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THE DUNCULLEN SAGA

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Road Trip!

I caught a leprechaun!

Do you believe in synchronicity? Like when you’re thinking of someone you haven’t seen in ages, and out of the blue, they call you.

Well, with all the online research I was doing on Nicholas Sheehy for my book, Aroon, it came to pass that my sister and her family were taking a two-week vacation in Ireland. When I asked my mom (who was also going) what the chances were they would stop by any of the places I was investigating, she said, “Why don’t you come?”

What’s the likelihood a timely opportunity like that would arise?

I won’t go into the many reasons I had no business taking such a trip at that time. Let’s just say that at my family’s urging, I went.

My sister planned an amazing trip. We did not take a pre-packaged tour since she and her husband had already done that. She rented two houses–a farmhouse for one week in Kilmacthomas of County Waterford and, for the second week, a cottage by the sea in Donegal.

Kilmacthomas is a pretty short drive from Clonmel, the largest town of County Tipperary. That’s where Father Sheehy was tried and hanged. While they toured the area, I went off on my own to interview the museum curator and a local historian. Very, very cool.

The most poignant moment of the fortnight for me was in a cemetery outside the small town of Clogheen. After discovering Father Nicholas Sheehy in a few lines of a book, and weeks of researching and studying him, I stood alone on a windy, overcast day with my hand resting on his tomb. Someone I had not even heard of months before.



The tomb of Father Nicholas Sheehy



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