1798 Rebellion – 220 year anniversary re-enactment! The Aussies are coming!

It is with great excitement that I announce the once-in-a-life time chance to participate in an event to be held in Enniscorthy from 14th – 17th June this year.

And, guess what? We are invited! The Aussies are coming!

Enniscorthy Castle

Anyone who has a Rebel convict in their family transported to Australia on the Rebel Ship “Minerva” arriving at Port Jackson 11 January 1800 and would like to join me at a story-telling /drama event in the Drawing room of the Enniscorthy Castle on the evening of Thursday 14th June is invited to proudly give an oral depiction of the life of their ancestor as an Irish Rebel and later as a convict and first settler in Australia.

Minerva Arrives in Hobart 7 June 1818 13
Rebel Convict Ship Minerva

At this stage the schedule for the 220 year anniversary is –

Thursday 14 June, 5.30pm Story-telling/drama event Enniscorthy Castle featuring descendants of Rebel convicts transported to Australia on the “Minerva”

Friday 15 June, Launch night.

Saturday 16 June, Re-enactment of Street Battle New Ross.

Sunday 17 June, Re-enactment of Battle of Vinegar Hill, Enniscorthy, with living history camps (in conjunction with All Ireland Farmers Market)

The story-telling event will be held in the drawing room of Enniscorthy Castle. It will feature  Irish-Australian descendants of the Rebel ship Minerva convicts who were transported to Australia for their involvement in the 1798 Rebellion.

It would be wonderful if we could, as a group, dress in period costume of the 1798 era and present individual histories of our ancestor with a monologue of the events that led up to their arrest, transportation on board the Minerva to Australia and the life they led after their arrival at Port Jackson on 11 January, 1800.

I have no doubt there will be some wonderful stories to tell and would encourage as many of you as possible to participate. I believe that our stories will be an eye opener to a lot of the people present.

When I was honoured with the wonderful “Welcome Home” Ceremony at Enniscorthy Castle in 2015, even though I was still shaking from my mock “Arrest” I realised as I commenced my oration of the life of John Prendergast, Irish Rebel, that so few people present knew that a whole ship load of Rebels had survived the rebellion and been transported to Australia.

The dignitaries present believed that none of the Rebels had survived because the yeomen prevented the surviving families from claiming the bodies of their loved ones following the battle of Vinegar hill. For three months over the hot summer of 1798 thousands of bodies rotted on Vinegar Hill making them unidentifiable when the time came for families who were allowed to retrieve their loved ones and bury them with dignity.

I can understand why the Irish families did not expect that the Rebels would survive due to the barbaric torture that they had suffered.

179809032018The very first book that I read about the prisoners on board the Minerva by John Washington Price “The Minerva Journal” described the barbaric scene he witnessed when the brig “Lively”rafted up to the Minerva in Cobh and he went on board to see them. ‘Tis true they were  prisoners, but should be treated as such, and if they deserved death to hang or shoot them, but not to treat them with that unprecedented barbarity which they experienced on board the Lively. I can positively assert, there are many on board this brig, whom it would have been charity to hang prior to their departure from Dublin than to destroy them in this cruel and barbarous manner; the most of them are ill on board and there are many that will never recover from the hardships they have suffered – Indeed I must say I never saw a more unhealthy looking or miserable set of human beings in my life”.

We descendants of those Irish Rebels will be eternally grateful to Dr. John Washington Price for his kind treatment of the Rebels and to Captain Joseph Skelfeld who refused to sail from Cobh until the Rebel convicts had sufficiently recovered from their injuries. Only 3 prisoners died and the other Rebels were transported to Australia where most did recover and realised that they had been given a second chance at life. Even though they never got to see their beloved country of Ireland again, they became upstanding  citizens and innovative first settlers of this beautiful country of ours – Australia.

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1798 Rebellion Centre

Let us tell our story!

Catherine Prendergast – One of the first female Land owners in Australia.

