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My ancestors - O'Rahilly - Contents


Thomas Francis Rahilly


   
(Left) Thomas Francis Rahilly, from his mass card [P102/42]. See larger and full card.
(Right) Julia Curry, 1901. Prob. in Quinsborough.



Thomas Francis Rahilly,
Tom, born 8th Jan 1849, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry,
NOT educ St.Michael's College, Listowel (founded 1879),
think NOT educ Blackrock College (think both of these are confusion with his son Thomas Francis).
In a tribute to him at Listowel Petty Sessions in Feb 1899, Gerald McElligott J.P. recalled Rahilly's "remarkable intelligence which he said manifested itself even at the beginning of his schooldays when he actually edited a little nursery newspaper of his own".
He went to St.Munchin's seminary in Limerick to study for the priesthood, there as at 1865 (age 16). Found had no vocation, left it [O'Rahilly, 1991].

He went to America in March 1866 [P102/29], shortly after end of the Civil War.
Wrote letter to his brother Richard Rahilly, from Trout St, Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, Aug 1866 (him age 17): "My dear old Dick, I am just after getting up after last night's fun. I had a jolly good night at a ball, lots of the handsomest girls I ever saw. .. Many's the time I wished I had you with me here, and many's the time I think over the great smokes we had together. .. I'm entirely my own master NOW. Marlo tried to keep me down but he saw it was no good, so he gives me plenty of pocket money now. I am as happy as a king. .. Half past three I am just after breakfast".
He says he is about to have a smoke and an iced champagne "to settle my stomach .. now don't show this letter to Mama or she might write to Marlo about me and then he'd show me the doors. She does not know what a place this is at all and indeed it would not be pleasant to" [tell her].
This makes no sense. He does not seem to know that his mother died Jan 1866 and yet Richard says he went to America Mar 1866 after her death.

He worked for few years in Rahilly business in Ballylongford.
Then moved to oversee family's business interests in Tarbert, Co.Kerry (an off-shoot of the original business in Ballylongford).
[O'Rahilly, 1991] said he was in the RIC, but he is not found in [RIC records]. This may be confusion with his father.
It was said he was "a sergeant in Longford".
Note some of his children and his sister's children went to school in Longford.

Thomas Francis mar 1871 to Julia Curry [born 24th June 1854].
She married at 17, conceived at 17, gave birth to first child at 18, gave birth to 15 children over 26 years, last one just before husband's death, when she was age 44.
Eldest child born Glin, Co.Limerick, 1872.

Tarbert, 1873-81:
They lived Tarbert, Co.Kerry.
They are listed as living Tarbert 1873 through 1881 (children's births).
He became Postmaster for Tarbert.
Listed as stamp distributor for Tarbert in [Thom's, 1874].
He lived Market Square, Tarbert, must be in the 3 storey Lindsay building.
He managed a general store and importing business. He is listed as "draper" and "shopkeeper" in [GROI].
They sp the bapt of his 1st cousin's child Margaret Mary Goulding at Tarbert 1875.
The story was he was highly intelligent, likeable, but irresponsible, used drink heavily, got to be real problem.
Julia was remembered as a very capable, literary person, very competent in keeping family together through her husband's drinking, and after his early death.
She imposed on her brother-in-law Richard and on her own family to pay for children's education (those who didn't get scholarships). Some of daus educated at convent boarding school, Longford - Richard Rahilly paid for that.
She was "most ambitious for her children, she monitored their school progress, sought advice on what was best for each, and saw to it that they went to select schools" [Gaughan, 1986]. Strict household. Children not allowed to associate with anyone outside the family after school.
She was good-looking. Aodogán said Richard's wife Ellen was constantly annoyed because Richard was always going over to see if she was OK when Tom was drinking.
The story was the business in Tarbert went bust due to Tom's drinking.
He would be "T.F. Rahilly" who sp bapt of Daniel Hickie 1879.
[Slater's, 1881] lists Thomas F. Rahilly, Market Square, Tarbert, under "linen and woollen drapers", he is not the postmaster.

