The McDonaghs of Billamore.
This montage was put together by my first cousin Anne Davis (Lambert) who lives in Massachusetts. The centrepiece, taken about 1950, shows my grandfather and grandmother at the gate of the family home in Billamore. Surrounding them are their ten children, including my father, Stephen. Some of the photographs are not of good quality. In addition to my father, older Oughterard residents will remember Delia (Lambert, late of Camp St.), Annie (O’Connor, also of Camp St.), Mick (Carraroe) and possibly Nora (Hemestretch, Hove, Sussex.). All have now passed on. Mary and Pat died young. Mary died in the US in the mid 1930s and her daughter, Mary Browne, came home to be reared with her grandparents. She, too, died in her early teens in 1948. Jim lived in England all his life and was unmarried. Pearse, whose wife was from West Cork, reared a family in Slough, Berks. Margaret (Mag) lived into her 90s and was a frequent visitor to Oughterard from the US. I am hoping that publication of this article will encourage some of the more far-flung family members to contact the site.
My grandfather “married in” to Billamore. His people were originally from Pollough, Rosscahill, although his father, Pat, lived behind the “Kirk”, where the Community Centre is now. Pat had been to America and, according to family legend, had fought in the Civil War. On his return he married Mary Carter who we think was from Collinamuck. My grandfather was a Corrib boatman and featured, along with Jamesie Donnellan in Kingsmill Moore’s book, “A Man May Fish” He was very active in the Corrib conservation and campaigned for fishermen’s and boatmen’s rights. He died in 1955
My grandmother’s father, Stephen Gavin, was originally from Magheramore. He built a house just beyond where Walter DeLacy lives now. My grandmother was reputedly a great beauty in her day and her daughters weren’t behind the door when looks were being given out either. The sons were handsome men too and the whole family had a reputation for being good singers. Sadly, in the writer’s case, both the looks and the singing voice seem to have skipped a generation. My grandmother died in 1952.