The O'Donoghue Society

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


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 MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s 28-23 win at Kansas State showed the defense had taken another step.

Now it hopes to continue the advance. The Mountaineers limited K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson to only 159 yards while recording two interceptions, and the strong secondary play was helped by a solid pass rush that picked up four sacks. Defensive end Reese Donahue was part of a total unit that allowed just 332 yards overall and three points over the final two quarters.

“I think we’re playing more as a team,” Donahue said. “It’s that point in the year where we’ve been around each other for so long that we know what the other person is gonna say before they say it. It’s pretty cool because I feel like we’re all clicking really well together.

Despite a subpar rushing offense — UT ranks 96th in the nation in averaging 135.3 yards per game — Texas boasts a strong passing offense led, for now, by sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele. The Longhorns are averaging 273.9 yards per game, good for 31st in the nation and meaning Donahue and the rest of the defensive front would be well-served to replicate their strong showing in the pass rush again Saturday.

“Ultimately it comes down to the fundamentals and who’s tougher,” Donahue said. “There’s no other way to prepare for it except for the way that we do every week. When you start changing stuff up, that’s when you run into issues. You have to prepare for a I-AA team (FCS) the same as if you were going to play the top team in the country. It has to be the same every week. You have to bring the same intensity, mentality, mindset, everything.”

At a glance, playing a 5-5 Texas team at home on Senior Day might look to be an easier-than-usual series win for West Virginia. The ‘Horns, however, have held their own against powerhouse teams earlier in the season, losing 27-24 against then-No. 4 USC in double overtime on the road, falling 29-24 against the top team in the Big 12 in Oklahoma, and allowing just 13 points in a 13-10 loss to Oklahoma State, a team that scored 50 points against West Virginia in Morgantown.

“They can hurt you,” Donahue said of a Texas offense that averages 30 points per game. “They’re a pretty impressive team, and they’re doing something right down there. You have to respect your opponent, and I definitely respect them. You have to approach it just like any other game; you can’t change anything.”

Saturday’s game marks the end of an era for West Virginia’s 20 seniors such as team captains Al-Rasheed Benton and Eli Wellman and many others. One last home win for them is added motivation for Donahue and the rest of the team.

“It’s important obviously,” Donahue said. “You all know how much it means for me to play for WVU. I understand by this time in their career, they’ve been here for half a decade and they’ve definitely developed that Mountaineer mentality. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to walk off that field without singing “Country Roads.” It’s very important. Also for some of the younger guys like myself and guys that haven’t been here for a while, it’s a way for us to say thanks for everything you’ve done for us.”
Picture Greg Hunter/Blue & Gold News
A California man has peddled thousands of miles across the country with his dog, raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Their latest stop was Monday in Elizabethtown.
In 2011, Flynn Donoho took off from his home in Huntington Beach, California, on a bicycle to embark on a journey to help others. Although he has had a few mishaps on the road over the years, such as getting hit by an 18-wheeler and getting bitten by a rattle snake, he said cycling across America while raising money for a cause that is near and dear to his heart has been worth it.
Donoho’s dog, Diva, has been riding along with him for the last five years.

“Not many people like to leave their comfort zone to help other people,” he said. “I wanted to help people and raise money for someone at the same time.”

Donoho said cancer affects nearly everyone in some way and he is no exception. His sister-in-law, Melinda, is a 6½ year breast cancer survivor. His stepsister died of breast cancer when she was 35 and cancer took his maternal grandmother before he ever met her. His younger brother recently was treated for prostate cancer. His wife has also died and he had to put his mother in an assisted living facility.
Donoho said all of this fuels his passion in spreading awareness.

Donoho usually stays in a tent at night. Sometimes, he’ll get a night in a motel or somebody’s house, usually from a member of a church he visits and other times, they’ll give him dog food for Diva. But Donoho never asks for it.

He said he gets what he needs by praying for it, ever since he became a Christian almost a decade ago.

“My whole thing is I rely on the Lord. I don’t ask nobody for nothing,” he said. “I don’t ask anybody for a penny, I ask the Lord. I get blown away sometimes when people just want to help.”
Since beginning his trek, Donoho said he has traveled close to 41,000 miles, hitting almost each state twice, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. On Monday, Donoho planned to head east on U.S. 62 through Lexington and on to Olive Hill.

