Tredennick’s – Camlin Castle

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

Camlin, Co. Donegal the seat of the Tredennick’s is the property of the Rev. George Nesbitt Haydon Tredennick, M.A. Vicar of Sparkbrook, Birmingham and is situated in the parish of Kilbarron. It is bounded in the north by the River Erne and is noted for its salmon and trout fishing. The front portion of the mansion was built about 1840 but the back is of considerable age. The Tredennick’s were originally owners of considerable property near Bodmin in Cornwall which was confiscated during the Commonwealth and soon afterwards the family settled in Ireland. In 1793 a Galbraith Tredennick married the heiress of George Nesbitt of Woodhill. Two of their sons, the Rev. George Nesbitt and William Richard married daughters of the Right Rev. Dr. William Magee Archbishop of Dublin. The elder of the two inherited the Wood Hill estate in 1848 on the death of J.E. Nesbitt and was succeeded by his 3rd son Major General James Richard Knox Tredennick who sold Wood Hill in 1908 under the Irish Land Purchase Act of 1903 The property at present belongs to the representatives of the late Colonel John Galbraith Tredennick who died in 1884.

   Wood hill the seat of major General James Richard Knox Tredennick, J.P. stands on a demesne about 100 acres in extent, near the town of Ardara in the Barony of Banagh, Co. Donegal. The mansion, one of the oldest in the county of Donegal was the seat of the Nesbitt family for many generations. The Tredennick family one of Cornish extraction from St. Brock near Bodmin who lost their estates through their adherence to the cause of Charles 1st was established in Ireland in the reign of William 111. Galbraith Tredennick of Camlin, Co. Donegal, born 1757 married Anne, daughter of George Nesbitt of Wood Hill Co. Donegal. The Rev. George Nesbitt Tredennick their 2nd son, Vicar of Kilbarron, Diocese of Raphoe succeeded to the Wood Hill estate on the death of J.E. Nesbitt in 1840 and was succeeded in 1880 by his third son, Major General James Richard Knox Tredennick, who rebuilt the house in 1886. It was sold in the year 1908 to the congested District Board along with the estate under the Irish Land Purchase Act of 1903.

Ardara is a town prettily situated at the head of Loughros More bay on the western coast of Donegal where excellent salmon fishing may be had in the ajoining Rivers of Owenlockic and Owenea. The scenery in the neighbourhood is extensively attractive to tourists.


The Rev. George Nesbitt Haydon Tredennick, M.A. Camlin, Co. Donegal. Christ Church Vicarage, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, eldest son of the late Lieutenant Colonel John Galbraith of Camlin and grandson of the late Rev. George Nesbitt Tredenick.M.A. of Wood Hill, Co. Donegal and Rector of Killbarron. Born at Guilford, Surrey in 1860, educated at Windermere College and Trinity College, CambridgeB.A. , 1883 ordained Deacon 1884, and Priest 1885 by the Bishop of Chichester, curate of Emmanuel Church, Hastings, 1884-89. Vicar of Christ Church, Sparkbrook since 1889. Married November 19th 1889 Olive Jane eldest daughter of the Ven. Robert Phair, Archdeacon of Ruperts Land, North-West America and has issue John Nesbitt born September 23rd 1892 and George Hugh Percival Phair, born June 30th 1899.


BELFAST and the PROVINCE of ULSTER. In the20th century. W.T. Pike & Co.

By Robert Young. B.A. J.P.  Publishers W. T. Pike & Co. 19 Grand Parade, Brighton 1909.

The Touch of the Masters Hand

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer

Thought it was scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin.

But he held it up with a smile.


“What am I bidden, good folks?” He cried

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?

A dollar – a dollar – now, two, only two

Two dollars and who’ll make it three?”


Three dollars, once: Three dollars twice;

Going for three – but no!

From the room far back, a grey haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow.


Then wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening up all the strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As sweet as an angel sings.


The music ceased, and the auctioneer

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said, “What am I bid for the violin?”

And held it up with the bow.


“A thousand dollars – and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand and who’ll make it three?

Three thousand once, three thousand twice

And going and gone,” said he.


The people cheered, but some of them said,

“We do not understand –

What changed the worth?” The man replied:

“The touch of the master’s hand.”


And many a person with life out of tune

And battered and torn with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to a worthless crowd,

Much like the old violin.


A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,

A game – and they travel on,

They’re going once, and going twice,

They’re going – and almost gone!


But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand,

The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.

The Quiet Man

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

The origins of a story used in a small but important way in the film were founded in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh. It is the part about the friendship between the local Catholic Parish Priest and the Church of Ireland Rector.


   One of the principal characters was the Rev. James Benson Tuthill, born in 1788 in Co. Fermanagh near the Donegal village of Pettigoe. He was the son of a Church of Ireland minister. Before entering the ministry James B. had spent some years in the army. Ordained in 1812 he was curate in the parish of Inismacsaint which is on the south shore of Lough Erne. In 1824 he was appointed Rector of the parish of Belleek which is on the northern shore of the Erne. With this appointment went the post of a Justice of the Peace for Co. Fermanagh, a most prestigious post with a good income, the Rev. James B. presided over many cases in the local courts. Included in his flock were the leading families of the district, the Caldwell’s of Castle Caldwell and the Johnston’s of Magheramena.


    He resided in a fine Rectory in the town land of Magheramena. The building still stands today and is occupied by a local family. His church stood on a most commanding position of the top of a hill in Oughterdrum. Built in 1780 it could be seen for miles around and the peal of its bell inviting members of the congregation to divine service was carried over hill and dale plus the waters of Lough Erne.


  The second character of this story Neal Ryan, as born in 1795 near the village of Pettigoe. He entered Maynooth College in 1816 to train for the priesthood, being ordained in 1822. A very popular priest, he first served in the parish of Donaghmoyne in Co. Monaghan. In those years, which were shortly after the restrictive Penal Laws had been repealed he assisted at thirty-six marriages on Shrove Tuesday. The day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Church rules did not permit marriages to take place during Lent. The fact that so many marriages took place on the one day when couples had to wait a long time for a priest to become available leads to a question. Did the young people co-habit in the early years of their union?


    In March 1827 Fr. Neal Ryan was appointed Parish Priest of Templecarn. This parish was similar in area to the Church of Ireland parish of Belleek. It included the villages of Pettigoe and Belleek, the Pilgrim Island of Lough Derg, all that area of Fermanagh north of Lough Erne and a considerable portion of County Donegal. A new Church – St. Michael’s had been built in Mulleek in 1810. It was situated in a hollow at the bottom of Oughterdrum hill and was within 300 yards of the Church of Ireland building. The Church in Pettigoe was also newly built in 1820 and Fr. Ryan built another church in Lettercran in 1834. He resided in the town land of Aghafoy, just outside Pettigoe village. Both clergymen ministered to their flocks during the most difficult famine years, being from the same part of the world they soon became firm friends. The horrors of the Famine years of 1846-47 in this poor, rack-rented district baffle description. On one Sunday Fr. Ryan assisted by young men, buried 18 famine victims near Lettercran Church.


  Fr. Ryan was described as a man of the kindest disposition, totally adverse to party strife or religious animosities, and set his face strongly against all outrages that took place in the parish. Denouncing the perpetrators, in no measured language. He was of a jolly, hearty nature, fond of fun, and highly appreciated a good joke, and fond of telling one, being a raconteur of the highest order, which made him a welcome guest wherever he went. He lived on the best of terms with his protestant neighbours. This was so marked a trait in his character that he was popularly known as ‘The Protestant Priest’. One of his closest and warmest friends was the Rev. James Tuthill, the Protestant rector of Belleek Parish, a friendship that lasted their lifetime. His was a simple, honest nature, devoid of guile. He might well be taken for the original of Father O’Flynn, the kindest creature in ould Donegal.


  As a result of the friendship between the two clergymen, when any of Fr. Ryan’s flock where summoned for some minor misdemeanour to attend the local court, which was presided over by the Rev. Tuthill in his capacity as Justice of the Peace, the priest had a word in the ear of the J.P. on behalf of the accused who was then dealt with in a lenient manner. This did not endear the Rector to some members of his own congregation; many of them stopped attending his Sunday service and made complaints to his bishop. His Lordship announced that he intended making a visitation to the parish on a particular Sunday to see at first hand the situation for himself with the intention of dismissing the Rector from his post. The Reverent Tuthill knew that there would be few if any of his parishioners present, because of their attitude to him and he feared the bishop’s visit.


   At wit’s end, it occurred to him to ask the advice of his friend the Parish Priest. “What shall I do?” asked the Rector. “My bishop is to visit me on a certain day and I have little or no congregation”. “Make yourself easy”, said Fr. Ryan; “I’ll get you a congregation”. On the Sabbath preceding the visitation, the priest, addressing his people from the Altar in St. Michael’s, Mulleek told them that his friend, Mr. Tuthill, was in trouble. “His bishop is coming to visit him and he will have no congregation. Now, on next Sunday I will celebrate the Mass early and after it is over you will march across the road up the laneway to Oughterdrum Church. This the people did and they assembled in the Protestant Churchyard, where they had not long to wait for the arrival of his Lordship, whom they received with a ringing cheer! Fr. Ryan had instructed them to go into the Church, join in the service, behave like Christians, go on bended knees, and be very devout when the prayers are said and be most attentive when the sermon is preached, the church was crowded. The Bishop was agreeably disappointed, and declared that he had never seen a more devote or attentive congregation of good decent Protestant people.