Clerk of Petty Sessions, Listowel, 1881-99:
The post of Clerk of Petty Sessions in Listowel, Co.Kerry, became vacant 1881.
Tom applied for it, and was awarded the post "not least because of the considerable influence exercised on his behalf by Richard" [Gaughan, 1986].
He is listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions at his son Michael Joseph's death, Feb 1881, when still living in Tarbert.
In 1881 he moved to big house, The Square, Listowel, Co.Kerry. He didn't build it. He leased it, the house was church property.
Living Listowel, Co.Kerry, 1882 through 1898 (children's births).
Listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions, Listowel, in [Thom's] 1883 and 1884.
He had a bad drink problem. Anno remembered that "it was a regular chore for her father to get word that Uncle Tom was on the booze again .. would have to drop everything and go off to Listowel to take Tom to a 'drying out' clinic in Roscrea or Mount Mellary" [O'Rahilly, 1991].
[P102/30] is a letter from him from Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, 29 Aug 1886.
Apparently last time he was in Roscrea he was "cured".

Alfred remembered Parnell and Michael Davitt speaking at a meeting in The Square in Listowel [Alfred, 1960]. This is dated to Oct 1891. There was no great excitement in the family. They were "total conformers".
Thomas Francis listed as Clerk of Petty Sessions in [Guy's, 1893].
See front and rear of a dog licence signed by him in his capacity as Clerk of Petty Sessions, 1894 (courtesy of Vincent Carmody).
His brother Richard died 1896.
He is still listed as Clerk of Listowel Petty Sessions in Kerry Evening Post, 1 Apr 1896 (after brother's death).
On his deathbed he confessed there was never a day in his life that he did not have an irresistable craving for drink.

Thomas Francis died at his house, The Square, shortly before midnight, Sat night, 25th Feb 1899, age 50 yrs, after a short illness.
Baby Ena (born Dec 1898) was sick at the same time. Bernadette Griffin was later told by an aunt that Julia asked God to take the baby but not her husband, but her husband said no, he would rather that he died than his daughter Ena.
Funeral Mon 27 Feb to Ballylongford, bur "in the family vault in the Abbey".
He is incorrectly listed as "solicitor" at dau Ena's marriage 1922.
See mass card in [P102/42].
Richard and Tom both now dead, Julia left a widow with 13 children, age 0 to 26. Wonder how she managed to pay school and university fees after this.

Julia left the house on The Square, Listowel in 1899 (according to plaque on house). Gone by census 1901.
Though note Richard Henry's dau was born on The Square 1904 (probably in different house).
Julia and the younger children are listed in [Census, 1901] as living in Ballybunion, Co.Kerry. All listed as "Rahilly", they have 1 servant living with them. They seem to be in the house beside Bingham's pub and hotel, Ballybunion.
Also living in Ballybunion at this time was Tom's 1st cousin Marianne McEllistrem, who had recently separated from her husband.
Julia went to Dublin, think 1906, think NOT 1909.
Cecile's entry in [Beathaisnéis] says she was in Dublin by 1906.
Julia lived 66 Botanic Rd, Glasnevin (NOT 68 Botanic Ave), listed there in [Thom's, 1909].
Children all born "Rahilly", but all changed to using "O'Rahilly" in the 1910s, following T.F. and The O'Rahilly.
See entry at 66 Botanic Rd, Glasnevin, in [Census, 2 April 1911]. She is still listed as "Rahilly", though son T.F. is now using "O'Rahilly".
She was living 10 Marguerite Road, off Botanic Rd, Glasnevin, as at dau's mar 1922.
Spent last couple of years in nursing home.
Her address on grave record 1928 is still given as 10 Marguerite Road, Glasnevin.
Listed as "O'Rahilly" in grave record.
She died 18th July 1928, Dublin, age 74 yrs [mass card], [grave], [grave record],
bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
Thomas Francis and Julia had issue:

  
  1. Margaret Mary O'Rahilly,
    Gretta, born Margaret Mary Rahilly, 12th Sept 1872, Glin, Co.Limerick (her mother's homeplace) [GROI],
    listed as just "Margaret" in Margaret Rahilly's will 1875,
    nun, "Sr. Anthony", Sisters of Mercy,
    professed 1899,
    she was in Sisters of Mercy convent of St.Mary of the Isle (or St Marie's of the Isle), Sharman Crawford St, Cork,
    not with family in 1901 census,
    see entry in Sisters of Mercy convent, 12 Titton St, Cork, in [Census, 1911], she is listed as "Sister M. Anthony Rahilly", "primary teacher",
    died 26th Jan 1921, age 48 yrs.


