January 2018 commemorates the centenary passing of Maryanne OBrien (OLoghlen) who passed away during the first half of January 1918. Her death was probably connected to the ‘Spanish flu’ which caused as many if not more deaths as WW1 itself, following the return of WWI soldiers from various European battlefields to their native lands.
Maryanne was the daughter of John OBrien who resided at Toonagh, Dysart a few miles from Ennis, County Clare. While 2018 sees the centenary of Maryanne’s passing, almost a century earlier as a young child, she attended at Ennis Courthouse, held in the arms of her uncle and his group of OBriens who had arrived in Ennis, to cast their vote for Daniel OConnell who aspired to become MP for County Clare in 1828. Their votes helped to ensure OConnell won a famous victory, which eventually helped secure Catholic emancipation, where those of the Catholic tradition were entitled to take their seats at The House of Commons, Westminster from 1829.
Some three decades later, Maryanne married Peter OLoghlen, Ballyvaughan and she was known within her Ballyvaughan relations for guarding carefully her accumulated family papers, which were used by local historians such as George U Macnamara, when compiling and updating family trees. Her guardianship of such papers has also inspired family researchers in Australia, the USA and Ireland to fill some of the many gaps which exist within Clan history-folders.
The Clare Journal of 12th January 1918 noted that Maryanne was buried at Kilnaboy cemetery, County Clare.
Rosemary Gilligan, Seattle, USA
Michael OLoghlen, Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia
Peter OLoghlen, Ballyvaughan, County Clare
The Clare Journal, Ennis, County Clare