“It’s been kind of cool. I’ve swam in all five great lakes. I got to go through Death Valley. I’ve been all the way around the perimeter of the United States,” he said, adding each time he ventures out, he takes a different route. Donoho said he has been in 149 newspapers and on 84 TV channels across the country during his endeavor so far.

To help his cause, Dono­ho encouraged residents to donate by going to
“Maybe we can get enough money raised and we can find a cure,” he said.
Picture Mary Alford/The News Enterprise

Writer and broadcaster Maia Dunphy appeared on Friday’s Late Late Show where she spoke frankly about the realities of modern motherhood.

Dunphy, who shares son Tom with her husband, comedian Johnny Vegas, opened up on the pressures women face to be "perfect" mothers all of the time.

The Dublin-born star tackled the topic by talking about not bonding with her bump while pregnant. "I was worried through my whole pregnancy that I didn’t feel this incredible bond with my bump. I felt this is a bad sign, this means I’m not going to bond with my baby, I’m going to be a terrible mother", she said.

"It turns out loads of women feel this way, and it doesn't mean you're going to be a terrible mother. There’s so much pressure on women to be perfect the whole time during motherhood, you've got to embrace pregnancy, the way you're giving birth, all of it.

"Sometimes you just have to embrace being slightly terrified."

Dunphy said she had "no notions" about what it would like to be a mother before she welcomed her son, saying: "I had no idea at all about motherhood. I didn’t not want kids, but like a lot of women from my generation we other prioritised other things until suddenly age took over and it was now or never.

"I knew my friends who had kids were exhausted all the time, had less disposable income, didn't go out as much, but I didn't think about it that much until I was a mum myself."

The TV presenter spoke about society's fervent interest in women becoming pregnant, saying: "There’s no other aspect of human life that illicits so much interest than women’s fertility, it's unbelievable."

"They may as well say to you how’s your sex life. Nobody would say that!", she added jokingly.

The Dublin-born star said that the speculation and advice doesn't stop once you become pregnant. "It never stops, first it’s all the things you shouldn’t be doing, all the things you shouldn’t be doing, what you should be eating what you shouldn’t be eating", she said. "For some reason I became the poster girl for alcohol. I had one beer at my friend's 40th birthday when I was pregnant and my god the looks I got!"

Dunphy explained with her trademark directness that not all women "need" to have children. "I think it's really important for some women not to have kids, and to be allowed not to have kids", she told Ryan. 

"If I had never had a child, there wouldn't have been a great void in my life. I would have filled it with food and travel and a career and sleep. Lots and lots of sleep", she deadpanned.

Dunphy spoke movingly about mother's feeling lonely, which is something people can be reluctant to admit.

"It’s a difficut thing to admit to being lonely. Motherhood is very lonely", she said. "Suddenly you find your self at a home with a tiny person who needs you all the time, 24/7, it’s quite isolating, and it’s exhausting and you need other people who understand that."
All eyes this week will be on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe's first Budget which takes place tomorrow.

Mr Donohoe is endeavouring to produce a balanced Budget against a backdrop of a considerable list of demands.


THE Script frontman Danny O’Donoghue has opened up about the fear of losing his voice — and career — after undergoing two throat surgeries.

“I was told: ‘The doctor is going to slit your throat.’ That’s the reality of it,” O’Donoghue, in Melbourne today on a promotional tour, told Confidential. “There was a chance I would never be able to talk again. I had to sign a waiver saying I knew the risks.

“I just thought: ‘What am I gonna do? Do I just fade away?’ This is my bread and butter. I don’t do anything else. It was a big headf---.

“I’m a highly positive person,” O’Donoghue says, “but you can spend too much time focusing on that one per cent of, ‘what if it goes wrong?’”

In late 2015, after four hit albums and five world tours, The Script, a rock band from Dublin, went on hiatus.

Their hits include Breakeven, Hall Of Fame, and Superheroes.

But in July this year, O’Donoghue revealed, in that time away, he’d had two surgeries to have nodules on his vocal chords removed.

