Click here to edit subtitle

The Coghlans of Skibbereen

I am trying to trace the history of the Coghlan/Coughlans of Co Cork and am particularly interested in my own SKIBBEREEN branch of the Coghlan family through my Grandfather, COL. DANIEL COGHLAN (1881 - 1962), who was born in SKIBBEREEN and died in Stillorgan, Dublin. He was a remarkable man with a fascinating story including a friendship with MICHAEL COLLINS which you can read about via the link below to a newspaper article which appeared in the Irish Independent in 1967.

His brother DAVID 'TONE' JOSEPH COGHLAN (1898 - 1961) married RITA O'RIORDEN and owned the racehorse Mr What when it won the Grand National in 1958 and came 3rd in 1959, as well as Careys Cottage when it was 3rd in 1955. He went to America in 1916 but returned in 1938. 'His horse won the Grand National 'at ease' winning by thirty lengths, a record for the National. Another record was the winnings, which amounted to £13,744, the largest prize distributed so far as a first prize. Mr What was trained by Mr Taffe in Rathcoole. In Skibbereen town the bookies were disgorging for nearly a fortnight and bookies across Ireland that never in the history of their 'profession' did its members receive such a keelhauling. 'Tone' was the recipient of a gay reception in Skibbereen. A band met his family party at the outskirts of the town. There was a reception held at the West Cork Hotel.

The visit was made an occasion for presenting him with a scroll, setting out his Fathers contribution to the National cause in days dark and evil.' This was DANIEL COGHLAN (1844 - 1911) of Skibbereen (My Great Grandfather) who was a Boot & Shoe Maker on Bridge Street (with a pub in the back)and who was married to ELLEN COLLINS.

His father, (my Great, Great Grandfather) was MICHAEL COGHLAN, a labourer (there was a Michael Coghlan living in the Coronea area of Skibbereen according to Griffiths 1848-1864 ). Ellens father was DENIS COLLINS, a farmer from Corron, nr Leap, Co.Cork.

I would love to hear from any Coghlans or Coughlans with roots in Skibbereen.

UPDATE Sept '06

Just got back from SKIBBEREEN where I visted the Heritage Centre. There I found the entry for DANIEL & ELLEN in the 1901 Census. He is listed as a Bootmaker aged 59, so born in 1844, the year before the Famine started. ELLEN is 44 making her born in 1857. The address is 25 Bridge Street, Skibbereen

There are nine children listed, RICHARD AGED 22,(a Schoolteacher), MARY AGED 17, MICHAEL AGED 16 (a 21 year old Michael Coughlan from Skibbereen is listed as landing at Ellis Island N.Y on June 27, 1906 on the ship Carmania - is this him, the age and location fit?), JAMES PATRICK AGED 14, ELLEN AGED 12, MARGARET AGED 10, HANNAH AGED 5, DAVID JOSEPH AGED 3, PATRICK JOSEPH AGED 10 DAYS.

Also included is a brother of Daniels, ANDREW, a retired Postman aged 77. Which means there were 12 people living in 5 rooms plus the shop/pub underneath. My Grandfather DANIEL is not listed as he was working in Clerkenwell, London as a letter sorter at the time of the Census. RICHARD is listed in GUYS Postal Directory for 1914 as living in the house on Bridge Street and also as President of the Skibbereen Gaelic Football and Hurling Clubs.

After visiting the Heritage Centre, which is in Upper Bridge Street I only had to go a few hundred yards to find myself in Bridge Street. I got chatting to a little old lady who told me she could remember the Coughlans from years ago, although they were all gone now, and took me to the house she remembered them from - it was No 25! It is only 2 doors away from The Eldon Hotel where MICHAEL COLLINS had his last meal and left for his fateful journey to Beal-na-Blath in 1922.