Dr. John O’Donovan Ireland’s Great Scholar. View 1850s of The O’Donovan (1812-1890). A Good Friend, He Seemed To Me A Kind and Good Man and Really an Irishman of Spirit.

After the death of Lieutenant General Donovan of Bawnlahan, Leap the Chieftainship passed to the Montpelier (Douglas) Cork branch. They too were Protestant very wealthy by way of prudent marriages in the 18th and 19th century into the Cork Mercantiler Community.

When the General died his estate passed to his wife’s nephew Colonel Powell who was from Wales.  By all accounts a reasonable landlord but no feeling for him locally as he was not of ancient stock.

The subsequent O’Donovan were in fact very popular and very engaged locally and even after~`independence when they decamped to England were active in promoting agricultural development locally.

In the John O’Donovan papers and also in O’Donona Rossa’s recollections there were superior genealogical claims to be Chieftain of the O’Donovan including the gateman in Skibbereen Workhouse who wanted no mention of this lest he lose his job. Others mentioned were a ploughman in Myross and a cobbler in Waterford.

In John O’Donovn reference to a young gentleman on the Inner Temple London he may be from the Wexford O’Donovans on his mother’s side, later a senior figure in Dublin Castle .  John O’Donovan said the Wexford O’Donovan originated in Carbery but wer ‘Rabid Orangemen”

Re John Collins, The Silver Tongue of Carbery a wonderful poet but many doubted the facts in his genealogical tracts.

O’Donovan from Cois Life


The O’Donovan’s son:

Colonel Morgan William ‘The O’Donovan’ Oxon (1861-1940), CB, D.L., MA, 1888, ‘The O’Donovan’, Clann Cathal, Lis Árd, Skibbereen, son of Henry Wintrop ‘The O’Donovan’ MA, DL. and  Amelia d ‘The O’Grady’, Courcy O’Grady, Kilballyowen, Co. Limerick. Ed. Haileybury and Oxford, Lieutenant-Colonel Munster Fusiliers, Colonel South Cork Militia Boer War, Succeeded Colonel Aylmer C. Somerville 1899 as President Carbery Agricultural Society.  Presented organ to Creagh Church to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. 1892 High Sheriff, Co.Cork ill, spent the summer on the Continent recovering.  1893 Member Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.  Member Royal Society of Antiquaries 1889.   Sent a carriage to the funeral of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Somerville D.L. (1824-1898), Clontaff, Drishane.  Signed Requisition   1905. Cork Junction Railway Bill.  Requisition to the Right Honourable The Earl of Bandon K.P., to Call a meeting for the purpose of Approving the Cork Junctions Railway Bill.  Addressing a recruitment meeting in Drimoleague In July 1915 he referred  to this ancient stronghold (Castle Donovan) of his family.  After they displaced the O’Driscolls they became the Chief People of the Carberies. Listed  family members as giving a present to 1907 Spaight wedding Union Hall.  Considered the preservation of ancient documents a matter of importance. M Mary Eleanor, (Madame) odo Rev. J Yarker Barton, Chaplain to British Forces, she chaired the Women’s Emergency Recruiting Committee WW1, Skibbereen, listed 1921.   Attending 10 Grand Jury presentments.  1933 writing to Carbery Agricultural Society suggesting horticultural potential in West Cork.

Overview of John O’Donovan from Kilkenny:

1841-. Dr. John O’Donovan correspondence with Timothy O’Donovan, Landlord and Magistrate, Durrus, James O’Donovan, Gravesend, Kent

Tracing members of the extended O’Donovan family:

Originals in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St., Dublinm Graves Collection.


The Leahy Brothers from Dereentra, Schull in Australia.  John Leahy (1854-1909) Originator of Land Classification System in Queensland. In Parliament he spoke with a Strong Brogue.

Patrick James Leahy (1850-1925), Businessman and, Minister for Mines, Member of Legislature

Daniel Vincent Leahy, Barrister

John Leahy (1854-1909 Originator of Land Classification System in Queensland. In Parliament he spoke with a Strong Brogue.

Patrick James Leahy (1850-1925), Businessman and, Minister for Mines, Member of Legislature

Daniel Vincent Leahy, Barrister



1869 Teaching Irish Speaking Children in Bauravilla, Caheragh Through English, Teachers We knew it  was Wrong. We Were Appointed to Teach Them English




1835-1920. Irish Speakers in West Cork Litigation, 1835 Election Petition Cork County Election. Notice Never Explained in Irish. Irish in Election. Interpeters in Some Booths

Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1751 – 1921. Mary Phelan 286PP Four Courts Press Dublin in Association with the Irish Legal History Society. Price €55 

The Administration of Justice (Language) Act (Ireland) 1737, (herein after referred to as the 1737 Act), stipulated that all legal proceedings in Ireland should take place in English, thus placing Irish speakers at a huge disadvantage, obliging them to communicate through others, and treating them as foreigners in their own country. Gradually, over time, legislation was passed to allow the grand juries, forerunners of county councils, to employ salaried interpreters. Drawing on extensive research on grand jury records held at national and local level, supplemented by records of correspondence with the Chief Secretary’s Office in Dublin Castle, this book provides definitive answers on where, when, and until when, Irish language court interpreters were employed. Contemporaneous newspaper court reports are used to illustrate how exactly the system worked in practice and to explore official, primarily negative, attitudes towards Irish speakers

Jeremiah Joseph Callanan, Cork Poet, (1795-1829)