 

In researching Catherine Prendergast and the role she played in the establishment of the Prendergast family in Australia, I needed to “time travel” back to an era in our history where married women, by law were considered part of the goods and chattels that were OWNED by their husbands. This doctrine was a rule of law associated with the common law doctrine of coverture outlined in this paper written by Andrew Cowie, School of Law, Murdoch University.  http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AUJlGendLaw/2009/6.pdf  

Cowie goes on to explain that Coverture is “the state of being under the protection of one’s husband. The term can also mean marriage. Marriage can then be categorized as a contract between a wife and husband where the wife gives up certain legal powers to the husband in return for being under his protections. Until the late 19th century, the marriage contract was the last contract a woman would ever enter”. Women lost their legal identity when they married.

This law, which I found quite shocking, was further explained to me by a volunteer at the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) during my visit to their Library in Sydney, Australia on 16 December, 2017. This law changed in 1918 allowing women to own land in their own right.

When we opened the ‘’Mutch’s” Muster book of 1800-1802 and viewed the entry recording the details of John Prendergast and James Clark leasing property at Mulgrave place in 1800 whilst still convicts, “that can’t be right!”, exclaimed Alan. “A convict with a 7 year term could not lease land until he had been granted his freedom”. “Could his wife Catherine, the unnamed female on the land have leased the land”, I asked? “Yes and no”, replied Alan. He then went on to explain that if a wife had a guarantor, she could lease land but usually that guarantor was her husband. In this case her husband was still a prisoner so no, she could not own land.

So, how did John Prendergast and James Clark lease land at Mulgrave place in 1800?

I decided to delve deeper and googled the  the New South Wales Government State records and Archives site. Here I made a discovery.

New South Wales Land Grants Guide, 1788-1856

On page 2/36 it states that “Women were entitled to receive a grant of land – the first possibly being Ellenor Frazer on 20 February, 1794”. Fantastic! Now we know that Catherine Prendergast could own land. But why were we not finding anything with her first name, Catherine, on it?

Remembering that Catherine Prendergast was referred to as “Wife of John Prendergast, Windsor” and also “Wife of Jno Pender, Windsor” on the two documents referring to Catherine having Jane Williams assigned to her, I decided to take a look at the Land Registry Services NSW, Land and Property Information. The document “How to Search the Old System Grant Index 1792-1862” has been superseded now but is still available on line and has a wealth of information.

Keeping an open mind and thinking laterally as impressed upon me during my University College Cork genealogy course in 2015, I decided to trawl through the pages of beautifully hand written historical documents at the NSW Land Registry. My husband Barry became as interested as I am and continued the search when I took a break. Over the last five days we have viewed thousands of documents.

I have to admit that the Land Registry Services NSW site is not the most user friendly site that I have used. It is quite complicated to use and to find information the user needs to have a prior understanding of the what he is looking for.  For instance, the volume and Folio numbers or the serial and page numbers of a particular document. The surname initial is usually not enough. When I phoned the NSW Lands department for help I was advised that I might be better off to employ a conveyancer or a solicitor.

Not to be deterred I soldiered on and low and behold – Drum roll please – I have made two invaluable discoveries.

  1. As shown below, this property was listed under Jno Prendergast but the contents of the Deed clearly states “…..links to land of Mrs. Prendergast
  2. The next Deed refers to “Prendergast’s 60 acre farm” and yet when there is a male owner, the first and surname is mentioned on every document that I have viewed.InkedJohn Prendergast index_LI

    catherine prendergast land
    Click document to enlarge

It appears to me that although Australia in the colonial days was liberal in allowing women to own land, where a woman was legally married to her husband, she, as was common law doctrine, lost her identity. Her Christian name was no longer used, she was addressed as Mrs. Prendergast in this instance and all her possessions were amalgamated with and under her husband’s ownership and control.

This might explain why her son, baby John when he grew up wrote his Will with strict instructions that his daughters were to inherit land in their own right and that their husbands were to have no control over it. But, that is another story, one I will post at a later date on my blog.

 

Catherine Prendergast – I have found you!

 

When I set out on my quest to find Prendergast Ancestry, one of my main priorities was to find Catherine Prendergast, wife of Irish Rebel John Prendergast, my 5x Grandparents who arrived on the Convict ship Minerva 11/1/1800

I had read in numerous records of Catherine being everything from mother “Unknown’’ (to John Prendergast junior), to having died in childbirth. There appeared to be no records of her existence  after 1801. 

This information niggled at me. How could a baby have a mother unknown, perhaps a father unknown but never a mother? Why was it assumed that she had died during childbirth? Why were there no records of Catherine in Australia apart from the recording in the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA) who lists her as Person ID: X#91011106202. Death: circa 1801

I set out on a journey to find her and I believe that I was given divine intervention with a lot of help from Archivists along that way.

In 2015 during a visit to Dublin, I visited Glasnevin Cemetery. Archivist Lyn Brady worked her magic on the keyboard and up popped a record of a Catherine Prendergast interred in Grave K64 along with 13 other Prendergast family members and some of their servants.

glasnevin-cemetry-k64

As I walked through the eerily quiet older section of Glasnevin cemetery, I was the sole visitor for the day.  Just as I reached Grave K64, after much searching, a strange thing happened. Out of nowhere a little girl, aged about 4 years old appeared. She caught my attention because her parents were nowhere to be seen and I kept thinking “This is no place to leave a small child on her own” She was chasing after a Sea Gull. This in itself seemed strange as we were nowhere near the sea. As she drew near, skipping and laughing I noticed she bore an uncanny resemblance to my own daughter Gretta at that age. She was very beautiful and even had the same gorgeous glossy long black hair with pale skin and rosy cheeks. As I looked closer I started noticing more details. Her hair was not cut evenly and appeared to be ragged on the edges. Her clothes were not modern. In fact I recall seeing photos of little girls in the 18th century wearing similar clothes. She had on a pink smock, white blouse underneath with white apron over her smock. As she skipped she ruffled her dress and I could see petticoats beneath her dress. She wore thick white tights and little brown shoes that I had not seen before. They seemed to be laced up leather shoes and moulded to her feet. When I glanced away and looked back, she was gone. I never saw her again.

Although the Headstone was hard to read, I felt sure that I had found the right grave and was surprised to see how similar the vault was located in the cemetery in Dublin as it compared to John Prendergast’s family vault in Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.

Both Vaults/Graves were situated beneath a tree and each had other family members buried with them. John Prendergast has 22 family members buried with him in his vault and Catherine had 13. One of the many admirable traits of the Prendergast family is their love of family and the need to take care of all their loved ones.

K64 Glasnevin Ireland
Grave K64 Glasnevin Cemetery

Finding Grave K64 at Glasnevin Cemetery in July 2015 set me thinking. Did Catherine Prendergast die in Australia and were her remains returned to Dublin Ireland for burial? Did Catherine Prendergast return to Ireland shortly after the birth of her child and leave baby John just months old in the care of her husband and why would she do that? Were there other children from the marriage of John and Catherine who were being cared for by family in Ireland and had Catherine returned to Dublin to collect these children with the intention of taking them back to Australia? And, finally how did Catherine Prendergast travel back to Ireland?

Being a Geni Detective I had to analyse how Catherine thought, how she planned and how she put her plan into action.

Firstly, I discovered on Ancestry.com two possible children from the marriage of John and Catherine Prendergast. The most likely one is Patrick Prendergast born in 1797. This child may well have been named after John Prendergast’s father Patrick, thus the Irish naming pattern having been adhered to. This could have been the child that Catherine rushed back to Ireland to collect.

Secondly, Catherine would have realised that John Prendergast could not take care of a New born on his own let alone run a farm and keep a house without assistance. These questions needed answers.

On Saturday December 16, 2017 whilst on a visit Sydney, I decided to conduct research at the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) office and met Alan Day, a volunteer who had been researching genealogy for 60 years. His knowledge was invaluable and he was very enthusiastic and helpful.

