Category Archives: Muintir Luinigh Matters

Space Shuttle Flight Director Bryan Lunney Retires

Space Shuttle Flight Director Bryan Lunney served his last shift at Mission Control on March 7, 2011, concluding a 22-year career at NASA. Bryan directed almost 50 space shuttle missions and logged over 300 shifts directing the International Space Station (ISS). Lunney is leaving NASA and joining Odyssey Space Research, an engineering analysis firm, and Firestar Technologies, specializing in propulsion and power systems.

A second generation NASA Flight Director, Bryan followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Glynn Lunney, who was Flight Director for Apollo Program moon missions.

During a press conference Monday to discuss the final flight of space shuttle Discovery, Flight Director Bryan Lunney spoke about about the legacy of his Onyx Flight team at NASA:

Onyx Flight is my flight director team color, for those who don’t know, named somewhat after my father’s team, who was Black Flight,” said Lunney. “So I wanted to stick with the family tradition to some extent there.”…”What is my legacy? Hopefully a good one. I came into this program to hopefully make this a better place, this world a better place for my kids. I think what we do here at NASA does that and I hope I contributed my piece to that.”…”I got a lot of help when I was growing up over the last 10 years, my first 10 years here. I hope I paid that back and helped evolve some of the younger folks who came through…”…”I wanted to hand down that torch, so to speak. And I tell you, looking around either control room today, there’s not as much gray hair as perhaps on my head, but there’s some extremely competent individuals who have come in.”…”Maybe, I like to think,” Lunney said, “a little piece of my legacy in station was to help those flight controllers who do such a fabulous job today. Maybe I was a little bit helpful getting them along on their way.”

Earlier Monday, before his Orbit 1 shift ended, Lunney was celebrated by his fellow flight controllers and by the crew of Discovery from orbit. “I’ve known Bryan for years and years, working with him for years and years, through the Astronaut Office, through various roles, and of course, as our lead on this flight,” radioed Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey to Mission Control. “Bryan has just been a great friend and a terrific flight director and a leader.”… “He pulled this mission together and made it all happen. Kept us all focused and working on the plan and working to the plan and when the plans changed and we went through multiple flight plans, he kept the team focused and just showed true leadership throughout.”…”We’re going to really miss him. I know you guys are, too. And Bryan, it was just an absolute pleasure to work with you and we wish you the best of luck in your new career,” said Lindsey. “It’s been a hoot,” responded Lunney. “You guys obviously have been really great to work with.”…”I really enjoyed working with you on this flight and over the years, all of you and your crew. Couldn’t have had a better choice for my last flight. Thanks very much,” said Lunney.

“Today we retire the call sign Onyx Flight,” chief flight director John McCullough said. “Twenty-two years in the agency with nearly 50 flights on the shuttle side and over 300 shifts on the station side, kind of appropriate he’s working the Orbit 1 shift at night again closing it out.”…”We just want to say thank you very much for all that you’ve done and best wishes on everything you hope to accomplish in the future,” said McCullough.

“It has always been a pleasure to come to work to be with people like you guys, even when it was that midnight shift,” Lunney said, addressing the crowd of flight controllers who had gathered in the shuttle flight control room. “I am honored and privileged to be able to do this the last 22 years.”…”I look forward to the next phase in my career. It is going to be something completely different but it will be fun, too. But I don’t think it will be anything like what I’ve gotten the opportunity to do here.”…”It has been an amazing opportunity and I’m just thrilled to have that opportunity. I owe it to each and every one of you all for that. You are guys are awesome, this agency is awesome and MOD [the Mission Operations Directorate] is awesome. So I very much appreciate it and I look forward to working with you guys in the future,” Lunney said.

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Lunney House Museum – Seneca, SC

If you are planning a road trip this year, you should visit the Lunney House Museum in Seneca, South Carolina. The Lunney House has been completely restored to its original 1909 appearance, and has re-opened for regular visiting hours.

The Lunney House was built by Dr. William and Lillian (Mason) Lunney, and was occupied by Mrs. Lunney until 1969. The stately Queen Anne Arts & Crafts “bungalow” is on the National Register of Historic Places. Seneca, SC is located near I-85 in the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Clemson University and several major parks and lakes.

