Places, — October 7, 2009 1:01 — 0 Comments

Downshire Court Revisited

The following is the contents of an email we received as a result of our photo of Downshire Court. The Berni who signed it is pictured with Marie Harte and her daughter Kathy O’Reilly and our own Mariea Harte of these pages!

‘My name is Bernadette Saunders and I live in North Wales.


For the last few years I have been researching my family tree, in particular on my mother’s side because she died when I was ten and I knew very little of her background.


I found that I had cousins in Newry and I contacted and then visited them!


I discovered that my mother had been born on 3 March 1926 at 6 Downshire Court and was baptised the following day in the Cathedral. 


My mother was Elizabeth daughter of Alfred Fulton and of his wife Catherine (formerly McKevitt) and had two sisters Kathleen and Mary.’


Mariea Harte continues,


‘Kathleen Fulton, Berni’s aunt was my gran. She died when I was seven and I never then got to know anything about her family. Berni’s mum Elizabeth was my great aunt. Through Genes Reunited Berni and I got to know each other. I put her in contact with two of her first cousins and a number of her second and third cousins. 


The photo here was taken in my aunt’s house in Newry. I am on the left, then Kathy O’Reilly (my second cousin) Berni and finally Marie Harte, my aunt. 


We have connections with the Kelly family of High Street, the McKevitt family, also of Hight Street and Castle Street and the Fulton family formerly of Downshire Court and Linenhall Square.’

Finally an anonymous contributor reflects on Downshire Court of long ago:


‘To us boys of the early 40s this Court was known as Minnie Henry’s Entry.


Minnie was the proprietoress of the little shop shown, where she sold bread, cigarettes and candles etc. for the convenience of local householders – and where she kept a treasure trove, for Minnie had a store of pre-War items unobtainable elsewhere : percussion caps for toy pistols – and for two kinds of ‘bombs’ – 2d squibs. We had a childish love of loud bangs.


She had cheap marbles (darnies) made from brown ceramic that died with a crunch if trodden on.


And targets of cardboard mounted on the handle of liquorice with a pin on an elastic string to shoot at the rings.


Invariably it was held carelessly so that the first shot went straight into one’s thumb.


Innocent but beautiful memories’.

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