Alan helped me to find information relating to John Prendergast in the “Settlers’ Muster book of 1800” where there are two convicts renting 30 acres at Mulgrave place. One is named as James Clark and the other one is John Prendergast both convicts and with the letter P (Prisoner) beside their names. They arrived as rebels on the Minerva. Alan expressed surprise that two convicts were able to rent land whilst still prisoners. There is also interestingly, one unnamed female not listed as a convict. Was this Catherine? Did James Clark and John Prendergast both still convicts without their freedom, lease a farm or did Catherine lease the farm? Were both the convicts assigned to Catherine? They were all recorded as “Off store”. How could this be so early in their existence in the Hawkesbury? This was unusual for a Convict to be self-supporting. Was Catherine independently wealthy and able to provide for them all? We know the Muster was taken in June/July 1800 so we now know that Catherine had not yet given birth to baby John at that stage as there are no children recorded at the farm.prendergast-clark.jpg

On 14 December 1801, on board the convict ship Nile, we know that Jane Williams arrived at Port Jackson. Having read the chapter in the book “Sinners, Saints and Settlers” by Richard Reed and Brendon Kelson, I read recall how Convicts were selected and assigned to free settlers.  Along with many wealthy English wives of important men in the colony, waiting on the docks to hand pick the Irish girls for servants was one very gutsy, intelligent and independently wealthy Irish female by the name of Catherine Prendergast. Catherine on the other hand picked an English girl to be her Governess for baby John and Housekeeper for John Prendergast. Fortunately for the survival of our Prendergast family Jane took great care of baby John and John senior as no harm came to them. They thrived and prospered and 6 generations later I am here to tell the tale.

Catherine-Jane Williams - 1
Jane Williams assigned to Wife of J. Prendergast (Catherine)
Catherine-Jane Williams
Jane Williams assigned to Wife of J. Prendergast (Catherine)

What proof do we have that Jane Williams was assigned to Catherine Prendergast? On Friday 15 December, with the help of Gillian at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney, I finally found the information that I have been waiting for so long to discover. My cousin Mark was with me and as delighted as I was to find this latest information.

Above we have a copy of the NSW State Records and Archives document indicating that Jane Williams is assigned to Wife of J. Prendergast, Windsor

On Saturday 16 December whilst trolling through “Find my Past” citing the NSW State Records and Archives, I discovered the record that states Jane Williams was assigned to the “Wife of Jno Prender, Windsor”. These two records prove that Catherine hand picked Jane to take care of baby John and John Senior and that she survived the birth of baby John. Picture1

As for how Catherine returned to Ireland, I have yet to discover the answer to that question along with the many other questions that have arisen during the quest to find Prendergast ancestry.

As for the little girl in Glasnevin Cemetery, when I got back home to the Whitsundays in 2015, I read all the names of the others interred in K64 and found that a little girl by the name of Catherine Prendergast aged 4 had been buried there. When I googled “Life threatening illness prevalent in the 18th Century with their symptoms”, I discovered that Cholera caused hair loss and breakage, thus explaining the state of her hair. The record does not show the cause of death but the little child that I “saw” may well have been the little child Catherine who is buried along with her Grandmother Catherine Prendergast.

Prendergast-Catherine

 

 

Fond memories and exciting new research

Saturday 19 August, 2017

I am back in the Whitsundays and constantly in awe of the amazing trip I enjoyed to Ireland in May/June this year.

 

London

Visiting the National Archives at Kew, I changed trains at Turnham Green Station. This is the very area where King William 111 would have been assassinated had it not been for my ancestor Sir Thomas Prendergast, 1st Baronet. I did not know this at the time but found out a few days later about the Jacobite plot with the intended ambush of his coach at Turnham Green on Saturday 15 February, 1696 and Sir Thomas Prendergast’s role in preventing the murder.

 

At the National Archives Kew I was delighted to read the details of Sir John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, Baron Kilarton of Gort, sixth Viscount Gort, and the role he played as Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary force at Dunkirk.

 

Lord Gort’s promotion to Governor of Malta and Gibralta in 1942 was exciting to read with the often hand written documents and mention of the Prime Minister of England Sir Winston Churchill, Louis Mountbatten and King George V1

 

Lord Gort is descended from Maurice de Prendergast, as am I.

 

Clans and Surnames Conference Nenagh

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would have been given the opportunity to deliver a Conference paper at Nenagh if it had not been for the faith Lorna Moloney showed in my ability.

