The O'Donoghue Society

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


The blogs are for reporting or discussing something or some subject.

As distinguished from our forums which are for family history enquiries and responses as now, where people are looking for someone or something and the journal which is for longer well researched articles usually, but not exclusively, of a historical or genealogical nature.

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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The Minister for Expenditure and Reform says the new Lansdowne Road Extension is a good deal that makes sense for the whole country.

Minister Paschal Donohoe has again urged unions to accept the new public service pay deal which he says is a fair and affordable programme.

Balloting will take place in the weeks and months ahead, and the Minister is hopeful of getting the deal through.

"Over a three-year period it offers a good plan in terms of how we want to manage wages for our entire economy and it makes really big progress on dealing with the issue of how we fund public pensions in the future," he said.

"Over that three-year period, I believe that this is a sensible and affordable plan which is why we are recommending it to the unions and I'll be taking it to Government tomorrow."

Galway boss Micheal Donoghue admitted that his side had to overcome some rustiness before finding their stride against Dublin yesterday.

In the end it was a handsome 14-point victory with the result effectively sealed from early in the second half though Donoghue lamented his side throwing Dublin a lifeline just before half-time.
The battle to oust the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from its stronghold of Raqqa is creating daunting challenges for aid groups responding to the latest humanitarian crisis in the Syrian conflict.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled Raqqa and its surroundings since the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began its operation to capture the jihadist stronghold last year.

But new waves of displacement are expected as the battle inside the city progresses.

A key problem is getting aid supplies to the relatively remote desert region in Syria’s north, with just a trickle of assistance currently crossing from neighboring Turkey and Iraq.

“There is supply but it’s very, very limited and the needs of the population are very high,” said Puk Leenders, emergency coordinator for northern Syria for the group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

The United Nations, which operates inside Syria with government permission, has been able to airlift supplies to the city of Qamishli, northeast of Raqqa, from government-held Damascus.

But “this offered limited capacity and was insufficient to meet all needs”, said David Swanson, regional spokesman for the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The U.N. is now hoping to start transporting aid from Aleppo to Qamishli, a distance of more than 400 kilometers, but the route must first be tested for security, said Swanson.

An estimated 300,000 civilians once lived under ISIL rule in Raqqa, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria before the group seized the city.

Tens of thousands fled Raqqa and surrounding areas as the SDF closed in on the jihadist bastion.

The U.N. estimates more than 169,000 people fled Raqqa city and its environs in April and May alone, and thousands of displaced civilians are now living in overcrowded and underresourced camps.

In Ain Issa, 50 kilometers north of Raqqa, new arrivals say they are sleeping on the ground, with neither mattresses under them nor tents overhead.

“There are now more than 25,000 people in the Ain Issa camp, which was built with a capacity of 10,000,” camp director Jalal Ayyaf told AFP.

“International organizations are providing support, but it’s not sufficient for the numbers who are arriving.”

MSF’s Leenders said up to 800 people were arriving at Ain Issa each day, and many more people were simply sleeping on roadsides or under trees in the countryside north of the city.

The “highly volatile security situation” is another major concern for aid groups working in the region, said Paul Donohoe, senior media officer at the International Rescue Committee NGO.

“We know that there are many mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices), there is also the risk of ISIL attacks and there have been reports of some fleeing civilians being killed by coalition air strikes.”

“It is thought up to half the population of Raqqa could ultimately flee the city and they will still be very vulnerable to mines and IS snipers, as well as air strikes.”

Arriving civilians are already presenting health problems ranging from dehydration to untreated chronic illness.

And aid groups expect an uptick in wounded arrivals as the fighting intensifies.

MSF is establishing stabilization points near the frontline to provide emergency care to keep the seriously injured alive until they reach hospitals.

But there is a severe shortage of qualified medical staff in the region, Leenders said, and medical facilities have also been affected by the fighting.

“Hospitals are being mined and it’s really difficult to start those back up because they need to be demined... It can be extremely challenging.”

The most difficult problem of all may simply be reaching those in need.

“Many people fleeing... initially end up in locations too close to the frontline for aid agencies to safely respond,” said Donohoe.