  2. Michael Joseph Rahilly,
    after grandfather,
    born 26th Nov 1873, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI], though baptism record says born 25 Nov,
    bapt 29 Nov [Tarbert RC par records],
    a child prodigy, it was said he was "the cleverest of them all" in this talented family,
    at age no more than 7 he would memorise 3 or 4 pages from the Bible, stand up on table, reciting them,
    neighbours would come to the Rahilly home to witness his extraordinary prowess,
    he died 21st Feb 1881, Tarbert, Co.Kerry, age 7 yrs, of hydrocephalus (water on the brain) [GROI].


  3. Florence O'Rahilly,
    born 20th July 1875, Tarbert, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 22 July [Tarbert RC par records],
    not with family in 1901 census,
    secondary school teacher,
    artist, did paintings with water colours,
    will dated 1940,
    address at death is 17 Raglan Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin,
    died unmarried, 16 Dec 1949, Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin [GROI], [grave record], age 74 yrs.
    bur Glasnevin Cemetery.


  4. Richard Henry Rahilly (or O'Rahilly),
    Dick, Richard Henry Rahilly when young,
    think adopted name "O'Rahilly" when older (along with rest of family),
    born 17th June 1877, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI],
    bapt 30 June [Tarbert RC par records].


  5. Teresa Rahilly,
    born 28th June 1879, Tarbert, Co.Kerry [GROI],
    bapt 1 July 1879 [Tarbert RC par records],
    died 10th Apr 1880, Tarbert, Co.Kerry, age 9 months, of whooping cough [GROI].


  6. Teresa O'Rahilly (second Teresa),
    Tessie, born 28th Jan 1881, Tarbert, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 31 January 1881 [Tarbert RC par records],
    living with mother in 1901 census, listed as "teacher",
    nun, "Sr. Walburga", Sisters of Mercy, convent of St.Mary of the Isle (with her older sister Gretta), Cork,
    professed 1906,
    can't see her in [Census, 1911],
    teaching all her life in Cork,
    died 27th Jun 1943, age 62 yrs.


  7. T.F. O'Rahilly,
    Prof. Thomas Francis O'Rahilly, the celebrated Celtic scholar,
    born Thomas Francis Rahilly, 11th Nov 1882, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    later known as Tomás Ó Rathaille, "Tomás Ó Rathile" on grave,
    known to family as "Frank".


  8. Alfred O'Rahilly,
    born Alfred Rahilly, 19th Sept 1884, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    bapt 21st Sept 1884 [Gaughan, 1986],
    later Alfred Joseph (confirmation name) Rahilly.


  9. Mary Josephine O'Rahilly,
    May, born 2nd May 1887, family home, The Square, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    not living with mother in 1901 census, must be at boarding school,
    nun, "Sr. Antonia", Order of Notre Dame de Namur,
    professed 1910,
    "Sr. Mary Antonia", in Liverpool,
    died 1968, age 81 yrs, not found in [GRO.UK] 1968.


  10. Julia O'Rahilly,
    Sheila, "Birdie", born 4th Jan 1889, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    not living with mother in 1901 census, must be at boarding school,
    mar Ernest Mc Creanor [or Mac Creanor, of Dublin], no issue,
    they lived on N side of Dublin,
    "Mr. and Mrs. MacCreenor" listed at funeral of Gerald Griffin 1932,
    "Mrs. Sheela MacCreanor" listed at funeral of Dominic Mangan 1936,
    she died 12th Aug 1948, age 59 yrs.


  11. Agnes O'Rahilly,
    born 30th Sept 1891, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    nun, "Sr. Julie", Irish Sisters of Charity, Merrion Gates, Dublin,
    professed 1915,
    died 22nd Dec 1982, age 91 yrs.