Not only did I share my research with the Delegates in Nenagh but I was delighted to meet 4 other Prendergast researchers at the Conference. By chance, the evening that I did not join the rest of the group on an outing in Nenagh, I met two Prendergast descendants at the Abbey Court Hotel where we were staying during the Conference. I had not realized how much I had in common to all the Prendergast descendants until we started comparing notes. There were so many similarities. It was uncanny.

At the end of the Conference, Medieval Genealogy expert Kenneth Nicholls spiked my curiosity as under his breath he ruminated “Thomas Prendergast, hmm, he was involved in the 1696 conspiracy to assassinate King William 111” as he handed me my certificate. Of course I couldn’t wait to google Sir Thomas Prendergast to find that he had helped prevent the assignation by a Jacobite plot and was awarded land at Gort for his intervention.

 

Ennis Weekend

Sue generously shared her friends John and Joanne Boyle and their lovely children with me on the weekend following the Conference when we stayed with them. It was a wonderful way to wind down before the next hectic leg of the trip. Not only were we taken care of beautifully but driven around to areas in Ireland that we would not have had the chance to see.

I was surprised and delighted to discover that we were staying just 15 minutes from Gort and grateful to Joanne and John for offering to drive me to see the Castle that my ancestor build. We enjoyed walking on the land my ancestor Sir Thomas Prendergast, 1st Baronet was awarded at Lough Coutra Castle in County Galway.

 

Dublin

I had contacted Marsh’s Library whilst still in Australia prior to my visit to Ireland and was delighted to be shown through this wonderful Library by Jason McElligott who had taken the time to retrieve books and the signature of my ancestor John Patrick Prendergast for me to view.

John Patrick Prendergast is the author of “The Cromwellian Settlement” and I was able to order a copy on line through Biblio. This wonderful text book arrived on Monday and I will learn so much more about Irish History by reading all about it.

 

At the Royal Society of Antiquaries, Ireland Conor Lucey escorted me through this wonderful repository and Aaron Binchy showed me items that would help me with my Prendergast research.

 

At the National Archives of Ireland I met Maire MacConghail who is the President of the Accredited Genealogist, Ireland who helped me research the two Wills of John Prendergast and Catherine Prendergast and may well be our John and our Catherine. I have yet to consult with a Legal Genealogist to find out if the contents of the Will prove the connection. Stay tuned!

Wandering around the streets of Dublin after my visit to the National Archives, in the distance I noticed St. Anne’s Church. As I approached I realized that I was in Dawson Street and recalled that I had seen a Deed for a property leased in 1804 by Francis Prendergast, Registrar of the court of Chancery. This property was at 38 Dawson Street.

I walked into a health food shop and asked the attendant if she knew about a large property in Dawson Street that in the early 1800s had outhouses and a stable. The young girl replied that all those buildings other than the Lord Mayor’s house had been built out and that there were no stables left in Dawson street.

I looked so disappointed that she suggested that I visit the Little Museum of Dublin. So I walked to the Little Museum of Dublin where June was in attendance. When I enquired about the property my Prendergast ancestors had leased in Dawson Street, her eyes lit up. “Come with me” she said and took me to a back room where we could see through a window what appeared to be the stables of an excavated building two doors across in Dawson Street. 

I asked June if I would be able to take a look at the stables but she said that the property would most likely have no access to Dawson Street.

Undeterred I walked back along Dawson Street and found what normally would have been a blocked off lane way was open but blocked by a car.

Without hesitation, I walked down the lane and on to the property. There amongst the excavation work taking place I could clearly see a blue stables door.

Two staff members from the Real Estate next door looked surprised when I began asking about the property and the young lady seemed to know about the property. She told me that the street number was now 18 Dawson Street but years ago the numbering had changed.

The young man looked so surprised when I told him that I was pretty sure that we were standing on property where my Prendergast family had lived in 1804.

Just then the developer arrived to take a look at the property. When he approached me I asked if he minded if I took some photos as my ancestor Francis Prendergast had lived here in 1804. “We might be related” he said. I was so stunned that I did not think to ask his name or how we could be related. 