   While other parts of Ireland may claim that this unique incident took place it their parish, there is enough contemporary proof that it originated in the churches of Oughterdrum and St. Michael’s, Mulleek. A contemporary and vivid account of the event is to be found in the “Autobiography of a Country Parson” (Belfast 1888) by Rev. James Reid Dill, the Presbyterian clergyman of Dromore, Co. Tyrone, who was a contemporary of both Fr. Ryan and Rev. Tuthill. Maurice Walsh, the well known Irish writer, got hold of the story some where and inserted it in one of his books, “Green Rushes”, from where it was culled by Hollywood to be portrayed as happening in another Irish parish in the well known film, “The Quiet Man.  The Rev. Mr. James Benson Tuthill was, among Catholics, the most popular magistrate in Fermanagh and it was generally said that he was guided largely in dispensing law by Fr. Neal Ryan’s advice. This popularity was probably a cogent reason for the ready request to assist the Rector. The Rev. Tuthill died, aged ninety on 19th August 1877. Fr. Ryan died shortly after on 4th October 1877 aged 82 years.


The full story as detailed above is taken from the book “The Parish of Carn” written by the noted Clogher Diocese historian – the late Fr. Paddy Gallagher a native of Bundoran, Co. Donegal.

The Paddy Monaghan Story

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

Your news and entertainment out post for all things Irish from Perth to Dublin.

The Australian Irish Scene.

“ I was never going to give up”.

Written by Fred Rea.                   Tuesday 18th August 2009. 11-36.


(left: Paddy by the river near his Irish family home) 
Try to imagine it. You are a ten year old boy and all your life has been spent living in an orphange in Sligo. Then one night, almost out of the blue, you are moved to Derry before being put on a ship that takes you to an unknown port in England followed by a train ride to Southhampton and another ship.

“We were told that we were going away on holiday but not where,” said Paddy. “Before this we’d never seen a ship or even hardly knew what a ship was. We spent a month onboard and actually it was a lovely time for us, with the children playing on the decks.”
Asturias, including its cargo of orphans who were used to the cold and rain of Ireland, docked in the heat of Fremantle Harbour on 22 September 1947. From there the children were  taken to Clontarf to be divided up and sent to various different orphanges/schools in WA.Paddy, and around 30 pals, were sent to Tarden by steam train on an 18 hour journey. Over the next six years or so he was transferred between Tarden and Clontarf, working as a farm hand.

At the age of sixteen and a half the time came for him to leave the orphanage. “They got me a job down in the south west in the town of

Wagin. I was there for a few months but I was unsettled and worked all over, but never settled,” said Paddy.“Like most of the kids from Tarden and Clontarf I was in and out of work and spent time working on farms and stations. We had no family life and it was very difficult to keep in contact with your mates from school because you didn’t know where they went and there was no access to telephone.”

That situation improved he said in Geraldton where he would often meet friends and even found work that suited him. After working in a Crayfish factory in Geraldton for a year and a half he went deckhanding for another three years, before buying his own Cray boat – the Seamus 1. He worked that boat for another 10 years before buying a second vessell – the Seamus 11.

It was around this time that Paddy’s remarkable journey to discover more about himself and his background really began. “I got married when I was 28, which is when I started looking for any family I might have,” he said.

“I was told by the Christain brothers that I didn’t have a living soul in the world, that all my family were dead. So I believed that and gave up at that point. For me, I thought that was an end to it,” added Paddy.

These events took place in the 1960’s and any thoughts of further investigation would probably have remained there as well except for a chance encounter with a member of the Child Migrant Trust some twenty years later.

“I had begun looking for my family in 1965 and it was the early 1980’s when the Trust started its own search on my behalf.”
With the encouragement and support of the Trust, Paddy returned to

Ireland – for the first time in 50 years – in 1997.
“It felt glorious to be back home in
Ireland after half a century but the only thing was that I didn’t have anyone there to meet me.”
He began his search by returning to the same orphanage in
Sligo when he had spent most of his childhood in Ireland.“It was still there, just as I remembered it. Its now a home for old folks and a lot of the grounds have been changed over the years but it was definetly the orphanage and still in the hands of the Order that ran it before,” he added.

“I told a nun who I was and asked if they had any records. They were scared and nervous about my request. It was around this time that all the trouble started and revelations about abuses were coming out. I came back from

Ireland on that occasion no better off than before as I didn’t get anymore information.”Undefeated Paddy would go on to make a pilgrimmage back to

Ireland every second year after this first unsuccessful visit.“My wife came with me and we always went to the orphanage to ask if they had any more information, but we were always told no, no, no,”

Because he was getting older and felt the possiblity of any clues leading to a discovery was becoming very remote Paddy intended to make his visit of 1998 his final trip to the homeland. “All my mates and life were in WA and there seemed to be nothing to bring me back much more. But I made this trip with some friends.”

It was an eventful visit, but not always for the right reasons. In a late development it seemed that Paddy was not in fact a Monaghan at all and was actually from a family known as Murone. The new lead opened up new problems and possiblities

‘My baptismal certificate had been altered and according to a genelogical researcher in Drogheda I was defintely a Murone but when I asked her to prove it, she couldn’t.”
Paddy and friends went to Belleek, Co. Fermanagh in search of more evidence of the Murone family. The search could have taken them as far as

America where a woman who could have been his mother was thought to be buried.“We asked if we could have a sample of her DNA for testing and matching with my own, but the lawyer, who was the trustee of her estate refused us permission, which is probably just as well thank god.”

The importance of Belleek to Paddy’s story seemed for the moment to be nothing more than a random connection with a remote location.
But the Co. Fermanagh town reappeared in an unlikely way in a familiar place for Paddy.

Following this episode he returned to the orphange in

Sligo, with very low expectations.
“We had a ball of a time with the nun who said she would take a look at the files, and she came out with a note saying ‘recommended by Fr Connolly of Belleek’ and saying thats all she found and hoping that it would be of some help.”Paddy brought the note back to

Australia and took in to the Child Migrant Trust who told Paddy that this note now will go a long way to finding his mother as it brought Belleek into the picture.The trust investigated Fr Connolly and eventually on

November 11th  2008, six months after Paddy returned from Sligo, the Nun gave a lady from the Trust a envelopes with a letter saying “I hope this will help”.  (See letter below). “Fr Connolly probably dictated the words of the letter for my mother and got her to sign it,” said Paddy. “But when I read the letter I was really pleased to find out that I was still a Monaghan as I felt I always was, but also to find out that my mother’s name was Brigid.”This single piece of paper, which had been in the care of the Sisters for a long time, was the code that would unlock the mystery of Paddy’s life. With the input and efforts of the Child Migrant Trust, Paddy’s surviving family members were found and approached and asked if they wanted to meet him, which is the norm in these situations. “To my delight my relations, who never even knew of my existence said that they would welcome the chance to meet their long lost family member”.

Co-ordinated through the Trust, Paddy returned to

Ireland again in April of 2009 to meet the rellies – with a twinge of regret. He discovered that his mother was still alive in 1997 when he first came back to Ireland and had died in 1999.Despite the lost chance to ever knowing his mother, her niece, who still ran the family farm in Co. Fermanagh gave him a reception to be remembered.

“They threw a big party at the farmy for my 72nd birthday, we went on a barge and they even made a huge cake for me and there were a few whiskey’s as well, it was marvellous” said Paddy.

What he also found was that he had a network of cousins and relations in

Ireland and the UK and he was able to spend a few weeks visiting them all. Now he is preparing for some of them to come out to Australia later this year.“I feel good now,” he says. “I’m happy that some of the family will be visiting in September. Its also great to know that after so long and so much trouble that I am not alone. I had eight friends from my orphange days who also went looking for their families. I was the last of the group to find them and I was almost at the point of giving up any hope.”

The enduring support of The Child Migrant Trust , Paddy’s friends here in WA and in

Ireland,  as well as his mates from Clontarf and Tarden kept him going he said.“This story has come to the conclusion I always felt it would and to tell you the truth, I was never going to give up. I now even have rellies here in

Perth I never knew about!”
Paddy’s story is one of many of these kids sent to
Australia from the 40’s on and there are still many who are still looking. We hope this story will give them the courage to continue looking and bring a conclusion to their lives.We are grateful to Paddy for telling this story to our readers and share with him and his many mates the joy in finding his extensive family has brought to his life.
Fred Rea



 See also Mona’s story.

The Border at Belleek 1910 – 1930

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

The village of Belleek has been a political border village since 1924. For many centuries it had a border tradition due to the fact that it was situated on the only fordable part of the Erne waterway west of Enniskillen. It was the gateway between Ulster and Connaught and the warring Irish tribes from the provinces vied with each other to have control of the ford from which the village gets its name. Many battles were fought there not only between the native Chieftains but also with the English forces. For some years the Caldwell’s maintained a force of Yeomen in the village.


The Normans under Gilbert de Costelloe built a wooden fort in the 1200’s on the present site where the remains of the stone Star Fort are to be seen, it was built by General Lake following the 1798 rising. The then wooden bridge was replaced by the stone arched bridge at the same time. The Battery building had been occupied by English regiments until after the establishment of the present border in 1924 when it was handed over to the Irish Free State army whose headquarters were in Finner Camp. It is understandable that there was a military tradition in the district for many years.


