Ireland Old News

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 April 1900

What James Ahern, of This City, Knows About England's Future King
No Extraordinary Precautions Taken When He Toured Through the Green Isle
The attempted assassination of the Prince of Wales, which occurred at Brussels on Tuesday, directs attention to the fact that James Ahern, janitor of the Catholic Club, on Locust street, is perhaps the only Philadelphian who has been in close touch with the “First Gentleman of Europe” during the latter's journeys. Mr. Ahern is a son of the Emerald Isle, and while loyal to his native country, believes it for the best of all that the visit of the aged Queen to Ireland will not be marred by the disgraceful scenes which attended the advent of the Prince of Wales at Cork in 1885. A telegrapher, attached to the staff at Cork, Mr. Ahern with eight others, was sent to meet the Prince at Ballyhooley, where Albert Edward was visiting the Earl of Listowel at the latter's country seat, Connamora House. The opportunities afforded Mr. Ahern for studying the characteristics and movements of the Prince were exceptional.

“The Prince moved about as freely as the most ordinary citizen,” he told an Inquirer reporter last night. “No extra precautions were taken for his safety. It was in the spring of 1885 that I received orders to proceed to Ballyhooley, and for more than two weeks I saw the Prince daily. Contrary to rumors, the Prince's tastes are simple, and his suite was not an extensive one. His Irish [visit], however, did not continue a peaceful one, as the publisher remembers. Everything went smoothly enough for a while, but when the English tories began to make political capital of the visit the Irish Nationalists showed their displeasure

“It was while the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the lakes at Killarney that I saw the heir apparent to the best of advantage. He was here for a week. One day he and his party went to the Gap of Dunloe, at the head of the lakes. A crowd of us followed the next day. The Prince had gone on Saturday and Sunday being an off day for us, we wanted to make the best of the opportunity. At the Gap we went to the registering place, where the names of some of the most famous people in Europe are inscribed. When I opened the register I saw the following names registered: Albert Edward, Alexandria, Alex Edward, Lord and Lady Spencer. I thought the chance a good one to get in line, so I simply added my own humble signature to those of royalty and the rest of the party followed suit. Nobody had arrived at the Gap in the meantime, so no other names stood between the royal party's and ours.

“The Prince of Wales, as I remember him then, certainly earned the title of being the 'First Gentleman of Europe.' His bearing was military, but even then he was not what many consider a young man.

“There is a lesson to be learned from his visit to Ireland, as it applies to the present visit of the Queen. Should the English press keep within bounds and simply show pleasure because the Irish people are receiving the aged monarch, well, then there should be no trouble. But if English enthusiasm runs away with itself, and proclaims that this is an evidence that the Irish nation is satisfied with things as they exist, nobody can tell what may turn up. Individually I hope the best for the grand old woman, who every Irishman must revere as a noble woman. Politics should not be made to interfere with her stay among the Irish. If it does, then there may be a repetition of what happened during that spring of 1885, when my duties called me to witness occurrences that are now historic.”

Mr. Ahern has been in Philadelphia about five years. He was in the Cork telegraph service for more than eighteen years, and has traveled extensively. He is very popular among his countrymen in this city and is looked upon as conversant with affairs that seldom fall under the observation of the ordinary citizen.

Submitted by dja
Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Wed., Apr 18, 1900

In Dalhousie Twp., April 17th, Mr. James Miller, aged 80 years. He was born in Cty. Antrim, Ireland, in 1820 and came to this country in 1842, working for Mr. Robert Moffatt, in Ramsay, where he stayed three years. About fifty-one years ago he married Miss Margaret Wright, of Perth and settled on 1st conc. Dalhousie. Since the death of his wife five years ago, he has lived with his son, Benjamin. They had ten children, all of whom are living: Mrs. Jas. H. Manahan, John and Ellen, of Lanark; Benjamin, of Dalhousie; James, of Carleton Place; Mrs. Robert Lockhart, of Lansing, Mich.; Mrs. Wm. Hillis, of Sutton, Ont.; and Isaac, of Fort Worth, Texas.

Submitted by cml


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