Westmeath Examiner & Longford Leader
The Matthew Kenny Letter Re: Westmeath Examiner & Longford Leader.
The following is a complete and unabrigded copy of a letter from
Matthew Kenny as received by Snailmail on Tuesday 30th.March 1998
and transferred onto Computer on the same day,in order to enable
further copies to be forwarded to other interested parties
Note:- A copy of my typed reply to Matthew Kenny is also included
at the end of his letter,for the same purpose as above,and both of
them will then be placed on file & diskette,for future reference.
From:- Matthew Kenny
20 - 3 - 1998.
To:- Matt Mahady
508 Main Road,
Your letter was published in the "WESTMEATH EXAMINER" newspaper
in Mullingar Town,Co.Westmeath on 18th.Oct.1997 seeking information on
Mahadys in Longford/Westmeath counties and especially the Rathowen and
There were Mahadys in Boherquill until recent years but there
are none of them there now.
I knew Tom Mahedy (whose wife's maiden name was Lynch also from
Coolnagun,Boherquill) now deceased who had two sons and two daughters
who have gone away from there. I heard that the sons are in the U.S.A.
and one of the daughters who is a nurse is married and is now residing
in Esker,Lucan,Co.Dublin. Her marriage name is McGovern but I do not
have her full address. two of Tom Mahedys sisters are still living.
One of them a Mrs Dunne who lives in Ballynagore, Co.Westmeath. They
are aged now and from what I hear about them they would not be capable
of corresponding clearly about the things you would want to go back upon.
You would need someone of a younger generation to get in touch with here.
A sister of Tom Mahedy's wife (Lynch) was married to a man named Brilley.
Their son is Revd.Joseph Brilley P.P. Parochial House,Dysart,Co.Westmeath.
[Phone Number (044) 26122]
If you write to him he would put you in touch with Tom Mahedys
family as they would be first cousins of his. I was talking to Father
Brilley three days ago on the phone. He did not seem to know until then
of your reqest and he said he would send you names and addresses of other
You mentioned about Mahadys in the Rathowen area. There are none
that I know of there now but there would be descendants there with a
different surname. I may be able to find out later.
Rathowen Village,in Co.Westmeath and Edgeworthstown,Co.Longford
are about four miles apart. There was a Mahedy family residing between
Rathowen and Edgeworthstown and actually in the latter Parish but nearer
to Edgeworthstown than Rathowen. Their descendants are still there but
with a different surname - McGloughlin. Their grandmother was Mahedy
and they still use the burial plot with the oldest name on the headstone
being Mahedy. The cemetery is on the left hand side of the Granard road
about 1/4 mile from Edgeworthstown. There is another Mahedy headstone in
the old cemetery (now closed) in Edgeworthstown.
The McGloughlins live in the townsland of Kilsallagh,parish of
Edgeworthstown,Co. Longford. They are in three separate houses there.
The names of two of them are Patrick and Richard.
You mentioned a William Mahady born 1972 and killed in action
during the W.W.1. Somme offensive (1918) and who lived at Castlepollard,
You could write to Michael Conlon,Finea Road,Castlepollard County
Westmeath. He is the Secretary of the County Westmeath,Historical Society.
You also mentioned your American contacts and of their full family history.
In the last few days a request was published by one of them in the
"LONGFORD LEADER" Market Square,Co.Longford. I am sending it with this
I am a member of County Longford Historical Society,a voluntary
organization. We do not get any financial aid from the State. If you are
replying please send me some small amount of money to cover the cost of
Matthew Kenny - Phone No. (043) 71569
P.S. I do not know if the McGloughlins grandmother (Mahedy) was one of your
relations. And about the Mahedys in Rathowen. They should be in the parish
records of Rathowen parish. The priest in charge is Revd. B. McGovern P.P.
Parochial House Rathowen Co. Westmeath. Phone No. (043) 76044.
The records could also be on computer in The Heritage Centre,Moate
Town,County Westmeath but I am not sure about that.
