DYRA, of Callowbrack, Newport, County Mayo and in America.
ANNE MCDONNELL WAS MARRIED TO PATRICK DYRA OF SKIRDAGH
Patrick and Anne lived and worked the farm at Callowbrack before and after all the McDonnell sons and daughters had left.for England and America.
When Anne died in 1919 Patrick Dyra married Bridget Gorman.
Patrick Dyra died 9th. July 1954 aged 75.
Therefore born in 1879. Marriage certificate indicates 1881
Anne Dyra (McDonnell) born 5th. November 1882,died 28th. December 1919 aged 37.
Patrick and Anne were married 9th. February 1907.
Anne was aged 25 not 23 as indicated by 1911 census date.
Bridget Dyra (Gorman) died 4th. July 1964 aged 69, therefore born in 1895.
(Bridget Gorman was an only daughter and lived in Furnace)
PATRICK born 1879 or 1881 and died 9/7/1954 aged 73 or 75.
married 1907 aged 26 (marriage certificate date)
CHILDREN OF FIRST MARRIAGE.
JOHN P. b. 1908 mentioned on 1911 census, Tom Dyra said that John died in Chicago.
CATHERINE b. 1910 died 18/01/1989 - did not marry.
THOMAS b 1912 lived in London and died in 1999. Thomas married Mary Keane.
They had 2 children. Tom and Maureen - see details below
MICHAEL b 1914 died London June 1986 - did not marry.
MARY b 1916 died June 1991 (m. David Roettling).
Catherine lived with her stepbrother Frank in Chicago. She died in January 1988.
Anne Dyra ( nee McDonnell ) died in 1919.
Patrick Dyra's second marriage to Bridget Gorman was on 20th. December 1922 when she was aged 27. Bridget Dyra (Gorman) died 4th. July 1964 aged 69.Therefore born in 1895.
Depending on whether Patrick was born in 1879 or 1881, he would have been 41 or 43 at the time of his second marriage.
CHILDREN OF SECOND MARRIAGE.
ANNIE b. 25/9/1924.d. 20/7/1953 aged 28. Annie married Martin Keane, brother of Mary Keane, Tom Dyra's wife. Annie Dyra and Martin Keane were Belindas parents. Therefore, Belinda is connected twice to the Dyra family.
FRANK lives in Chicago U.S.A.
WILLIE (BILL) b. 12/5/1927 d. 07/09/1994.
NORA Nora is married to Joseph Coleman and live at Belcarra in Co. Mayo.
AGNES Agnes is married to Patrick O'Callaghan, lives in Harlesden, London N.W. 10 not far from where Tom Lived.
Agnes has two daughters - Marion and Angela.
JOE lived at Keel on Achill Island
The first time I met some of the Dyra family was in 1958 when I made my first visit to Ireland. I spent a few days in Sligo and then went down by bus to Newport where Willie Dyra met me and took me to stay with him and his mother at Callowbrack.
Willie's mother, who was Patrick Dyra's second wife, was a Bridget Gorman and was 63 years old in 1958 and she died in 1964.
( I could have got a lot of information in 1958 from Willies mother but I was not interested then. Just goes to show we should get as much as possible as soon as possible! )
I also met his brother Joe Dyra for the first time in 1987 on Achill Island.
It was Willie who first put us in touch with Tom in London in 1979 and also his brother Michael who subsequently died in June 1984.
A different missed opportunity to keep in contact with the Dyra family occurred in 1951.
Not long after my father John McDonnell died in 1950, we moved from our house at 13 Poole Road in Crossgates a few miles further away to 5 Redmire Drive at Seacroft.
It seems that Catherine Dyra, who lived in Chicago, was on a visit to Ireland and England and called in to see us at Poole Road. The people then living there could not or would not give her our new address so unfortunately we did not get to meet up with her.
Frank was able to give me the address of John and Tom Moran who are members of the Moran family. Tom and John live in Melbourne. When I visited Melbourne in May 1992 on a business trip I was able to make contact with them and they were very pleased to see me and made me feel very welcome. Unfortunately, Tom Moran died in about June 1995 just after he gave me details about a Paddy Flynn who lives in Dublin and does the Moran family tree. We were able to see Paddy Flynn whilst we were in Dublin.
Rona and I met Frank and Mary Dyra for the first time during our visit to America in June 1995. Frank took us to see an old lady named Barbara Moran who knew some of the McDonnell familywhen they lived in Chicago some years ago. Unfortunately, she had lost touch with them and as she was getting on in years could not remember vewry much about them . This Barbara Moran may have ben a cousin to another Barbara Moran who married our Uncle Tom McDonnell (McDonald). As well as a Barbara Moran marrying Tom a Thady and Honor Moran were baptismal sponsors for my father's (John McDonnell ) baptism in 1879.