Address: 211 West South 1st Street, Seneca, SC 29678 · Get Map & Directions

Hours: Thursday through Sunday; 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Phone: 864-882-4811

Lunney House Museum on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/LunneyHouseMuseum

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Writing Irish History

A medieval member of the Mhuintir Luinigh is featured in an on-line exhibition sponsored by the Irish Franciscans, the Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín (Rory O’Lunney) of Innismore (Great Island) in Loch Erne in County Fermanagh, was the principal seanchaidh (historian and scribe) of Annála Uladh (the Annals of Ulster). This medieval chronicle, one of the regional Irish annals, covers events that occurred in the northern half of Ireland between the years 431 and 1504 AD.  They record the deaths of important churchmen, the reigns of kings and other significant persons and events. Pages from Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín’s original handwritten manuscript are on display at Dublin in the Trinity College Library, and are one of Ireland’s greatest historical treasures.

Some scholars believe that Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín’s beautiful script (shown above) inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Elvish” caligraphy in his Lord of the Rings novels.

Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, who died in 1528, was a member of a famous learned family, the hereditary historians to The Maguire’s of Fermanagh. Historians like Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín were members of the courts of the medieval Irish aristocracy. They sustained important schools of learning, were the hereditary keepers of medieval churches and lands, and possessed extensive lands and other wealth in their own right as a consequence of their profession and the nobility that it conferred.

Practitioner of seanchas, like Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, were known as a seanchaidh (professional historian), and continued many of the scholarly roles once performed by the druidic poets of pre-Christian Ireland.  Briefly defined, seanchas was the narrative memory of Irish history, as preserved and written from the early medieval period of Ireland. Seanchas recorded the many important traditions of the Irish, their origins and genealogies and their leaders and political landscape.

Link to the on-line exhibit: Writing Irish History

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The Lunneys of Molly Mtn., County Fermanagh and their descendants in Ireland and in the United States

The Lunney family of Molly Mountain, Derrylin, County Fermanagh are the descendants of Owen Lunney and his wife, Ellen Cassidy.  Their descendants live (or lived) in Derrylin, Kinawley and Dublin, Ireland, and also live (or lived) in the United States, in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, New York and Virginia.

 Photo of Derrylin, County Fermanagh

I have posted a copy of a detailed history and genealogy for this extended Lunney family, which you can access at the following link:

THE LUNNEYS OF MOLLY, COUNTY FERMANAGH AND THEIR DESCENDANTS IN IRELAND AND IN THE UNITED STATES by Mary Lyden 1988

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Missing Mhuintir Luinigh Legacy Found?

One of the perplexing mysteries about the O’Luinigh of Tyrone is what happened to their written records from the period 1200 to 1607.  We know that Turlough Luineach was raised by the O’Luinigh beginning around 1537, and reigned as The O’Neill Mor of Tyrone from his home in the Mhuintir Luinigh until his death in 1595.  Upon his death, he was praised as having been the greatest patron of the ollavs (scholars and historians) in all Ireland.  So what happened to all of the material written by these ollavs in the Mhuintir Luinigh.  Another mystery is that Hugh O’Neill spent two weeks in the Mhuintir Luinigh just before he fled Ireland in 1607.  O’Neill had been Turlough Luineach’s, Turlough’s sons’ and his wife’s family, the Argyle Campbell’s, enemy…supposedly.  I have long suspected that O’Neill was there to make amends with his "cousins", prepare for his flight from Ireland, and to gather up the legacy of The O’Neill’s of Tyrone to take to safety on the Continent.

 
Doing some research about the Irish priests who came to Florida with the early Spanish explorers and settlers, I discovered that many of the ollavs and a great hoard of their documents were in fact brought to the Continent during the Flight of the Earls, but not to Rome with Hugh O’Neill.  Apparently, most of this hoard of documents ended up at the Irish colleges at Louvain, Belgium and at Salamanca, Spain. 

 
With the outbreak of the French Revolution, the collection of Irish manuscripts at Louvain was moved to St Isidore’s College, Rome in 1792, and there remained until it was removed to the Franciscan Friary at Merchants’ Quay Dublin in 1872. A new Franciscan Library was established at Dún Mhuire in 1946, and all Irish manuscripts in Franciscan hands were then stored there. In November 2000, they were housed under the curatorship of University College Dublin, where they remain today, are now available to "select scholars."  The Irish College at Salamanca, Spain closed in 1951.  50,000 documents accumulated since its founding in 1592 were transferred to Maynooth College in Ireland.  This treasure trove of manuscripts includes those from other Irish colleges in Spain and Portugal: Lisbon, Valladolid, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares.

 

So, as the old saying goes, the "missing" documents have been "hiding in plain sight" at University College Dublin and at Maynooth, locked up in their archives and available only to selected "scholars".  Knowing the pace of scholarship regarding ancient manuscripts written in "old" Irish, I despaired of ever learning what secrets lay buried in those archives.  However, St Patrick’s College at Maynooth, has announced the launch of the Salamanca Papers Catalogue Project. The Salamanca Papers contain the archives of the Irish colleges in Spain from 1592 to the middle of the twentieth century, and are now the property of the Irish Episcopal Conference.    The St. Patrick’s College archivist, Susan Leyden, is heading the project, and aims to have it completed by 2011. The catalogue will be made available on-line and some of the collection’s key documents will be digitized and presented on the web.  So there is some hope.

