The O'Donoghue Society

For all those interested in history and genealogy and whose names are derived from the Gaelic


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This page lists all blogs in date order. The links to the left allow you to see the blogs categorised by subject matter.  To add Comments click on the Category and then on the title to the blog you wish to contribute to.

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Remember all of those Porsche Top 5 videos from this past year? The German automaker has been cranking them out to show off important pieces of its history, and also its future. You can't please everyone, though, so Porsche went back to its own well while listening to its fans to create a bonus video. This one shows off the three most requested hits from Porsche's history.

Up first is the Porsche 911 R. No, not the fancy new 991 version that is downright plentiful next to its vintage namesake. Back in 1967, Porsche produced just 19 examples of a race-ready variant of its 911. It was set apart from a standard car thanks to thin doors crafted from aluminum, twin-spark cylinder heads, and an engine producing 210 horsepower. It weighed less than 1,760 pounds as well. While the new 911 R is rare and impressive, the original from 1967 is damn-near priceless.

From a road-based racing car, Porsche moves to one with pure track-only intentions. One of the all-time greats in all of motorsport history is the Porsche 917. The example shown here is the 917/30 Spyder used for Can-Am racing, and it's the most powerful car Porsche ever produced. George Follmer had some success with it, but then Mark Donohue took one and won...well, pretty much everything. In the 1973 season, Donohue won every race but two.

Donohue had the help of a flat 12-cylinder engine that was capable of producing nearly 1,600 horsepower. It was such a dominant machine that the SCCA changed some rules to help out everyone not using a Porsche 917. As it should, Porsche gives us a few moments of the 917/30's uninterrupted soundtrack on a racetrack.

Finally, the Porsche Top 5 (3) crew brings out a bit of a spoiler. Literally. It's the famed Whale Tail from the Porsche 930. That's what we called it in the States, but it seems Germany has always had a better name for the rear end of the 930 Turbo. I'm not going to spoil that one for you, so hit play and watch the bonus video above.

You'll get some other details on the 930 Turbo as well. The first-generation Turbo had a wider body and wider front and rear spoilers, and only 2,850 were built before it went out of production in 1977.

This video was produced as a bonus for the first season. Porsche promises a second season of its Top 5 videos is also coming. We're looking forward to it.


Gerry Donahue plans to celebrate her 100th birthday in style Saturday.

Her son, Dennis Donahue, 75, will take her flying in his airplane in the morning, then for a drive in a 1970 Oldsmobile 98 convertible in the afternoon. Of course, she has done both of those things before.

“I’ve flown with Denny a lot,” Gerry Donahue said Thursday. “He’s an excellent pilot. I wouldn’t fly with him if he weren’t.”

In fact, he took her for a ride in his plane on his 75th birthday in April. But she hasn’t ridden in a convertible for ages, she said.

Gerry Donahue, seated, and her son, Dennis Donahue, stand beside his plane Thursday afternoon outside a hangar at Forbes Field. They will celebrate Gerry Donahue’s 100th birthday Saturday with a flight and a drive in a convertible.


Anne Marie Dunphy was crowned national champion at the Dressage Ireland championships at the Cavan Equestrian Centre on Saturday.

For the second year running, Dunphy won the Grand Prix with her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Urbanus (by Ronaldo), once again beating Sandra Blake Farrell and Saint Emilion 2 into second place. Urbanus and Dunphy won the Intermediare II championship in Cavan on Friday.


While searching for my 2nd great grandfather Jeremiah D Donoghue 1835-1915,  I came across these 13 photos from that I thought you might like for your new site.

If you would like to see any of them please contact Rod

Thanks to Jean Smoorenburg


Mr Florence "Frank" Thomas O'Donoghue


Mr Florence "Frank" Thomas O'Donoghue (Bedroom steward) was born in Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland on 28 October 1880, and was baptised on 30 October 1880.

He was the son of Timothy O'Donoghue (b. 1855), a tram conductor originally from Co Kerry, and Margaret, née Mora (b. 1856), a native of Queen's County (modern-day Co Laois). The family had seemingly settled in Liverpool not long after his birth, perhaps around 1882, and his parents went on to have six children in that city: James (b. 1885), Margaret (b. 1887), Anne "Nance" (b. 1889), Nora (b. 1893), Emily Bridget (b. 1895) and Winifred Ellen (b. 1903).

