I am very proud to be half Irish, from my mother’s side of the family. My ancestors arrived in England during the Potato Famine. The one I know most about is Patrick Lawler. He was red-haired and illiterate. I do not know whereabouts in Ireland he was from. My mother’s family were pure Irish, as the community tended to stick together, and there was little intermarriage between Catholics and Protestants, as it was really frowned on. Mum’s maiden name was Coyne, and her father was Peter Coyne, her mother’s maiden name was Lawler.
I am beginning to find myself writing more about the Irish Diaspora. I wish I knew more about Partrick Lawlor; he is something of a legend in the family. Mum told me he should have inherited a farm but he could not be found when his parents died. I was talking to someone recently in Oxford and he thought it was likely that Patrick found work building the roads.