 

It is ironic that my research into Irish priests in colonial Spanish Florida would lead full circle back to Ireland today, and perhaps to the "missing" written legacy of the Mhuintir Luinigh.

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St. Patrick and our ancestors

Two of our early Irish ancestors supposedly knew Saint Patrick. High King Niall of the Nine Hostages of Tara captured St. Patrick in Britain in 403 AD, took him to Ireland, and sold him into slavery. King Eoghain of Aileach, a son of High King Niall, was converted to Christianity and baptized by St. Patrick at the Grianan Aileach in 450 AD.

 

St. Patrick was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland in the year 387, and died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17, 493. His birth name was “Maewyn Succat” (Latin: Magonus Succetus), and his parents were named Calphurnius and Conchessa. His father belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio. His mother was a close relative of St. Martin of Tours in Gaul. When Patrick was sixteen, Irish raiders, led by our ancestor King Naill of the Nine Hostages, captured him and took him to Ireland, where he was sold as a slave to a chieftan named Milchu in Dalriada in County Antrim. There, for six years, he tended his master’s flocks in the valley of the Braid and on the slopes of Slemish, near the modern day town of Ballymena. After six years of captivity, he fled from his cruel master and headed towards the west. He relates in his "Confessio" that he had to travel about 200 miles, probably to Westport. He found a ship there ready to set sail, and after some rebuffs was allowed on board. In a few days, he was back among his family and friends in Britain.

 

Patrick devoted the next few years to study in Britain and Gaul to become a Christian priest. It is the tradition of the Morini that Patrick under St. Germain’s guidance for some years was engaged in missionary work among them. When Germain was commissioned by the Pope to proceed to Britain to combat the teachings of Pelagius, he chose Patrick to be one of his missionary companions. In Britain, Patrick’s thoughts often turned towards Ireland. He often had dreams of the children of Ireland, who cried to him: "O holy youth, come back to Erin, and walk once more amongst us." Pope Celestine I  entrusted  St. Patrick with the mission of gathering the Irish into the Church.  It was on March 26, 433 that St. Patrick arrived at the Hill of Slane, across the Bourne valley from Tara, and on the summit of the hill he kindled the legendary Paschal fire, beginning his long mission to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.

 

The ninth century hagiography Bethu Phátraic (Tripartite Life of Patrick) narrates a circuit said to have been made by Saint Patrick around the northern half of Ireland in the fifth century. It contains an account telling how, in 450 A.D., our ancestor King Eoghain mac Naill of Aileach (a son of King Niall Noígiallach a/k/a Niall of the Nine Hostages of Tara), went to meet Patrick at a place (now unknown) called Fid Mór (Great Boundary Tree) somewhere near the Grianan Aileach. In the account, Eoghain leaves his fortress the Grianan Aileach to meet Patrick at the boundary of his kingdom, where during their conversation, Eoghain complains of his own ugliness. Patrick covered Eoghain and a handsome youth with a sheet, whereupon they fall asleep, so that when Eoghain awoke, he found that he had acquired the handsome looks of the youth. Eoghain then complained about his lack of height. Patrick asked Eoghain to indicate his desired height with an outstretched arm, whereupon Eoghain immediately grew to that height. These miracles accomplished, they then proceeded to the Grianan Aileach, where Eoghan was baptised a Christian by St. Patrick.

 

The Lunney Family standing inside the Grianan Aileach

where their ancestor Eoghain was baptised by St. Patrick

 

On departing to continue his journey, Patrick left a flagstone and prophesied that the Eoghain’s descendants, the kings of Aileach would rule over all Ireland. This flagstone can no longer be found at the fortress. It is believed that a preserved flagstone at Belmont House School in Derry, called St. Columb’s Stone, is this inauguration stone. On one side of the stone, which is 2 metres square, are carved two feet marks. However, there is no substantiating evidence to back this up. The details of this account are clearly apocryphal, being typical of the legends attached to the early saints in hagiographical literature; however, the basic outline of the account appears to be substantiated. An “Eogan i Fid Mór (Eoghan at Great Boundary Tree)” incident is referenced in eighth century notulae (brief notes) contained within the Book of Armagh, that act as an index to a lost collection of early traditions relating to Patrick, and so the account can be seen to reflect a more authentic early tradition, of which we can say no more.