Many young men from the area joined English regiments and fought in the Boar War. No outstanding events occurred in the area in the early 1900’s. This military tradition continued to a greater extent from 1914 to 1918 when many young men fought in France. Most of them survived to tell the tale but their experiences did have a telling effect on their lives.  There is no record locally of any persons losing their lives in either world war.


The founding of Belleek Pottery in 1857, closely followed by the building of the Great Northern Railway had a beneficial effect on Belleek village. The first Erne drainage scheme in 1882 brought much needed employment to the village. Sadly the beautiful and famous water falls were destroyed in the process. As a result of the events outlined there was always a change in the population with new families coming into the area. As a result the village was noted as being a welcoming place where nobody was thought of as being a stranger.


There is not any tradition of local involvement during the period 1916 until the early 1920’s. Then there were several noteworthy events. The last Battle in Belleek took place in 1922 when the Fort was occupied by a Sinn Fein republican group. Under orders from Churchill the Fort was shelled by British artillery units and soon was back in the hands of the English. The villagers left the scene and found refuge with relations in rural areas. A rogue element took the opportunity to rob business premises and were not content to steal stock but also destroyed the account books with evidence of money due to the traders by the raiders.


Sadly one life was lost when the driver of an armoured car was shot and killed by gun fire from the Battery, which was occupied by the republicans. His body remained in the vehicle at Corry cross roads for some time until a truce was arranged and two local ladies recovered the body. On a Sunday morning when most members of the R.I.C. were at church a raid was carried out on the local barracks, after removing all weapons and ammunition the building was set alight. Many years afterwards I spoke to one of the men who took part in the raid. He told me that every thing was brought by road in a commandeered ambulance to the shores of Lough Melvin where it was planned to take it by boat to Co. Leitrim. He told me that the boatman demanded a payment of £25-0-0 before he would make the journey. This would lead one to suspect the patriotism of some of those involved.


Having listened to a fellow pupil at school bragging about his father’s part in the troubles, I, in later years made enquiries from a dependable old timer. From him I learned that only two local men lost their lives, one was shot in Dublin by a jealous husband the other was shot and wounded by a comrade, when they both sought the affections of a young lady. Sadly the wounded man was moved from one safe house to another in Co. Donegal until without medical attention he died a painful death. The aggressor joined the Civil Guards and served far away from home in Co. Cork.


The line of the new border was decided by the existing county  boundaries. This meant that the portion of County Fermanagh north of Lough Erne, bounded by Donegal from Belleek to Pettigoe would be isolated from the six counties. Access could only be made by travelling through the Free State or by water. There are about 65 town lands in this portion of Fermanagh. The movement of military or police would be almost impossible. Was this area to be conceded to the new Free State? or could some method be found to have it included in the Six Counties. The River Erne being very wide directly upstream from Belleek made the cost of a new bridge at that point prohibitive and would not solve the problem at Pettigoe. During this time a group of Specials were brought by boat and they commandeered Magheramena Castle former home of the Johnston family and now the residence of the Parish priest – Fr. Lorcan O’Cairain who was a personal friend of both Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera.


Behind the scenes influential bodies got to work and a solution found to the problem. A new bridge was constructed at Roscor, 2 miles upstream from Belleek and two bridges constructed, one at each end of the Boa Island, the later by-passed Pettigoe village. At Belleek the border was midway on the old stone arched bridge, from there the road passed through Donegal for about 300 yards to the border point near Corry Cross. Customs Posts were built on each side of the border on main roads. Motor vehicles had to have special passes to cross the border, people on the trains were checked by customs officials, a fully new industry was soon created – this was the smuggling trade and the cute local people found many ways to deceive the Excise men especially where the smuggling of cattle were concerned.


To accommodate pilgrims going to and from Lough Derg the road from Pettigoe was nominated a concession road, whereby vehicles could travel from Free State to Free State provided they did not stop in Northern Ireland. The same rule applied to vehicles travelling across the short portion of road from Belleek to Corry cross. Doctors and clergymen had special passes to travel on second class roads where there were no customs posts. These roads were also patrolled by customs men. Strange to say police from Belleek when going on duty south of the River Erne passed unhindered through the 300 yards of Donegal from the bridge to Corry Cross. As also did local B-Specials and the Home Guard during World War 2. At one time a Constable from Belleek Barracks actually resided across the border in Clyhore as did a British Customs man.


Along the border the boundary line was marked by hedges and streams, in other parts it was just a line on a map. Where I now live the farm has been in the family since about 1870 and two thirds of the land is in Donegal and one third in Fermanagh. Many other local farms are in a similar situation. I could go on for much longer with details of the border at Belleek, but I have chosen to relate to you many unpublished facts that you will find I hope of interest. I am of course happy to answer any questions you may care to ask.


Enniskillen Castle Museum. Saturday 14th November 2009.


Joe O’Loughlin. Belleek.

Smuggling on the Border

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

 Having become acquainted with Anne Tierney during her research into the crash of the Halifax plane between Tuam and Lavelly I have come to appreciate the wonderful research that she has done into the event. As a result she has been called upon by other groups working on World War 2 plane crashes. She always has come up with long lost information and traced not only relations of the men concerned but also found surviving crew members thought to have passed away. Being aware that the people of Tuam would not have any idea of what life was like along the border since partition and especially during the war years Anne suggested that I might write a story on those years.


  The question may well be asked what connection has the historic Town of Tuam got in common with the little Fermanagh village of Belleek. History shows that a connection goes back at least 245 years. From the Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600’s a large portion of Fermanagh north of Lough Erne was part of the barony of Lurg and the land lords were the Caldwell family. On the death of his father – Sir John – Sir James Caldwell inherited the title. The castle had fallen into a state of disrepair and funds were low. It now became necessary for Sir James to find a suitable bride and of necessity she must bring with her a substantial dowry. Several attempts at match making were made until eventually Elisabeth the third daughter of the Most Reverend Josiah Hort, D.D. Lord Archbishop of Tuam was found to be the most suitable bride for Sir James. The fact that she brought with her a dowry of £10,000-0-0 would have had a major bearing on the matter. The first and second daughters of the Lord Archbishop had married well and brought with them substantial dowries. This is an indication of the wealth of the diocese of Tuam.


     Older residents of Tuam may have made the pilgrimage to Lough Derg in Co. Donegal; the island was in the same parish as Belleek. Apart from the war years pilgrims would travel by motor car from the west of Ireland to Pettigoe and Lough Derg. In normal circumstances special documents and passes were required for motor crossing the border. For the pilgrims there was a concession made for motor vehicles. They were permitted to travel without documents the ten mile portion of road which was in N. Ireland, from Belleek to Pettigoe. The one condition being that they should not stop in N. Ireland. At the time an enterprising Belleek business man carried on several trades, he had a forge, a carpentry workshop, one of the first commercial dance halls in Ireland. He also ran a thriving hackney service. On one occasion while working on his Ford Model ‘A’ car he got the electric wiring mixed up. The situation was serious, but never to be beaten for a plan John kept a watch on Belleek Street for cars going to Lough Derg. He spotted a Galway registered car (IM) the same make as his, signed the driver to stop. Opened the bonnets of both cars saw the sequence of the wires and sorted out his problem, thanked the driver most sincerely and sent him on his way to Lough Derg.


     Having grown up on the border and it was then part of every day life, we just accepted it for what it was. To a stranger it was very complicated and impossible to understand, there were no fixed markings apart from the Customs Post’s on each side. The quality of the road surface was different. The Free State customs post was a corrugated iron building with wooden barriers on the road. In early days the Northern Ireland building was much the same, it was replaced by a modern structure about 1935. We always called then ‘Customs Huts’. All vehicles had to have pass books which were stamped by the Irish customs every time the owner passed through. The N.I. hut was open from 8 in the morning until 5 in the evening; only during these hours could goods officially be imported or exported. The N.I. customs were responsible for all road traffic including buses and for checking the trains, the railway then passed through Belleek to Bundoran. Customs duties in the north along the border were carried out by the police (Royal Ulster Constabulary), either on foot, bicycle or car. Naturally it was constant battle of wits between the smugglers and the officials. Cattle were mainly smuggled by night in all sorts of conditions. When plans were in hand to take a herd of good cattle across the border, through fields and bogs. Word was sent to the police that cattle were to be brought across at point A. Then an old worn out cow was driven to the place, the person with the cow ran away and escaped. The real good cattle were taken across at point B several miles away.


     When caught smuggling the penalties were severe, large fines and in some cases jail. One young man caught bringing a pack of flower into the Free State was sentenced to a month in jail and his ass and cart seized. It was only released when a cash sum was paid. Any vehicle caught smuggling was also seized and dealt with in a like manner. During the war years there was much domestic movement of goods at night and through the fields. Butter, sugar, whisky clothing, cigarettes, tobacco and some jewellery was more ready available in the Free State. Tea, white bread, petrol, paraffin oil, candles, bicycle parts such as tyres, tubes, chains and free wheels could be got on the Black Market at a price in the north. Naturally there was a constant movement of these items, not on a large commercial scale by the ordinary people; more of a barter system was used. People from the Free State at Christmas would make up food parcels to be sent to their family members in England. The parcels were brought over at night given to a friend who posted then in Belleek. Parcels coming from England and America were addressed to a friend in Belleek and went the opposite way. Clergymen and doctors has special passes for their cars that permitted them to use the many un-approved side roads and lane ways to cross the frontier boundaries as they were officially called. The Free State Customs had their own patrol cars and many a battle was fought between the officials and the law breakers.