N.B. :- The published article from the "LONGFORD LEADER",as mentioned
above, has been received and retained on file,for future reference. The
article is an impressive portrayal of,as stated,"One man's quest to trace
his family roots" and includes a copy of the 1864 letter written by John
From:- Mr.Matt Mahady
508 Main Road,
Wellington Point, To:- Mr.Matthew Kenny
Queensland 4160 Monadarragh,
Dear Matthew, (What a great name !!!)
received your most welcome letter today and decided to
immediately prepare a reply even though I do not expect to finish it
tonight as I have also decided to transfer the contents of your letter
to computer format in order that I may be able to then send your letter
through cyberspace to each of the other fifteen,or so, members of the
Mahady/Mahedy "NET GROUP".
By the way,Matthew,I am a 62 year old Scottish,Irish,Australian who
has recently joined the INTERNET,well actually nine months now,and
loving every moment,as it has opened up new vistas and a Wondrous
World in Cyberspace.
First and foremost,may I take this early opportunity to personally
thank you for your letter,the copy of the published article from the
"LONGFORD LEADER" ,and moreso for taking the time to sit down and put
pen to paper,for a complete stranger.
During late September and most of October 1995 I spent six weeks in
Ireland,with most in Longford Town plus a visit to Donegal,Limerick
and finally Mullingar. I wish that I had met up with you then as I
was in contact with Matty Fox twice when I visited the Longford Museum
in lower Main Street and then again when he came to visit me at Breege
O'Donnell's,"Tivoli" B & B on Dublin Road. He came from the same
area,Ballinalee,where my Great Grandparents William & Ann (Caherly) Mahady
were married,as they lived at Clonbroney. Ann was probably from Killoe.
Should you happen to meet up with Matty or Breege please give them my
kindest regards plus also Jimmy Lennon from "LONGFORD ROOTS" and also
one of the local characters,Tom McGuinness,from the Souvenir Shop at
No.2 Main Street.
Matthew,I have many others to thank,as I met up with many kind people
during my Irish trip,but the above is sufficient for the time being.
Now for the contents of your letter,as there is so much that I have to
cover from the details and names you have mentioned and the locations
involved. By the way, your letter is the third response as a consequence
of my sending the letter to the "Westmeath Examiner",with Michael Conlon
being one of those,and the other being from an Olivia Geoghegan,who lives
at Walshestown. I wrote to each of them plus a letter to Father Fleming.
The Tom Mahedy you mentioned would presumably be the one who died in 1978,
and buried at Russagh,but would his wife be Mary (Lynch) Mahedy,having died
in 1975,aged 69,but buried at Coolamber with other Lynch Family Members ???
Your reference to the possibility of relations,named other than Mahady
being in the Rathowen area,is worthy of further action on my part and
will be enabled by the fact that you have provided the address & phone
number of Revd. B. Mcgovern,who may even be related through the Dublin
daughter of Tom Mahedy. Will be trying to contact him some time later.
During my 1995 visit I also visited Mullingar Town and spoke personally,
by phone,to the Co-ordinator of The Heritage Centre at Moate,Co.Westmeath
and as a result I provided copies of my Research Records and on further
payment they sent me a number of sheets of information,including a copy
of my own submission which they had transferred to their own Computer,and
the Rathowen area was amongst those that I received back from them.
My 1901 Census Records indicate that in Kilsallagh,Patrick McLoughlin
(aged 37) was married to a Bridget (Mahady) McLoughlin (aged 30) & three
children,namely Margaret (age 5), Richard (age 3) and Mary (age 1) plus
also the mother-in-law Anne (Green) Mahady,Widow (age 73) and her daughter
Mary Mahady (aged 32) This would be the same family which you mentioned in
your most informative letter.
As stated before I have previously been in contact with Michael Conlon
and will be sending him a copy of your letter which has been typed out
in Computer format and available in printed form for distribution to the
others with whom I have been in contact,as they are not on the Internet.
The submitter of the "LONGFORD LEADER" article ,Dan Touse,is one of the
fifteen members of the Mahedy/Mahady "NET GROUP" and had sent me a message,
just before your letter arrived ,that he had been contacted by someone from
3 places, namely Dublin, Edgeworthstown and Limerick regarding his article,
and I had then immediately informed him that you had sent me both a letter
and copy of his article.
