THE RYAN CLAN ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER

Volume 1, No. 4 – August 1999


The Ryan Clan Association, U.S. Sept

P. O. Box 13241, Tallahassee, FL 32317

President: J. Terry Ryan

Treasurer: RADM Jim Carey

Secretary & Newsletter: Sharon Healey Bartholomew

Web Design: Jim Carigan

Web Page: www.ryans.org

How sweetly lies old Ireland, emerald green beyond the foam
Awakening sweet memories, calling the heart back home

THE GATHERING OF THE CLAN

Ryan Rally 2000 – September 2000 – Tipperary Ireland

A Ryan Clan reunion is planned for September 2000 in Tipperary. Ryans in County Tipperary are eager to meet all their Ryan cousins and are planning a grand time for all of us. So far plans include a festive social at the beautiful Dundrum House Hotel just outside Tipperary Town, followed by a tour of Ryan castles and other sites, a banquet and entertainment. We have a definite commitment from the Dundrum House Hotel with excellent rates being offered.

Our Ryan Clan Association group will leave for Dublin on Sunday, September 3, 2000, and return to the United States on Wednesday, September 13, 2000. The complete proposed/tentative itinerary has been posted on our Ryan web page (www.ryans.org). There is a "Ryan Rally" link on the main web page. A travel agency has been chosen. Will have more information on flights and airfares once the airlines release their Year 2000 schedules and rates in September 1999.

Jim Ryan in Boston recently sent over 35 press releases to Irish-American publications announcing the Ryan Rally 2000. Dayna Ryan compiled a list of approximately 110 Irish-American organizations and sent a personal invitation to their members in August 1999. Terry Ryan sent over 30 personal invitations to people identified as "Prominent Ryans," including actress Meg Ryan. Jim, Dayna and Terry are not finished sending out the announcements and look forward to the names of any additional publications, organizations and prominent Ryans you can supply. Please send your suggestions, with addresses if possible, to:

Jim Ryan Irish-American Publications jwryane@aol.com

Dayna Ryan Irish-American Organization dayna@aol.com

Terry Ryan Prominent Ryans trakker@nettally.com

Note: Prominent Ryans are ANYONE that has achieved a degree of success in their field: politics,

education, business, entertainment, religion, etc.

We’ve begun receiving responses to the press releases and announcements, and the list of those interested in attending is rapidly growing. In mid-September, Terry Ryan will conduct a survey of those interested and any specific needs they may have for the trip. Once compiled, definite plans will be made, and the information will be posted on our web page.

If you are interesting in going to Ryan Rally 2000 and have not yet contacted Terry Ryan, please do so AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so reservations can be made at the various Tipperary functions for the number of people who will be there. If you have already indicated you’re going, PLEASE confirm (to Terry Ryan) the number of people in your group for the same reasons.

Watch for updates on the web page!

THE STORY OF NED HILL

As written by Mainchin Seoighe

It is said that Eamon O’Riain (Edmond O’Ryan) was probably born about the year 1670 and was very likely called Eamon an Chnoic (Ned of the Hill) to distinguish him from other Eamon O Riains in a district that was full of Ryans. Numerous stores about him have come down in the folklore of Tipperary and of the Doon District in East Limerick. It is said that he was studying for the priesthood in a continental seminary and, on one occasion while home on holidays, he witnessed the seizure of a widow’s only cow by a tax gatherer. Eamon sought to retake the cow from the tax gatherer, which led to a fight during which Eamon shot the tax gatherer. This incident ended his hope of becoming a priest, and he had to go on the run.

Another story says Eamon was home on holidays from the seminary when the Jacobite/Williamite War broke out in Ireland and, instead of returning to his studies, he joined the Jacobite forces. Other folk memories of him would seem to suggest that he was never a member of the regular Jacobite forces but was a member of one of the rapparee bands who waged their own war against the descendants of the Cromwellian settlers.

The great number of stories that have been handed down about Eamon an Chnoic, about his championing of the poor and oppressed and about his many close escapes, certainly indicate what a tough character and idol of the people he must have been. After the fall of Limerick and the movement of Sarsfield and the Wild Geese to France, the people had nobody left to right their wrongs, only men like Eamon an Chnoic and his fellow rapparees, as the following song suggests:

"Now Sanach and Cromweller, take heed of what you say,

Keep down your black and angry looks that scorn us night and

day;

For there’s a just and wrathful judge that every action sees,

And he’ll make strong, to right our wrong, the faithful rapparees;

The fearless rapparees!!

The men that rode at Sarsfield’s side, the changeless Rapparees!"

Coming back from Nenagy on horseback and in disguise one day, Eamon caught up with an English officer from Borris and rode beside him. At Latteragh Wood, the officer told Eamon to speed up, for there was a danger they might by attacked in that lonely place by Eamon an Chnoic. Farther on, near Borris, as he was about to depart from the officer, Eamon disclosed his identity. The officer expressed pleasant surprise and asked Eamon to have a can of ale with him. Eamon agree to do so.

By some means, the officer sent word to the garrison at Borris and asked to have the alehouse surrounded. This was done in due course and, after a while, a party of soldiers entered, seemingly with no other purpose in mind than to have a drink. But Eamon got suspicious. He ordered a can of ale for the soldiers, insisting that they should partake of his hospitality. Having been handed the can of ale, he suddenly dashed its contents into the faces of the soldiers and, in the ensuing confusion, succeeded in escaping.

The story of Eamon’s death is a tragic one. There are two versions and, while the general trend of the story is similar in both cases, the names of the person involved differ. One version says Eamon was spending the night with Tomas Ban, a relative, and that three times in succession he dreamed he was being killed and awoke each time in terror, telling his host of his dream.