The 1891 and 1901 census records show the family living at 10 Beeston Street (?), Kirkdale, Liverpool but Florence would be absent from the later record. When the 1911 census was conducted his widowed father and his siblings were residents of 62 Margaret Road, Walton and his elder sisters Margaret and Annie were both described as school teachers.

He married Annie Furlong, on 3 June 1900, at Saint James Church, Bootle, West Derby, Lancashire and had a son (born circa 1906). Since 1911 he, his wife and son had been living in the USA, precisely where is unknown.

When O'Donoghue signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his age as 35, birthplace as Liverpool and his local address as 60 Ludlow Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a bedroom steward he could expect monthly wages of £3, 15s.

O'Donoghue died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

The American Red Cross report in 1913 stated that O'Donoghue's wife and son had been residents in the USA for two years. Following his demise on Titanic his widow and son returned to England to benefit from compensation from the British Workmen's Compensation Act and she was awarded £300; they returned to the USA aboard Cedric on 17 October 1912. Annie was unwilling to return to relatives in Liverpool permanently as there were more opportunities in America. She later worked as a domestic to support herself and her son and they later benefitted from $81 of American relief funds. What became of Annie and her son is not known.

Gavin Bell
Parker Moore

Sometimes listed as Francis Joseph Donoghue. Listed as O'Donoghue on early census records, it was not uncommon for the "O'" prefix to be dropped among Irish ex-patriots. Florence is rare, but not unheard of, as a boy's name in Ireland.

References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Link and cite this biography
(2017) Florence Donoghue Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1843, updated 25th July 2017 09:35:01 AM)

Starline Entertainment will take “Why Is There Anything Instead of Nothing” to the international market after snagging the global rights to the feature documentary about Irish-American painter, sculptor and printmaker Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross.

The artist had enormous commercial success and won international acclaim during the 1970s and 1980s while living in the US, before withdrawing from the art scene, and moving to his ancestral home in Killarney, Ireland, where he is now hereditary chieftain of the O’Donoghue’s of O’Donoghue/Ross.

Cork-based Southernman Films produced the film, which was directed by Patrick O’Shea and produced by Aidan Stanley. It is expected to have a festival run, with Starline selling it to broadcasters and digital services and platforms.

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“’Why Is There Anything Instead of Nothing’ is a beautifully realized exploration of the creative process as witnessed through the eyes of a unique and extraordinary talent,” she said.“’Why Is There Anything Instead of Nothing’ is a beautifully realized exploration of the creative process a witnessed through the eyes of a unique and extraordinary talent,” she said.

States that have enacted right-to-carry (RTC) concealed handgun laws have experienced higher rates of violent crime than states that did not adopt those laws, according to a Stanford scholar.

Right-to-carry laws are linked with higher violent crime rates according to research by Stanford Law School Professor John Donohue. (Image credit: Ron Bailey / Getty Images)

Examining decades of crime data, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue’s analysis shows that violent crime in RTC states was estimated to be 13 to 15 percent higher – over a period of 10 years – than it would have been had the state not adopted the law.

The working paper, released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, challenges the effectiveness of RTC laws and could have a significant impact on pending litigation between the National Rifle Association and the state of California.

Making a ‘synthetic state’

Donohue’s paper builds on the National Academies’ National Research Council’s 2004 report investigating guns and violence.  While that report debunked claims that RTC laws had been shown to reduce crime, the 16 experts on the panel were not able to definitively conclude that carrying concealed weapons had an effect – positive or negative – on violent crime. Their uncertainty was rooted in the fragility of estimates that were derived from differing statistical models applied to panel data available at the time.

“The committee found that answers to some of the most pressing questions cannot be addressed with existing data and research methods, however well designed,” the report stated.

The most convincing comparison would take two otherwise identical states and observe violent crime when one of them adopts a RTC law. Donohue and his team employed a new statistical technique that creates a “synthetic control,” which attempts to find the best possible comparison for the RTC-adopting state drawn from among other states that had no RTC law at the time.

