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It feels good to be “home” and if you believe in serendipity then try this on for size. Moira and I moved the family to our “home” in Ireland. We had spent the Easter of 2014 looking for a home in Kilcar or Carrick, Co Donegal. One that could lend itself to a small distillery. We bought a house not far from the lands of my paternal Grandfather and quite literally over the bog from mums home place. A beautiful modern house but sympathetically designed to sit well on its site.

On 6 December we moved in and started to put down roots, settling the kids in school, and setting about understanding “how business gets done round here” (and to be honest that is still a work in progress) and getting ready for our first Christmas in Ireland.

Mary one of our new neighbours “called up” with a Christmas card and delivered the bombshell:

“Well its lovely to meet you James, its so nice to have a young family moving in” she said in her gently proper Donegal accent soften by years in the UK. Clearly a woman of learning.

“Thanks Mary, its lovely to be here at last, it will be better when we have more furniture, but the container is still on its way”

“I think you are a Doherty and your Grandfather was from Croagh (Crow-ow)” she probed clearly knowing more but testing the water.

“He was Mary, I don’t know that much about the history of that side of that family but he his dad was Dominic, grandad was one of twins and his older brother, Patrick,  was killed on the Somme, but that’s all I have”

“I knew it” she said, “James Dimnic was what he was called and he married the “McCloskey woman from Curris”, which I confirmed, Hannah Mary McCloskey was my granny.

” Well” she said with a pause for dramatic effect, ” his father was Dominic which you know, but more importantly Dominic married Mary Carr from Straleel. Mary was your Great Grandmother….. and this was her homestead. And the stone in this house especially that mantle over the fireplace are all from the original house”.

Well if that isn’t serendipity then I am not sure what is but you know what,

It feels right….