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Glenelly Historical Society Website

The Glenelly Historical Society of the Glenelly Valley in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland has a very interesting website:

http://www.fuls.org.uk/glenellyhistorical/index.html

"Glenelly Historical Society was established in the spring of 2006 by a group of enthusiastic people who shared a common interest in the history of Upper Badoney (Bodoney). They were aware that visitors to the area, whether passing through, or returning to their homeplace often had a much greater appreciation of what it is that makes Upper Badoney (Bodoney) special!  Glenelly Historical Society is always pleased to welcome and correspond with those who have an interest in our history. They are particularly keen to hear from those from further afield for whom Upper Badoney (Bodoney) is their native home or the birthplace of their ancestors. Glenelly Historical Society is affiliated to the Federation of Ulster Local Studies and is pleased to liase with other like- minded, fellow member groups with a common interest in the study of local history."

 

Having spent time in the Glenelly Valley with my family, I can vouch for the fact that it is every bit as special and wonderful a place as their website represents.
 

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Flax Growers in Ireland in 1796

Extracts from the Flax Growers Bounty List of 1796

 

The Irish Linen Board published a list of nearly 60,000 individuals in 1796. Spinning wheels were awarded based on the number of acres planted. People who planted one acre were awarded 4 spinning wheels and those growing 5 acres were awarded a loom. Donegal and Tyrone had the highest number of awards. Dublin and Wicklow were not included in this list. These extracts contain the name, parish and county.

 

NAME

PARISH

COUNTY

Lunin, Patrick, Sr.

Louth

Louth

Lunnin, Patrick, Jr.

Louth

Louth

Lunnin Peter

Faughart

Louth

Lunnin James

Louth

Louth

Lunnin Patrick

Philipstown

Louth

Lunnin, James, Sr.

Louth

Louth

Lunnin Thomas

Louth

Louth

Lunnin, Henry

Louth

Louth

Lunnin, Owen

Faughart

Louth

Lunnin, Henry

Roche

Louth

Lunnin, Patrick

Louth

Louth

Lunnin, Michael

Faughart

Louth

Lunnin, Philip

Cleenish

Fermanagh

Lunnin, Patrick

Faughart

Louth

Lunnon, William

Cleenish

Fermanagh

Lunny, Terence

Kinawley

Fermanagh

Lunny, Patrick

Rossorry

Fermanagh

Lunny, Edward

Cleenish

Fermanagh

Lunny, Philip

Kinawley

Fermanagh

Lunny, Robert

Killesher

Fermanagh

Lunny, Patrick

Cloonclare

Leitrim

Lunny, Thomas

Killesher

Fermanagh

Lunny, Hugh

Cleenish

Fermanagh

Luny, John

Tullycorbet

Monaghan

 

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Nov. 14, 2009 Interview with Donal Lunny

 
 
Renowned musician and composer Donal Lunny, presently "artist in residence" at the University of Limerick, was interviwed by the Irish Times on November 14, 2009:
 
 
 

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Lunneys of Estate Anguilla plantation on St. Croix USVI

Looking through the immigration records from Ellis Island, New York, I noticed several Lunneys emigrating from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.  I did some further research and found out that these Lunneys were the last owners of the Estate Anguilla sugar plantation and rum distillery on St. Croix:
Francis Lunney arrived on St. Croix in 1872 at the age of 17.  His place of origin was listed only as “Ireland”.  By 1880, Francis Lunney was manager of the 1240 acre Estate Anguilla plantation and its 150 employees.  By 1901, Francis Lunney was recorded in the census as the “planter” and “owner” of Estate Anguilla plantation.  He and his family would live on St. Croix until 1921, when Frank and the last of them emigrated to New York through Ellis Island.
Census Records for the Lunney’s of Estate Anguilla on St. Croix:
 

Year

Name Sex Age Occupation Household Address Location
1880 Francis Lunney Male 25 manager 2 Kings Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 F Lunney Male 49 planter 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 Louise M. Lunney Female 39 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 James A Lunney Male 8 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 William H Lunney Male 34 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 Eva Louise Lunney Female 7 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 Robert Ernst Lunney Male 5 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 Douglas W Lunney Male 4 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1901 Editt Maud Lunney Female 2 not specified 90 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Francis Lunney Male 59 planter 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Louise M. Lunney Female 47 not specified 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Jas. Albert Lunney Male 18 overseer 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Eraf. Lunney Female 15 not specified 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Douglas W. Lunney Male 12 not specified 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 E. M. Lunney Female 12 not specified 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla
1911 Wm. H. Lunney Male 52 not specified 12 King Quarter Est. Anguilla

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