The synthetic control approach, a research method now widely applied in economics and political science, uses an algorithm that combines crime patterns from several non-RTC states – or during the time before states adopted RTC – to create an artificial or synthetic state.

Take Texas, which passed RTC laws in 1996. Donohue’s comparison for Texas came from combining data from California – a non-RTC state – and Nebraska and Wisconsin, which hadn’t pass RTC laws at that time. By weighting the violent crime data from these three states for the period from 1986 to 1996, he produced a synthetic crime rate similar to Texas’ crime rate in the 10 years prior to adopting RTC laws.

Donohue then projected the synthetic state’s crime rate for the next 10 years and compared it against Texas’ crime rate post-RTC passage. He performed the same analysis on the 33 states that enacted RTC laws over his data period and found a strikingly consistent picture.

On average, RTC states had aggregate violent crime rates around 7 percent higher than the synthetic states five years after RTC law passage. After 10 years, the gap increased to almost 15 percent.

“All this work is based on statistical models,” Donohue said. “When the models all generate similar estimates, it increases your confidence that you have captured the true effect.”

Donohue had further reasons for that confidence. Compared to the 2004 report, he was able to study an additional 14 years of crime data and include 11 additional states that adopted RTC laws. While the earlier panel data results were sensitive to changes in the explanatory variables (incarceration, population, poverty and unemployment rates among others) used in the statistical model, such changes had little effect on the synthetic controls estimates, which again increases confidence in the estimates, Donohue said.

RTC laws increase violent crime

Donohue applied the synthetic control approach using four previously published statistical data models that had generated conflicting panel data estimates of the impact of RTC laws on violent crime. In all four cases, the synthetic control estimates showed increases in overall violent crime of 13-15 percent.

“There is not even the slightest hint in the data that RTC laws reduce overall violent crime,” Donohue stated in the paper.

To put the significance of a 15-percent increase in violent crime in perspective, the paper notes that “the average RTC state would have to double its prison population to counteract the RTC-induced increase in violent crime.”

Donohue’s team engaged in an array of different tests to ensure that the findings were sound. For example, Donohue noticed that Hawaii was included as part of a synthetic control more than any other single state. So, he re-ran the entire synthetic controls analysis while excluding Hawaii to see if there were any major changes; there weren’t. He then did the same for every other state that contributed to the synthetic controls for any of the 33 adopting states, and the resulting estimates showed very little variation: in all cases RTC laws were linked with higher violent crime rates.

“That was a comfort,” he said.

Another comfort was the increased rates of incarceration and hiring of law enforcement personnel Donohue noticed among RTC states.

“This suggested that RTC states were not simply experiencing higher crime because they decided to lock up fewer criminals and hire fewer police,” Donohue said. “The relatively greater increases in incarceration and police in RTC states implies that, if anything, our synthetic controls estimates may be understating the increase in violent crime, which was pretty persuasive to me.”

Guns and value

The debate over RTC laws comes at a crucial time for the state of California, which in April was sued by the National Rifle Association, challenging state gun control laws.

Because the heart of the case is whether there is a constitutional right to carry a gun, which would make RTC laws moot, Donohue said there is a high likelihood the case will ultimately be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. His paper has been included in the court filings in federal district court.

Having a gun can generate a benefit under certain circumstances and will impose costs in other circumstances, and sound policy must consider the overall magnitude of these conflicting effects, Donohue said.  RTC proponents often overlook how often gun-carrying leads to lost and stolen guns, which are then in the hands of criminals.

Moreover, one can incur all of the costs of buying and carrying a gun, only to find that a criminal attack is too sudden to effectively employ the gun defensively.  Donohue cites a 2013 report from the National Crime Victimization Survey that showed in 99.2 percent of the violent attacks in the United States, no gun is ever used defensively – despite the nearly 300 million guns in circulation in the country today.

For most Americans, said Donohue, carrying a gun to avoid a criminal attack is similar to thinking that having a weekly brain scan will save your life, without considering the potential hazardous effects.

“If we gave 300 million people a brain scan, we would save a certain number of lives,” Donohue said. “But you wouldn’t want to advocate that treatment without considering how many lives would be lost by exposing so many to radiation damage.  One needs to consider both the costs and benefits of any treatment or policy.  If the net effect of more gun carrying is that violent crime is elevated, then RTC laws seem much less appealing. This paper may have an impact in making people think differently about these issues.”