“I’ve made a few lifestyle changes,” he says today.

“We were burning the candle at both ends, man. You end up catching fire or running out of wax. We did both. It gave me a real slap in the face about having a long career versus running myself into the ground.”

His post-operative treatment included no talking for two months. That was gradually softened to five minutes of talking every hour. “You can’t burp, you can’t cough, you can’t laugh,” he said. To communicate, he used a type and speak app.

In late 2016, The Script began work on their new album, Freedom Child. Sheehan performed vocals on the demos as O’Donoghue recuperated.

But as the songs took shape, O’Donoghue and Sheehan realised another voice was emerging. “We aren’t a political or religious band,” Sheehan says. “We always avoid those two subjects.

We’re a band about escapism. Our doors are open to everybody. But for the first time, we started thinking, and writing, as extroverts.”

The title track is a reply to Sheehan’s seven-year-old son asking his father: “What is terrorism?” Another song, Divided States Of America, is about the politics of distraction and disunity.

Make Up is a powerful piece about identity and pride.

But production choices on the album make strong statements, too, particularly detours into dancehall (Rain) and dubstep (Deliverance).

“Music has moved on so much,” Sheehan says. “Getting played between Drake and Justin Bieber is very difficult for a traditional band.”

O’Donoghue added: “It’s probably frightening to people who are used to the band side of things. It’s just evolution. We’re still a heartfelt band doing what we’ve always done: three mates sitting in a pub talking about life.”

Freedom Child (Sony) is out now.


Virago is publishing journalist Caroline O’Donoghue’s debut novel, Promising Young Women, which was won in a "passionately fought" auction. The book is a "gothic, darkly witty" novel about sex, power, work and being a young woman in a man's world.

Sarah Savitt, publisher at Virago, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in the book, plus a second untitled novel, from Bryony Woods at Diamond Kahn and Woods. 

The title follows 26-year-old Jane who is recently single and adrift at her job – but her alter-ego, the online agony aunt Jolly Politely, has all the answers. When Jane and her older married boss kiss at a party, Jane does not follow the advice she would give to her readers as Jolly: instead she plunges head-first into an affair – one that could jeopardise her friendships, her career and even her life.

Savitt called it "a funny, unsettling, whip-smart page-turner", touching on issues from gaslighting to infidelity to women in the workplace. "It also has a brilliant, surprising gothic edge which really makes it stand out. I can’t wait to publish this debut and to work with Caroline on her second novel," she said.

O'Donoghue is a contributing editor for The Pool and has also written for Glamour, The Irish Times and Buzzfeed. She also co-hosts the podcast, "School for Dumb Women". 

Virago will publish Promising Young Women in June 2018.

A handprint, Mylar slides, a box of “cosmic crayons” from the early 20th century—these are some of the things tucked in a back room of the South Australia Museum, relics of expeditions into Australia's center. From the late 1920s through the 1970s, the University of Adelaide’s Board for Anthropological Research organized over 40 expeditions to learn about Aboriginal people. Sometimes traveling for months by camel, anthropologists recorded and collected whatever they could think of—genealogical charts, children’s drawings, sound recordings on wax cylinder, standardized tests, Rorschach blot responses, and hair samples.

Now, decades later, those hair samples—long filed away in small manila envelopes—have become a source of DNA for Ray Tobler and Alan Cooper. Specialists in ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, they wanted to know how humans first migrated across this continent, thousands of years ago. Although many Aboriginal people who gave hair samples to BAR had already been displaced from their homelands by European colonists, their family trees and stories allowed Tobler and Cooper to connect the samples with ancestral homes—and DNA sequences allowed them to see the relationships between groups. “We were able to see beyond the European disruption,” Cooper says.

Before the geneticists could work with the samples, though, they needed permission. In some cases, those whose hair samples were taken were still alive, as in the case of Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, now 87 and an elder among the Karuna people, whose locks were on file along with a photo of himself as a boy wearing a dubious expression and a V-neck sweater. In other cases, community liaison officers had to track down descendants and explain the project. Jean Smith, a little girl in the same photo, has died, but her cousin, Claudia Smith, now 78 and a Narungga Elder, was able to give consent.

