Work by author Peter Hennelly McLoughlin has done on sale
“Drummin Families of Oughaval, Co. Mayo,” a true celebration of people and place written by genealogist and author Peter Hennelly McLoughlin, has gone on sale.
It is often stated that we live on the dash between our birth date and our death date, but that dash represents a rich tapestry of folklore and family, as Mayo-based genealogist Peter can attest.
The Westport native has delved into the past and, over the course of five years, has painstakingly researched the homeplace of his late father, Tom McLoughlin, to create a chronicle of the Drummin area. If the past is black and white, then this book succeeds in colouring it in – in all its vibrancy.
This is the third book by the author. Following his 2014 debut ‘Partry People of Co. Mayo Family Histories 1856 and Beyond’, he turned his skills to the Ballina area where he now resides to research and pen ‘The People of Rathkip/Shanaghy, Ballina – 1855 and Beyond’ released in 2019. Following hot on its heels, this third and latest publication has firmly established him as a leader of genealogy.
Outlining the inspiration for the body of work, Peter stated: “This book really is a labour of love. My late father, Tom McLoughlin, was a proud native of Oughty, Drummin, and constantly quoted “All hearts were bright with pure delight in Drummin long ago.”
“Dad wore the original pride of place medal and like Carson Mc Cullers believed that “To know who you are, you have to have a place to come from.”
“To me the past creates the present and the future, a belief my late father, Tom McLoughlin, instilled in me from a young age, and this book was so important to me to revisit our past and as a way of honouring my Dad’s memory.”
Indeed the book explores a painful personal past for author, as he revisits the passing of his paternal grandmother who was fatally struck by lightening in 1920, aged just 45, and is just one of hundreds of deeply personal pictures from days gone by.
Through its pages are countless links of global interest to Drummin, including the story of Mayo All-Ireland 1950 and 1951 medal holder, Liam Hastings; the Carrowkennedy Ambush; the paths of high profile families including the Rings and Hughes; the personal story of Rachael Rollins, American lawyer and politician serving as District Attorney of Suffolk County in Massachusetts, and scientist Luke O’Neill’s own family footprint and much, much more.
The extensive collection of records builds on Peter’s experience as a teacher of history and features documents from the Giffith Valuation of the 1850s, the 1901 and 1911 census, to local media, church and state record and even into the modern era – a path its research journey has mirrored.
As the author added: “Starting any project like this means going back to the very beginning and piecing together records from the mid 1850s through the national archives, and then it really is a jigsaw effect.
“The final image started to take shape but was much easier to see with the ease and immediacy of social media – particularly as a result of the pandemic – corresponding with people all over the globe via social media became a huge research tool and I can really see how modern technology has evolved even since the release of ‘Partry People’ about my mother, Peggy Hennelly McLoughlin’s homeplace.”
With a beautiful and eye-catching cover design by Jon Berry, a cousin of the author, the publication is a real family affair.
The book is not just a one-stop-shop for history enthusiasts and those wishing to uncover their own links to the Drummin area, but is also designed as a starting point for others who wish to begin their own quest into their own ancestry.
“I hope that this book will inspire people who have roots in Drummin to compile their individual family trees and in that way record their ancestors for future generations.
“If we learn anything from the pandemic, let it be an awareness that what matters most is how we live and love and to acknowledge the people of the past and their individual dash for without them, we would not be here today. We need to remember that our present is going to be someone else’s past. What matters most is how we spend our dash,” concluded the author.
Despite the absence of an official book launch celebration, the response has been very positive with the first copies flying of shelves in Westport and Castlebar. Priced at €35, “Drummin Families of Oughaval, Co. Mayo” is now available to purchase in McLoughlin’s Bookshop, Westport, and Castle Books, Castlebar.
Peter can also be contacted directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Facebook at Pater Hennelly McLoughlin.