A little bit Irish

IT’S been a while. Two months since my last post, to be precise; or as precise as a retired bloke can be reasonably expected to achieve.

Why the sulk? Well, we went away on holiday for a large chunk of June. Rhodes was hot; hotter even than Greeks reasonably expect at that time of the year. Some days it was as much as I could do to totter from pool to bar. Tough life.

I’ve been busy painting since we returned home. You are wondering at this point if spending time in the Greek sunshine has stirred a retired bloke’s artistic longings? I’ve been painting fences. Lots of them. More artisan than artist.

When we were in Greece, the United Kingdom held a referendum and voted to leave the European Union. The Daughter was less than delighted with the outcome. She, like many young people, sees the EU’s freedom of movement as a bonus rather than the threat perceived by so many older people who equate it with unlimited immigration.

We texted each other about the so-called Brexit. I had read that many young Brits of Irish descent, like The Daughter, were enquiring about the possibility of getting an Irish second passport, to protect their EU freedom of movement. We agreed that I would explore the situation.

Hence my latest retirement project; trying to find out more about my Irish ancestry. I knew that my grandfather, Edward Feeney, was born in Wales; it was his father, William Henry Feeney, who emigrated from Ireland in the middle of the 19th Century.

I’ve subscribed to a family history website and started my researches. So far, I’ve discovered that William Henry recorded his birthplace on various census returns as being Dublin, Belfast, and Trimley (or possibly Frimley). As far as I can ascertain from various Irish place-name sites, neither of these latter two even exist.

I begin to suspect this could take longer than I had anticipated.


4 thoughts on “A little bit Irish

  1. I choose to see this as an opportunity to establish landmark precedence in immigration jurisprudence. You’re not only opening up a door to citizenship based on generational boundaries, but apparently also to ancient geographic ones as well. International law will never be the same!

    Good luck. Hope you keep us posted. 😉


  2. Yes, I hope so too. I’ve worked out that I am probably one eighth Irish myself, as my father’s great grandfather came over in the Famine and he probably married an Irish girl in Wolverhampton. I hadn’t realised I might qualify for an Irish passport as a result!


    1. Hi Martin. I believe the rule is having an Irish-born grandparent (or in exceptional circumstances a great-grandparent) living at the time of your birth. As William Henry died in 1911 that leaves me (b: 1950) and The Daughter (b:1991) on the wrong side of this particular piece of Celtic history. Sounds to me like an opportunity for the Irish government to make a tidy sum from Brit Remainers by a judicious tweaking of the rules.


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