When he had fallen asleep for the third time, his host killed him with a hatchet and struck off his head. His motive for killing Eamon was to get the 50 pounds reward. The killer then set off for Clonmel with the head in a sack to collect the money. On the way, he heard that a pardon had recently been granted to Eamon, and he threw the head into a well!

The second version of the story makes a man known as O Dwyer Broc, also a relative of Eamon, the villian of the piece. According to this version, O Dwyer Broc also used a hatchet to kill Eamon – in this case while the victim was having a drink of milk – and set off to collect the reward only to discover that Eamon had been pardoned. Eamon’s body was buried near Doon, and his head near Hollyford where it had been discarded.

This story was published several years ago in an Irish newspaper and received by the County Tipperary Clans Office, who gave a copy to Terry Ryan in 1997. Further information in the story indicates that a retired Irish-American commander in the United States Navy, Matthew Ryan, who did extensive research in Ireland and England may, in fact, be a direct descendant of Eamon. Evidence of both Matthew’s and Eamon’s families being from Comane, County Tipperary, tends to lend credence to this belief.

 

Population

The population of Ireland is predominantly of Celtic origin. No significant ethnic minorities exist.

Estimated Population:

Age Structure:

0-14 years 24%

15-64 years 64%

65 and over 12%

Population Growth Rate is estimated at 0.33%.

Birth Rate: 14.04 births/1,000 population

Death Rate: 8.48 deaths/1,000 population

Life Expectancy at Birth:

Total Population: 75.99 years

Male: 73.15 years

Female: 79 years

Ethnic Divisions: Celtic, English

Religions: Roman Catholic 93%

Anglican 3%

None 1%

Unknown 2%

Other 1%

Languages: Irish (Gaelic), spoken mainly in areas along the western seaboard; English is the language generally used.

Literacy: 98% of the total population, ages 15 and over, can read and write.

Will cite Northern Ireland statistics in an upcoming

issue of the newsletter.

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May the good Lord give you walls

to keep the wind out,

And a strong roof overhead to cool the sun.

May there always be a warm

fire waiting for you,

And a smile of welcome when your day is done

Lucky stars above you,

Sunshine on your way,

Many friends to love you,

Joy in work and play-

Laughter to outweigh each care,

In your heart a song-

And gladness waiting everywhere

All your whole life long!

 

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The Period of English Supremacy

The participation of the Anglo-Norman nobility from the coastal Pale in the War of the Roses greatly impaired English strength in Ireland. When Henry VII became King of England, he left Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th Earl of Kildale (d. 1513) as Viceroy of Ireland, although Kildare belonged to the Yorkist party. The assistance rendered by Kildare to the Yorkist pretenders, however, finally compelled the king to replace him in 1494 with the English soldier and diplomat, Sir Edward Poynings (1459-1521).

Poynings represented the purely English interest, as distinct from the Anglo-Norman interest, which up to that time had prevailed in Ireland. He at once summoned the Parliament of Drogheda, which enacted legislation providing for the defense of the Pale and the reduction of the power of the Anglo-Irish lords.

The nobility was forbidden to oppress the inferior baronage, to make exactions upon the tenantry, or to assemble their armed retainers. The Statute of Kilkenny, which compelled the English and Irish to live apart and prohibited Irish law and customs in the Pale, was confirmed. All state offices, including the judgeships, were filled by the English king instead of by the viceroys, and the entire body of English law was declared to hold for the Pale. Most important of all was the so-called Poynings Law, which made the Irish Parliament dependent on the English king by providing that all proposed legislation should first be announced to the king and meet with his approval, after which he would issue the license to hold Parliament.

Henry VII eventually re-established Kildare, the most powerful of the Irishs nobles, as viceroy and, under Kildare’s rule, the Pale grew and prospered. His family, the Geraldines, rebelled and was overthrown during the reign of King Henry VIII. When Henry VIII attempted to introduce the reformation into Ireland in 1537, the dissolution of the monasteries was begun. Somewhat later, relics and images were destroyed, and the dissolution was completed. A share of the spoils conciliated the native chieftains who received English titles, their lands being regranted under English tenure. It was Henry’s policy to conciliate the Irish and to leave them under their own laws. An English commission held courts throughout the island, but Irish right was respected, and the country remained peaceful. In the Parliament of 1541, attended for the first time by native chieftains, as well as by the lords of the Pale, Henry’s title of Lord of Ireland, which had been conferred by the papacy, was changed to King of Ireland.

 

 

Irish harpists were known throughout Europe as early as the 12th century. The most celebrated of these was the blind harper, Torlogh O’Carolan, or Carolan (1670-1738), who composed about 200 songs on varied themes, many of which were published in Dublin in 1720. About the same time, an annual folk festival called the feis was instituted and was de voted to the preservation and encouragement of harping. Irish folk music ranges from lullabies to drinking songs; many variations and nuances of tempo, rhythm and tonality are used. At the Belfast Harpers’ Festival in 1792, Edward Bunting (1773-1843) made a collection of traditional Irish songs and melodies, which he published in 1796. Thomas Moore, the great Irish poet, made extensive use of Bunting’s work in his well-known Irish Melodies, first published in 1807. Classical forms of music were not widely known in Ireland until the 18th century. Pianist John Field was the first Irish composer to win international renown, with his nocturnes. Michael William Balfe (1808-70) is well known for his opera, The Bohemian Girl. Among the most prominent of Irish performing artists was the concert and operatic tenor, John McCormack. Modern Irish musicians include U2, Christy Moore and Sinead O’Connor.

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