Moville Love Letter

A number of years ago the Barr Brothers were working on an old roof in the River Row.

Whilst working on it they found a number of old diaries.

Amongst the diaries they found a love letter.

It was dated 1903 and it was written by a guy from Greenock in Scotland to a local girl.

The man’s name was John Dillon.

Scots Invasion

This weekend a number of my relatives from Scotland are coming over for the Parton With Cash weekend in a few days time at the May bank holiday weekend.

There will be over 60 of them and they are from my mother’s side of the family, the McGonigals (her father’s side) and the Dillons (he mother’s side).

Yes that’s right – the Dillons.

Great Grandfather

Her grandfather (and my great-grandfather) was called John Dillon – and he lived all his life in Greenock in Scotland.

Could it have been him?

Perhaps Dillon is a popular name in Greenock.

It isn’t.

A search showed only half a dozen J Dillons, currently, only two of which are John Dillons. So, it’s not that common there.

Could it Have Been Our John Dillon

So, I asked my mother a few years back if it could be him.

“It couldn’t be him” she said.

“Our family”, she said “Had no connection with Moville till I first went there in 1944”.

“Also”, she said, “The address was from Captain Street in Greenock and he lived in Crawford Street”.

So, that was the end of that, I thought.

Harland and Wolff Shipyard

However, some time later, she told me that because there was not much work in the shipyards in Greenock at the time, he was actually working at Harland and Wolff in Belfast in 1903. He would have been 28 at the time.

According to her, when his fellow workers found out he was a Catholic they stole his tools and ate his sandwiches.

So, in his time off, might he have fancied nipping up the road to Moville?

Remember there was no border at the time.

Then my mother told me something else.

Captain Street

Although he lived in Crawford Street his brother lived in Captain Street – and the family home was in Captain Street.

Well, that’s a bit of a coincidence.

So, whereas before I thought that it wasn’t likely that the love letter writer from 1903 was my great grandfather, now I think it is more than likely that it was him.

But will we ever know?

Birth Certificate

Well I have a copy of my grandmother’s birth certificate – with John Dillon’s signature on it.

If the love letter had an address on it surely it must have his signature on it.

If we could just find that we could compare the signatures.

So, who’s got the love letter and diaries now?

I’m told that they passed between Michael Lafferty, Paddy McGroarty and Stuart Norris – all sadly passed away.

Where’s the Love Letter?

So, what happened to the letter.

It’s possible that they would simply have been thrown in the bin.

But it’s far more likely that someone still has them.

It may, or may not, be relatives of one of those stated above as they may have been circulated further without Michael Lafferty (who told me) knowing about it.

But surely someone in Moville has them or knows where they are.

With John Dillon’s progeny all coming over from Scotland for this weekend this would be a good time for the mystery to be solved.

So, what happened to the local girl who was in receipt of the love letters?

I’m told that one day, she packed her bags and disappeared out the window and was never seen or heard from again.

If anyone has the letter, or knows where it is, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or simply tell me when you see me out and about – and we’ll compare signatures.

I’m sure the visitors this weekend would love to know.