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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Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 03:45 Updated: Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 10:27
Simon Coveney has finally ended his search for a second special adviser.

Eyebrows will be raised in the political and media bubble around Kildare Street with the news that the Minister for Foreign Affairs will appoint journalist Chris Donoghue to the role. The Newstalk stalwart, who was with the radio station for 14 years, formally handed in his notice this week and is expected to join Coveney’s team in Iveagh House next month.

As word of another high-profile exit from Newstalk began surfacing in media circles in the last few days, there was much speculation that the broadcaster might be moving to the Taoiseach’s office. The 33-year-old Dubliner and Leo Varadkar are long-time friends.

Given that Varadkar and Coveney were rivals for the Fine Gael leadership, confirmation that Donoghue is jumping ship to Foreign Affairs is sure to surprise the Leinster House chatterati. He will join Simon’s right-hand woman and special adviser, Caitríona Fitzpatrick.

In marked contrast to the way Theresa May’s dysfunctional Brexit cabinet seems intent upon tearing itself apart since last year’s chaotic leadership contest, Coveney and Varadkar have put forward a strong and united front as the Government presses the State’s Brexit case in Europe and Westminster.

Donoghue had been presenting Newstalk’s drivetime programme with Sarah McInerney but the show was axed to make way for former Fine Gael minister turned celebrity broadcaster Ivan Yates. Donoghue was then appointed political editor for Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp Group, which includes Newstalk, and given a two-hour show on Sunday morning.


From John Pozega

17 O'Donoghue descendants from the USA went to Ireland  9 September  to 19 September 2017.   We started in Dublin on the 9th.  The picture below was taken on the 11th when we visited O'Donoghue and O'Sullivan cousins also in the photo at their home in Adrigole, County Cork.  Not far from Healy Pass.

John's selfie at Kilmore Castle

More can be seen on


My periodic update, in shorthand, on our progress

Highlights since July

- October journal published.  Some really good articles
  • O’Donoghues in Onondaga: Fighting in the Courthouse
  • Third Battle of Ypres centenary: Remembering the O’Donoghue Ilford brothers killed at Passchendaele
  • Another O’Donoghue in Annascaul
  • “There’s Magic in Ireland” By Margaret C. Donahue (1953)
- Family history research service: Three cases progressed.
- Meet an O’Donoghue: We now have 19 participants: 9 in USA; 3 in Ireland; 2 in each of France and UK; 1 in each of Spain, Turkey and New Zealand.  Have any folk made contact?
- News is being uploaded regularly: 20 items since July.
- The Y-DNA project now has 273 participants.  Next report in January.

Lots of people have made connections through the society but I rarely hear about them.  Please spare a minute and tell me your story.  It would also be really good if you would spread the word via your own social media.
Are there any media savvy O'Donoghues, perhaps studying web marketing, who might enjoy looking into the markers of success for a site such as ours and suggesting how to increase traffic.  Perhaps a project for a young student.  They could search for comparator sites and analyse the different approaches.

Books for Christmas….why not add ‘O’Donoghue People and Places’ and ‘Heroic Landscapes: Irish Myth & Legend’ to your Christmas list.  Get orders in early to ensure postal delivery in time.
I know time is at a premium, but all involvement will add to our community, so please find some way to contribute if you can.
Blog: So far I am the only person to have published anything!
Forums (under Connections & community): Postings have dried up – what are we doing wrong!  We have a real history of making connections, so get your enquiry submitted.
News: Please send me the details whenever you see references to folk of our name in the media.
Events: Anyone holding a gathering, reunion or meeting next year? Please let me know and I will post it.
Journal: If you have a story or project we would love to hear about it.
We plan a survey shortly to see what you think of our efforts.
Rod O'Donoghue
Author of 'Heroic Landscapes: Irish Myth and Legend'  and 'O'Donoghue People and Places'
Founder of The O'Donoghue Society and The Irish Folklore Centre
Family history:
O'Donoghue made his debut for Munster on 19 September 2014, coming on as a replacement against Zebre in the Guinness Pro 12. He signed a three-year contract with Munster in January 2015.

He then made his first start for Munster against Cardiff Blues on 14 February 2015, also scoring his first try for Munster in the 33-16 win.

He won the 2015 John McCarthy Award for Academy Player of the Year Award in April of that year.

O'Donoghue came off the bench during the 2015 Pro12 Grand Final on 30 May 2015 and started at Openside Flanker for Munster against Treviso on 5 September 2015.

He made his European Rugby Champions Cup debut on 14 November 2015, starting the opening 2015–16 pool game against Treviso.

Formerly of Waterpark RFC and now with UL Bohemians, O' Donoghue earned his first international call up in the 2016 6 Nations after being brought into the the side by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

O' Donoghue made his international debut for Ireland against Munster in the November International against Canada in the Aviva Stadium.

Munster confirmed that O' Donoghue has signed a two-year contract extension with the province in March 2017. In just his second season with the senior squad, O’Donoghue has already won over 50 caps for his native province, reaching the half century milestone in January’s win over Connacht at the Sportsground.

In May 2017, Jack was included in Joe Schmidt's squad for the summer tour to USA & Japan. The Munster back-rower was looking to add to his solitary cap in the green shirt.

He started in the first test against Japan on 17 June 2017, helping Ireland to a 50–22 win.
 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.