So far, Cooper and Tobler have published an analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from 111 samples taken from three Aboriginal communities—representing families that the Australian government and missionaries had moved from homelands all across the country. For each sample, the researchers washed the hair, then used enzymes to open the cells and allow the mitochondrial DNA—which is inherited from the mother only—to spool out. They copied the strands many times over, sequenced it, and then got to building their family tree.

Based on how similar the mitochondrial DNA samples were to each other, Cooper and Tobler started organizing their branches, giving them dates based on the average rate that random changes occur in mitochondrial DNA over the generations. Looking at the tree and the dates of each branch, Cooper and Tobler could see that the first groups that separated from the rest were in the far north of the country. Groups continued to split off through time one by one, down each coast, and then different lineages merged again at the very south of the country when the two waves of migration met at the bottom.

But all these splits and merges happened nearly 50,000 years ago. The groups remained stable afterwards, with just the slow tick-tock of random mutation showing the millennia that passed. Astonishingly, after a rapid influx to the continent and a speedy sweep around its coast, individual groups of Aboriginal people seem to have stayed largely sedentary and separate for upwards of 47,000 years—making them perhaps the people with the longest relationship to their home landscapes on Earth.

This was perhaps more surprising to the researchers than their subjects. Aboriginal people are known for their strong bond to their own country. “We are telling them something they already knew,” says project community liaison Amy O’Donoghue.

On September 6th, researchers and a descendant of the woman who provided one of those samples had lunch at the Museum of South Australia to celebrate the opening of a small exhibit about the project, taking some of the items collected by BAR out of the museum’s back rooms and putting them on display. Among the displays were the photos of Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien and Jean Smith, plus a childhood drawing by Smith, data cards in the elegant cursive handwriting of the last century, and a handwritten family tree.

Being able to see the old records and photos is often a deeply emotional experience for people, explain O’Donoghue and her fellow community liaison, Isabel O’Loughlin, both of whom are Aboriginal people themselves. For much of the 20th century, Aboriginal children in what is known as the “Stolen Generation” were taken from their homes and told not to speak their native languages. Sometimes the records “fill in the gaps” in their own family histories, O’Donoghue says. “People don’t realize how many children were taken,” Cooper says. “So many of them are desperate to find out about their Aboriginal origins.”

Others are touched by glimpses of their family members as young people. O’Donoghue brought one woman in her 60s film footage of her mother that was taken by anthropologists. “She cried her eyes out,” O’Donoghue says. “She never saw her mother as a happy person.” O’Loughlin and O’Donoghue work with an oral historian—the granddaughter of Tindale—who collects the stories that flow when the families see the collections.

Claudia Smith, granddaughter of one of those whose hair samples were included in the study, said over a sandwich at the museum cafe that the long tenure of Aboriginal peoples on the same landscapes doesn’t surprise her. Respect for land and territory was very important to her people. Her father taught her a traditional way to respect territorial boundaries. “When you get to the border you sat down, lit a fire and made smoke and waited for someone to greet you,” she says. And you wouldn’t think of eating or drinking in another group’s land without permission.

As part of their attempt to go beyond merely asking consent from Aboriginal peoples, the research team helped organize the exhibit to humanize the stories behind the samples and presented their results to Smith and the other relatives of those who had hair samples taken before publishing it in the journal Nature earlier this year. They say that a comprehensive nuclear DNA sequence analysis, in planning stages, may tweak the map a bit. The current map is based on the maternal line only; if men in the long pre-European era were more likely to move between territories, the map might be a bit more dynamic.

“I think the way Alan and his team approached the situation and how they are interacting with the indigenous communities is a rare example how these things should be done,” says Lars Fehren-Schmitz, an anthropologist at the University of California Santa Cruz who uses ancient DNA to shed light on migration patterns in South America. “Often there is only the geneticist collecting some samples, or drawing cell lines from some repository without actually considering the communities.”

