Thursday 26 April 2018

Bairbre Power: After binge-watching ‘The Crown’, I even started to speak like the Queen, but thankfully for my house guests, I lost my voice

Bairbre Power. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Bairbre Power. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

I spent the holidays with some powerful women, some by design, others by accidents of sorts, but it all turned out well in the end. The annual Christmas meet-up of the Power cousins was, as always, great fun and at the end of the night, after chatting with spouses, children, grandchildren and new members of the family, it was down to the four, gathered around a pot of tea and making plans for a road trip to Kerry which I suspect might just have to be routed through Clonmel.

Unlike my cousins, I haven't spent much time in Co Tipperary where our branch of the Power clan hail from, but from a distance, I've had an absolute fascination with how our ancestors survived the famine. Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea set in the backdrop of the Irish famine in Connemara is one of my all-time favourite books and when it comes to the Powers in Tipp, I've often wondered if they survived on fishing in the Nire Valley?

Going back further, what of the original Norman ancestors and our connections in Waterford and Brittany? Yes, I've a feeling this year is going to involve a good deal of research around family history. There's nothing quite like the challenge of going back in time with a family tree to give you a greater sense of self and purpose as you travel into the future.

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