J J Callanan

Death in Lisbon, p.1

Teacher, p.1

Background, p.3

Gougan Barra, p.6

Songs Of the Munster Poets, p. 7

Dr. Thomas Burke, Bantry, p.16

Extended Callanan Medical Family, 17

Appraisal, p. 20

Denis Florence Mccarthy, p. 22

National LIbrary Catalogue, p. 24

The Irish Poems of JJ Callanan, p. 25

Dictionary of Irish Biography, p 26

J J Callanan

Callanan, J. J. [Cork] city

At Lisbon, on the evening of the 19th of September, 1829, Mr. J. J. Callanan. He was a

native of this City, and had distinguished himself by his poetical compositions, which

were of the first order of merit.‘ Cork Constitution (05/11/1829)

Teacher for a brief Period in Cork:



JJ James (Jeremiah) Joseph Callanan, 1786 died Lisbon 1829, Cork Poet bridging Gaelic Ireland with Irish Literature in English, Aonghus Ó Dalaigh, poems.

The Trinity Alumni records record him as Pensioner admitted 6th July 1801, aged 15, Roman Catholic, son of John Physician educated Mr. Lee Vernon 1805 see Allibone.

Presumably a brother slightly different spelling ‘Callinan’ Thomas educated Mr. Barrington admitted 5th July 1802.

Walker’s magazine records a marriage in November 1779 between John Callanan MD and Miss Cooper, Barry’s Court, daughter of William. It is possible that Cooper is a version of Coppinger and might account for his schooling in Cobh.


From Dr. Casey collection.

It is forgotten but a section of the Catholic population survived and some thrived during the Penal Laws. The Callanans appear as apothecaries in Cork, Doctors, and are close to McCarthys, Nagles and O’Learys (of the ‘outlaw’ family Raleigh Macroom) and form a close network. It is from this background that JJ Callinan came. Later his friend Crofton Croker would comment that he spent years living with various friends who were Doctors, Schoolteachers and surprisingly Policemen. One such Doctor was Doctor Burke who practised in the Square in Bantry and was from A Caheragh Landowning family probably associated with the McCarthys according to the late Cork Historian John T Collins. It was in Bantry he wrote Gougán Barra.


In the online edition of the Kings Inns Admission papers (Irish Manuscript Commission) p 92 online p 72 text the admission records of James Joseph Callanan gives his date of birth as the 17th January 1786, 3rd son of father John Medical Doctor mother Catherine Coppinger. TCD 1805, MT M 1806 E (Admitted King’s Inns) 1809. The mother’s name is interesting, as the Coppingers are of Danish descent and his friend Crofton Croker describes him as ‘fair’.

A possible cousin also appears on the list for 1800 James Callanan born 1783 2nd son of Michael Apothecary and Elizabeth McCarthy.

The Callinan’s were the hereditary physicians of the McCarthys:



To continue the McCarthy connection JJ Callanan at one time tutored from a well to do McCarthy family in Millstre

Fascia Sign in New York c 1890.  ‘Johnny Ramsay from Clonakilty.  The Worst Shoemaker in New York’

Re Peadar Ó hAnnracháin, (11873-1985). Peadar was a wonderful Conradh na Gaeilge organiser throughout a number of counties including Cork and he wrote several books as Gaeilge. He also wrote on the Southern Star as ‘Cois Life’ in the 1940s and 1950s. In that period he worked in the Pigs and Bacon Commission in Dublin.  The column often wandered over long lost history, family relationships and there was a touch of the ‘Seanachaí’ about them.  The daughter of the Gaelic Scholar, landowner and businessman in Ballydehob Thomas Swanton, Crianlarich, gave him her father’s papers.

One of 13 children, 10 of whom survived and the majority emigrated.

In Colaiste Chairbhe/The Convent  (owned by Judge Devoy, New York, Peadar Ó hAnnracháin. Peadar the Southern Star as ‘Cois Life’





Patrick Francis Cronin, (1865-1953),  Bantry Born Canadian Journalist and Political Activist.  Burned Eviction Papers for Glenbeigh Evictions, Dedication of Celtic Cross at Grosse Île Quarantine Station, Quebec,  To Honour Those Irish Who Perished from Famine Fever.

Patrick Francis Cronin, (1865-1953),  Bantry Born Canadian Journalist and Political Activist.  Burned Eviction Papers for Glenbeigh Evictions, Dedication of Celtic Cross at Grosse Île Quarantine Station, Quebec,  To Honour Those Irish Who Perished from Famine Fever.



Immigrants at Grosse Île Quarantine Station, 1832-1937

The Records

In the 19th century, an increasing stream of people was leaving Europe to rebuild their lives in North America. Around 1830, an average of 30,000 immigrants arrived annually in the City of Québec, the main port of entry to Canada. Approximately two-thirds of these newcomers were from Ireland. This unprecedented immigration on the St. Lawrence River took place at a time when major cholera and smallpox epidemics were sweeping through Europe. In order to help control the spread of the diseases, the quarantine station at Grosse Île, located in the St. Lawrence River downstream from the City of Québec, was established in 1832 and operated until its closure in 1937.

In 1974, the old quarantine station became a national historic site under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada. More information on Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada is available on the Parks Canada Web site.

Data on immigrants was compiled by Parks Canada from a number of different records held in various archives. Under an agreement between the Québec Service Centre of Parks Canada and Library and Archives Canada, this database regarding immigrants who passed through Grosse Île is now available on this website.


Canadian Collections: