Soldier, scholar and noble doctor
Madam – The heading of Ulick O'Connor's excellent and informative article, 'A soldier scholar' (Sunday Independent, December 30, 2012), caught my attention and it brought home to me the effort that the people of the late 19th century put into preserving our ancient culture.
I speak of Doctur Donal Ui Loinsaigh, born in Coole in 1842 and died in 1913. He was chosen in 1900, together with Padraig Pearse, Douglas Hyde, Doctor Hickey from Maynooth and Eoin MacNeill – the subject of the excellent article in your paper – to represent the Irish at the first Celtic Convention in Paris.
The above-mentioned Dr Lynch was my grandfather. Unfortunately, I never met him, but he left a long-term mark on Coolea, Ballyvourney and Muskerry.
The hundredth anniversary of his death is approaching and we are helping to honour his memory. We, his relatives, presented a trophy, Corn an Doctur Ui Loinsaigh, which is competed for each year for sean-nos singing.
His life as a soldier was spent in the Pope's army and he fought in the Crimean War, was taken prisoner, escaped and fought in the Franco-Prussian War. He went from there to America, later returning to Ireland, having made money in the States, then qualified as a medical doctor in Queens University College, Cork. He spent the rest of his life as medical officer in Ballyvourney and never ceased to improve the lot of his people.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
Macroom, Co Cork