Tag Archives: local history

An Irish-American finds his roots (in my garden)

[Originally posted on MyT]

In early 2006, my local community was planning to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of primary education in the parish. A weekend of events was scheduled, including a visit from the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese; a book was to be published to mark the occasion. I was asked to help with the book’s production, and readily agreed.

At an early committee meeting, someone gave me a cutting from a local paper to the effect that an American writer, JM, had published a novel based on the lives of his nineteenth-century ancestors, who came from our area. I emailed him to ask if he might like to contribute a chapter to our book; he responded promptly and had sent the chapter within a few days … it told the story of how he traced his Irish forebears and researched their lives for his novel. Continue reading



Filed under Ireland, The music of what happened

Local history: Robert Sargent

[First posted on MyT] The early nineteenth century was a troubled time in Ireland, with numerous acts of violence against landlords and their agents, many of whom were regarded as over-zealous in evicting or otherwise penalizing the tenants.

I’ve been doing some research on the heritage and history of my local area for a booklet. One of the well-known nineteenth-century figures was a man named Robert Sargent, a Church of Ireland clergyman. Sargent became land agent for the Marquess of Headfort after the assassination of the previous agent, Captain Brian O’Reilly, in 1814 (ironically, O’Reilly’s killing may have been arranged by a local gentleman who bore him a grudge). Continue reading


Filed under History, Ireland