  12. Constance O'Rahilly,
    Connie, born 25th Nov 1893, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    mar 1925, France, to Gaston Rafroidi [born 1897] and had issue.


  13. Dr. Cecile O'Rahilly, the Celtic scholar,
    Sisile Ni Raithile, born 17th Dec 1894, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    listed as "Cecilia" in 1901 and 1911 census,
    educ Listowel convent,
    educ Dominican Convent, Dublin,
    educ UCD, BA 1915 with double 1st class hons in Celtic Studies and French,
    educ University College of North Wales, Bangor (she won a Travelling Studentship in Celtic Studies to study there),
    received MA 1919, [Beathaisnéis] says "Masters in Dublin and Bangor", fluent in Irish, French and Welsh,
    French teacher at Beaumaris Grammar School (secondary school), Anglesea, NE Wales, 1919 to 1928,
    edited Tóruigheacht Gruaidhe Griansholus : The Pursuit of Gruaidh Ghriansholus (part of the Ulster Cycle), 1922,
    author of Ireland and Wales, their historical and literary relations, 1924,
    in 1925 she applied for job at UCG but didn't get it, remained a teacher for many years,
    French teacher at Cardiff High School for Girls (secondary school), Wales, 1928 to 1946, "Modern Languages Mistress",
    returned to Dublin 1946,
    Assistant Professor (possibly later full Prof.) at School of Celtic Studies at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (initially under her brother T.F.) from 1946 until she retired 1964,
    (todo) see letters of appointment to DIAS (including her CV), 1945-46, [NAI], Department of the Taoiseach, Cabinet s 12504, DIAS file,
    D.Litt. Celt.,
    edited Eachtra Uilliam / An Irish Version of William of Palerne, DIAS, 1949 (medieval Irish version of the Werewolf legend),
    edited Five Seventeenth Century Political Poems, DIAS, 1952, repub 1977,
    edited Trompa na bhFlaitheas, DIAS, 1955,
    listed as Assistant Professor at DIAS 1956,
    her life's work was a translation of the Tain Bo Cuailgne, the central story in the Ulster Cycle, in 4 vols, 1961, 1967, 1976, and another posthumously,
    retired from DIAS 1964, continued to publish into her 80s,
    never married, lived with her companion Miss Myfanwy Williams,
    died 2nd May 1980, age 85 yrs,
    see obituary in Irish Times 14th May 1980,
    see obituary by Brian Ó Cuív in Celtica journal vol.13, 1980, pp. 201-203.
    Celtica journal produced a memorial volume for her, vol.15, 1983.
    (todo) See "Cecile O'Rahilly: Saol agus Saothar", Brian Ó Catháin, Scoláirí Léinn, "Léachtaí Cholm Cille" series, no.35, 2005.


  14. Michael Anthony O'Rahilly,
    born 5th Jan 1897, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    not listed with family in 1911 census, perhaps at boarding school,
    priest, Cistercian Order,
    "Fr. Aloysius" of Mount St.Joseph's Abbey, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary,
    think [Bourke, 1967] lists him as "Albert",
    died 1st May 1968, age 71 yrs, St.Michael's Nursing Home, Dun Laoghaire [GROI].


  15. Ena O'Rahilly,
    Christina, NOT Christiana,
    born Christina Ursula Rahilly, 2nd Dec 1898, Listowel, Co.Kerry,
    living family home, 10 Marguerite Road, Glasnevin, at mar,
    mar 6 June 1922 to Patrick Griffin and had issue.




Thomas Francis Rahilly and family.
With 8 kids living, 5 girls, 3 boys, i.e. c.1890.
From [Sighle's papers, P106/325].
See larger and full size.



Cróine thinks these might be some of the Listowel cousins.
Dublin photographer.
See larger and full size.



Cróine thinks these might be some of the Listowel cousins.
Limerick photographer.
See larger and full size.



Julia O'Rahilly grave, Glasnevin.
This is also the grave of T.F. O'Rahilly.
Photo 2010. Courtesy of Peter Lyon.
See larger and full size.
See wider shot and shot from back showing location.
See close-up of top and middle and bottom.




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