   All sort of means were used to better the officials. One elderly lady regularly travelled by train from State to North where she had relations. For her comfort when travelling she carried one of the old crockery hot water bottles, it did not contain water, but whisky. On reaching her destination the whisky was emptied out, the bottle dried out and filled with tea leaves for the return trip. Other items scarce in the Free State were those made from iron, nails in all shapes and sizes, iron bars to make shoeing’s for cart wheels. Eggs, fowl and at Christmas turkeys were brought across for posting to England. Recently a friend who worked in London told me how a turkey was stuffed with new nylons stocking suitably wrapped for a family in England. Another man who grew up in the war years told me how he would snare rabbits; string them on his bicycle from the handlebars, the frame and carrier He could bring over 40 rabbits from Belleek to Enniskillen where he would get a half a crown each from the dealer there. They were then processed and sent to England. There were 8 half crowns to the pound so he had £5-0-0 for his work, quite a good sum in those times.


     The canny Irish folk along the order devised many ways to beat the excise men. In those days the prams were large vehicles far removed from the fold up aircraft designed models of today. There were wooden rails along the inside of the pram to support panels on which the wee mattress rested. Baby of course could then see out and enjoy the scenery. Mother when going across the border, removed the panels placed her contraband in the well of the perambulator and proceeded on her way. The customs official would then ask her if she had any goods to declare, naturally she answered in the negative and told baby to give the nice man a big smile. If a person declared goods they were charged duty and could keep the items. If they did not declare them and on being searched goods were found, seized and the smuggler fined. One wet day an old lady was asked if she had any thing to declare. She replied, “I declare if the weather does not mend all the crop will be destroyed”.


        Petrol was strictly rationed during the war and any car owner who was permitted to operate a vehicle was issued with coupons to purchase fuel. The amount of the coupons was based on the horse power of the machine. An enterprising hackney man bought a big 32 horse power Ford V8 for which he was allocated a petrol ration. He also had a wee Ford 8 and transferred the number plates from the big one to the small one; naturally he got more use from his petrol. The cars were kept just across the border in the Free State where most of his business was done and could not be used in the north. At one time in the north he went to Belfast, bought a big 25 horse power Humber Hearse. This vehicle was considered to be providing an essential service and was given a generous petrol coupon ration. The hearse was never known to have been used to carry even one coffin. Some years after the war the R.U.C. were removed from customs duty and replaced by Excise men who patrolled the border by car. They were mostly English ex-service men who were nick named ‘The Water Rats’, probably because at sea ports they would deal with shipping. Cigarettes were much cheaper in the Free State and large quantities were seized from people crossing the border. To amuse themselves young boys in Belleek would gather up empty Large Player packets, stuff them with paper and cycle around until stopped and searched by the ‘Water Rats’ who had nothing for their trouble only scrap paper.


As already related one of the most thriving industries in Ireland during the 20th century was the smuggling industry. Fortunes were made and lost in the profession. It was principally but not solely confined to the border districts from Donegal/Derry in the north of the island to the Armagh/Louth area in the east. The Trade had a short life, founded with the establishment of the border in the mid 1920’s it went out of existence in the mid 1980’s when the relaxed E.E.C. regulations brought an end to the trade.


 Smuggling was not a traditional way of life in the Ireland of old, but following the setting up of the border the canny native Irishman soon became adept at pitting his skills and wits against those of the Excise man. The trade really came into its own during the economic war of the 1930’s, when in retaliation against the policies of deValera the British authorities banned the importation of Irish cattle. Cattle that could not be given away in the Free State made their true value when smuggled into Northern Ireland. A leading Northern Ireland politician who was experiencing financial difficulties had a change of fortune as a result of smuggled cattle. A well known Leitrim smuggler was caught red-handed attempting to export cattle by unauthorised means elected to have his case dealt with in the county court and tried by judge and jury where the penalty could be a big fine or even jail. As can be imagined it was impossible to have a jury of Leitrim men who would convict a man on the charge of smuggling, He was found not guilty and the charge dismissed. During the Second World War the industry peaked such was the volume of goods that were scarce, some on one side of the border and some on the other, so it became a two way trade.


A local smuggler got his unusual nick-name as a result of his smuggling activities. One winter night while bringing a small herd of cattle across the border in a remote area he was accosted by a policeman who was there as a result if ‘information received’ most likely a jealous neighbour. The police in those days were responsible for excise duties along the border. Jack was recognised by the policeman who called on him to surrender. Wise in the ways of the infant smuggling industry Jack mounted his bicycle and made good his escape. He never stopped until he reached the town of Enniskillen a journey of 20 miles. There he booked into a lodging house for the night.


On his return home Jack was presented with a summons by a confident policeman, he was to appear at the Petty Sessions in Belleek Court House on the second Tuesday of the month where he would be tried on the charge of smuggling cattle. The case went according to plan for the constable who gave firm evidence of identification, there appeared to be no doubt about the guilt of the defendant. Jack’s solicitor who was a native of the border area called a witness for the defence. This was the landlady of the Enniskillen lodging house where Jack had spent the night. She truthfully swore that he had spent the night in her house on the date in question. The case was dismissed and when the constable was cross examined about the identity of the defendant, he said, “I am confident that the man I saw was Jack, if not, it was his ghost”. For ever after the man was known as ‘Jack the Ghost’.


Another local well versed in the art of smuggling was Mick who operated a hackney service. A full book could be written about his clandestine experiences. He delighted in taking on the authorities on both sides of the border and more often than not found loop holes in the regulations much to the embarrassment of people in high places. The following story did really happen. Jack purchased at the local Belleek petrol station a quantity of petrol which was rationed during the war, only obtainable with coupons. It was not into the tank that the petrol was pumped but into a quantity of five gallon drums inside the vehicle. He set off down the street on his way to Ballyshannon, as he turned the corner at the bottom a policeman stepped out and signalled Jack to stop. The policeman got into the front passenger seat, told Jack he was under arrest and order him to proceed to the barracks which was in the opposite direction.


Jack said that he would have to turn the car down the road at the bridge, but when he got there he drove across the bridge and the border into the Free State. There he stopped and ordered the policeman out of the car. Jack proceeded to Ballyshannon with the contraband; there he remained for several days while negotiations took place behind the scenes with people who must remain nameless. When he returned to Belleek he was arrested, charged with smuggling and kidnapping a police man. He was realised on bail to appear at the Petty Sessions on the second Tuesday of the month before the Resident Magistrate. There he was fined the sum of £25-00 and costs a rather unusual penalty considering the seriousness of the offence. Some time before his death I asked Jack about the case. He told me that petrol and other goods were regularly smuggled during the war. Petrol was scarce in the Free State; good whiskey was scarce in the north. He had an arrangement with a certain northern hotel owner who lived on the shores of Lough Melvin and supplied him with the necessary coupons to buy petrol. When he brought the fuel into Ballyshannon it was exchanged for several cases of whiskey for the hotel owner. The hostelry was a most popular venue for fishermen, many of them high ranking police officers, solicitors and even judges from all over Northern Ireland. Negotiations got under way the regular guests were given to understand that if Jack got a custodial sentence there would be no more good whisky for the fishermen. It therefore became advisable to have a lenient sentenced passed on the offender.

    Jack enjoyed relating the story to me and how the £25-00 fine was arrived at when the proper penalty should have been at least a six months jail sentence. Many strange things a happened during the war years, I remember to see the Irish army making preparations to mine Belleek bridge in case of the Free State being invaded. A north of Ireland man was employed as a civilian in Finner Camp near Ballyshannon. One day he cycled in great haste into the town and declared to a group of men congregated at the Bridge end. “The Germans are at Belleek and the whole Irish army are away out in two lorries to stop them”.


There was an American radio station at Magheramena near Belleek and if the G.I.s wished to go to Ballyshannon they dressed in civilian clothes and went to the pubs across the border. One Yank was in a pub and in typical fashion he had to show how well off he was and bought all the drinks for the men there. As the drink went in – the wit went out -and he started to berate the locals saying. “You lot should stop this neutrality lark and join with us in the fight for the freedom of small nations”. A local wit who could never be beaten for a good answer said, “Look here my good man, you lot did not join in the war until the Jap’s bombed Pearl harbour. When they bomb Ballyshannon we will take then on and beat the hell out of them without the help of you lot”.


During this period a journeyman tin smith by the name of Johnny Crumlish would set up his mobile workshop at the top of the Main Street. As we made our way home form school we would stand and watch him fascinated by his skill as he made porringers, pint containers, quarts, half and full gallon containers from shinning sheets of tin. They were used in the farm house and milking parlours, they did not carry the stamp of the weights and measures inspector, but still they were accurate and gave good value to those who purchased their milk from the local farms. This was before the days of door to door milk deliveries. While Johnny made his wares, his wife Hannah travelled the country side selling them. Dressed in her long black cloak and a black shawl she had a bundle of tin ware on each shoulder held together by a length of Hairy Ned rope.


