My Life - Charles Joseph Donnelly


My father’s name was Charles Donnelly. He was born in Cloondrumman More, Fenagh Parish, County Leitrim, in Ireland
in the year 1879.

He was the son of John Donnelly and Bridget Blake Donnelly. My mother’s name was Mary Ann Armstrong Donnelly. She was the daughter of Francis Armstrong and Alice McLaughlin Murray Armstrong . Alice McLaughlin married Murray; and when he died and she married Francis Armstrong. My mother was born in the year 1877 in Killaglashen, Ballinamore County Leitrim, Ireland.

Before my parents were married they had both lived in America for a short time, she in Chicago and he in Providence, as I understand it, their homes in Ireland were five or six miles apart, so it was unlikely that they met by chance. Most marriages at that time were arranged by matchmakers, so I think that was how they met was through the matchmakers.

Master Lee’s old schoolhouse the starting point of the Donnelly Brothers’ Tailor Shop painting by Irish artist Spensor Crooks

The custom was that one of the children of the family would get the farm they were living on and the other partner would bring in a dowry, a sum of money to give to the parents. In this case Mary Ann had the farm and Charles Donnelly married into it. The year was 1905. It was not much of a farm, enough to feed four or five cows and enough crops to feed the family.

My mother’s parents lived with us for years. I was the second oldest of ten children. I had a brother John who was born in 1906 in the month of March and I was born in 1907 in the month of March. In the month of May 1909 twins were born, Thomas and Mary. Thomas lived a very short time, a day or so i think. He was baptized Thomas. Later there was another child called Thomas. It was customary to have a child called after a relative, in this case it was an uncle on my mother’s side and an uncle on my father’s side. That is why there were two children called Thomas.

The Donnelly family moved to Providence Rhode Island some time in the year 1909 or 1910. I think my father had come ahead of us and my mother and three children a bit later. I can remember that stage of my life, back that far. I also remember traveling on the ocean liner and there were benches all around. Ii guess we were sitting on one of the benches near the rail and I put my foot over the rail and pulled it in again and let my shoe go off into the ocean. That was the first calamity of my life since I was born, but some sisters came by and took me away and got me some kind of shoes, what kind Ii don’t remember, but I remember that. In Providence we lived on Jewlett Street. My father worked in the foundry, Brown and Sharp at that time. In November of 1910 my sister Anna was born. Later she became a Sister of Mercy. She still belongs to the religious order and is still living in the convent with the other sisters.

I remember a lot about that. The house we lived in on Jewlett Street was a four family house. There were two families on the first floor Donnelley’s and Brennan’s . Elizabeth Brennan was Anna’s godmother. On the second floor lived a Molar family and a Fasterson family. Next to the house was Jones’ lot; where saint Patrick’s school is now. The young men used to play football on Jones’ lot and we could see them from our house. I also remember the fireteams coming down. Smith street and they would have the Dalmatian dog sitting up in the front and one man was ringing the bell and another man drove the horses as they came along. It was a far cry from the apparatus you see going out today.

Probably about 1911 or 1912 the family moved back to Ireland, at least my mother and four children did. I think her parents were lonesome for her and the children, but my father needed to earn more money than he could over there, so he stayed on for a while. He still worked in the foundry and he also worked in the foundry in north Adams and Pittsburgh. He was a core maker by trade so had to go where the work was. But he wanted to go back to Ireland because of wife and children. So back he went in 1914 the reason I remember 1914 is because that was the year the Titanic sank. My mother knew he was on the water heading home and she was upset, but the next day she found out that Titanic was going the other way and she felt relieved. I don’t remember much about the time before my father came back from America, but I do remember landing home in Killaglasheen and my grandmother came over the fields to meet us. I think my aunt Ellie was with her and she had the dog Vixie with her. Now we had been away for a couple of years and this dog knew us and ran around and played and really had a great time of it.

I also remember when I was about six years old, that would be about 1913, I came home from driving the cattle with a severe pain in my side. Thinking it might be appendicitis my mother went into town for the doctor. He came to our house and agreed that it was and said they would have to get me to the hospital in Dublin. He made arrangements for me to be there the next day. The hospital was about a hundred miles away. We left early the next day and got there about six at night. I had to be carried from our house to the road as I could not be put on a vehicle. The lane was very rough for a side car or a cart. The mile and a half we traveled by side car to the town of Ballinamore, I was sitting or lying on someone’s knees. Then on to Drummed on the narrow gauge railroad where we had to change to the Great Northern Railroad to Dublin was then taken in a horse and buggy to the hospital. My appendix was very inflamed and the doctor said it would have burst in a short time, which in those days would have been fatal. I remained in the hospital for six weeks. My mother spent a lot of time with me. She did not tell my father until I was well.

