My Grandad — 32 Comments

  1. It is strange that a man who did so much can vanish into total obscurity. {Most good men do.} Bet he never guessed he would be read about from a guy in the states.

  2. For a man who was the first to have a radio in his area, he could not possibly understand how his grandson could connect to thousands [millions] of people around the world instantly. Or how a thought can be published and instantly read by people thousands of miles away.

    And we are only talking about a 70 year period. How the world has changed!!

  3. Is this really true? Because if it is, then your grandfather would rank among the most overlooked people in Irish history.

  4. All true. As I said, the Cork Airport thing is all researched and documented in the book I mentioned.

    The Aer Lingus bit came from research carried out by a Bernard Share of Sallins, Co. Kildare.

    The Healy Pass and Black/Yellow paint stories were told to me [many times] by my father, and I have no reason to doubt him. He was very proud of his dad!

    Somewhere, I have a poster advertising the “Wireless Concert”. I know I gave a copy to the RTE museum.

    There were quite a few other stories about him, but I didn’t want to ramble too long!!

  5. Certainly you have reason to be proud of your grandfather, and I am surprised that there is no mention of him on the internet.
    I’m sure there are records in local history books though, no?

  6. I have never looked in the local records. Maybe someday? But Mallow is not a place I visit now that all the family are gone from there.

    At least he has his name on the internet now, and it is associated with all the things I want him to be associated with. In fact, now that I think of it, I’ll modify my post to stick in some more keywords!!

  7. What a great tale Grandad… he sounds like a wonderful man, perhaps you could unearth the full story and write your own book!

  8. Me? Write a book? You must be joking!

    I often thought he would be a good subject for one all right, but it would have to have been done years ago when all his children were alive. Most are gone now. My father was the great expert, but he died a long time ago. Alas.

  9. What a great story! Good for you for being so proud of an obviously great man, your Grandfather. When my Mother pass away I kept all the letters and stories of grandparents and family.
    Your line about him realizing your connecting with millions all over the globe remided me of the time my cell phone rang while visiting with my Aunt Maureen. She was born in 1914. She asked what it was and who could I be speaking to. I explained cell phones, cell towers, broadband, encryption, DWDM transmissions and then noticed the blank stare I was getting in return. I turned to her and said, “It is a two way radio-telephone”. That she understood. I left my laptop in the car during that visit.

  10. You seem pretty technologically literate, Grandad. Unlike my poor Granny.

    The last surviving Sanchez grandparent, she has never been up-to-date – she still calls the radio the wireless and the TV a picture box – so imagine her surprise when I showed her my PSP last year.

    If you can explain video games to a woman who calls the mobile phone a ‘portable wireless’ then you have achieved greatness.

  11. Grandad,

    What a wonderful story about your Grandad and his achievments. It was people like himself and my Grandad who made both Ireland and America great.
    Your Grandad stayed in Ireland and my Grandad left Ireland and came to America. Both were responsible for making the lives of many people better because they were both thinkers and had the talent to put their ideas to work for the benefit of their fellow countrymen.
    I couldn’t begin to list the inventions, books, plays and political accomplishments of the Irish in America. We owe them a great debt and thank them for all they have done.
    Your Grandad deserves to be honored for his achievements and I hope you continue to write about him until everyone knows his story.

  12. Grandad,I came across Daniel O’Donnell on PBS here in the states.The Public Broadcasting System is tax payers free TV,with please help pay for this programing type of feed.Anyway he had a black and white tie ,I could not keep a straight face,He does have a good voice.

  13. Grandad,
    A superb bit of blogging… thank you. If your grandfather can be overlooked, how many others have been overlooked? An awful lot I suggest.

    History is a myth written by the victors. Your ancestor didn’t fit into the needs of the Irish myth… at that time.

    His time is now come, now that Ireland is constructing a different myth… you are the agent of the modern myth…
    I trust you are proud of yourself.

    Your work is an example to others. Let’s honour the dead heros, but in so honouring make sure they are our heros, not the heros of yesteryear.

  14. I thought long and hard before publishing this. I am an anonymous sort of person, and this is very personal stuff. But in the end, I thought my Grandad is so much bigger than my ego, so I published.

    I thought that as yesterday was Saturday, and all the Irish bloggers would be too preoccupied with the blog awards, that I’d slip it in and maybe nobody would notice. I didn’t even stick my usual Kick button at the bottom!

