LSB Spring Dance 2015

index~~element76Saturday April 11th, 2015 from 7.00 p.m. – 11.00 a.m.

The Leitrim Society of Boston invites you to our annual Spring Dance at

Irish Cultural Center
200 New Boston Drive
Canton, MA 02021

Musical entertainment on the night is provided by the Noel Henry Showband.

Come enjoy a great family evening.

Tickets – available at the door, are $10 per person and we hope to see you all there!

For further information please call: 617-549-3230

And don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this event to help spread the word…

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First Irish Policeman in Boston was from Leitrim

Below is a very interesting story sent to the Leitrim Society of Boston from Manorhamilton native Rory Flynn. He describes his research on Bernard “Barney” McGinniskin, born in Glenfarne in 1808, who went on to become Boston’s first Irish Policeman.bmcgI would like to share some information that I accidentally stumbled upon, It was all new to me and thought I should share it with you, maybe some of your members are already aware to this story.
I was born and reared in Manorhamilton I left home in 1968 and moved to Dublin then in 1970 I moved to Co. Tipperary where I settled down and now reside.

Last year when trying to trace ancestors, with my sister Noreen, we found a man in the Boston Police who we thought might be a relative of ours. As a result I sent an e-mail to the Boston Police looking for details of this individual. I explained that the man in question was born in Manorhamilton. It turned out that we were chasing down the wrong road and that this man was not in fact any relation of ours.

But it is here that I think my story may be of interest to The Boston Leitrim Society.

In replying to my initial query Margaret Sullivan, Records Center and Archives of the Boston Police gave me details that eliminated my man as being my ancestor but in her reply she stated that she had reason to look up Manorhamilton in relation to origin of one Bernard “Barney” McGinniskin. Margaret told me some of the history of Bernard “Barney” McGinniskin.

Barney McGinniskin was in the Boston Police from 1851 until 1854, what is unique about Barney is that he was the first Irish man to be admitted to the Boston Police Force and most likely the first Irish man to join any Police Force in the United States, it is believed that Boston had the very first properly organised Police Force in the United States.

At that time, in Boston, the Irish were deemed “unacceptable” for various posts including the police but Barney McGinniskin succeeded in being admitted into the local police force. According to Margaret Sullivan he left the force in 1854 after 3 years having being dismissed for political/nativist reasons, McGinniskin was highly respected and eventually ended up as a federal employee.

Margaret Sullivan has carried out research of the history of Bernard McGinniskin and found that he was born 28th May 1808 in Sranagross, Glenfarne, County Leitrim and his wife was Sarah McGowan from Manorhamilton.

Unfortunately all census records in Ireland pre 1901 were destroyed in the Four Courts In Dublin when the building was bombarded and demolished. The earliest records before that are Griffith’s Valuation of 1857, it records Charles and Laurence McGinniskin tenants on 25 acres at Sranagross, Glenfarne, their landlord was Anne Tottenham.

The next record for Sranagross, Glenfarne is the National Census of 1901 it lists a Bryan McGriskin, his wife Rose, son Charles and daughter Mary.

It is possible that the name McGinniskin evolved in some way through wrong records, misspelling or some other means into the name McGriskin. I am aware that there are McGriskin families in the Kiltyclogher and Glenfarne areas.

Barney McGinniskin is a celebrated figure in the Boston Police Department, an award in his name is presented each year and his grave is marked highlighting his role in Boston Police.

According to the profile created of him within the Boston Police it has him originating from “Co. Galway”. I feel that this fact should be corrected and on finding the Boston Leitrim Society I felt that maybe some of your members might be interested in taking a look at Bernard McGinninskin’s records and having them amended

His grave is in St. Augustine Cemetery in South Boston.

There is a Facebook page dedicated to Boston’s First Irish Policeman Bernard “Barney” McGinniskin. It is worth looking at just to see how much he is celebrated. It features photographs of his grave and it can be seen that he had erected a headstone for his wife Sarah (who died before him) daughter of William McGowan, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.

As I explained I stumbled across this story thanks to Margaret R. Sullivan Record Manager and Archivist of the Boston Police Dept. Margaret has taken a great interest in Bernard McGinniskin and has much more details about him that she is more than willing to share with anyone interested. She says that there is a great deal of inaccurate stories in relation to him including one that on his first day in the Police he marched into the Boston Police Station and announced “I am Barney McGinniskin from the bogs of Ireland”. In her research she found that he was an able, intelligent and astute man far removed from how some depicted him.

I have further details on Bernard, mostly from Margaret Sullivan, and if anyone in your Society is interested I will gladly pass them on.

I just do hope that Bernard McGinniskin’s Leitrim origins can be highlighted.

Thanking You,
Rory Flynn.

(If anyone would like to get in touch with Rory, let us know and we will set that up.)

It's Christmas time!

December 2014 – Meeting Minutes & Updates

The meeting was held on December 2nd, 2014 at Gerard’s Restaurant in Adam’s Village, Dorchester, MA.

PRESENT – Derek Mawn, Mary McDermott, Noel Murphy, Frank Gallagher, Jim Gallagher, Charlie Mawn, Connie & Mary McEleney, Tommy Byrne, Bridie McDermott, Phil Bohan, Maura Weir and Cathy Mawn

It is very sad to have to announce the Death of John “Jack” Lavalle, husband of Maura (McHugh)  Lavalle. The long time member died unexpectedly on November 21st.  Condolences go out to Maura and her family, RIP Jack.

