Kathleen O'Connor had a photo of a gravestone of their great grandfather, William, and a story that their great-great-grandmother was buried in Rockmills. After a bit of research, the local Ireland XO group managed to find the gravestone in the Kildorrery graveyard and as a result were able to identify their family. Unfortunately, Jack Fouhy, the last member of the family in Kildorrery passed away unmarried in 1995. However, the old homestead is still standing and the interior is in its original state. Built in the early eighteen hundreds, it consists of the kitchen with the big open fireplace and a room either side with high wooden ceilings. The sixteen-strong group were met on their arrival in Kildorrery by the Ireland XO team and brought to their family grave which some of the group found very emotional. Proceeding on to Rockmills, it was not possible to identify the Condon grave as there are very few marked graves in that particular graveyard.
The visitors were amazed to hear that, in the old days, gravesites were only marked with uninscribed stones and that every family knew where their own grave was and also that there was a custom that many women were buried with their mothers rather than their husbands. Then it was on to Scart to the old homestead. There, the group was warmly welcomed by Diarmuid Murphy, the owner of the property where Jack Foughy's old house stands. It was possible to enter the house and walk around inside as Diarmuid and his wife have had it all cleared out and hope to preserve it in its original state. What a treat for the visiting group! There were tears of emotion as the family stood in the house where their forefathers were born and reared. Many photographs were taken which we hope will hold precious memories of their visit to our little corner of North East Cork. When all was said and done, we waved goodbye to a lovely Irish American family as they set off on their journey to Killarney.
Thank you to Brenda Hennessy, Ireland XO Kildorrery, for this contribution!