Thursday, 24 September 2009
Saturday, 25 April 2009
John Kennedy’s great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, left Dunganstown, County Wexford during the Great Hunger and became a cooper in Boston. The Kennedy home in Dunganstown was turned into a museum in 1999. Another branch of JFK’s family, the Fitzgeralds, came from County Limerick village of Bruff and carried with them a family bible. Over a century later John Kennedy would lay his hand on that same bible as he took the oath of office of the nation that took in his poor immigrant ancestors. One can only imagine the reaction of the Fitzgerald’s on the way to “the land of the free” had someone predicted the future purpose to which that bible would be applied.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Monday, 18 February 2008
THE FAIRY RATH OF BRUFF. BY BRIAN O'FLAHERTY.
THIS song and air take their name from a celebrated fairy fort situated at the town of Bruff, in the county of Limerick, and like many others in this collection, would have probably been lost, or left in the " world of spirits," had it not fallen into our hands.
Brian O'Flaherty, the author, was an humble peasant, a mason by trade, and, for aught we know, he may have been "master-builder" to his friends—the fairies and "good people" of Bruff. He was a native of Bruff, or its vicinity, but we cannot discover when he lived. It appears he was not numbered among the literary portion of the bards of his day, but was considered rather presumptive in assuming the name, and for such conduct he was cited, prosecuted, and expelled, at one of the Bardic Sessions then held in Munster.
However, Brian was not so easily got rid of, and in order to gain favour, he mustered up all the natural talent he was possessed of, and composed the present song.
Bruff is situated on the banks of the river Camog (Anglicised " The Morning Star"), and lies about fifteen miles from Limerick. Tradition informs us that the banks of this river up to the town were formerly laid out with beautiful gardens, where all species of plants and trees peculiar to this country grew, and was much admired for being the resort of birds of all kinds, from the melody of whose notes it gained the appellation of Binn (melodious).
At the west side of the town there is a little eminence called Lios (Fort), and there is also a castle, or Brogha, which is supposed to have been built by the De Lacy family shortly after the English invasion.
The birds carolled songs of delight,
And the flowers bloomed bright on my path,
As I stood all alone on the height
Where rises Bruff's old Fairy Rath.
Before me, unstirred by the wind,
That beautiful lake lay outspread,
Whose waters give sight to the Blind,
And would almost awaken the Dead !
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald was JFK�s great grandfather on his mother�s side. He was reportedly born in Bruff, County Limerick in 1823. He was a farmer and so probably lived in a rural part of the Parish or Townland of Bruff, but the exact location is unknown.
The map on the left shows the town of Bruff, which lies at the heart of the Parish and Townland of the same name, as it was in 1840.
Although the Fitzgerald farm was affected by the Great famine, Thomas managed to keep it going until finally, in 1854, he was forced to leave Ireland and headed for the U.S. Like the Kennedy�s he also settled in Boston, Massachusetts and in 1857 married Rosanna Cox who had arrived in Boston from County Cavan, Ireland. One of their children, John Francis Fitzgerald (Honey Fitz), JFK�s grandfather, eventually became Mayor of Boston.