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Day 35 - The Great Hankie Theft

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View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Well today was always going to be about research and seeing if I could find any further information on Michael Flanagan.

First stop was the Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society. I was really looking to see if they had any publish material that I haven’t already found that could give me any more colour and movement about life in and around Clara around 1820’s. I wasn’t expecting to find any additional information on Michael or his parents or siblings than what I already had. There was not a lot to start with and I have gathered most of them. There was one book (Clara a pictorial record) that had a bit of information that I have p/c, but mostly it had photos of Clara around 1900 onwards. It contained a few mentions of Flanagan’s, but given the time difference, I could not say with any certainty that they were related.

Next stop was the library and again no additional gems to be found.

Afterwards I went off looking for a hankie I could buy. Michael was convicted of stealing a hankie from a drapper in Pound or Harbour Streets, Tullamore. For his troubles he was given a seven year vacation in Aiustralia. So I thought that it would be a nice symbolism to buy a hankie from a similar store in these streets. However no hankie was to be found and maybe their time has passed. Lots of pubs, hairdressers and bookies, but scant clothes shops for the discerning gentleman.

So in the late afternoon we made the drive to Clara just to get a feel for the place, with the expectation that we will return in a couple of days time.

First up was the Clara Bog, which is one of the few raised bogs in the world and listed as a reserve. It is also near the place where I think Michael may have lived. So in the distance I could see the green fields set just above the bog where the cows grazed contently. There was no spiritual moment and the hand of Michael did not come down from the heavens to say “welcome home my son”. Took the obligatory photos and did a walk around the bog.

After that we went to the old church that Michael would have been baptised in around 1811. It is now a community centre and the manager kindly took us through to the baptismal font, which was just a small nook built into the wall. Again no sign from above. For Flanagan Family readers I don’t have a photo to post, as my camera didn’t work for some reason. However Lee-ann has a shot that I will make available when I get home.

We headed back to Tullamore for dinner and on the way home passed a hurling match. So we stopped to watch the game for a while. It was a second division game been two local townland teams.

Tomorrow we go to Daingean, which is the place where Michael was sentenced and gaoled.

Posted by Neileeann 17:00 Archived in Ireland

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