Johnny specialised in a unique design of milk can, this can had several other important uses as well as transport of milk from the farm house to the town dweller. A now no longer young man named Billy lived within the shadow of Breesy Mountain, which of course is in the Free State. His mother kept a flock of great laying hens producing about 15 to the dozen. During the war there was a great market for eggs in the Belleek egg store, they were mainly exported to England where all such foodstuffs were rationed. Large quantities of eggs were smuggled across the border and of course detection by the police had to be avoided. Many methods were used for this purpose. Billy told me how his mother had a special tin can designed and made by Johnny Crumlish. It would hold several dozen of eggs, as the authorities assumed that it contained milk; no remarks were passed on the young boy carrying it. When he sold the eggs in the egg store he then went to the local grocery shop and bought two loaves of white bread. They fitted neatly into the Crumlish can. At the time the bread in the Free State was dark coloured not of the highest quality, it was known as black bread.


So did young Billy transport goods both ways across the border. On his way he had to pass the local police station, he was well known by the police who did not see anything suspicious. The Free State customs were a different breed of officials, as Jack would say they were a cantankerous type of person who greatly over estimated their own importance. If Billy was spotted by one of them he had the speed of foot to out run any of them. He knew the terrain exceptionally well for he had often hunted for rabbits over the bogs and mountains and so could out wit and out run the excise men. Where possible he avoided the roads and so made it home with his valuable goods.


    It was during the research by Anne Tierney into the Halifax crash that the Tuam/Belleek connection was to crop up again. She discovered that the bodies of those young men who so sadly died at Lavally were brought to the border at Belleek by the Irish army, handed over to the R.A.F. with full military honours and four of them buried in Irwinstown, Co. Fermanagh. While compiling her story “The Sound of Wings” and preparing the wonderful Garden of Remembrance, Anne retraced the route taken from Tuam to Irwinstown where she paid her respects at the graves of the young men whose names had become so familiar to her.


   There are many more stories that could be told about life on the border, if Anne were to use her investigative research talents around Belleek who knows what she would uncover.


Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

Many writers profess great exactness in punctuation, who never yet made a point.


        The eccentric (and self-anointed) Lord Timothy Dexter didn’t see any point: in 1802 he wrote a book called,  A Pickle for the Knowing Ones’, which was completely devoid of punctuation (it was also lacking in capitalization, correct spelling, rules of grammar and general readability).


        The book was so ridiculous that anyone who was of any importance in London society of that era just had to have a copy. The first edition sold out in a short time.


        When some readers complained, the good Lord Dexter added a single page to the second edition, filled with a profusion of commas, colons, stops and other signs, so that readers could ‘pepper and salt’ his book with punctuation marks to their hearts’ content.

Obituary – Sergeant George Smith

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

Sergeant George Smith. Ex- Royal Air Force.

                                                     Ground Engineer.

                      Maison La Corderie Residential Home, St. Helier, Jersey Island.


When invited by Matron Liz Booth to compile this obituary on my good friend George Smith, I felt both humbled and honoured. Liz assured me that I was quite competent to carry out the task. I was asked to answer two questions:- a. Who was George Smith?

b. Why should an obituary be written about him?


George Smith was born in Leicester on 15th November 1919. Both his parents were named Smith; here in Ireland there is an old tradition that the children of parents with the same surname inherit a cure for the Mumps. I do not think that George was aware of the powers he had. On his 20th birthday 1939 George joined the Royal Air Force where he trained as a mechanic air frame fitter. He was appointed to 25 Squadron and on 15th July 1941 was promoted to Corporal. In January 1942 with 25 Squadron he was posted to Ballyhalbert in Northern Ireland. On the 18th June 1942 George was posted to Gibraltar and transferred to 202 Squadron, a unit that operated Catalina and Sunderland Flying Boats. While in Gibraltar George played an important part in operation “Torch” the code name given to the preparations for the landing of United States of America troops in North Africa. For his service here he was promoted to Sergeant and Mentioned in Dispatches.


The next move for George came in August 1944 when 202 Squadron was transferred to Castle Archdale Flying Boat base on Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland. The Squadron was to play a most important part in the Battle of the Atlantic, which was the longest battle of World War 11, starting in 1939 and finishing in May 1945. There he kept the flying boats in full working order for their fight against the dreaded U-Boats and protection duties for shipping convoys bringing vital supplies to Britain from Canada and the U.S. George was to soon learn the ropes at Castle Archdale and the advantages of being near the border with the neutral Irish Free State where some goods were more readily available that in N. Ireland where strict rationing was in order. It the nearby Fermanagh town of Irvinestown there was a first class café operated by Ma Shutte. In it George and his comrades could get as he called it a first class fry-up, which included a large steak, fresh eggs and other scarce food stuffs. Being near the border Ma Shutte had her private supply line from the Irish Free State. On one occasion when a food inspector approached the café to check of food and records one of the staff quickly put all the smuggled food into a large pot and hid it in a nearby hedge until the inspection was over,


George after the war was over was posted to Aldergrove, still in N. Ireland and on 6th January 1946 was returned to England where he was demobbed.


Early in 2000 my son-in-law, Phil Weir who lives in Cheshire was operating his computer when the subject of Catalina flying boats came up, this led Phil to George Smith’s website and soon I was in touch with George. This was in my pre – computer days. Later I acquired and learned how to use a computer, so George and I were then in regular contact. As a young boy growing up in the village of Belleek, which is in the shores of the River Erne I had seen the Catalina and Sunderland flying boats in the sky’s over head every day either going out to the Atlantic on sorties or returning home to base. I was not then to know that many of them failed to return home. Many of them were friends and comrades of George Smith. There was a so called secret flight path from Belleek, which passed over the neutral Free State of Ireland, all allied air craft were permitted to use this flight path known as “The Donegal Corridor”.


In the summer of 2001 my wife Ina and I went on holiday to Jersey Island where we then met George on several occasions and had a wonderful time with him. The following year 2002, we had George as a guest in our home from 11th to the 18th June. I was able to bring George to Castle Archdale, the towns of Irvinestown, Enniskillen and other places that held so many happy memories for him. He was interviewed on local radio and in the newspapers. For his short visit back to Ireland he was quite a popular person. This visit and the latter return of George to Gibraltar on 22nd April 2004 were so important to George, who was now in the twilight of a long and eventful life.


George moved to Jersey Island in 1957 and from what he told me over the years he really loved Jersey and its people. Liz Booth very kindly sent me a copy of the excellent ‘Tribute to George’ which was read at his funeral service. I was rather surprised and felt honoured that I received such favourable mention in this tribute. He was obviously very well known and respected in the island of his adoption so it is not necessary for me to repeat those tributes here. He was so modest about the work he had done for families who had lost loved ones in war time air craft crashes. I am sure very few of the inhabitants of Jersey where aware of this. From George’s base at Castle Archdale and Killadeas on Lough Erne in Ireland 18 of his beloved Catalina’s were lost, some failed to return from sorties over the Atlantic, others crashed on land in the general area. 23 Sunderland’s were lost in similar circumstances. 360 young airmen based here died while serving their countries. They were from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. 80 of them are buried here in well tended war graves; some were retuned to their families and buried at home. Many more were lost at sea and have no known graves. While here in Ireland George visited the graves and paid his own silent tribute to former comrades.


As mentioned in the tribute to George all the information families had was the inadequate telegram stating that a father son or brother was missing in action and presumed dead offering sympathy. As a result of the records researched and held by George a very large number of families learned the history of the final hours of the aircraft in which their loved ones lost their lives. His work brought closure and comfort to hundreds of people. When they discovered his website and put questions to him he had answers to all their questions. There is no case that I know of where George had to say, “I am sorry I cannot help you”. Knowing that I lived in the area George would refer the families to me, being the gentleman that he was he first asked my permission to let the people talk to me.


 One rewarding experience that George did not have that I had was to actually meet anything up to 30 families, stand along side them at the graves of their loved ones and where possible visit the actual crash sites. Each and every one of them said, “Without George Smith we would not be here, now we know how our loved ones died, we also know that in many parts of Ireland local people have erected memorials to our young men. They will never be forgotten.”  At least 30 crash sites have memorials on them and unveiling ceremonies have been held which in many cases were attended by family members. To give some idea of the difficulties George would be faced with, when Lough Erne based Sunderland W3977 crashed off the west coast of Ireland on 5th February 1942 the pilot was F/L Smith; on the crew were F/O Smith and a Serg. Smith.


As it was not possible to place memorials to the crews who were lost at sea a Roll of Honour has been compiled and framed lists of the names are on display in the RAF museum at Castle Archdale and at the Lough Erne Yacht Club, Killadeas. As it would take a full book to give details of the work carried out by George I have selected one World War 2 crash as an example.


On 7th November 1943 Halifax Bomber EB 134 departed from Rufford air field in Yorkshire on a training exercise. The names of the crew were F/L. C.H. Sansome – RAAF, F/Sgt, A.S. Johnston – RAAF, W/O. Norman W. Gardner – RCAF. F/Sgt. A.J. Gallagher – RAAF. Sgt. Robert Mair Clarke, (Scotland) RAF. Sgt. Edward William Camp – RAF, Sgt. Leslie Harold Wildman – RAF.

Sgt. Gallagher was a native of Co. Donegal, Ireland.


Sadly the plane got completely lost and eventually crashed at midnight near the town of Tuam, Co. Galway, Ireland. All seven crew perished in the crash. Local historian and researcher Mrs Anne Tierney had listened to the people talk of this crash and about 2004/5 decided to investigate the event. Her search led her to George Smith and George referred Anne to me, his reason for this being that he knew several members of the crew were buried in the war graves in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh.