And others cannot leave at all, with ISIL reportedly using threats, arrests and violence to prevent civilians fleeing.

Those who do escape risk unexploded ordnance en route, and the threat of being mistaken for fleeing ISIL fighters by SDF forces or the U.S.-led coalition.

MSF warned last week that civilians in the city faced “impossible choices.”

“Either they stay in Raqqa, subjecting their children to increased violence and air strikes, or they take them over the frontline, knowing they will need to cross minefields and may be caught in the crossfire.”
McMECHEN — Almost 62 years ago, three local parish priests had a dream for a Catholic high school in Marshall County, which came to fruition as Bishop Donahue Memorial High School in 1955.

However, after the sudden announcement over the winter that the school would close after classes ended this year, the community is now left with a vacant structure and no answers regarding the building’s future.


During the early 1950s, Wheeling had two Catholic high schools, but few students from Moundsville, McMechen and Benwood could afford to attend. In 1952, the Most Rev. John J. Swint, bishop of Wheeling; the Rev. Benjamin F. Farrell, pastor at St. Francis in Moundsville; the Rev. Joseph J. Daly, pastor at St. James Catholic Church of McMechen; and Rev. John J. Griffin, pastor at St. John Catholic Church in Benwood, formed a partnership to make the dream Bishop Donahue a reality. They purchased property adjacent to St. James Church, McMechen, midway between Moundsville and Benwood. The doors were first opened in September 1955 to an enrollment of 43 freshmen, who made up the first class of Bishops.

A few years later, 35 students became the first graduates in 1959.

During the first years of the school’s history, Sister Mary Gilbert and Sister Ellen Francis, both natives of Brooklyn and faithful Dodgers fans, taught all subjects to the new freshmen for the school’s initial two years.

What’s Next?

Last month, Bishop Donahue graduated its final class, following the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s decision to close the school, announced in January. The historic building’s future is now uncertain.

According to Tim Bishop, marketing and communications director for the diocese, no decisions have been made regarding the McMechen structure. Bishop previously stated the diocese had no plans to sell the building, and said it would continue to be used for “educational” purposes.

“There are no current plans for use of the building,” Bishop said. “I know that the principal and many of the teachers are still in the building collecting paperwork and tying up loose ends.”

A sports uniform giveaway is also planned for June 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the school. It will be held on a first-come, first-served basis for student-athletes and alumni.

Some educators at Bishop Donahue already have moved on to find other employment. This past week, science teacher Jarett Kuhns was hired by the Diocese of Steubenville as principal of St. John Central Elementary and High School in Bellaire.

And Bishop Donahue guidance counselor and religion teacher Amy Granato will soon begin employment at Weirton Madonna High School as a religion teacher, but said she will never forget Bishop Donahue’s impact.

She said Bishop Donahue staff are currently archiving transcripts and records for storage, to be completed by June 30.

“They can shut the building, but they can’t snuff out the spirit of this community and family. It just isn’t going to happen,” she said. “Our kids are still going to be who they are and they will take Bishop Donahue with them wherever they are. They will bring the spirit of the school to all of those other schools.”

Keeping a Legacy Alive

Anna Lehew, a member of the Save Bishop Donahue Foundation, recently said students are making an effort to keep the school’s Blessing Box, an outdoor food pantry, open. It will remain stocked throughout the summer, as it is housed outside of St. James Church.

“This is a perfect example of what Donahue teaches — to be a vessel for God and to serve others,” Lehew said. “This was their concern (on the last day of school), to not leave the Blessing Box empty. This is what sets this school apart from others. They didn’t learn to serve from their shepherd in Wheeling, they learned this in between the walls of that tiny school.”

Graduating senior Junior Holmes said his last day at school was bittersweet.

“It’s somewhat difficult and somewhat peaceful,” Holmes said. “I’m moving on now into my life, but at the same time I’ll miss going through the halls and knowing who everyone is. I know most of the students aren’t going to have that at other schools.”

Soon-to-be junior Josie Purpura will attend The Linsly School this fall after spending two years at Bishop Donahue.

“It’s really sad,” Purpura said. “I’m friends with everyone here and we will be split up. There won’t be as much time to hang out with everyone.”