After my father came home, he worked on the farm, worked very hard. We had cows, probably four and a horse. He tilled the land and planted crops and made a living for us. We didn’t have the best of everything, but we were never hungry at any time.

In 1915 another set of twins were born Edward and James, Jim, as we called him came down with a disease, meningitis of the brain. He was about three months old and lived to be eight. He never walked or talked. He was able to sit up in a highchair, strapped in. was a big care for all those years. In 1916 another set of twins were born, Thomas (this being the second Thomas) and Evelyn. In 1918 another boy was born. He was called Patrick Vincent. That accounts for ten children in all.

After a prolonged illness, my mother died, on December 27,1919. Our brother Jim died January 9,1924. My grandfather also died about that time.

So much for the history of the family, or part of them, just to let you know who they were and to put it on the record. So I will start now and tell you a little about myself. That is what I started out to do I had to surround myself with the family otherwise I wouldn’t make much sense. We went to school, my brother John and I in the town, nearly two miles away. I guess Mary and Anna were also going to school at that time had to get home from school as fast as we could for to help with the farm work. We I picked the potatoes, if that was the season for it, that my father was digging all day. We had to milk the cows and feed the pigs and so forth. This had to be done morning and night. My father couldn’t do it all so we had to learn to do it all at an early age. My sister Mary had to do the cooking and Anna helped. They had to change diapers and in general, take care of the ones who couldn’t take of themselves.

A long about this time I got a job in the town as a telegram boy. How I got the job was the postmistress in Ballinamore ran the post office and the telegraph office. She was a very charitable woman and when the job became available delivering telegrams I was chosen the job became available when the boy who was doing the job was now grown into a man. He got a job as postman, delivering the mail. This Mrs. Davidson inquired from the people around as to what family around Ballinamore or outside Ballinamore was the most needy for to get this job. Jobs were not too plentiful and a few extra shillings coming in each week would be a big help. So she came up with the answer, with the help of her friends that the Donnelly family was the most needy. I wasn’t the oldest in the family but my father felt we weren’t going to do well on the farm and that he was going to send my brother John to learn a trade, which he did. I held the job for two or three years.

My brother John was going to town during the daytime to serve as a tailor and he came home at night. It was a long process of about three years, to learn the tailoring trade. The first few month or even year, no one is able to do anything that is productive in the line of making garments, they are just sewing pieces of cloth and making buttonholes, learning to baste and fell and do different kinds of stitches and so forth. So he went in. However, in about a year he was able to change and could do some productive work. He found another shop that would take him in and he could also make some money. He made some kind of arrangement with the tailor he was with and he went to work for John Mc Hugh in the Church Lane. He had been working for Pat Farrell in the Chapel Lane. Those street names are now changed to Church Street and St. Bridget Street. So after he had about three years in, he went to Belfast to learn how to design and cut clothes.

At the time he finished, with the good counsel of my father, he opened a tailor shop nearby. Not really nearby, it was three miles away. I quit my job and went with my brother John to serve my apprenticeship. I worked at it for a couple of years in the same location. But, again my father with his good counsel and thinking it out, felt that we were not going to make any money in Ireland. There were a lot of tailors and not a lot of clothes to be made at that time even though there were no ready made clothes. Everything was tailor made but even when a man or a boy got a suit made they had to make do with it for a long time. So father decided that we could best close up the shop and go to America once more.

I will later tell you how many times I have crossed the Atlantic. So we didn’t have much money for to go to America and a cousin of my father, his name was Charles Blake and he lived in San Francisco, asked us to come out to San Francisco and he would get jobs for us. But we really didn’t have enough money and we wouldn’t be able to get there unless we sold off cattle or something to get it. But a good neighbor and friend special friend of my father, Peter O’Connell I said “I will loan you the money for to send the two boys to San Francisco” which he did. Now this was in 1925 and we left home headed for San Francisco and we did not know what to expect at that time but we went. On the 15th of May we left Ireland, the two of us, and landed in Boston on the steamship Samaria, on the last day of May 1925. That being a Sunday the customs were not open so we were not to be processed that Sunday night. We were taken off the boat and bussed to some location. It was some kind of a holding place until we would be cleared. We didn’t get much sleep that night, as we did not have comfortable quarters.