From here on the matter developed in the traditional Irish manner. A committee set up by Anne Tierney decided that the young men who died should be remembered by some form of permanent memorial. So many problems had to be over come, a site had to be found, approval got from local and national government bodies. A lesser person than Anne Tierney would have been discouraged by all the obstacles that had to be over come but she persevered and the end result was a beautiful Garden of Remembrance being constructed on the roadside near the crash site.


On Sunday 5th August 2007 moving ceremony was held, it was attended by a large number of distinguished guests. The Australian Government was represented by Her Excellency Anne Plunkett, Australian Ambassador to Ireland. She was accompanied by a Squadron Leader from the Royal Australian Air Force. The Canadian Government was represented by Mr. John Banin, Embassy official, the Irish Government by senior Ministers, the RAF by the Group Captain from Aldergrove air base in N. Ireland. Warrant Officer Brian Mahoney from the British Embassy in Dublin was also there. High ranking Irish army officials and senior Irish police officers were in attendance. The Irish Air Force did a fly past with 8 aircraft. Several relations of the dead airmen came to Ireland for the event which was attended by over 400 people.


Her Majesty the Queen sent a special message to Mrs.Tierney through her Senior Correspondence Officer – Mrs. Sonia Bonici.


Without the help of George Smith none of this would have been possible. During the Battle of the Flowers Festival in 2008 George took great pride in the fact one of the bands taking part in the parade was The Churchill Silver Band which came from a small village on the shores of Lough Erne. Each year including 2008 George went to London to lay the 202 Squadron wreath at the Cenotaph and on 9th of May 2009 he was brought by the staff of staff of Maison La Corderie to take part in the Liberation Day Ceremony. How proud he was with his service medals displayed on his coat. George was cared for by Matron Liz Booth and the other staff members; they cared for him as if he had been their own father. I still have the e-mails he sent to me singing the praises of these wonderful ladies, on behalf of the friends of George in so many countries all over the world I wish to thank you for your kindness to George Smith. He had no boundaries when asked for help. A few years ago he helped Dr. Claus Dieter from Dresden to trace a German sailor who had been God Father to his sister.


  Joe O’Loughlin, Belleek, Fermanagh, Ireland. July 2009.


His website 

Sunderland NJ175

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

Sunderland NJ175 of Canadian Squadron 422, Coastal Command based at Castle Archdale, Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland too off from Lough Erne at 11 am on Saturday morning of 12th August 1944 to go on convoy patrol over the Atlantic Ocean.


The crew were F/L Evan Campbell Devine, Pilot. – F/O Martin Alexander Platsko, Co- Pilot – F/O Roy Thomas Wilkinson – F/O George Willoughby Allen – P/O Robert Clifford Parker – Sgt. Harold Roger Jeal – Sgt. Joseph Frank S. Clark – P/O Arthur Leslie Locke – P/O John Reginald Forrest – Sgt. Delbert Venus Oderkirk – Sgt. Charles Langford Singer and Sgt. George Arnold Colburn.


   The aircraft followed the River Erne passed over the village of Belleek, entered the Donegal Corridor, passed over the town of Ballyshannon and to the Atlantic Ocean. Within a short time a problem developed in the outer starboard engine. Chuck Singer remarked to his friend George Colburn that an engine sounded rough but that quite often the problem rectified itself. The fault became more serious and the Captain Cam Devine decided to return to base. On arrival over Lough Erne he was instructed to go back to the coast –jettison his fuel and depth charges and then return to base.


Thinking of the possibility of having to ditch the Sunderland in the Atlantic Ocean Chuck remarked to his friend George that if the ditched and survived they would then qualify as members of the ‘Gold Fish’ club. Members were given a small goldfish badge to wear to indicate that they had ditched.


Although there were over 40 flying boats from Lough Erne that crashed, the crash of Sunderland NJ 175 was one of only a few that crashed in daylight and in good visibility and that there were a number of eye witnesses to the event. I myself had seen the plane flying very low with its outer starboard engine pouring out very black smoke. It disappeared behind a hill and shortly afterwards I heard the sound of the crash and vast clouds of black smoke rising skywards. I was then just 12 years old and had been working at hay on my uncle’s farm. Travelling over land I would have been at the crash site within an hour of it happening.


I remember seeing the injured lying on the ground being attended to by Doctors, Nurses and Clergy, some of the less seriously injured were walking about. Chuck and the other injured were taken by ambulance to the Sheil Hospital, Ballyshannon. Where Doctors Daly and Gorden along with the nursing staff attended to them. Chuck recalls being on the lawn in front of the building. This area is now all tarmaced, recently a friend gave Chuck an old postcard of the Sheil showing the grass area as he knew it. After a few days Chuck and his friends were taken by ambulance across the border to St. Angelo Air Base and flown in a Dakota to a hospital in England.


Chuck had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 18, he nominated his foster mother who had been so good to him as his next of kin, and each month a portion of his wages were sent to her. With this money she founded a small nursing home which was very successful. When Chuck was invalided out of the air force he got a job in Toronto delivering bread in a hand cart. This soon built up the strength in his injured arm, and there he met his future wife Jacqueline. A small dry cleaning business came on the market and when Chuck expressed an interest in it his foster mother who was now in a good financial state returned to Chuck the money she had used to found her business. Three of the children of Chuck and Jacqueline were born in Toronto – Barbara, John and young Jacqueline. By this time the city council were interested in the property owned by Chuck so he sold it at a good price. He then moved to Florida where he founded another business, selling this after a few years he went into the horse breeding business. The two youngest members of his family Bob and Greg were born in Florida.


Chuck never spoke to his family about the crash in Ireland; it made him sad to think of the good comrades who had died. As his birthday (9th February) approached in 2002 his son Bob posted a message on the internet seeking information on members of 422 Squadron who had served with his father. This message was seen by some of the veterans of the Squadron including John Moyles. John told me that his family had emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1927. They came from Dangan’s Farm, Mountmellick, Co. Laois. As Chuck’s mother’s family name was Logan, he would also have Irish roots. John Moyles circulated Bob’s request to many 422 Squadron members and one to Breege McCusker in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland. A noted historian – Breege was the author of the book, “Fermanagh and Castle Archdale in World War 11”. She was also instrumental in bring groups of members of 422 Squadron back to Fermanagh for re-unions on several occasions.


 Knowing that I had considerable knowledge about the crash of Sunderland NJ 175 Breege passed the message on to me. By good fortune it contained Chuck’s land mail address. The squadron records indicated that Chuck had died from injuries received in the crash. Bob had two things in mind for his Dad, one – to contact any former comrades that he had served with, the other to try and find a model of a Sunderland, with this he had no success. Thankfully Joe and Breege located a die cast Corgi model of a Sunderland which was presented to Chuck on his visit to the crash site. He was also given some small pieces of the wreckage of his plane that he last flew in on 12th August 1944. Over the years Chuck had kept in regular contact with his friend George Colburn, each year on the anniversary of the crash they would either meet or speak to each other on the phone. At the time Bob set all the wheels in motion it was a low time in Chuck’s life, shortly before he had lost his wife Jacqueline and his good friend George.


This is the e-mail that opened up a whole new chapter in the life of Charles Singer.

“Greetings all. You will recall the request we had from Bob Singer regarding his father who was involved in a Sunderland crash in Ireland. Chuck is alive and well and wants to make contact with Ex-422 Squadron members. Give him a shout. I have straightened Chuck out by telling him I live in God’s country, Saskatchewan.

        Cheers John Moyles.


Subject:  I am fine.  Date 16th Jan. 2002

From;  To:

John, got so much to tell you, don’t know where to begin. First of all I am glad to be with the living, raised five great kids, one of you have been in touch with, Bob, George Colburn had both legs broken at the knees, the tail section landed on him and he was pinned under it. When I was trying to free myself from the wreck I heard him scream for help, blood  was running down my face, my left arm was broken and I was in shock. The second scream made me go back and try to help. In pulling him free with my right arm I did some damage to my shoulder, after dragging him clear I passed out, and laid there for some time, like all the others waiting for help. The next day the Americans came across the border to southern Ireland, put us all on stretchers, rushed us across the border and flew us to the hospital in England in a DC 3. Can’t say enough about our fine treatment in the hospital in London. An R.A.F. doctor who took care of me couldn’t make my break knit, as it was so clean a break, so he came up with the idea of using more than one blade in the saw and cut the cast around the break area, pushed the cast together, sealed it and sent me back to my bed. The idea was for me to stay awake for 48 hours and push every thing I had to close the bones together. With the help of the Dr. and nurses I stayed awake, they took me for an Ex-ray and what do you know, it worked saving me from having my leg cut open to do a bone graft to me humorous bone. My rehab in Divadale in North Toronto was just as rewarding, the nurses had me in the pool every day, pushing my forearm back against the pool wall, after a few weeks I got a lot of my extension back, not all but later was able to strengthen up that side of my body so I could get a job on my discharge. At present I am on a ten percent pension, helps a little, right.

Please try to have any of my crew members that are still with us, contact me, that is if it is possible. Where are you in Ontario? Been there twice this year, would like to come by next trip and see you.


Today 30th June 2009 I am delighted to say that we have with us here in Fermanagh three members of the Jeal family who have come from Canada to trace the last flight of Sunderland NJ175. I was pleased to learn from them that Al Platsko is still hale and hearty, he and Chuck are the last surviving members of the crew. Leon, Ron Jeal and their sister Linda visited the crash site and saw for themselves the excellent memorial stone erected on the spot by Gary Pentland and James McGarrigle. This is but one of a number of crash site memorials erected in various parts of Ireland by Gary Pentland and his helpers.

