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Martin Donohoe – journalist – 1912

Title page of the Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigan Historiene from 1609. The German-language 'Relation' had been published by Johann Carolus at the latest since 1605 in Strassburg, and is recognized by the World Association of Newspapers as the world's first newspaper. University library of Heidelberg, Germany
Title page of the Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigan Historiene from 1609. The German-language ‘Relation’ had been published by Johann Carolus at the latest since 1605 in Strassburg, and is recognized by the World Association of Newspapers as the world’s first newspaper.
University library of Heidelberg, Germany




That the great scoop of the War should be scored, by a colonial journalist is very pleasing to his brethren. Turkey is full just now of distinguished war correspondents, who have all been striving to do what Mr Martin Henry Donohoe accomplished in the graphic account of the Turkish debacle published a few days ago.

 According to a Christchurch paper,’Mr Donohoe was born in County Galway, Ireland, just 43 years ago this week/but he began his journalistic career on the French newspaper of Sydney in 1892, and subsequently joined the “Evening News” staff, and further emphasised his Australianisation by marrying a clever Australian teacher, who was identified with various women’s movements. 

While on the “News,” he was an undistinguished, but most painstaking,’ hard-working, and deservedly-liked reporter, and in that capacity pricked the Rougemont bubble. His real career, however, was destined to be in a wider field than Australia afforded. He was interested in volunteering. He became a member of the crack New South Wales Lancer Regiment (now the First Australian Horse), and made one of the contingent which went to Aldershot for training. There it was noted for its efficiency, and set out for home via the Cape, having done well what it was sent to do. But when it reached Capetown it found the Boer War in full swing, and in spite of the extraordinary decision of the War Office that it did not want mounted men from the colonies, it volunteered, was at once sent to the front, and, under General French, highly distinguished itself, and formed a text from which tho purblind individuals in the War Office suddenly saw light and reversed their previous decision. 

With the forces was Mr Lambie, an Australian journalist acting for the London “Daily Chronicle” and Australian papers, and on his death the journalistic member of the Lancers immediately took up his despatches, and did so well that he was speedily made the “Chronicle’s” regular correspondent and detached from his troop. Mr Donohoe did distinguished work in every big movement in the war; incidentally was captured, and released at the fall of Pretoria; went through the Russo-Japanese war with the first army under Kuroki, travelled extensively for his paper, doing great functions for it, was in Constantinople when it fell to the Young Turks and through the revolution, was the first to interview the new Sultan, and got a similarly exclusive scoop of the Portuguese revolution, escaping from Lisborn with his account of the street fighting. 

And now he has made a bigger scoop still by being the only correspondent to get away an account of the last great battle. One factor has been Mr Donohoe’s excellent French, an accomplishment which his wife shares with him. It has helped him immensely in foreign campaigns, and it has made him, when not on the warpath, Paris representative of the “Daily Chronicle,” installed in a delightful suite, where he is tho same competent, unassuming, good-hearted fellow to his old friends that he was when he was a reporter on the Sydney “Evening News.” Martin Donohoe deserves every success that comes to him.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Claddagh Ring 1926

Claddagh Ring Wikimedia Commons
Claddagh Ring
Wikimedia Commons


Among quaint old marriage rings, prized and sought after by collectors, the Claddagh ring is probably the rarest. Claddagh is a little district in the north-west of Galway, and its people are popularly supposed to date back to the Armada. Colour has been lent to this belief because the people are tall and dark, and quite unlike other Galway folk, but it is certain that they date far behind and beyond the Armada and their origin is a mystery. 

The Claddagh people rarely marry outside their own race. They have always used as marriage rings heavy gold bands, with hands clasped round a heart, and for many centuries these rings have passed from father to son, and each has been given to many a dark-browed bride. On the inner surface of the band the initials of the man and the woman are engraved. 

In one ring, which is hundreds of years old, the initials, some roughly carved, almost cover the time- smoothed gold. Irish jewellers make many replicas of these mysterious old rings, but the expert collector can easily detect the modern imitation, and owners of the genuine antiques prize them greatly. The one mentioned had been sought for seven years before a lucky chance brought its present posessor into contact with an old Galway woman who was willing to sell her treasure.