From the Creeslough View Archives
Patty and Mike Postil and their family visited Creeslough to learn more about Patty’s Irish roots. Her husband Mike Post is a famous music composer for television and multiple Emmy and Grammy winner. His work featured on numerous shows such as The A- Team, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, Magnum PI to name but a few. Post also produced Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5 and odd jobs’ album and has worked with Kenny Rodgers and many other well known artists.
By Patty Post
My name is Patty McGettigan Postil. I live in Studio City, California with my 17 year old son, Sam and my husband Mike. Mike is a composer, mainly for television. As is quite common in show business, he shortened his last name to Post, from his legal name of Postil, which had been shortened from Poostilnik, when his Grandfather emigrated from the Ukraine through Ellis Island in 1900, but that’s a story for a different magazine!
In the mid 1980’s, while living in London, I was fortunate enough to bring my parents Ruth and Joe McGettigan Jr. from Philadelphia, where I was raised, for their first trip to Ireland. My father Joe was second generation Irish-American, but grew up at his Grandmother Mary Sheridan Quigley’s knee with tales of Muckish Mountain and Donegal. We had a wonderful, emotional visit to Donegal, including walking the main street in Creeslough, imagining how it had changed since the 1880’s when his Grandmother, at 18 years of age, had immigrated to America to start a new life, never to return.
I always dreamed of coming back with my own family to see more of Donegal and hopefully learn a bit more about my Great-Grandmother Mary Sheridan. This past July 2015, I came back to Donegal with my husband, son and nephew, Andrew McGettigan. As I booked our trip and accommodations, I became quite friendly with the lovely Lisa and Garry McGrath at Anseo B and B in Dunfanaghy. As they became aware of my desire to explore my roots, as so many Irish-Americans do, they reached out to Gerald Duffy, to share with me his extensive knowledge of the areas around Creeslough, and its’ families’ histories. We had only a very short amount of time in Donegal, but we made memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
We were blessed with warm, sunny days (mostly!), blue skies and gusty winds creating puffy white clouds. A perfect backdrop for the mountains, lakes, farms and castles that make Donegal one of the most beautiful and soulful places in all the world. Gerald and the McGrath’s gave us an extensive tour, including the deeply moving Famine Graveyard and the Bridge of Tears. We will never, ever forget these places and the tragic stories of so many families just like mine. And thanks to Gerald, we believe we may have found the farm that Mary Sheridan lived in with her family.
Afterwards we met with Eamonn McFadden at the base of Muckish Mountain, where he shared with us the history and hardships endured by men who toiled there so many years ago. Creeslough seemed quieter than I remembered from my last visit, but I am hopeful that the beauty, history, charm and dignity of the people
of Donegal will carry on and bring more and more travelers back to share in all that it has to offer. I, for one, will be back! I’ve only cracked the surface of my family’s history!
Many, many thanks to all that made our trip so memorable, Gerald, Eamonn, Lisa and Garry, and all the kind and gentle folks of Donegal.