Here at the a same time is the grand daughters of Ted Muffitt who was lost along with his crew of Catalina FP120 in the Atlantic on 2nd November 1943. Jennifer Jones, her husband Stewart and son Ryan visited her dad’s base at Killadeas and there laid a wreath in memory of Ted. It was just wonderful to have both Canadian families to meet for a short time in Enniskillen.

Mona’s Story

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by by admin

The young 16 year old girl had got a job with the village shopkeeper filling brown paper bags with tea, stocking the shelves and helping the wife in the kitchen. One day the shopkeeper’s son asked her to give him a hand in the store. Soon he had her up against the meal bags and told me he loved me. This was the first of many afternoons in the back store while the son was on holiday from the university. Then the nightmare; sick in the morning and wearing loose clothes to hide her shame. Finally, the discovery that she was pregnant, then the arrival of the Parish priest who took her to one side in the kitchen where he played cards on a Sunday night with the shop keeper and a few well off farmers.

  The priest said to the girl, “I can get the Nuns in Dublin to take care of you until the baby is born and they will provide it with a good home. Then would you think of going to England? This would be the best way for everyone rather than bring trouble on your poor father and mother. How come you did not see the risk you were taking?” The girl said, “He was going on to be a doctor and knew about these things and said I was dead safe.”

    The priest said, “Did you not know child, that a man has strong desires and it is a woman’s place to stop him?” After the baby was born the priest gave her a £20-0-0 note when she was leaving for England and told her to make sure she joined the ‘Legion of Mary’ when she arrived in London.

  This is an extract from a book written by a parish priest who would have had a lot of experience in such matters.



                                                The Paddy Monaghan Story.



                                                  He was some father’s son.


This is one of the most intriguing stories that I have ever come across or been directly involved in. No professional author, never mind an amateur like me, could come up with a fictional story to equal the story of Paddy’s life. I had considered using fictional names to protect identities but I think that would have taken from the story. The fact that Paddy’s relations here in this parish gave him such a genuine warm welcome on his first visit to his mother’s home place convinced me that I should write his story as it was. On the two occasions that I spoke with Paddy, I suggested that his story should be told. He had no objections to this but did not feel competent to compile it himself. It was later on after Paddy had left on his way back to Australia that I realised why he was not enthusiastic about compiling the story himself. Although obviously a very intelligent person he and all the other boys had deliberately been kept uneducated by the Irish Christian brothers in the schools at Clontarf and Tarden near Perth in Western Australia. Paddy is a wonderful and courageous man without a trace of bitterness that one would expect from a person who had suffered such terrible hardship and who survived many terrible experiences in his young life. All who met with him here had most positive views and firm friendships were quickly established.


   Thankfully shortly after Paddy returned to Australia he was interviewed by Fred Rea a journalist with the ‘Irish Scene’ magazine and his story was then published. How did I become involved in this amazing and intriguing story of a young boy who was told that he was an orphan with nobody belonging to him and was sent from the Nazareth Home in Sligo to Australia? During the research into Paddy’s birth and back ground one document was discovered and on the back of the document was written in pencil, ‘Referred by Fr. Connolly, Belleek’. During one of my conversations with Paddy in my home he expressed his amazement that this document had survived and not been destroyed. The reason for this is that very few people look at the back of an official document and so the words remained undiscovered until Paddy started the search for his roots.


As a result of this vital piece of information which had come into the hands of the Child Migrant Trust based in Nottingham, I received a visit from a priest who asked me if I had any knowledge of a Fr. Michael Connolly who had been in Belleek during the 1930’s. Fr. Brendan told me that he was assisting a person in Australia who was tracing family roots. I had very clear memories of Fr. Connolly, the first being that as a young boy in the junior room in Belleek school; this very pleasant priest came on a visit to the class room wearing a white silk scarf and bearing with him a very large tin of sweets. We all were invited to take a handful of sweets from the tin. Naturally the memories of this friendly priest were to remain with me for ever. I had a long chat with Fr. Brendan and recalled many stories about Fr. Connolly. The parish had a considerable amount of good land and Fr. Connolly kept a herd of pedigree shorthorn cattle. Born in the town land of Tullynahinnera, Lough Eglish, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan he came from a farming background. He became in later years the President of the Irish Shorthorn Breeders Society and was a regular official at the cattle shows in Ballsbridge, Dublin.


During his time in Belleek one of his pedigree cows produced a bull calf. This calf went on to win prizes at the show in Ballsbridge and was so highly placed that it was purchased by the Argentine Government for breeding purposes. He was transferred from Belleek to Ballyshannon in 1939 and later took up the post of Chaplin to the Orphanage in Bundoran where he remained until 1952 when he was appointed to a parish in Co. Monaghan. He became Parish Priest of Tydavenet and died suddenly there in September 1969 at the age of 76.


Patrick Joseph Monaghan was born in Hope Castle Hospital, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan on Monday 26th April 1937. At that time Hope Castle served as the county hospital for Monaghan and was staffed by an order of nuns. His birth certificate gives his mothers name as Bridget Monaghan, from Scarden, Leggs P.O., Co Fermanagh. It does not give a fathers name. Immediately after the birth of her son Bridget had to sign a prepared document handing over custody of her baby to the nuns. It was on the back of this document that the name of Fr. Connolly was written. One of the documents from the hospital was photocopied and the copy given to Paddy, his mothers name had been changed from Bridget to Maggie. A local family name had been added to give the misleading idea that this person was Paddy’s father. A D.N.A test was carried out with the consent of a family member, this proved to be negative and the name could not be associated with Paddy. All of this was of course highly illegal and another attempt to protect the name of his father.



Mary Anne Monaghan nee Harte wife of William Monaghan uncle of Bridget died on 16th Match 1936 aged 32 years of age. Her death took place just after the birth of her daughter Margaret. Mary and William already had a son aged 2 years and they had a small farm near Ederney. Mary was buried in the family plot of the graveyard of St. Michael’s Church, Mulleek. As curate in the parish Fr. Connolly would have been in charge for the funeral arrangements and so would have been well acquainted with the family. William died 30th October 1980 aged 83 years.

  Bridget discovered that she was pregnant in 1937, it is doubtful if any of her family knew of her situation and certainly none of the neighbours were aware of it. Since the news of Paddy’s existence in Australia became known discreet inquiries from the now elderly neighbours of the family showed that they had never heard of Bridget having a son. It was considered to be a closely guarded secret known only to a very small number of people at the time. Possibly a maximum of three persons, Bridget, the child’s father and Fr. Connolly. It can be assumed that Bridget consulted the priest about her situation. It can also be assumed that the father was a person of influence and substance who could not have his actions exposed and made public. Bridget was 27 years of age when Paddy was born in 1937. Had she had a relationship with an ordinary young country man, she would either have got married to him or as often happened been sent to a home for unmarried mothers to have her baby. It was of the utmost importance that the identity of the father should never be revealed. To ensure that the secret would not be revealed Fr. Connolly made arrangements to have Bridget admitted to Hope Castle hospital near his home town of Castleblaney. He would have been well acquainted with the nuns there for he himself had a sister a nun. There were few cars in the country then and he could have provided the transport for the expectant mother and so ensuring that no other person had any knowledge of the situation. Bridget would have only been absent from home for several days and would not have been missed by her neighbours. After Bridget had signed away her rights to her son, Paddy was fostered out to a family for two years. He was then moved to the Nazareth Home in Sligo on 19th March 1939. This seems a strange move as there were Nazareth Homes in nearby Newry and Dundalk.


  Back at home in Scarden, Bridget had the task of bringing up her niece Margaret, it is easy to imagine the turmoil in her mind and thoughts of her own son not knowing where he was or who was bringing him up. The pressure brought to bear on her and other girls in a similar situation was extreme, they were threatened with all kinds of repercussion both spiritual and social should they tell any one what had happened.


  Paddy remained in Sligo for eight years before being selected to be sent to Australia. I asked him what were conditions like in Sligo, he told me that they were tough but bearable and he was not abused while there. Three other boys who were from Northern Ireland were selected to go to Australia at the same time under a British Government scheme to send orphans to both Australia and Canada. The Irish government refused to partake in this scheme and send any children abroad. This meant a problem in Paddy’s case. Some research was carried out and a priest serving in Scotland was contacted and he verified that Paddy’s mother was from Northern Ireland and so he was cleared to go with his comrades. The four young boys were then sent to the Nazareth Home in Derry where they remained until arrangements were made to have them sent to England. It is very possible that other boys from N. Ireland were with them on the boat to England. The group travelled down through England by train to Southampton where they boarded the SS.Asturias bound for Freemantle, Western Australia, departing in August 1947 and arriving on 22nd September 1947. There were a total of 147 children on board, boys and girls. Not all were from Nazareth Homes; they were from a variety of children’s organisations. Even though Paddy and his friends had spent a number of years in Sligo, a busy sea port they had never seen a ship as they had been confined to the home most of the time and never brought near the coast. It can be taken that some officials accompanied the children on the voyage and that some documentation was provided for each child. For a number of years after the Second World War thousands of children were sent to Australia and Canada by the British government. Some were told that their parents had died and they had nobody belonging to them, this was not true in most cases. Parents were told that their children had died. Paddy and his comrades were sent on an 18 hour train journey to schools at Tarden and Clontarf, which were operated by the Irish Christian Brothers. Here for the next 6 years the conditions and brutal treatment was just a hell upon earth. Like his friends Patrick Monaghan did not know who he was, all he knew was that he came from a country called Ireland. He only knew of two places there – Sligo and Derry. He told me some things about the schools in answer to my questions, strange to say there was no bitterness in Paddy. He told me about Margaret Humphries, the founder of the Child Migrants Trust and a book titled “Empty Cradles” that she had written. As soon as possible I acquired a copy of this book.


