Characters, — April 29, 2009 20:59 — 0 Comments

Kissin’ Cousins

In my notes about my Devlin and Boyle Grandparents, I make some passing references to cousins, of which there were seventy-four, including my five sisters and me.

In the case of the Boyles, there were eventually fifty-two of these, although the thirty year span of their years of birth – 1934 to 1964 – meant that the earlier group of cousins (those born in the 1930s and early 1940s) had more in common with each other than with those born later.

 

In the case of the Devlins, the earliest of the twenty-eight cousins, Albert Roberts, who died tragically at age four in New York, was born in 1916 while the youngest, Brian Devlin, was born forty years later.

 

Our closest relationships were with the O’Reillys (we called them Reillys, without the "O") reflecting not only our closeness in age but also the close relationship of our mothers who as sisters had been born within a year of each other, and also the proximity of our homes which were only about a mile apart as the crow flies.

 

Some Boyle cousins lived in England and of these I met only a few, intermittently, in my youth, usually when they were visiting their grandparents.  Others I met later in life and yet others not at all.  Such was the span of age that in fact I was Godfather to two cousins, Josephine Gregory (nee O’Reilly) and Ann Conlon (nee Devlin).

 

The O’Callaghans lived in Camlough and I remember staying in their house occasionally before the family moved to Newry, where they had a greengrocer shop in Monaghan Street. Many of you are familiar with Brian.

 

… more later …

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