Since returning to Australia, I have viewed historical OSI Maps and the property as per the description of the Deed appears to be the very property that I was standing on. Now I just have to find out who the developer/owner/relation was.

This is also the property where John Patrick Prendergast, the historian of the the Cromwellian Settlement in Ireland was born. He is the eldest son of Francis Prendergast.

 At the National Library of Ireland it was lovely to catch up with Kay Caball who was the Archivist on duty and also one of the experts at the Conference in Nenagh.

 

They were all so kind – nothing was too much trouble.

 

I was able to view two Deeds at the Registry of Deeds that I discovered on my bespoke Archives visit in 2015 whilst being accompanied by John Nangle. Having read the content I was able to order them and they have arrived in Australia since my return. They are being transcribed by my clever cousin Mark in Sydney and I will shortly be able to share the details with you.

 

High Tea Enniscorthy – Princess for a day.

Never in my wildest dreams could I, an Australian born Prendergast with Irish roots, host a High Tea at Enniscorthy Castle. I still have to pinch myself to believe that it actually happened. I enjoyed myself immensely and have received many messages from my guests telling me that they did too.

IMG_6002 

I am extremely grateful to the Kind and helpful Enniscorthy locals who arranged everything prior to my arrival in Ireland. I could not have held the High Tea without your support and encouragement. You are wonderful.

 

Also, I could not have brought messages of welcome without the generous support of the Australian Mayors of the Hawkesbury, Monaro, Victorian High Plains, East Gippsland and the Whitsundays who graciously wrote warm letters of welcome and sent me armed with gifts to give to the Chairman County Wexford, Paddy Kavanagh.

 

I have received so many warm letters and want to share one of them with you.

 

Dear Jenny and Sue,

 

A huge big “Thank You” for a memorable High Tea and afternoon in the Castle. It was a wonderful occasion and so enjoyable!!! Little did our forefathers ever imagine that we have now formed yet another important link due to our treasured past!!

 

Jenny, if you really focus on our “convicts” who were transported for standing up for their/our national rights, being labeled as criminals, this was the way our oppressors thought and acted at the time. However, what they did was to single out the bravest and most loyal Irishmen for standing up for their principles and beliefs, and provide Australia with rich “seed capital” to form the Australian nation. They were very resilient, brave and of strong character as indeed your ancestor John Prendergast proved.

 

I hope you have a safe journey home and that, whilst your luggage may not be any heavier, that you will bring back “loads” of further memories.

 

With every good wish from Enniscorthy and its people.

 

David Hasslacher

 

There have been at least 3 Newspaper items written about my trip to Ireland and I proudly share them with you here.

 

If you would like to read them, please click on……………….

Bairnsdale Advertiser

Enniscorthy Guardian

Jindabyne News

 

 

A Princess in Enniscorthy Castle.

Tuesday 30 May, 2017

Every little girl dreams of being a Princess in a Castle. We grow up with stories of Snow White and Cinderella but no one really believes that they can live in a Castle – even for a short time.

Today I felt like a Princess. As I watched the tables being laid, the flowers being arranged, the food being plated up and people running to and fro to ensure that everything was ready for my High Tea to take place in Enniscorthy Castle, I felt like a Princess.

I had to keep pinching myself that this was really happening. I was so excited. Continue reading “A Princess in Enniscorthy Castle.”

Taking Tea at Enniscorthy Castle

Tuesday 30 May, 2017 Morning

The sun is shining, the birds are singing. What could be a better way to start the day for such an historical event? High Tea at Enniscorthy Castle.
Whilst serving me yet another delicious breakfast, Moira greeted me with a “Good morning bride”. And, yes I do feel as a bride does on her special day.

IMG_6002
Just as a wedding day takes many hours of planning and there are many people involved, so has the High Tea celebration that will be held at Enniscorthy Castle this afternoon.
There are a number of people who have been involved that I would like to thank.