An 'All-Star Benefit & Tribute to Jerry Donahue' took place on Tuesday 28th April 2017 at BOGIES, 32001 Agoura Road, Westlake Village, CA91361. Hosted by Freebo (world-renowned bassist, singer/songwriter) the show will feature Albert Lee, Laurence Juber, Carl Verheyen John Jorgenson and Peter Asher. Also as part of the night signed guitars were auctioned to help raise precious funds.

Jerry is battling the effects of a recent massive stroke and there is no better way to help out than by presenting an evening of music he loves performed by his friends and peers to raise some money.


Brendan O’Donoghue regained the Irish National Senior Championship after a 7-3 victory over Rodney Goggins at the Ivy Rooms on Sunday.

Goggins O'Donoghue 17

O’Donoghue, second from right, completed the hat-trick in Carlow. Photo credit: PJ Nolan

The Nenagh native had been one of the pre-tournament favourites after a strong season which saw him capture two out of the six previous ranking events this term.

After emerging from an extremely tight and tense semi-final tussle with Tom O’Driscoll 6-5, O’Donoghue recovered from a slow start in the final to claim his third domestic championship.

It places the 34 year-old, who enjoyed prior successes in 2003 and 2015, on a par with the likes of TJ Dowling, David Morris, and Vinnie Muldoon.

O’Donoghue is now one behind Martin McCrudden’s tally of four, which stands as the modern day record for most national crowns.

The former European Championship runner-up pocketed €1,000 for his efforts and also finished the season as the top ranked player in the country.

Goggins, national champion 17 years ago, had dispatched of defending champion Dowling in the last 16 before comprehensive thrashings of Colm Gilcreest and Philip O’Connor.

In the final showdown, Goggins established an early 2-0 lead but could only muster one additional frame as O’Donoghue took control.


Only fragments and substitutes of the 1821-51 Irish censuses survive. Search surviving records online at FindMyPast


The Global Research Library has announced a major new genealogical and historical search engine website, known as ‘’ Noel Elliot, Director of Research, said, ‘Although our website features every academic subject one could study, it has a particularly valuable feature of both genealogy and history, because of my own personal interest over the last 42 years’. The website is new, but the research library was created in 1981.

There are more than 52 million resources included in’s electronic index, with an average of one million being added every month. Elliot stressed, ‘The largest portion of our index are eBooks and textual documents, although we continue to add more images, audio and video resources as well.’ All 52 million resources are free to download. The website features valuable resources in other subject areas that are useful to researchers, such as 9 million maps that identify and show - worldwide - even the smallest places and geographical features. Of special importance are property or ‘plat’ maps. These show the names of property owners on their piece of land a century or more ago.



Name and Place is a dynamic new database and mapping application designed for One-Place Studies, One-Name Studies, Surname Studies and Local History Projects and will be formally launched later in 2017. Cofounders Paul Carter (Technical Lead) and Pam Smith (Content Lead) originally created and developed an application robust enough to cope with the manipulation of diverse historical data in varying formats and size for a One-Place Study. This has since been expanded into a digital and archival database managing layers of census, baptisms, marriages and burials, together with maps, wills, deeds, manorial rentals, old postcards, photographs and more.

The final result is a product representing three years’ hard work. It is both an intuitive and exciting application, which is easily searchable by the user. It produces graphs and reports which display the raw data to its full potential thus establishing migration, population and occupation trends for a whole community. This application provides each study together with a photo gallery. The fields and filters enable multi-faceted views of the data which can be searched by name, gender, occupation or any other relevant attribute of a location.

The recently launched website and blog can be found on: which will be updated with more news and details of the features of Name and Place over the coming months.  Follow Name and Place on social media: Twitter @nameandplace;


Pinterestnameandplace; Instagram @nameandplaceapp.


Harvard’s online collection ‘Women Working, 1800-1930’ features digitised diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and journals, providing a broad record of daily life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Here you will find stories and recollections of women astronomers and doctors, preachers and missionaries, reformers and suffragists, school girls and school teachers, a philanthropist and a ‘country woman’ and, in the publications trade, several authors, an editor, and a book agent.