Our Family in Ireland

By Jim Hagarty

I have been to Ireland six times.

People assume we have family there. I have always told them we don’t and that is true as far as I know.

But on my second trip in 1994, my wife and I found the farm our family left during the Famine years in the 1840s and 1850s. Incredibly, the old stone farm cottage they had lived in was still standing. We became good friends with the family who now owns the farm and went back there several more times over the years.

In 2013, Barb and I returned, this time with our son and daughter. The farm owner and matriarch of the family was in hospital when we arrived. Against her doctor’s wishes, she checked herself out of the hospital to be with us.

“I have to go,” she told the doctor. “I have family coming.” We had a joyous reunion.

Now, when I am asked if we have family in Ireland, I always say that we do. The best family our family could ever wish for.

Fate saw to that.

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

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