There were people of different nationalities held over there for one reason or another. Monday morning we were cleared. We became acquainted with some people, named Coogan, on the boat on the way over. They knew my aunt and her family that lived in Belfast. We sailed from Belfast to Liverpool and from Liverpool to Boston. The Coogan’s were not cleared as quickly as we were but they had told us “if you get off before us ask to have one of our sons paged” and we did. His name was Jackie Coogan, he came and met us.

Although he had never met us before he knew we were a little bit hungry by that time. It was noontime and we had not had much breakfast, so he bought us sandwiches. He also took us to the south station in Boston and put us on the train to Providence. That was our first stop in the United States. This was where we lived before and this was where at that time, we had three uncles and two aunts, on my father’s side. So we came to my aunt Annie Sullivan, my father’s sister. When we got to Providence we did not know the American money and we did not know where Lockwood Street was, and that was where we had to go. It was a very hot day and we had very heavy Irish clothes on. We were carrying coats and suitcases. We inquired and were told to go here and there, get a trolley car, either for Broad Street or Eddy Street. We did not know which one would be the nearest to the number we were looking for on Lockwood Street.

So I guess we inquired what street would take us there to walk. So we walked over. We were advised to walk Pine Street because then we would come to the number on Lockwood Street we were looking for. As I said, it was a very hot day and we were very hungry boys and I didn’t think I could walk all the way. I wanted my brother to sit down on doorsteps along the way, but he said “lets keep going”. We walked a little bit more and came to Lockwood Street. We looked at the numbers and figured the number was a little high and we looked and went the other way and finally came to my aunt’s house. She sat us down to a good meal and a real welcome to America.

We expected at that time to be leaving for San Francisco and we had our tickets for to get there. But my aunts and uncles in Providence said why don’t you stay here for a few weeks. And we will get you a job”. It was fairly easy to get a job at that, but the pay was very small. There was no minimum wage then. So I got a job in a rubber shop and my brother a job in a department store.

The reason we didn’t go into the tailoring business at that time, as I think about it, was we did a little checking and one of our uncles went around and inquired about it. Most shops that had tailors were all Italian tailors and there were more than enough to fill the need at that time. We could have got a job part time in the busy season, but we would be out of a job in the off season. However, we thought it better to take the full time job even though the pay was small. I got 25 cents an hour and John got 30 cents an hour. We worked for this amount of money for a few months. We paid $10 a week for room and board and sent money to Ireland and saved $5 a week.

We weren’t going to California for a time so we wrote to my cousin in California and told him we were going to stay in Rhode Island for a while and try it out. As a result my brother John never did get to California. I got to San Francisco just a few years ago, on my way to Australia. My daughter and her husband were going to Australia to visit some friends and asked me if I would like to go. I was very pleased with the opportunity and so i got to San Francisco. I did not see my cousin, however, because he had passed away at that time. so much for that.

Now after working in Providence at various jobs with little pay, we sent home enough money to repay Peter O’Connell. he was the neighbor who was so kind to us to loan us the money. We had previously sent him the part that would have taken us to California, that we didn’t use. So we paid him off and we were pleased to do it. Years later his son wrote to me to see if I would send the money for him to come out to Providence and I did. He came out to Providence and he became very successful. He is Jim O’Connell. He married a lovely girl from near home, Kathleen Gaffney. They are very happy. He got into the real estate business in Chicago, along with a brother-law named Gaffney from outside Ballinamore. So he is retired now and living in Florida in the winter Chicago in the summertime. I hear from him quite regularly. We have a very close relationship.

And now to get back on my story and a little bit as far as the family was concerned. My father’s intention was for the whole family to come out here. My mother, of course was buried in Fenagh at Fenagh Abbey as were the infants Tom and Jim.

Around that time he went back to his job in the foundry. It was a very hard job and he was not as strong as he used to be. He had back trouble but he tolerated his problems and went to work every day. I guess he made pretty good money at this time, better than before. So my father thought that even though he had the farm there, he owned this farm, he could do better for himself and the family by moving back to America. So six months after John and I came to America, my father came alone. He left the rest of the children at home in the care of their grandmother. He came in the month of November, 192~. We were living with my aunt Annie who was good to us. She did all our cooking and washing. She was very kind. So he came and lived there, to go, with the intention of setting up housekeeping for the whole family in the near future.

