McGrath descendants hope to reconnect with their Carrick-on-Suir roots

Sixty members of a family with a common link to Carrick-on-Suir gathered for a reunion recently and are hoping to trace any relatives still living in the town.

Sixty members of a family with a common link to Carrick-on-Suir gathered for a reunion recently and are hoping to trace any relatives still living in the town.

The Lahert, Brady, Clarke and Brennan families from Dublin, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and Waterford - all descendants of Richard McGrath from Carrick-on-Suir -gathered at Dundrum House Hotel in Dundrum village for the reunion last month.

They are the sons, daugthers, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of Richard McGrath from Carrick-on-Suir and Agnes McNamee from Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim and have been meeting every two years for the last 23 years to keep in touch.

Dubliner Helen Lahert, whose mother Joan was one of Richard McGrath’s five daughters, said they hoped there were relations of theirs left in Carrick-on-Suir that they might be able to contact and recononect with.

She has a photograph of her grandfather and other members of his family taken on Main Street in Carrick-on-Suir around 1910, which might help in tracing any long lost relatives.

The same photograph is actually published in the autobiography of the famed Carrick-on-Suir folk singer Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers, whose family was related to the McGraths.

“My mother had a copy of this photograph in the house when we were growing up and she had written all the names on the back. The photograph includes the parents of the Clancy Brothers and my grandfather and great grandmother.

“My mother spent some of the best times of her youth in Carrick-on-Suir, particularly after her father Richard died when she was 15 years old. She always spoke fondly of the summers she spent there and the two shops side by side on Main Street where the Clancys and McGraths lived.”

Helen’s mother Joan has sadly passed away as have two of her other sister Aggie and Maureen. Her surviving sisters Eileen and Rita attended the family reunion.

She said at previous reunions they had branches of their extended family over from the US and England.

“I suppose the interesting thing is that we have been doing the reunions for so long. The fact that different branches of the family take it in turns to organise the reunions means it’s not an imposition on anybody. Thanks to them my kids know my first cousins and the next generation are beginning to know each other. They would be people, who would otherwise pass each other on the street. We also have a Facebook page to family to link up in between,” said Helen, whose father’s family hails from Killenaule.

Any Carrick-on-Suir relatives who wish to make contact with the McGrath clan can do so be contacting Helen Lahert on (086)8507961.