pearse, lead the procession. Other lesser known attendees, including Emily were listed too:

A few days later Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated with equal pageantry, a fortnight later Emily Burke made her way to London to become the second Mrs. Weddall and eleven years later in 1916 outside the mentioned G.P.O, some of the people listed declared Ireland a Republic.

Sources

https://cnag.ie/en/

Irish Independent 13 March 1905 Wicklow People 12 March 1904

Anita McMahon makes a case to bring the Achill Railway to Keel

In February 1920 Anita McMahon wrote to three national newspapers making a good case for why the Achill Railway should have been extended as far as Keel. It make a lot of sense at the time, “motor services” were thin on the ground, with few cars and lorries on the road. Goods were transported locally by horse and cart. Times were changing even then.

The fishing industry on Achill could flourish and provide more local employment was not flourishing as it could. The fish caught on the island was going to waste as there was no way to transport it inland while fresh. There were other industries on the island that could benefit from a better goods transport system too.

Anita explained that Achill had a very large population, about 6000 at the time, who were very intelligent and industrious. A extension to the railway at Achill Sound would not be wasted as there would surely be developments in the industries already on Achill, should the extension be built. She also pointed out that “the Congested Districts Board would of course welcome any project to develop the Island.” The reply:

The railway was never extended to Keel. Years later in 1937 the railway closed for good. The reason at the time was that the roads were to be developed and the railway was no longer required.

Sources

Dublin Evening Telegraph 26 February 192026 February 1920

27 February 1920 – Irish Times – Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

07 July 1951 – The Sphere – London, London, England

Derry Journal 15 September 1909

Kathleen Florence Lynn

On this day in 1955 Dr. Kathleen Lynn was laid to rest in her family plot in Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin. Dr. Lynn and Emily’s friendship spanned at least four decades, up till Emily’s death in 1952. Kathleen outlived her by three years. The two women had much in common, their lives taking similar courses. Both had careers in the medical field, Kathleen a doctor, Emily a nurse.

The coast of Killala, birthplace of Dr. Kathleen Lynn

Dr. Lynn graduated from the college. She was one of a small number of girls that won scholarships to the University of Dublin, where she began her medical career.

Dr Kathleen Lynn Lane, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Sources
Dublin Daily Express 29 June 1893