Rose Coyne's 1949 trip to Ireland

In 1949, Rose Coyne made a grand tour of Europe, visiting England, France and Italy with American Express Tours. Before the tour, she went to Ireland and spent two weeks there, visiting the places where her parents spent their early years, in Sligo and Donegal. These photos, and Rose's journal, are from that trip.

After disembarking from the SS America at Cobh, County Cork on Monday, June 27, 1949, Rose and her friend Margaret Griffin visited Blarney Castle. The next morning, they took the train for Killarney and visited Muckross Abbey by jaunting car. On Wednesday, they traveled by jaunting car, trap and rowboat to see the Lakes of Killarney. On Thursday they travelled to Ardmore, and Friday they visited Margaret's relatives in Ring. They went to Clonmel to visit Mrs. McGrath.
On Saturday they arrived in Dublin, and checked into the Royal Hibernian Hotel. Sunday, they travelled in a deluxe motorbus to Glendalough, and stopped at St Kevin's Kitchen for lunch. They left Dunlaughrie after visiting Mrs Forsythe (Mrs. Spinelli's sister-in-law). After sightseeing in Dublin on Monday, Rose took the train to Sligo on Tuesday, and checked into the Great Southern Hotel. On Wednesday, Rose went to Ballymote by bus and hired a taxi to visit relatives named Coen and Hearn in Ballymote and Tubbercurry.

Irish Ladies Thatched Cottage

This was the first picture in Rose's album. It seems much older that the others, and the ladies are not identified. Perhaps it was sent from Ireland to Rose's parents.


Rose doesn't say whose house this is - perhaps she just thought it was pretty.

Fair Day in Tubbercurry Fair Day in Tubbercurry

Rose wrote to her brother: You should have seen me yesterday when I got off the bus all alone in Ballymote. It was fair day and the square (they have no sidewalks) was teeming with cattle, sheep, horses, and donkeys. The pigs, thank goodness, were kept squealing in the wagons, no trucks here. For self protection I jumped into a tailor shop and there hired a fellow to drive me to Doocastle.


Although the pictures are labeled Tubbercurry, they are of Ballymote.

Tubbercurry Church Coens

At Doocastle, Rose met Mrs. Sheehan, her first cousin, her little boy Tony (about eight), and her brother. Mrs Sheehan lived in a typical thatched cottage (perhaps the one above?), but would not show Rose the inside. She said the house was too upset for a Yank to see. Here they stand in front of the church Rose's father Patrick attended in Tubbercurry.

Mrs. Sheehan took Rose to see an old lady named Cooke who remembered Rose's father (Parick Coyne) very well. She said Patrick was considered a great scholar and very clever. Rose went to see the store Patrick managed in Tubbercurry. Of course, she said, it has long since been owned by strangers. At the time of the Black and Tan warfare it was demolished and has been rebuilt.

Mr and Mrs Cooke with Rose Mr and Mrs Cooke

Mr and Mrs Cooke


Coen cousins - are these Mrs Sheehan and her brother?

Tony Sheehan Sheehans

Written on the back - Tony Sheehan


This seems to be Mrs Sheehan, Tony, and their donkey and cart.

Glenties Glenties

Rose took a bus from Sligo to Donegal, then to Glenties. She stayed at Cannon's Hotel, owned by her mother's relatives named Cannon.


The countryside around Glenties.

Glenties Glenties

The Glenties scenery


Postcard of Glenties

Narin Glenties

This postcard of Narin came some years later from Sister Rita, an Irish nun who was a cousin of Rose. She may have been related to Father John Cunningham as well. On the back she wrote: Here is the spot where your lovely mother was born.


The Catholic Church at Glenties. Rose arranged to have a Mass said for her mother.

Cannons Cannons

Tom Cannon in front of his hotel in Glenties, with Canon Cunningham. How are they related to Rose?


Tom and his wife with Father Cunningham. Tom and Rose motored to Portnoo to visit his sister Mrs. Nicholson. Portnoo is on the coast, next to Narin.

Cannons Mr and Mrs Cooke with children

Mr and Mrs Cannon, Rose, and Father Cunningham. Rose left the next day for Belfast by bus


Mrs Cooke and children. Rose is on the end at the right.

From Belfast on Sunday, July 10, Rose took the train to Newry, the bus for Dundalk, changing at Droghety, and arriving in Dublin after 8 hours of travel. After some sightseeing in Dublin Monday, she and Margaret boarded a boat at Holyhead to get the train to London and meet up with their tour group. They went on to Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Lucerne, Interlaken, Milan, Venice, Florence, Siena, Perugia, Rome, Naples, Genoa, Nice, Marseilles, Paris, and Cherbourg. They sailed on the Queen Mary for New York on August 20.
Imagine doing such a tour, just three and a half years after the end of the war! Rose never lost her adventurous spirit, and enjoyed traveling all her life.