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Kelly’s 12 Christmas Days – No 2 Queen’s College, Galway 1890

December 13, 2016

The bustle of 20 years earlier was all gone by the time Thomas Kelly was 20 and Christmas Day 1890 was celebrated with just his widowed mother, still living at 2 High Street.

Kelly was by now a final year scholar studying medicine at Queen’s College, Galway with  a career in medicine beckoning.

The 1880s had been a dramatic decade for the Kelly family. His father died in 1883, a broken man after a controversial involvement in the brutal world of Galway politics. Another brother, Denis, to whom Thomas was very close, had decided to head off to Bendigo in Australia to join other members of the family. His eldest brother James, who ran the tea merchant business after his father died, passed away aged 44 in 1889 and a few months later his sister Annie entered the Presentation Convent in Galway where she was to spend the rest of her long life.

Further tragedy stuck in November 1890 when his 27 sister Maria died, leaving a young son Denis Valentine Morris. Denis followed his uncle into medicine, mentored and supported financially by Thomas.

Christmas Day at 2 High Street in 1890 must have been a subdued affair.

It was also to be one of the last Thomas Kelly would spend in Ireland.

The Kelly story is told in Fighting for the Empire.

Follow his remarkable life through 12 Christmas Days.

Next: No 3 – Chitral, North West Frontier 1900

Previous: No 1 – Galway 1870

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