Monaghan Town Library Blog

Meet Monaghan County libraries staff officer in Local history

Catríona Lennon

Staff Officer/Local History

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Children of Willow Farm by Enid Blyton

How many years have you been working with Monaghan libraries?

23 Years

Can you tell us more about your job?

I work in the headquarters of Monaghan County Library which is situated in Clones.

My duties include processing new stock for distribution to all the branch libraries in the county. Purchasing stock and equipment for the Local History section.

The main part of my work is in local history & genealogy. I assist people researching their family tree’s and with local history.

I receive emails on a daily basis from people living in America, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand & Ireland all looking for help in tracing their ancestors or looking for some history on a particular area.

For several years, I have compiled and continue to extract death notices & obituaries recorded in the local newspapers and publish them in hard copies for all branch libraries in the county.

What was the most amazing historical fact/story/information you have come across?

Several years ago, a lady from the UK came to see me about tracing her ancestors, she had meant to come on a visit earlier in the year with her mother. Unfortunately, her mother died suddenly, and the trip was cancelled.

Before she came to Ireland, she went to see a psychic who apparently made contact with her mother and an Uncle Peter. She told the psychic that she did not have an Uncle Peter, but the psychic insisted that this Uncle Peter did exist and was he was telling her to visit a Library in Monaghan and she would get her answers there.

I assisted the lady with tracing her ancestors and to her and my surprise I traced her Uncle Peter!

She got very emotional and was in a state of shock.

The story was that her mother’s parents had died young, and their children were all fostered out. Her mother was one of the youngest in the family with her brother Peter being the eldest, so she never knew him.

I traced enough information on her Uncle Peter so that she could visit his grave and members of the family that had reared him. So maybe these psychic’s do have powers!!

What is the best part of your job?

I love my job and feel privileged to have the opportunity to help people trace their ancestors as it means so much to many.

Why do you think people should join their local library?

There are so many advantages in being a member of your local library.

It is a safe and warm environment that is free & open to everyone.

Today Libraries are a totally different place to many years ago, when it was really like an exclusive club for the educated, a place where you couldn’t speak out loud or have fun.

Libraries are no longer just about borrowing books. Now it’s all about free internet, activities for adults & children, study spaces, gathering & preserving history.

Everyone should avail of the services in their local library, once you make that initial visit and see everything that’s available, you’re hooked!