Exploring life and the world with wide eyes and curiosity.

My Irish Cousins

It was so moving to be halfway around the world from my birthplace, and be greeted with hugs at the doors of my unknown, distant cousins. Family roots are deep and strong.

First, there I was sitting in a little coffee shop in Aughancloy, waiting for Tom to arrive. “Are you the lady from America?” And he gave me a hug hello. Then I followed him to Clones and met his wife, Mary who was as open as they get. Another dear. We had dinner at their home together. (And lively pup, Mollie, loved having a new person visit the house!)

MaryTomMollie

After our meal, we went to their son and daughter-in-law’s house, Thomas and Carmel, and we all chatted through the evening before I turned in for a cozy night’s sleep.

ThomasCarmelLO

During our driving tour of Country Fermanagh the next day, Tom took me to meet Manley Clan relations. He had called ahead to say we’d be coming, and again, it felt remarkable to be so warmly received. Maggie and her daughter, Sabohan, greeted us, and then Maggie’s son, Gary, came by and joined the conversation.

MaggieSabohan

CousinGary

From there we drove to the home of “little imp”, Lily, who had married Gerard Manley. She and I had a playful, teasing banter from the very start. (We’d probably have a lot of fun together if we lived closer by.)

LilyManleyLO

Here’s a picture of young Lily on her wedding day to Gerard.

GerardLilyWedding550

Lily’s got a sign saying “Crockawaddy” on the front of her house (although she no longer lives at the farm). She and Tom strike a pose.

CrockawaddyLilyTom-LO

  1. crockawaddyJanuary 30,10

    Great people. I visited them all in 2000 before Lil’s husband Gerard died.

  2. pondview25April 19,11

    Hi Maureen, We are more of your Irish cousins.I was married to James Manley son Vincent.He is first cousin of Siobhan, Gary and Thomas. We live in Drogheda county Louth. It was lovely reading your articles about the visit to Fermanagh and Crockawaddy.
    Best Regards
    Noella

  3. MaureenApril 22,11

    Noella!
    So, we’re cousins! It was nearly magical to drive around Fermanagh County with my cousin Tom and BE on the property where my great grandmother was born and raised! Stunning. I wish you all the greatest. And perhaps, some day, we’ll meet and you can give me YOUR tour of our homeland! Great joy to you and those close to you. Maureen

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