News & Views - Enda in Booterstown

Enda Spotted in Booterstown


I heard on the radio the other day that An Taoiseach Enda Kenny would be unveiling a plaque to the memory of Kevin Ó Higgins, who was shot in Booterstown during the troubles. Having an interest in history, and Booterstown only down the road from me, I went along to see what was happening. Kevin Ó Higgins was shot on the morning of Sunday, 10th July 1927. He was on his way to Mass in the Church of the Assumption, which is only about 400 yards further down the road. He was a brave man and made very tough decisions during the formative time of our ‘state’.


There was a good turn out even though it was a very wet evening and a very inspiring oration was given by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

Also spotted among the crowd were local politicians Sean Barrett and Mary Mitchell Ó
Connor ( known for her driving expertise, see here ).

This article should not be seen as a support for any political party or thinking. It’s just a
newsy item which took place in my neighbourhood.


From Fr. Juan Pablo

Quetzaltenango was founded in the early 16th century by Spanish and Tlaxcalan conquerors over a Mayan village. The earlier Mayan village name was Xelajuh which is still Quetzaltenango’s nickname. It remained a fairly small agricultural town for over two centuries. However, in the 18th century, during the lifetime of Balthazar de O’Kelly, it underwent a deep change in population as well as in its economical basis that could well be called a re-foundation. D. Balthazar was the first O´Kelly in Quetzaltenango (he married Da. Tomasa García there in 1723). He was the eldest son of Dr. Thaddeus Theodore Dominick O’Kelly (born circa 1658 in Loughgall, County Armagh).

From the Church baptismal books for the 18th century, one can see that the O’Kelly family members were asked frequently to act as godparents. This fact attests their good social standing among the “Quetzaltecos”. The most notorious O’Kelly from Quetzaltenango was Friar Sebastian de O’Kelly, from the Franciscan minor order. He held the Mayan Language chair at the University for many years. During his last twenty years (1775-1795) he was the pastor of Quezaltenango’s parish of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Paulinus O’Kelly was also a Franciscan friar working in the same area. Miss Mary Ann Escobedo y de O’Kelly, their cousin, founded the confraternity of Purgatory Souls (1795) which lasts to this day.
During the independence turmoil in Central America, there is another brave O’Kelly, related to this family, and who supported the National government against the unionist movement with the Mexican Empire. In 1821, the year of our independence from Spain, Don Leandro de O´Kelly was the mayor of Mazatenango, a village then on a close relationship with Quetzaltenango. He was asked to join forces with the Mexicans. D. Leandro and his councilmen answered that they would remain loyal to the National government in Guatemala, whatever the outcome of the impending war. They had to flee from Mazatenango when the Mexicans invaded the town.The O’Kelly family has disappeared as such for a long time from Quetzaltenango. I became aware of them from the oil canvas of Fr. Sebastian de O’Kelly that hangs from the walls of the Cathedral’s sacristy. But most members of the Parrilla family (and some of the Peláez) come from them.

Juan Pablo