Saturday April 2nd - Galway to Creggs

We had planned to visit Creggs (Patti Sue’s maternal grandmother, Joanna Dillon’s birthplace) on Sunday, but when we connected with Larry Kilcommins (the Creggs historian) on Saturday morning and he couldn’t do Sunday.  But he could that day (Saturday) and so we swapped plans and made the 1 ½ hour drive to Creggs - County Roscommon.

Larry is quite the local historian – he played a large role in doing the history center and we had a wonderful talk and look through his records.  He was a wealth of local as well as “big picture” history and had a large stash of local cemetery records as well as old maps and school books.  He had Joe write with a reed pen and ink to show us why the Ellis Island record may have had her grandmother’s record transcribed as 14 years of age when she was probably 19 (Joe enjoyed the challenge).  The Dillon family home was just across the street (empty lot, but we took photos).  The records showed that her Grandmother’s Godmother was Catherine Keeffe.  “Makes sense, they were next door neighbors”, said Larry.  Wondering if our friends in choir now, Paul and Jodie Keefe, have some link?  Larry gave us quite a history on how the Keeffes would have wound up in Creggs, since it is really a down east name.

Dillon property

This bar just down the street was owned by Joanna’s brothers.  It is currently O. Roarkes Bar but was a different name when the Dillon brothers owned it.

Larry then took us to the Kilbegnet Church (which was the Dillon’s church) and then to the Kilbegnet and Glinsk Cemeteries, where Joanna’s relatives would be buried.  A lot of the head stones are so old that the names and dates are not legible.  Larry would grab some grass and rub it on a tombstone to make the engraving stand out so we could read the dates.  Some of the markers (more recent) were quite elaborate.  An old church on the property had a notable Bishop carved in a wall (seen off to the left of Joe).  Interestingly we saw a picture of this in the museum in Dublin – referencing Glinsk.

bar owned by Dillon brothers
Kilbegnet (Nana's) church

We offered to pay Larry for his time, but he would not hear of it.  We offered to buy him dinner and he accepted and we went back to sit a bit with Ilish (his wife) and then off to Athleague to the Feast restaurant for a meal.  After a meal and a long talk, we left them and went back to our B&B.

That evening we walked into Galway for a pint and a bit more touring.  Patti Sue found a “TK Maxx” that was in almost all ways (even logo) like our more-familiar “TJ Maxx”.  We enjoyed live music at Tis Coili and also across the street at Taaffes Bar.

We stumbled back to Petra House for a good night’s sleep.

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