Brother Francis Paul Keaney.  (1888 – 1954)

 Irish Christian Brother and Principal of the schools attended by Paddy Monaghan.


Keaney was born in Corralskin, Rossinver, Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim. It is remarkable that if one stood on the top of the hill at Scarden and looked southwest over the River Erne and Lough Melvin one could see Rossinver, a distance of less than 10 miles as the crow flies. In 1906 Keaney joined the Royal Irish Constabulary, remaining in the police for three years. He then immigrated to Australia where one of his sisters was a nun. He joined the Australian police and remained in the force for three years when at the suggestion of his sister he became a member of the Irish Christian Brothers.


Publicly Keaney possessed considerable public relation skills that he put to good work in creating a mythology about himself. He had many friends and acquaintances in high places that he wined, dined and conned. There were political and business leaders, heads of government departments and high ranking militarists and church dignitaries. His years of service in two different police forces would have gained him many connections. He was referred to as “Keaney the builder”, as the orphans friend, as the mender of broken lives and other extravagant sobriquets. Such was the admiration if not adulation that he was awarded an M.B.E. and an I.S.O. in 1954 and a statue was erected at Bindoon to his memory in 1957. This was subsequently removed due primarily to pressure from former child migrants. The orphanage he ran at Bindoon was literally built from scratch by the children, who were mainly child migrants sent out from the U.K. Many suffered serious injuries due primarily to unsafe working conditions and physical exhaustion.

Privately, however, a very different man is revealed. No spymaster better concealed his true self, as a latter section will reveal. His actions would have warranted criminal charges had he not operated and exerted influence over the law in Western Australia. He was a big man about 6 feet 3 inches in height, with the neck of a bull, a mop of white hair and rosy face. Former inmates remember him as a brutal disciplinarian with an ungovernable temper, who neglected their education, exploited their labour and turned a blind eye to sexual abuse of them by other members of the staff. An enthusiast, Keaney was easily depressed by criticism. Apparently, it is characteristic of people like Keaney to seek out opportunities for their defiant behaviour. Education was largely denied these boys, as was an adequate diet and protective clothing. Christian love and care was distinguished not by its presence but by its absence. The boys had no shoes when mixing lime and sand for mortar, their feet and legs were burned by the lime. Tragically, there was just no one that the victims could go to for help. Who would have believed them any how? If the boys ran away the police returned them, unbelieving of what they were told. The aura and the power of the church was to strong. This is the environment that Patrick Monaghan and hundreds of child migrants lived in and suffered under. All the information on Brother Francis Martin Keaney is available to researchers on the internet and comes from Australian Government sources. The incidents included here are just samples of the brutality of the regime. The boys were sent out into the world when they reached 16 years of age. Until that age the schools received financial aid for each boy from the government. They were ill prepared and almost completely uneducated to take their place in society.


























The social worker who was given the task of investigating Paddy’s case in Ireland went to the Nazareth Home in Sligo. The note Paddy had brought back from Ireland was the vital piece of evidence that was to lead to the solution to Paddy’s life history. On seeing the note the Child Migrant Trust people told him that the note would now go a long way to finding his mother as it brought Belleek into the picture.


The trust investigated Fr. Connolly and eventually on 11th November 2008, six months after Paddy returned from Sligo, the Nun gave the social worker from the Trust envelopes containing a letter saying, “I hope this will help”.

This is a copy of the letter that changed Paddy’s life.


I Bridget Monaghan give up all claim to my child Patrick Joseph Monaghan and I will give him over in charge of the Sisters of Nazareth, Bishop Street, Derry  from this hence.


Signed Bridget Monaghan,


                     Leggs P.O.,

                        Co. Fermanagh.

                             10th May 1937.



“Fr. Connolly probably dictated the words of the letter and got her to sign it,” said Paddy.

“But when I read the letter I was really pleased to find out that I was still a Monaghan as I felt I always was, but also to find out that my mothers name was Bridget”. It was on the back of this document written in pencil were the words, Referred by Fr. Connolly, Belleek. Note that in Bridget’s address there is no word of Belleek, Leggs Post Office was then directly under the control of the Head Post Office in Enniskillen.

This single piece of paper, which had been in the care of the Sisters for a long time, was  the code that would unlock the mystery of Paddy’s life. With the input and efforts of the Child Migrants Trust, Paddy’s surviving family members were found and approached and asked if they wanted to meet him, which is the norm in these situations. “To my delight my relations who never even knew of my existence said that they would welcome the chance to meet their long lost family member”. Co-ordinated through the Trust, Paddy returned to Ireland again in April of 2009 to meet the relations. With a twinge of regret. He discovered that his mother was still alive in 1997 when he first came back to Ireland and had died in 1999.











                                            The Child Migrants Trust.


The trust was founded in Nottingham in 1987 by Mrs. Margaret Humphries, a former social worker. It offers practical help and emotional support to former child migrants in the form of family tracing and counselling services. Following several visits to Ireland and his unsuccessful attempts to trace his family Patrick Monaghan made contact with the Child Migrants Trust. He was invited to give evidence to the Australian Senate who was conducting an inquiry into conditions in homes for boys run by the Irish Christian Brothers. A number of former inmates were interviewed by members of the Senate on Thursday 15th February 2001.


Time 4-38pm.


Monaghan, Mr. Patrick (Private capacity)


Chair – Welcome, Mr. Monaghan. You have seen the advice on the protection of witnesses and their contributions?


Mr. Monaghan – Yes.


Chair – Thank you, Mr. Monaghan. I note for the record that Mr. Rushbrook from the Child Migrants Trust is accompanying you. You are also aware of our time constraints so I ask you to go directly to making some comments for us.


Mr. Monaghan – I spent 16 ½ years in an orphanage, 10 years in Ireland and 6 ½ years in Australia. I was at Tardun and Clontarf. In Clontarf in 1949 the brothers were very cruel to the boys. One instance was that the Pommie kids, as we used to call them, painted some tyres and the brothers saw the tyres painted and ran amok. They waited until all the kids got under the shower, about 12 kids under the shower at a time, and these two big brothers just grabbed them by the arms and pulled them out and belted them, every part of their body, with their straps. The kids were screaming and yelling, and then they finished up having their showers. The brothers who did that were Doyle and O’Doherty. I am a bit nervous. I was also in trouble. Another time, Brother Doyle caught me after dinner –


Chair – Just take your time; we are happy to wait while you draw your breath.


Mr. Monaghan – Another time, Brother Doyle caught me. My friends had some bantams, two of my friends, and I did not have a share in the bantams. After lunch one day I was in the bantam cage and Brother Doyle came along and caught me in there. He gave me a kick up the backside and said, “On Saturday, you will bring the bantam down and chop its head off in front of the clock tower.” When I told my friends they were not too happy – it was their bantam. On Saturday, after lunch, in front of the clock tower, in front of all the boys, they had their chopping block, the axe, the bantam was brought forward. I broke down and cried and they let the bantam go.


Another time, I had spots on my jumper in Brother Doyle’s classroom and Brother Doyle beat me across the head about 12 times with the strap and then told me to go out and clean myself up. As I was walking out I muttered under my breath, “You f. .  . .ing bastard,” and one of the other brothers either read my lips or hear me. He took me back into the classroom by the ear and told Brother Doyle what I had said. He did not use the strap; he used his fists and his boots. He picked me up and threw from desk to desk. “Insulting my parents,” I just said, “I’ve never met your parents, I don’t know who they are. I never insulted them. How could I insult somebody I never met?”  But I got two black eyes, was belted and bruised. He told me to go and clean myself. The next time I walked straight to the gates, heading to Royal Perth Hospital; I did not know where I was. I asked some old fellow on a push bike, ‘Where’s Royal Perth Hospital?’ and he took me home and put me to bed and gave me a feed and rang up the priests and they came and got me and took me back to Clontarf.


Another brother in Castledare whacked me over the head with a broom. He said ‘Go to work’ I said. I haven’t had any breakfast.’ He said, ‘You’re not having any breakfast’ He chased me across the paddock near Castledare with a piece of three by two. (Timber) He caught me as I got through the fence and broke the piece of three by two on me. There were people building houses across the road who saw this. They rang up the child welfare department. The child welfare department came and got me the next day, and I have a document that says that I came in with an inch and a half split on my scalp. They asked me if this happened all the time. I said, ‘It happens all the time,’ and they just said they could not prosecute the brothers. They said, ‘We couldn’t take the brothers to court.’ They knew the children were getting beaten but were not prepared to do any thing about it.


Chair – Can you tell the committee about when that was or whether there is a record of that?


Mr. Monaghan – I have a thing in my child welfare report that I got a few years ago, and it says I came in with an inch and a half laceration on my scalp, in 1953 when I was 16.


Chair – But does it say, ‘We are unable to prosecute the Christian brothers’?


Mr. Monaghan – I do not know. No, he said it verbally.


Chair – Yes, but it is not written down?


Mr. Monaghan – No, he did not write it down – they wouldn’t be that silly, would they?%3