In Ireland –
Firstly Mary O’Higgins of Enniscorthy Castle who was delighted for me to host the High Tea in the Roche Room of Enniscorthy Castle.Without Mary, this event would not be happening.
Cathy Keane of Wexford Historical tours for all her support. Cathy has allowed me borrow her TV to screen the two videos that will be played today. She is in charge of the technology and photography.
Maria Nolan local Enniscorthy Reporter and photographer who will record and report this historical event.
David Hasslacher, member of the last family to reside in Enniscorthy who is delighted to be taking my guests on a walking tour of the Enniscorthy Castle along with his two friends Betty and Bernadette whose families were staff at the Castle when David’s family lived there. Their memories of life in the castle will be very interesting.
William Kinsella of Wildflower Cafe who will be creating the most delicious and beautifully presented High Tea treats and has gone “over and above” to visit the castle on several occasions to Email photograph of the room to me and also to meet with me to discuss the menu.
Annette and Nessa of “Annette’s florist” who are arranging some beautiful flowers for the Roche room as I write.
The always happy and helpful staff of Enniscorthy Castle, Mary, Greta,Mary and Moira who have been in a flurry to get everything organized for today’s celebration.
Aer Lingus for allowing me “Priority Check in” to ensure my gifts from the Mayors arrived safely.

In Australia –
Mayor of the city of the Hawkesbury Mary Buckett-Lyons for taking the time to meet with me and offer words of encouragement and the lovely gift to present to Cllr. Paddy Kavanagh
Administrator of the Snowy Monaro Shire Dean Lynch, who on such short notice, met with me during my visit to Cooma and penned a warm letter to Cllr. Kavanagh. He also sent me with a beautiful book featuring the Snowy Monaro region.
Mayor of East Gippsland Shire, Joe Rettino who made a special video with his warm greeting from the people of East Gippsland to the people of Enniscorthy. He also sent me with a lovely gift for Cllr. Kavanagh
Mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council, Andrew Willcox who although under a great deal of pressure so soon after Cyclone Debbie struck, still made time to see me to inscribe a lovely Airlie Beach book and write a warm and welcoming letter to the people of Ireland.
Alissa Fitzsimon of the Australian Embassy in Dublin who emailed me to wish me all the best for today
My darling Mum Lorna Prendergast who made sure that I packed one of my dad Jim Prendergast’s fabulous “R.A.A.F Bairnsdale” books to present to Cllr Kavanagh, my Irish Grandmother’s Rosary beads to keep me safe and $50 for anything that might pop up.
And last but not least, Barry my wonderful husband and blog master who, even though he is thousands of miles away, compiles my words and photos to post on my blog every day and skypes me every night.
Thank you so much to all concerned, your love and support is greatly appreciated.

 

Marsh’s Library: a treasure trove of literature

Friday 26 May, 2017

Blessed with yet another glorious Summer’s day, I strolled through the streets of Dublin to keep my 10 am appointment with Dr. Jason McElligott, Keeper, Marsh’s Library.

I love the smell and the sight of historical and valuable books lined up neatly on shelves. People often ask me where I grew up. I reply “In a Library!” My inspiring mum was a Librarian for 40 years in Australia and I spent many happy days quietly wiling away the hours reading beautiful books in the libraries that she worked in.

Continue reading “Marsh’s Library: a treasure trove of literature”

Four Courts visit and National Library of Ireland research.

Thursday 25 May, 2017.

Two hot days in a row! Unheard of in Ireland and yet there we have it. Most of the Dubliners were sweltering. I was loving it, the heat reminded me of being home in the Whitsundays.

I visited the Four Courts where mass destruction happened during the civil war of 1922. This building has stood for over 200 years as a bastion of law in Ireland. Continue reading “Four Courts visit and National Library of Ireland research.”

Antiques, Grave stone Rubbings and Prendergast family Deeds.

Wednesday 24 May, 2017.

At 10am this morning, a warm welcome awaited me at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland when Aaron Binchy, a relative of my favourite author Maeve Binchy, greeted me at the door of the Society.

 

 

 

 

Conor Lucey, the President took me on a personally escorted tour around the building and historical garden. The house has been kept in its original state and the garden has been planted in keeping with herbs and flowers of the original garden. Continue reading “Antiques, Grave stone Rubbings and Prendergast family Deeds.”