So along in the following year, 1926, around May or June, something that they had corresponded about was to get the rest of the family ready to come over. So they all moved to America. They sold the farm and had the neighbors, the Peter O’Connell, their special friends, manage things and they got rid of the farm. They sold all the belongings for us. My grandmother had gone to live with her daughter Mrs. Ellie Jordan. She lived for maybe a couple of years.

Before the family arrived, a single family house was rented on Ocean Street and the whole family settled there. There was more room there than we had in Ireland and more accommodations. The children of course younger ones I guess all of them went to school in the nearby schools. In the meantime, during the time before the rest of the family came out, my uncle Eddie, my father’s brother, a very enterprising ex-army man from world. I thought he could get us a shop and equipment to operate it. He thought we should keep the jobs we had. We rented a shop on Plain Street near Lockwood Street. The people next door to us at the shop agreed to wait on any customers that came while we were working. So we worked nights and weekends at the shop. I guess we worked all kinds of hours. We kept the shop going until the rest of the family came out.

My brother John and I had a good sized room upstairs in our house, suitable for our shop. So we closed the shop on Plain Street, took the sign from the shop and put it at the home were in. My sister Mary, who was not going school, she probably went to night school. Too in the work for the shop during the day. At that time it was mostly neighborhood work. People brought in their clothes for cleaning, pressing and repairs. We would send them out to be cleaned and then we would press them and do any necessary repairs. So we did quite well with a nice little business there. Both of us worked there together after hours from our other jobs. But it got a little busier than we could handle so my father with his good judgment, decided we should open a shop and John being a full fledged tailor, should go to work in the shop full time so that we did we rented a store at 760 Broad Street and moved the equipment to the new location.

We bought some things that were needed. John worked full time and I came home from my other job and stopped at the shop and worked for a few hours. If I wasn’t working on Saturdays at full time job I worked at the shop. We work nights, Sundays and so forth. But I had change jobs a couple of times and had what considered – reasonable job and I hated give it up so I stuck to it as long as could I turned in enough money at home for to support the two of us. We took a little salary spending money from the shop. We saved the rest to buy supplies and so forth. During this period, whenever there was a chance, I went to night school I learned a little more than I knew because I had only gone to the fourth grade in Ireland. I never did graduate out of the fourth grade.

John was about in the same situation because we had to stay home to work on the farm and things I have already explained. So I went to night school leave to do a little bookkeeping and a little clerical work. I was now working in Nickel File Company. I then worked part time in tailor shop, all the time I had to spare. But we did not neglect our social activities, we went to dances and saw some of the girls and so forth, but we were hard working boys at time.

Business was increasing, we worked very hard to keep up with it. We didn’t want to spend any money hiring anybody at that time, but finally did. We probably hired a presser first just to do the pressing on a machine. We handled all the other details, with the tailoring and so forth. We went out collecting and delivering and all that. We hired another tailor about that time. That went on for quite a while and business was getting better. I don’t think that I mentioned up to this time, that previous to this, the store had a fire. Really, the store next door burned through the partition and really damaged a lot of our goods and so forth. So it took a good while to get straightened out. In fact we never did get straightened out in that store, because the landlord was not in any hurry. He had the whole block of stores, so we just had to wait until they got as far as us. In the meantime I went out and looked at a store up the street, just a block away. It was twice as large. I went to see the landlady and made arrangements with her. I had a lease with my first landlord but with a little manipulation I was able to get released from that lease. So I moved out and into the new store at 790 Broad Street. It took a while to get straightened up and get organized and get some claims settled with owners of the damaged clothes. All this worked very well. We had more room and set it up on a bigger scale.

Around this time by brother John went on weekends selling house lots down on an island about 30 miles away from Providence. He did that on weekends and did very well at it. The man that he was selling for appreciated his good work and gift of the gab he asked him to go to Texas with him. Offered him a good deal, so he went.

About 1931 John had gotten married to a very nice girl, Doris Corrigan. They and their family moved to Texas and were very happy there. John worked at that job until he died in 1974. They had five children. They, of course, had children and even grandchildren. They are all living in Texas. I have been down to see them several times. They are a lovely family. John’s wife, Doris, is alive and well and I think all the children are married

I got married in 1933 to a lovely girl from County Kerry, Catherine Kennedy. We had three children, Charles, Mary and David. So here we were in the late thirties or early forties. I have a wife, two children (David was not yet born) a new larger store and everything is looking much brighter. I had already been in the men’s wear business for some time. It started in a small way and increased every year. We carried top of the line men’s clothes. I had hired a fellow named Ed Golden, who had been working in a department store as a window dresser. He fit nicely into my operation because he could do the windows and also help with the sales. Shortly after this the war came along. He had to make a decision to go into defense work or into the armed services. He chose to go into defense work. Little did I know that a short time thereafter I would be faced with the same decision. So I too decided to go into defense work. This meant that my store was managed by two part time employees. My hours in defense work were from 3 to 11 p.m.. so I worked in the store in the mornings. Now, as the war drew to a close, I got permission to resign and go back to my store. Shortly there after Ed Golden was out of his defense job. As I had no job for him at that time, he got a job with an insurance company. We were in contact with each other, however.

