29 March 1880
My dear Cousin William,
We received yours at the 13th Inst. & indeed as you said it was
time for you to write. I had given up long ago hearing from you, & I
suppose only for real shame you would leave me longer. But I won't
quarrel at such a distance.
We were all very glad to hear that you were all so well & doing so
well. Isn't it wonderful that your Mother [Catharine Nolan Coogan]
keeps so very strong. Since she left, how many young healthy people
have died. I regret to say my mother is anything but strong at
present. About 18 months ago she got a severe fit & she never got
strong since. She is not able to walk a quarter of a mile, but I thank
God for my father is just as hearty and strong as when I first knew
him. He was delighted to hear of you often thinking & chatting over the
old home. He is full of stories about you all & about Corries. He
keeps constantly singing old airs. He is always bright & happy. The
old house stands still & John Kealy, the Carpenter, lives in it. His
father is dead for the past 9 years. Mrs. Terry Byrne & her 3 daughters
& 2 sons live in the old home at Carrig & are doing first class. John
Brien & family are very well. Thomas is married to Cloney's daughter,
is living in this town, has 2 children, & keeps a sort of provision
store. Mrs. Ned Maher of Ballyloughan & all her children & Ned are
quite well. Father William is stationed in Philipstown. John is in
Mountrath College, & Patrick is in Tullamore College. Eddie, Jennie,
and Terence are at home working on the farm & Mary Anne is a fine big
girl. Margaret Lalor is married down at Abbeyleix & has 2 children.
She is very well to do & is very happy. John Tierney has 2 nice young
girls & 2 boys. The girls are at home & done [with] school. The eldest
girl is dark and the youngest fair. The Byrne's (Smiths) are great big
able Irishmen. Peter is about 6½ foot & James about 6. Old Maurice
Byrne died about 6 months ago & the wife about 7 months ago.
There is a post office at the Hand kept by a man named Hennessy.
Uncle Denny is Coachman at Mrs. Nixon's of Corries & he & his wife & 3
children, 2 girls & one boy, are still living in the old home. Uncle
John has just recovered a severe fit. He is able to sit up now. He
lost a leg some years ago & has never been well since. Patrick & I were
over to see him last June. He is very comfortable & married to a second
wife who has 2 pretty girls.
We were sorry to hear of Uncle William's death. Was it sudden?
Please let us know has he any children by the second wife & how is his
daughter & all about him. May God have mercy on his soul; he was a cold
brother & son. It would not have been such a loss to him to write to my
father. But thank God we wanted nothing from him. We got him & James
Doyle prayed for in Ballinkillen & Bagenalstown. We regretted to hear
of poor James' death. He was a fine honest fellow. We were glad to
hear his family were so well.
Neddy Byrne's daughter Peggy is married to Doherty of Ballyellen &
John her brother is married to Matt Byrne's daughter of Seskin.
Pat Cahill died suddenly of heart disease. Terry Byrne's eldest
daughter is married to Bishop Fenelon's son & Larry Neill is married the
second time to Pat's sister-in-law & is now living in Cloney's farm.
Larry was first married to Shelly's daughter of Slyguff & she died after
the birth of her baby. I must say good-bye now & beg you to give your
dear Mother, Hugh, Denis, & yourself our warmest love.
Please write soon if you have time & believe me your affectionate
Source: Sue Clement