Frank has four children - three girls and a son and count seven Grandchildren and we met some of them in June 1995.
Tom worked in England for quite a while after leaving Ireland and for some time in America. He now lives in a flat in London
Thomas Francis Dyra married Marian and have three children.Kevin, Daniel and Rachel.
Thomas and Marian Dyra live in, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire..
Maureen Dyra married Michael Harty and have three children.
Karen.Michael Morrewski with a Joshua James and live in London.
Louise lives in Ireland and Patricia in England
Maureen Harty also lives in, Cambridgeshire
Both Tom Dyra, and his step brother Frank Dyra in Chicago, have been invaluable to me in my quest for information about my McDonnell family and I have really made them scratch their memories for me. Without them I could not have found out as much as I have. It has been a privilege to know them as my cousins.
From Tom I was able to learn the circumstances of why my father, John McDonnell, left Ireland at such a relatively early age. Both Tom and Frank have related many more interesting snippets to me over the past few years.
One of very historic interest, even though it does not relate to my family is one of Tom's memories of when he was a ten year old boy attending the Treenbeg school in 1923. I cannot do better than repeat verbatim in Tom's own words what occurred on 22nd February 1923.
"On the 22nd. Day of February 1923, during the civil war, I was at school in Treenbeg, N.S. Early in the morning, Free State Army Soldiers had gone on to Shramore in search of I.R.A. explosives and the I.R.A. if they could find any of them.
We were at play when they were returning. As they were passing the schoolyard, they were fired on from the hill above the school. Master Gibbons called us into the school and we all lay on the floor near the wall facing the hill. Shortly after a soldier was carried in with gun wounds to his leg accompanied by a doctor. The doctor was called out again to attend a corporal Collins, as the doctor was crossing the yard he was hit by a bullet in the side. He was carried into the school. He was in great pain. After about three hours, a truce was fixed so we could go home. Corporal Collins died there. Doctor McQuade died next day in Castlebar Hospital. One time I was over there, Teddy Mulchrone told me he (the Doctor) was a step brother of Arch-Bishop McQuade who was in Dublin some years ago.
Less than two weeks later after, the area was covered with troops. It was the 7th Of March. Jim Moran from Shralogga was killed and his men captured. I can still memorize it all and Nellie Billy (Chambers) said the same as that"
This is the eye witness account of one incident during the 'Troubles' by a 10 year boy Tom Dyra in 1923.
Apropos to the story by Tom Dyra concerning the I.R.A. ambush in 1923, on page 36 of 'Back The Road' is the school photograph of the pupils who attended in 1923/34. Tom Dyra himself as well as his brother Mick and sister Mary are included as well as Master Gibbons and the two pupils Tom mentions viz. Teddy Mulchrone and Nell Chambers.
As well as being an eyewitness to history in the making, Tom Dyra has quite a way with poetic words about one of the places near Newport he loved as a boy. I am sure he would not mind me repeating it here and I dedicate it to his memory.
THE YELLOW RIVER
OWN BUCKAGH HILLSIDE THREE STREAMS DOWNWARD FLOW
SOMETIMES IN TORRENTS AT TIME S VERY SLOW
ON REACHING THE BOTTOM ALL WATERS DO MEET
TO FORM THE YELLOW RIVER. THEN ALL WATERS COMPETE
DOWNWARDS IT GOES FINDING ITS WAY
TILL IT REACHES LOUGH FURNACE. THAT FLOWS ON TOWARDS
CLEW BAY .
IT FLOWS NEATH THE BRIDGE OF THE ROAD TO SHRAMORE
TWO AND A HALF MILES FROM NEWPORT ITS PROBABLY MORE
IT WINDS ITS WAY DOWN THROUGH PASTURES OF GREEN
AS PEACEFULL A PLACE AS YOU'VE EVER SEEN
WHERE THE CATTLE THEY GRAZE ALL THROUGH THE DAY
AS THE WATERS OF THE YELLOW RIVER FLOW ON TOWARDS
NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER
YOU PLAINLY WILL SEE TWO ISLANDS
OF GREEN STANDING THERE SOLIDLY
A BREEDING GROUND FOR SEA BIRDS
THEY NEST ON THE GROUND
AND MANY ARE THERE ALL THE YEAR ROUND
THE SEAGULLS THEY SWIRL AND SCREECH
THROUGH THE DAY WHILE THE WATERS OF THE
YELLOW RIVER FLOWS ON TO CLEW BAY.