Along about this time our son David was born and the stores as well as our family were expanding. One sunday, as we were. going to the beach, I stopped at a bakery in the city of Warwick, not far from home, to get some things for to eat at the beach. In that block of stores I saw one store idle. I thought, “gee, this would make a nice addition to expand and enlarge my other store.” By this time I had bought my building and there was more room for expansion. I thought about it all day at the beach and went and looked it over on the way home that same evening. It looked good to me. I called up Ed Golden that evening to tell him the new idea that i had and explain a plan that would probably include him. He would be a partner in the proposed new store. I felt that if he was a partner we would have a long term agreement, which we did. The store operated very successfully.

The next addition to our operation was formal wear rental for weddings, proms and other occasions.this also was a successful venture. our next venture was the sale of school uniforms for boys and girls. to this day it is an important part of the business and is managed by my youngest grandson, Peter, David’s son. His other son, David, manages the dry cleaning plant. Through the years Donnelly’s has become well known as a quality clothing company.

Now back to the family. Charlie is married to Mary Anne Higgins. They have five children Martha, Chuck, Kathleen, Mary Beth and Sheila. Martha married Phil Keefe (they are about to become parents). The other four are still single at this time. Our daughter Mary married Roland Mergener and they have four children Stephen, Paul, Theresa, Sharon. David, the youngest of our family married Elizabeth Mullaney and they also have four children. David, Peter, Susan and Elizabeth. All these families are very nice. I would have a hard time to like one better than the other.

I have now retired from the business and don’t do much except go in and look around! My youngest son David runs it now and is doing quite well, although this is not a very prosperous time, since a little depression is going on at the present time, which slows things up a bit. It is not like the first depression. I have been there and I am sure that this will pass along. Needless to say while all this was going on I still had to work very hard, planning, working and so forth, but I did not neglect my family. We had a nice home, a three family house in Providence. We lived on the middle floor, but it got a little bit small for the family as they were growing up. I bought a nice lot in a nice neighborhood and built a nice house on it with plenty bathrooms and closets something that we didn’t have before in the other house. My children got a good education and they are doing quite well. As I said before, my son David operates the stores and my eldest son Charlie is working for a high class clothing store. He has been there for a good number of years. My daughter Mary is married to a professor of audio/visual in one of the local colleges.

Well, like everything else, all things did not run smoothly. My wife Catherine, at the time the children were grown up and she could enjoy herself, she got sick. She got Alzheimer’s disease, which I am sure everyone knows about. She was sick with that for about twelve years, continuously getting worse. She went to 3 different treatment centers and nothing helped her. She went a convalescent home, run by the Sisters of Mercy, where my sister Anna, Sister Pierre, was living. So she was pretty much in a home atmosphere. I used to go to visit her about every day. Finally, on March 4, 1988, she died. It was my birthday.

Then, as luck would have it, I got married again, just about four years ago to a lovely Irish-American girl, Marjorie Burns. She was married before and has one son and one grand-son, which gives me four children and fourteen grandchildren. Her son works as a musician and private detective in Key West, Florida and her grandson works on a fishing boat out of Mantauk, New York. We do not see him often, but he is a very nice fellow. Now this girl, as I say and like my first wife, is everything good. She is a good wife, good cook, good housekeeper, and good mother, although she has little mothering to do except for me. She is talented. She sings and plays the piano and does many other things. About three years ago she started the Donnelly Family Tree. I guess a lot of people who read this have seen the family tree. It shows all my ancestors as far as my great-great grandfather on one side and my great grandfather on the other side. If any one who reads this description and would like to see the family tree, I would be glad to make it available at any time.

