Category Archives: General

Carrick Rowing Club

It was an incredibly exciting time in Carrick on Shannon. It was from one of the very rowing boats in Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club that, an Olympian, Frances Cryan emerged and represented Ireland in the 1980 Moscow Olympics!

CRCThis attractive young woman with a head full of long brown wavy hair, a personality that everyone loved and the drive and determination for the sport of rowing, she put the small town of Carrick on Shannon on the map by becoming an eleven year champion for Ireland from 1976 to 1986! Frances Cryan sets the tone for striving to continue to do great things in Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club!

Just imagine IF it was no longer here, and the next great Frances Cryan was waiting in the wings, waiting for their chance to become an Olympian and the opportunity vanished because Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club was not able to fulfill its purpose in training young rowers.

What IF Frances Cryan was not from Carrick on Shannon and was from another town in Ireland, Carrick on Shannon would not be able to boast proudly of her accomplishments with Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club.

CRC-2We already have the what IF the greatest blunder in Ireland’s sporting history never happened and Frances got to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. We can’t afford to have any more “what ifs”.

It took a lot of people to help get Frances to Moscow; help from her amazing coach, Aidan Nangle, to organisations like the local GAA and BLE personnel who organised church gate collections and other fundraising.

And now this historic club, who got Frances there, still needs your help and with the right combination could possibly produce the next Olympian from Carrick on Shannon! We need you to be a part of the magic; the magic to keep this fundraiser going until the goal of €15,000 is met.

We cannot reach our goal without you. Please continue to spread the word to donate and share with all your family and friends, both near and far, if they’re not on Facebook please send them a text or email. With your continued help, which is greatly appreciated, the Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club will succeed and there will be no need for anymore – What ifs…

Go raibh maith agaibh go léir
Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club

LSB Trip to Foxwoods Casino

As mentioned in our most recent meeting minutes, we are proposing to run an LSB day out for our members and friends to the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT. To make sure we have enough numbers we are asking that you register your interest.

foxwoodsWe will be choosing a Wednesday over the next few months for the trip, that accommodates most interested parties. If we get enough interest, the bus will cost $25 per person which will also include $25 in vouchers  to be used at the casino ($10 food, $15 bonus slot play) and will depart from Randolph. More details to follow as we get them…


You can use the form below, leave a comment in the comments section or send an email with your contact info to:

We will acknowledge your submission as soon as we can but if we don’t get back to you in a couple of days, please double check with us!

[contact-form-7 id=”452″ title=”Trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino”]

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.)

Leitrim Famine Book Launch

A Chairde,

The Friends of County Leitrim Committee is pleased to announce the publication of a revealing new book on the Great Famine in Leitrim:

‘The Dead Buried by the Dying’ The Great Famine in Leitrim (Merrion Press) by Dr. Gerard MacAtasney.

On Sunday September 7th, the book will be launched by Dr. Maureen Murphy of Hofstra University at The Manhattan Room located at Rosie O’Grady’s 800 7th Avenue, second floor. The event will commence at 5 pm and will conclude at 9 pm. A light buffet will be served and the committee respectfully request that anyone attending call 917-751-8154 or 914-693-8888 in advance to facilitate the food service. Professor Murphy was the Director of the Great Irish Famine Curriculum Project for the New York State Department of Education.

Dr. Gerard MacAtasney is the acclaimed author of Sean Mac Diarmada: Mind of the Revolution (2004), The Other Famine – The 1822 Crisis in County Leitrim (2010), Tom Clarke: Life, Liberty, Revolution (2012), and The Plantation of Leitrim, 1585 to 1670 (2013). MacAtasney’s new work brings previously untapped information into the public domain through exhaustive research in official government papers, parish registers and estate records. The book depicts the impact of the famine throughout the county as thousands starved to death. As comprehensive as they are compelling, MacAtasney’s findings are contained within the most detailed account of the famine at local level yet to be written. Dr. Gerard MacAtasney will speak about the famine in Leitrim and will be available to answer questions and sign books.

Dr. Gerard MacAtasney will feature at a number of other events in the Tri-State area over the same weekend:

On Saturday September 6th the book will be launched in Connecticut. The event will take place in The Playwright Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1232 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, Conn 06517. Tel: 203 287 2401. The event will commence at 7pm and will conclude at 10pm. Dr. MacAtasney will be available to sign books at this event. The Playwright Pub is renowned in Connecticut for his good food and high quality beverages.

On Monday September 8th Dr. Gerard MacAtasney will speak about the famine in Leitrim at the Rambling House, 4292 Katonah Avenue, Bronx, NY between 7pm and 10pm. He will also speak about Sean MacDiarmada and Thomas Clarke. Books will be available for purchase at this event.

On Saturday September 6th, The Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee and Our Lady of Knock Division #9 LAOH will hold their annual Irish Heritage Trail and Irish Patriots Day at Greenwood Cemetery following 12 o’clock mass in Greenwood’s chapel. The Minerva on Battle Hill in Greenwood cemetery was donated by Leitrim native Charles Higgins to commemorate the Battle of Brooklyn. Dr. Gerard MacAtasney will give a brief oration at the Higgins Mausoleum. For information on this event call (718) 499 9482 or visit

The book makes an ideal gift for people with Leitrim connections as well as for the history enthusiast. Donations towards defraying the cost of the launch will be gratefully accepted by the committee. Checks should be made payable to Gerard MacAtasney.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Committee: Joe McManus, Bernadette Dunleavy, Thomas Maguire, Anthony Flynn, Cathy Mitchell Miceli.

LSB help out at the Greater Boston Food Bank

On Saturday, April 26th, our LSB team joined forces with the BeantoIMG_1662wn Cats (University of Arizona Alumni Boston) for a very rewarding afternoon at the Greater Boston Food Bank.

The food bank is a top class facility opened in 2009 with the aid of generouIMG_1663s city based sponsors. Upon arrival at the warehouse, we had a briefing on the activities and services provided by the food bank, followed by a guide on procedures for our assigned tasks of the afternoon on inspecting, sorting, and packing food and grocery products.

Our role as a group, was to inspect frozen food supplies (donated by various corporations such as Stop and Shop and other grocery stores), sort by food type – beef, pork, poultry etc. and package into boxes of 35lb approx., ready for distribution to worthy causes in the Greater Boston area.IMG_1666

The pallets of frozen food kept coming but we kept knocking them down until our shift was over! At the end of the day we sorted through, and packaged:
* 6405lbs of food, 98% of which was salvageable
* which provided for 5230 meals
* averaging 402 meals per volunteer!

We had a great time today and are eager to volunteer again for this wonderful cause.

We’d love to sign up more members and friends of the Leitrim Society of Boston for our next trip to help the troopers at the food bank, stay tuned…!