Donald Patrick Lynskey, written June 7, 2001

I am the fifth and youngest child of William and Carol Lynskey, William being the son of Gaston and Lucille Lynskey.

While traveling to London in February of 1991, I took a side trip to Ireland for 5 days, flying into Dublin, then touring the “southern ring.”  I had written Bride Monahan prior to the trip, explaining our relationship in the Lynskey family tree and that I would like to meet her.  She sent a postcard back, saying she was looking forward to our meeting.

While in County Galway, we found the town of Athenry and entered its boundaries through a narrow one-lane stone archway, part of a stone wall that encircled the entire community.  There were no street signs within sight.  After stopping three different occasions to ask for directions to “Kingsland,” Pat and Bride’s street address, we finally managed to locate their home.

After a very warm welcome, Pat and Bride welcomed us into the kitchen “where the heat is.”  (If you have ever been in Ireland in the winter months, you know how the cold permeates deep into your bones.)  We chatted about relatives, compared our versions of the family tree and looked at each others pictures.  I must admit, I only understood 50 to 75% of what Pat and Bride said as their brogue was quite thick.  Luckily, my traveling companion Peter had spent a summer in Ireland and was able to “translate” when necessary. 

Bride reminded me very much of Gaston Lynskey, both having a wonderful sense of humor and a contagious laugh.  We “tipped a few,” including some Paddy’s Irish whiskey, and talked and laughed by the fireside for quite some time.

Peter and I traveled back into town to find St. Mary’s church, which, although abandoned, maintained a mysteriously dignified look.  A Lynskey burial plot was located behind the church, although the dates on the markers did not reach back very far in time.

We returned to the house for a warm cup of tea and more visiting.  Bride had prepared a delicious meal of rolled pork, ham, a cold vegetable salad, apple tarts, homemade soda bread, tea and a dessert of Irish trifle with strawberries and Irish Mist.  Bride and Pat gave each of us a Tara china cup as souvenirs of our visit.

After dinner, we went out to help feed the calves and cows, and Bride did the daily milking.  She did point out that none of the existing buildings on the property are part of the original Lynskey homestead.

After some more tea and homemade scones, we said our good-byes.

Since that visit in 1991, Pat Monahan has passed away, but Bride still resides on Kingsland, Athenry, Co. Galway.  We correspond once or twice a year, a brief note to say hello.  I look forward to seeing Bride again sometime soon.

1991 - Donny's trip to Ireland