Tobler and Cooper hope their map will help those Australians who are researching their own Aboriginal ancestors figure out where their homelands were—though they aren’t yet able to sequence interested members of the public. Among those eager to learn more about his own history is Tobler himself. There are Aboriginal ancestors on his father’s side of the family, he says but “my grandad didn’t talk about it.” He and his family could learn from their own hair what their grandfather declined to discuss. “We might find country,” he says.

Smith looks into the display case at her relative’s crayon drawing of Santa Claus, produced at the behest of BAR anthropologists on butcher paper. “I was told ‘don’t tell anyone you are black,’” she says. “Now my grandchildren stand up and tell the school they are Aboriginal and they are blue-eyed blondes. Now this history is there for the next generations".


A ‘MYSTERY’ boat has been discovered buried under years of mud and silt on the banks of the River Ilen in Skibeereen.

The remains of the boat were exposed while contractors continued the town’s flood relief work this week.

‘The bad weather and high tides have hampered us from getting a good look at what remains of the boat,’ Brendan Minihane of Cork County Council told The Southern Star. ‘We have very little information at the moment. However, the work to uncover the boat below an old quay wall at the Marsh, by archaeologist Julianna O’Donoghue and her team, is about to get underway and we will have more information about the boat as soon as this is completed.’

The discovery has generated a lot of interest, and different theories about the boat, and what it was used for, are being discussed.

‘I am convinced it’s a “sand boat”,’ Skibbereen resident and former town councillor Frank Fahy said. ‘That section of the Marsh, where the quay wall is and where the boat was discovered, was owned by Miss May Levis, whose father had a builders’ providers back in the late 1800s and into the early 1930s. They used to transport sand and other building materials upriver in flat-bottomed boats.’

However, identifying the remains of the boat at this point is proving difficult for Ms O’Donoghue and her team, as there is a lot of excavation work to be carried out first.

‘At the moment our plan is to uncover the remains first,’ Julianna said. ‘We are putting together a work plan and I have been in contact with the National Museum, the National Monument Service, and the contractor, so that we can proceed to the first stage of the project, which will be to uncover the boat. We’ll know more over the next few days.’



MARSHFIELD — The United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) is a nonprofit organization granting wishes in outdoor adventures for critically ill and disabled children and veterans. USSA operates similarly to programs such as Make-A-Wish but with a focus on the great outdoors.

“We specialize in the outdoors,” explained USSA Wisconsin State Representative John Haydock, “so we do things like hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, some things that maybe they wouldn’t be able to get from another venue.”

Brigid O’Donoghue founded the organization in the hopes that she might remove these individuals from care facilities and take them to a place where they could “focus on the quality of life, family ties, and the wonders of our natural world.”

USSA operates with a volunteer staff and often relies on the generosity of “adventure donors” as well as the donations of private and corporate sponsors.

“There is no one (person) paid,” Haydock said. “This is a fully volunteer organization. There are no paid employees in the whole United Special Sportsman Alliance, so any donations that we get go directly towards wish granting. From Brigid on down, there is no pay.”

Many wishes are granted on a sprawling sportsmen’s complex near Pittsville. Others are taken as far as the Atlantic Ocean.

Each summer USSA hosts a Summerfest event where it welcomes participants from all around the country to participate in a multitude of outdoor activities, including a cranberry marsh tour, wagon ride, arts and crafts, horseback riding, fishing, archery, tubing, boating, volleyball, camping, entertainment, and more.

“They come from all over, and it is just a good time to reunite,” Haydock said. “We are kind of a family. We like to do that annually.

SALT LAKE CITY — Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won the ice dance competition at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic on Saturday at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex, posting a score of 108.65 in Saturday’s free dance to go with the 71.15 they earned in Friday’s short dance.

Kaitlyn Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the United States earned a score of 96.90 in the free dance to edge Japan’s Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed for second place.

Saturday’s score in the free dance was the best for Hubbell and Donohue in international competition. With the Olympics looming in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the pair viewed the win in Salt Lake City as a nice stepping stone.

“Everything’s going to have to be more than a new personal best,” Donohue said.

Hubbell and Donohue finished sixth in the world in 2016, and have won the bronze medal at the U.S. Championships four times. Coming into Saturday’s free dance, they were focused on strong technique and not allowing their emotions to get the best of them on the ice.