This work was supported by Stanford Law School. The paper’s co-authors are Abhay Aneja, a law student at Stanford and a graduate student in economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Kyle Weber, a graduate student in economics at Columbia University.


Media Contacts

John Donohue, Stanford Law School: (650) 721-6339,

Milenko Martinovich, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-9281,


Talk show legend Phil Donahue says America's problem is "hypocrisy."

The 81-year-old Donahue said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that Americans tout their patriotism, but about half of them don't vote.

"Hypocrisy is killing us," he said.

Donahue argued that Trump's base represented a small percentage of the country, but elected Trump because they were "angry" and showed up to the ballot boxes last November.

"These are angry people," he said. "Maybe they haven't had a raise in eight years. The rumor is that their company is being sold. Their kids can't pay back their college loans. They come back exhausted from their day at the factory, and they read the paper where a guy at a hedge fund made a million dollars on Thursday.

"You can't do this to people," Donahue said. "Sooner or later, they're gonna go 'kaboom.' And they did. And the 'kaboom' expressed itself in the election of Donald Trump."

Donahue also criticized the media for "missing the mark" when it came to covering Trump. He said that journalists should "get out of Washington" and spend more time talking with Trump's voters -- the "real people."

That's the approach Donahue took during his decades-long run as host of "The Phil Donahue Show."

The program, which ended in 1996, was known for giving people from all walks of life a microphone. And it tackled political and social issues before they became common fodder on television.

Donahue also said Sunday that he'd be "first in line" to interview Trump today.

It wouldn't be the first time. Trump appeared on Donahue's show back in 1987 when the businessman was 41 -- long before he entered politics.

The pair discussed Trump's real estate business and his new book at the time, "The Art of the Deal."


Plans to reintroduce the Eurasian lynx 1,300 years after it became extinct in the UK will be submitted soon, campaigners have said.

The Lynx UK Trust wants to import up to six of the cats from Sweden to Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

With a public consultation over, the trust said the five year trial plan would go to Natural England by September.

It has been criticised by some residents and sheep farmers.

The scheme would see four to six lynx wearing radio tracking devices with Kielder chosen due to its dense woodland and low number of roads.

The trust said the animals would help control deer numbers as well provide a tourism boost.

Dr Paul O'Donoghue, the chief scientific advisor, from the trust told the Guardian the lynx "belongs here" and is an "intrinsic part of the the UK environment".

He also told the paper he hoped the lynx could be in the forest by the end of the year.

Sheep farmers fear the animals could target their livestock although the trust said the cats would hunt in woods rather than fields.

The trust did admit, however, that some sheep could be killed but farmers would be "generously compensated" for any losses.

'Unnecessary pain'

Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, said there were several hundred sheep farmers around Kielder, any one of whom could be affected by the lynx.

He said valuing a sheep was complex and, money aside, there were major welfare concerns.

Mr Stocker said people would not accept animals facing "unnecessary pain" and one sheep being attacked by a lynx could cause major stress and possible damage to others in the flock.

He said the UK no longer had the "landscape" for the lynx to be "genetically sustainable" and it would not be in the cat's interest to be reintroduced into an environment that, thanks to roads and industry, has changed so much since the cat existed here.


Thu, Jun 29, 2017, 06:00

The answer, of course, is that “it depends”. It depends on how you measure popularity. Sales? Number of copies published?

One way of measuring popularity is to look at library holdings: the number of appearances by an author or work in library collections worldwide. Libraries reflect popular interest. However, they also reflect scholarly interest and have collected the published output of nations over time. Library collections are where world literature is stewarded and defined.

Using WorldCat, a database of library catalogues, we can actually look at aggregate library holdings from around the world. WorldCat is produced by OCLC, a global library co-operative headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, working with individual libraries and library organisations. It knows about the collections of more than 16,000 libraries, representing about 400 million publications or other individually catalogued items (maps, CDs, etc), which in turn represent about 2.5 billion holdings in individual libraries. WorldCat is probably the best approximation we have anywhere to the published record.

So what does WorldCat say? Library data tells us that Jonathan Swift is the most popular Irish author, and the work for which he is best known, Gulliver’s Travels, is the most popular work by an Irish author in world literature.

