On this day, 13 July, 1911, a son was born to Hugh Coyle, car driver, in Milford, Co Donegal and his wife Mary. Hugh Coyle from Milford, and Mary McBride had married on 14 November 1902 in the parish chapel of Mevagh. Hugh’s father Patrick was deceased at that time, and Mary’s father, also named Hugh, was a farmer in Devlinreagh, Carrigart, County Donegal.
In the 1911 census taken in April, we see that Hugh and Mary had four children – Ellen (Nellie) born in 1903, Bridget (Bridie) born in 1905, Patrick (Paddy) born in 1907 and Kathleen, born in 1910. Baby Hugh arrived in July and Anthony (Tony) arrived in 1916. Hugh Senior is invariably described as being a ‘Car man’ or ‘Jarvey’ on all official records. In the1901 census he was a car man in the service of Hugh McDevitt, hotel proprietor in Milford.
I don’t know when the young Hugh Coyle came to Carrigart, but he did so at a relatively young age. The earliest photo I have of him was probably taken in the early 1930s.
Hugh served as an apprentice shopworker at Mc Elhinneys shop in Milford. This very positive and glowing reference is dated 1937, which may well be when the then 25-year-old moved to work in Carrigart. In any event, we can tell from photographs that he was friendy with our family and he was to fall in love with and marry one of them!
The next photo I have of him is with our father when both of them were in the Local Defence Force. This photo is dated 1940.
The next photo I have is easily dated for it is the wedding photo of Hugh with our Aunt Eileen Gallagher in 1945.
On the 19th of July 1946, their first child, Mary Patricia was born in Carrigart, just 6 days after her Dad’s 35th birthday. By this time Hugh was working in Derry as Mary Patricia’s birth certificate gives his address as 23 Orchard Street, Derry adjacent to the famous St Columb’s Hall, and beside the city walls. The joy of their new arrival was to be short lived as Mary Patricia survived but a few months. However they went on to have a son in the following year and a few years later a daughter was born.
Hugh worked in Letterkenny for a time, in what I think was the Rainbow Bar, but they eventually emigrated to Glasgow and lived in the Pollokshaws Road.
Every year, the Coyles came home to our house for the summer holidays and it was always great to see them. My abiding memory of Hugh is that he was a very gentle, quietly spoken and kind man. It often strikes me that even as a child I loved these qualities in him.
In Glasgow, he was able to take a passionate interest in the Glasgow Celtic Football team which he loved. In 1970 they reached the final of the European Cup but they were defeated by a Dutch side which would have been a great disappointment. The following day on May 7,1970 on his way home from work, the gentle and kind Hugh died suddenly and tragically within feet of his own front door. He was only 58 years of age.
I recently came across a few photos of Hugh that I had not seen before and as it is his birthday I thought it would make a nice tribute to put a few of them together.
We remember him with love today and always. We were the better for having known him and it is an honour to have a page for him in our Family Story Book.
Hugh Coyle, born July 13, 1911, died May 7, 1970
Mary Patricia Coyle born July 19,1946, died September 5, 1946