This month marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Seamus Ó Maoildhia, or Seamus O'Mulloy, of Cloonboo. Born in 1881 to Seaghán Ó Maoildhia and Bríghid Ní Áinin, Seamus received only four years of formal education, but exhibited a keen interest in the Irish language from an early age. He was appointed as a teacher by Conradh na Gaeilge aged 19 years, teaching first in Ballaghderreen and later throughout Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim. He was acquainted through his work with Douglas Hyde, later first President of Ireland, and assisted him greatly in collecting songs and stories at the beginning of the Gaelic Revival. Read more

He was pictured in a well-known photograph in 1903 of nine of the best-known organizers for Conradh na Gaeilge, published in Na timirí i ré, tosaigh an Chonartha 1893-1927 (1990), by Donncha Ó Súilleabháin. It was reported in An Claidheamh Soluis, 2 September 1911, that he was 43 years old, that he had Irish from the cradle and that he gave great help to Douglas Hyde in collecting Raftery's songs. Thomas Meehan was born in Shankill on 12 November 1866, and Patrick Meehan, a labourer, and Margaret Collins were his parents. By the time his sister Julia was born on 16 May 1869, Patrick's occupation was given as 'landowner'. By the time of the 1901 census, he was a farmer with a large house. He was a widower, 67 years old, and he spoke Irish. Read more

The first of our Cavanagh family to arrive in New Zealand was William Cavanagh; he landed at Port Chalmers, Otago, on the 'Gill Blas' in 1856 and came from Melbourne, Australia. How he got to Melbourne and with who else I am yet to discover - I suspect he wouldn't have travelled alone. Although important to our family, William Cavanagh (1835-1873) is of greater importance to all of the Galway early settlers, as he was the first Irish Catholic to land in Otago, according to research carried out by Sean Brosnahan of the Otago Early Settlers Museum. Then, shortly after his arrival, he started an 'immigrant chain' that was to nominate many other Galway Catholics for passage to Otago and Southland. Read more