Our findings certainly confirm the remarks of Dr Aileen Douglas, Head of the School of English at Trinity College Dublin, in The Irish Times recently. “Gulliver’s Travels belongs not just to Irish literature, but to world literature and its relevance only increases over time.” It is a particularly timely finding as Dublin is marking the 350th anniversary of Swift’s birth with its Swift350 celebration throughout 2017.

Rounding out the top five most popular works by an Irish author are Dracula by Bram Stoker; The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Oscar Wilde, Eve Bunting [born in Maghera in 1928, the US-based author of more than 250 novels, most for children], George Bernard Shaw and Oliver Goldsmith follow Swift in the ranking of the top five most popular Irish authors.

These findings confirm the strong literary focus in the Irish published record. Works of the imagination feature very strongly in Irish literature. Similar work in Scotland for example shows the importance of Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter Scott, but also underlines the preponderance of David Hume, Adam Smith and other writers of the Scottish Enlightenment. The Scottish published record has a rather different profile. The most widely held “non-fiction” works by Irish authors are by Edmund Burke and George Berkeley.

An approach based on library holdings favours classics – works that are now published in multiple versions, are translated, are retold for younger readers and are widely distributed in core collections.

We can correct for this by limiting the analysis to a particular time period. So, for example the most popular contemporary (ie born after 1945) authors are Eoin Colfer, Darren Shan, Alister McGrath [Belfast-born Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University], John Connolly, Roddy Doyle, Michael Scott, Cecelia Ahern, Colm Tóibín, Marian Keyes and Emma Donoghue. It is interesting to see the strong presence on the list of young adult fantasy fiction authors, alongside more broadly known names.

We can also correct by looking at particular time slices – looking at materials only published in a specified period. So, limiting to materials published between 1900 and 1904, the most popular authors (or other creators associated with works, such as musicians or performers) are George Bernard Shaw, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, James Bryce, WB Yeats, LT Meade, Jonathan Swift, Charles Lever, Justin McCarthy, and Charles Villiers Stanford.

Jumping forward to the period 1950 to 1954, one sees Joyce Cary, Cecil Day Lewis and Elizabeth Bowen join Shaw, Wilde, Swift, Joyce, Yeats and Goldsmith. Also featuring here is Jimmy Kennedy, the lyricist who put words to Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Iris Murdoch, Sheridan Le Fanu and Norma Burrowes feature among others in the 1975 to 1979 list. Moving forward to 2000-2004, Maeve Binchy, Eoin Colfer, Bram Stoker and Marian Keyes join Wilde, Shaw, Swift, Joyce and Yeats. We also see the first appearance of Samuel Beckett.

So again, we can see the dominance of now classic authors. However, it is also interesting to see the time-bound reputation of the once popular Justin McCarthy or James Bryce. Of particular note is how reputations can fluctuate. LT Meade was a prolific Victorian writer of children’s literature and detective stories. Her work recently saw a modest revival of interest as one of her creations featured in the TV show, the Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. More starkly, Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker are much more popular now than they were when they were writing.

Library collections are also important repositories of music and films. What is the most popular Irish musical work? Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, followed by Watermark and A Day Without Rain by Enya. And film? Not unsurprisingly, The Quiet Man, followed by Philomena, My Left Foot, The Crying Game and Once.

These findings are part of OCLC Research’s continuing work exploring cultural patterns and trends through library bibliographic and holdings data. This is a form of “reading at scale”, identifying patterns in how countries project their cultural, intellectual, literary and musical traditions through the published record. OCLC Research has developed methods for identifying a national presence in the published record, encompassing materials that are published in, are authored by people from, and/or are about a particular country. We rely on WorldCat for library data and use DBpedia, a more structured version of Wikipedia data, to identify Irish authors. We define Ireland as the island of Ireland. Earlier studies have applied these methods to Scotland and New Zealand. We will publish a report on our Irish work, authored by research scientist Brian Lavoie, later this year. I presented preliminary findings from the Irish study at the recent CONUL annual conference in Athlone. CONUL is a consortium of Ireland’s main research libraries.
Lorcan Dempsey is vice-president, membership and research, and chief strategist, OCLC