    I have always been very proud of him. He is one of my heroes. I have always wanted to put him into the public domain.

    I am amazed and delighted at the response. I feel now that at least some others have heard of him. And the main thing is that his record is now forever on the Internet, even if it is just a humble blog post.

    It was only after I’d written the post that I realised that maybe in a subconscious way, that is why I chose the pseudonym ‘Grandad’ [apart from the fact that I am one]. My father was very proud of him, but only talked about him if pushed [as I say, we are a modest family!]. Somehow ‘Grandad’ became synonymous with greatness. I doubt that my grandchildren will ever look on me in the same light, but they still have their Great-great-grandfather to be proud of.

  15. Grandad,

    I hope you will write as much as you know about your Grandfather and other members of your family who have gone before you. Only you know certain facts about your ancestors. Unless you tell the stories you know about these folks, their contributions to your family history will be lost. So, pass the lore to the next generation.

    As my Irish Granny used to say, “When an old person dies, it is like the library burnt down.”

  16. As my Dad used to say – “No-one ever dies when there is someone alive to think of them”.

    I have always made a point of telling my daughter all about her ancestors and hope to do the same with my grandchildren.

    Sadly my grandson will never understand, but my granddaughter will, when she is a bit older.

    And if by some strange quirk of fate, the entire family should all vanish from the face of the Earth, there is still this modest little mention on the Internet that is forever archived now.

  17. The strangest thing happened this morning. I Googled Grandad [I’m sure he’ll forgive me the indignity] and his name popped up on two new pages – one mentioning his part in the origins of Cork Airport, and the other finally giving him credit for thinking up the name. I have added the links as a footnote to the post above.

  18. Really enjoyed reading about your Grandad. Wonderful story. Full marks for posting it. All who have gone before us and tried to make the world a better place in any way, whether for a few people or for many, deserve our recognition and gratitude and their place in recorded history. And now you have ensured that memories of him will not be lost in the mists of time.

  19. That is an amazing tale, and it is great what he did because he saw how other people might benefit. I am working in the middle east because someone like your Grandad seen how to improve things in Ireland and invented the Duty Free shop idea back in 1947 in Shannon. I love the story about the Fog.

    Happy to have had the chance to read about you Grandad.

  20. I will be sure to if I ever get around to Drinking it. I have been wanting it for nearly two years now ever since I first found out about the 1973 addition.

  21. I guess that would be my great granddad then. I’d heard about the Air Lingus thing and the pass (thought I seem to remember it was the Connor Pass) from Dad. It’s nice to be able to put a face to the name.

  22. That’s the man. Aer Lingus had a mention of him on their site, but they have redesigned since. *sigh* There is a mention on the Cork Airport site.

    It was the Healy Pass, named after Tim Healy [another relation]. Conor Pass is in Kerry which was outside his area.

  23. Hi,
    My grandparents used to live very near your grandfathers house, Clydaville. My grandfather knew, I think it must be your aunt, Madeline. She lived in Clydaville until she died in I think 1999. It was since demolished, which was a shame as it was a really lovely house. I have some pictures of the outside if you would like me to pass them on to you.

    • Indeed Madeline was my aunt.

      It was a beautiful house, both outside and in.  I have lovely memories of the place having visited and stayed more times than I can remember.  Even to this day the sound of pigeons cooing reminds me of the place.

      It was a terrible shame to hear that the house had been demolished.  It was in bad shape in a couple of places [especially around the "servants' staircase"!!] but there was little that couldn't have been repaired with a bit of time, money and love.  I would love to see the pictures, if it's not too much trouble.

  24. Madeline was my great aunt, we visited her while the house still stood around 25 years ago. We revisited 15 years ago and were grieved to find it had been demolished. Richard F. O'Connor – my grandfather. 

    • Welcome, Cousin!  Wouldn't Madeleine have been your aunt?  Unless Richard was your great grandfather?  I always get confused with relationships.

      Indeed Clydaville was a beautiful place and in a selfish way, I'm glad it's gone.  I'd hate to see its character ripped out and replaced with modern fittings. 

  25. Hello there from another cousin – I’m Anna O’Connor, granddaughter of Richard and Anna. Thumbs up for bringing this wonderful man’s work to the fore. So glad I have these genes ! Madeleine, Clydaville (with the dodgy back stairs and the elegant front ones) …all wonderful memories from my childhood. We’re lucky to have them safely stored. Best wishes.

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