Friday 23 August 2019

'Supermac' and his Wexford links

It was a memorable Sunday for supporters of Newcastle United as the club secured the Championship title to crown their return to the top flight for the 2017-'18 season.

And as they look forward to life back in the Premier League, what they wouldn't give for a striker of the calibre of 'Supermac' himself, Malcolm McDonald, who made his name with the club between 1971 and 1976.

Did you know that one of England's best strikers of that era had close family links to Wexford though?

That fact was underlined in an interesting piece of historical research undertaken by Dermot McCarthy for a recent Wexford F.C. match programme.

At the height of Malcolm's career in August, 1976, this newspaper published a short piece stating that his grandfather, Adam McDonald, had in fact emigrated from Priesthaggard, a quiet townsland near Campile, about 50 years earlier, although 'he (Adam) has not been a frequent visitor to his native soil'.

The article went on to identify two different relatives of Malcolm then living in the area, including his grand-aunt, Mary Corish of Kilmokea, Campile, and Mary O'Brien of Priesthaggard.

The story in this newspaper also stated that Mary Corish had been in telephone contact with Malcolm when she visited London some years prior to 1976.

Dermot's research then took him to the 1911 Census for Ireland which showed that Malcolm's grandfather was aged seven at the time, and living with his family in Priesthaggard.

Adam's mother, Mary McDonald, was 27 and had been married for ten years. She had seven children, of whom five were still alive in 1911.

After unearthing so much interesting information on Malcolm's local links, Dermot would be delighted to hear from anyone who may be able to shed some more light on the matter. He can be contacted via Wexford F.C. at their Ferrycarrig Park base.

Wexford People