The Christmas Party is December 14th from 4 to 8 PM at Sons of Italy (Upstairs at the Golden Lion Suite) 120 Quarry St., Quincy, MA. Tickets are $25 pp. and children eat free. Tickets must be purchased in advance- There are NO tickets sold at the door! Tickets may be ordered by calling Cathy Mawn at 617-696-1583 or 617-549-3230 and leaving a message. Kathy and the Irish Americans will be providing the entertainment. Please call to order your tickets by December 5th as we have to have a count for the caterer. Any donations for the in-house raffle at the dance would be gratefully appreciated.

Phil Bohan is trying to arrange to have some new Leitrim Guardian Magazines for sale at the dance. Frank Brady of Manorhamilton was the Guardian’s “Man of the Year.”

Membership for 2015 can be renewed at the Dance. Dues remain $10 pp or $20 per household. You can get the current membership form here – fill it out and give to any of the LSB committee members at the dance or mail it in if you prefer.

The New York Leitrim Society is running a weekend to the Catskills in June, 2015. Jim Gallagher will be providing further information if people would be interested in meeting some old neighbors and new friends from home!

Nominations the LSB Board will take place at the March 6, 2015 meeting.  You must attend in person to nominate and be nominated.

Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim won the top prize in the 2014 Pride of Place Award! The judges were especially impressed with the renovation of the Ballroom of Romance. Up Leitrim!

There will be no meeting per usual for January. The next meeting is February 3, 2015 at 8 PM at Gerard’s Restaurant in Adams Village, Dorchester. ALL ARE WECOME and encouraged to attend.

We are still working out the details of a Trip to Foxwoods in early 2015 and another volunteer opportunity at the Greater Boston Food Bank.

As a reminder, in the event of any news that any member would like to share with all members of the club, please contact 617-696-1583 or 617-549-3230 and leave a message.  You can also email the website directly.

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and A very Happy New Year!

It's Christmas time!

LSB Christmas Party 2014

It's Christmas time!

Sunday December 14th, 2014 4-8pm


The Leitrim Society of Boston invites you to our annual Christmas Party at

Sons of Italy (Upstairs at the Golden Lion Suite)
120 Quarry St.
Quincy, MA


Food, Fun Music and a Visit from Santa!
Come enjoy a great family evening.

Tickets $25 (Children eat free)
* Must be purchased in advance by Dec 5th *

There will be NO tickets sold at the door!

For tickets call Cathy Mawn at 617-696-1583

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It's Christmas time!

November 2014 – Meeting Minutes & Updates

The meeting was held on November 4th, 2014 at Gerard’s Restaurant in Adam’s Village, Dorchester, MA.

PRESENT – Derek Mawn, Connie & Mary McEleney, Mary McDermott, Phil Bohan, Jim Gallagher, Maura Weir, Cathal Mawn, Frank & Kathleen Gallagher, Jim Keaney, Charlie Mawn and Cathy Mawn.

The Christmas Party will be held on Sunday December 14th from 4-8 PM at Heritage Hall, 114 Granite Ave., Milton, MA. Please note the new venue. Tickets this year are $25 pp. Children eat for free. The count for the caterer is needed by December 5th. Please call Cathy Mawn for tickets at 617-696-1583. Leave a message and she will return your call. There will be NO tickets sold at the door!

Phil Bohan has agreed to look into obtaining Leitrim Guardians this year.

There will be a Volunteer opportunity at the Food Bank in Jan. or Feb. of 2015. Anyone interested, please contact Mary McDermott ( . It was a load of fun last time as well as providing a needed service.

The Spring Dance will be held on April 11, 2015 at Concannon’s Irish Village in Norwood. The Noel Henry Showband will play. Mark your calendars!

Elections will be held in 2015. Nominations will be taken at the March 2015 Meeting.  Get involved- start your political career!

Condolences are extended to Anna McAuliffe and her family on the Death of her husband Dan.

Anyone interested in a trip to the Foxwoods in 2015, there will be info at the Christmas Dance.

The next meeting will be December 2nd at 8PM at Gerard’s  Restaurant  in Dorchester. ALL ARE WELCOME!

October 2014 – Meeting Minutes & Updates

The meeting was held on October 7th, 2014 at Gerard’s Restaurant in Adam’s Village, Dorchester, MA.

PRESENT – Derek Mawn, Mary McDermott, Bridie McDermott,  Connie & Mary McEleney,
Jim Gallagher, Charlie Mawn, Jimmy Keaney, Cathal Mawn, Phil Bohan, Jack Maguire, Frank & Kathleen Gallagher, Maura Weir, Theresa Wilson, & Cathy Mawn.

The Christmas Party will be held on Sunday December 14th from 4 to 8 PM. The Christmas Party will be held at Heritage Hall, 114 Granite Ave, Milton, MA.  Tickets will be $25 with children free.  Please contact Cathy Mawn to reserve tickets (phone 617-696-1583 please leave a message and we will get back to you).  No tickets will be available on the day of the party.

If anyone has items to donate to the raffle at the Christmas Party, please mention when reserving your tickets.

We are planning for another volunteering event at the Greater Boston Food Bank for January or February.  Please email if you are interested and we can select a date that works for all.

We are looking to update the website with photos from Leitrim Society events throughout the years.  If you have photos you’d like to share, please email them to or mail copies to Leitrim Society of Boston PO Box 204, Milton MA 02186.

The LSB has made a donation to the Irish Pastoral Centre’s annual Gala and will be taking out a half page Ad in the Gala’s booklet.

Next meeting will be Tuesday November 4th at 8 pm at Gerard’s Restaurant in Dorchester’s Adams Village.