So we are living alone now and enjoy it very much. We go out quite a bit and we travel quite a bit. We have been to Ireland four times and to Florida three times. We are going back to Ireland again this year. Marjorie has relatives living in Tyrone. They get all the family together when we get there and we have a party in the town of Ballinamore, my hometown, we stay at Riversdale,

One year after we were married, I came down with heart failure, which required a serious operation and a good bit of recuperation. I came out of it fine. I had a triple bipass and an aorta valve replaced. A good part of the time it looked as though the groom of one year was not about to make it, but with a lot of prayers from a lot of people, the good lord decided to leave me a little longer. Now I feel great and ready to back to Ireland this year, and I hope for many years to come. It is an old estate, a big house and it is now operated as a B & B by Violet and Raymond Thomas and their family. They are lovely people. We stay there for a week. We round up all my cousins and my friends and invite them all to a party on Thursday afternoon. This house is located about a half mile as the crow flies from my birthplace, Killaglasheen. We have been fortunate to have a priest present at most op these parties. My cousin father Vincent Leddy and father Kevin Lleddy and father dmi~ gallogly , father Dan is president of Cavan College and a native of the locality. He gave us much information about the place where stay and of Ballinamore in general. We usually plan to stay for three weeks. I don’t believe I mentioned before that I usually take a couple of my grandchildren to Ireland with me. I must mention that I love all my grandchildren. They are exceptionally nice & well behaved and they love their grandfather. They also love, without exception, my new wife, Marjorie. They love her and she loves them. So we get along just great. They come here at different times, as do my children and some of her relatives that live around this area. We go out for dinner, either to some friends or relatives or just to a restaurant. We just thoroughly enjoy life and each other. Not only was she lucky, I keep telling her that and she agrees, but I was very lucky, very, very lucky she is just a wonderful wife and she takes good care of me.

I cannot let this story of my life go past without saying thanks be to god and his blessed mother for all the blessings sent my way.

Charles J. Donnelly

The store started by Charles Donnelly

Charles Donnelly in Ireland
CJD overlooking Dingle Bay
at Inch, Annascaul, Kerry
Birthplace of Catherine Kennedy,
(near by the old Kennedy Foundry)
SW Ireland 1986
Cunard Line – R M S Carmania
CJD’s first trip to America
from Leeds to NYC on to Ellis Island
see the ship’s manifest

Family Crest for Donnelly

Motto: Lamh dearg elren.

– Dare the power of the red hand

From the O’Donnghaile Sept and of Bally Donnelly, County Tyrone,
an old Milesian family, of the line of O’Neill, of Ulster;
arms confirmed to Thomas Donnelly, Esq., Capt. H.E.I.C.S., son of
John Donnelly, Esq., of Blackwater Town, County Armagh.
Arms: Argent, two lions rampant combatant, supporting a dexter
hand couped appaumée between three mullets, two and one gules
pierced of the field, in base the sea, therein a slamon naiant proper.
Crest: A naked arm embowed grasping a straight sword proper,
hilt and pommel or, encircled with a pointed Irish crown of the last.
Motto: Lamh dearg elren.

Dare the power of the red hand

able, dare,
Irish lamhaim, Early Irish lamaim,
Old Irish -laimur, audeo, Welsh llafasu, audere, Cornish lavasy, Breton lafuaez: *plamô,
a short-vowel form of the root of làmh, hand,
the idea being “manage to, dare to”? Stokes says it is probably from *tlam,
dare, Greek @Gtólma, daring, Scottish thole; See tlàth.
Windisch has compared Lithuanian lemiù, lemti, fix, appoint.

Irish lámh, Old Irish lám, Welsh llaw, Cornish lof,
Old Breton lau; *lâmâ, *plâmâ; Latin palma, English palm;
Greek @Gpalámc; Anglo-Saxon folm, Old High German folma.
Hence làmhainn, glove, Early Irish lámind. làmh, axe (Ross),
làmhaidh (Suth.); làmhag, a small hatchet (Arg.),
Middle Irish laime, axe; Old Slavonic lomifi, break, *lam, English lame (St.).

red, so Irish, Old Irish derg, *dhergo-s; English dark, Anglo-Saxon deorc.

The Legend of the Red Hand of Ulster (used in the present day flag of N.Ireland and the ancient Irish province of Ulster) comes from ‘Eremon son of Golamh Mile Espain’ .His father told he and his brothers that the first person to lay their hand on Ulster could claim the land as their own. Nearing the end of the race he realised that he was tiring and was in danger of losing the race so he promptly cut of his hand and threw it onto the shore. Thus claiming the land for himself before any of his brothers reached the land of Ulster.

Riversdale, County Lietrim
© ME Inc. 2006 all rights reserved

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