Your letter has opened up new vistas for my research and the provision of
names and addresses will also enable me to have a more personal approach
to some of those who may be related and may either know more about the
Mahedy/Mahady Clan/Family or be able to point me in the right direction
to those who may know more about the Mahady/Mahedy Family History.
You also mention the closed Edgeworthstown Cemetery which could very well
be the one in the grounds of the Edgeworths Church and does involve a most
interesting story of what took place after I visited Edgeworthstown St.
Mary's Catholic Church and met up with Msgr.Pat Early. As I had no private
vehicle and being dependent on the available public transport my various
trips were governed by what and when such was available. The day I visited
Edgeworthstown was one of those "rare",cold,wet and windy types of days -
with emphasis on cold,wet and windy - and yes it was heavy rain that day.
My Longford bus was not due for at least one and a half hours so I went
for a cup of hot tea at the little cafe,in the middle of the "Main Street"
just opposite the bus stop, where my inquisitive nature brought me into
conversation with the lady serving tea and resulted in me finding out that
the Edgeworths had a Private Chapel/Church in close proximity to the shop
which was well worth a visit as it contained some very very old items of
histiorical value and even had gravesites of the family and local townsfolk.
Time I had,inclination I had not,due to the cold wet blustery weather,
however as the opportunity may never be presented again I ventured out,
at an angle of 45 degrees against the wind and rain,and proceeded down
the street,around the corner and up the hill,where I found the gate to
the Cemetery - LOCKED !!!
Enquiries in the vicinity of the Cemetery indicated that the key was
available from a Mrs.Stewart who lived at the bottom of the hill in a
house with the name Burns over the door. Down the hill,across the road,
still raining,knock the door,husband home, Mrs Stewart was out for the
day,explain that this is only chance to view the Church and any Catholic
graves for the period 1833 to 1888,which Mr.Stewart graciously accepts.
Still raining,he with his umbrella,me with a wet nose and everywhere else,
but once again up the hill,through the gate and into the Church which had
a number of fine artifacts and quite a bit of history on the walls and on
a glass covered table,but as time was passing and even though it was still
pouring down outside,I still had to go out.
Whilst talking to Mr. Stewart inside the Church I mentioned the reason for
my visit to Ireland and when he heard the name Mahady he then immediately
told me about an incident which had just taken place just one week before,
and is as follows:-
The graveyard required some fairly constant,voluntary care,but not always
available,but the two weeks before it was noticed that the area around the
lower part of the sloped side of the graveyard,which was a vacant grassed
area but with no gravesites shown,had become really untidy and excessively
overgrown with weeds etc. The bushes in question had always been there but
not in such great quantity as at that present time,as normally they would
be regularly cleared to a certain point but still retained around the inner
portion of the external wall. When a small group of volunteers was "hired"
the decision was made to clear all of the graveyard of this type of bush as
this would minimize the amount of time/labour required at any other time in
the future and that only mowing of the grassed area would then be required
Mr Stewart was helping them clear away the final bush nearest the wall when
they heard someone call out that they had found some slabs of stone on the
ground when trying to dig up the roots. Further investigation revealed that
the stone was in fact a fair number of portions of a gravestone,which,when
gathered and cleaned were those of one of my relations,namely,Thomas
Mahedy, Died 1851, Aged 75, Donated by his son Richard Mahedy. How
the gravestone and gravesite could have been lost for such a long time,as Mr.
Stewart had no previous knowledge of either,for not less than forty years,or
so,whilst he had been involved with the Church,and one week before I arrive,
by sheer chance,they find a Mahedy/Mahady Clan gravestone.
There is much more to this story but this I will leave to some other time as
it is now much,much,later than I had intended taking to write this letter.
Matthew,you will find enclosed an English Ten Pound note as a gesture of my
own appreciation for your very kind and gracious action in taking the time
to send me such an informative letter plus a copy of the newspaper article.
This is not meant to be as a form of payment but as a sincere "THANK YOU"
Matt Mahady - Ph. (07) 32071497. E-Mail Address
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