Francis Joseph 'Frank' Tinneny
Francis J. Tinneny was the second child and first
son of Francis Tinneny and Annie Dolan. He was born on March 31,
1895 at the family home on Chapel Hill in Belturbet, County Cavan
according to the original birth registry. Frank was raised in
Belturbet. Margaret Tinneny Casey who was a midwife was present at
his birth. Frank attended the Convent School in Belturbet for his
primary education. As a young man he worked as a clerk for the
postal service in the Belturbet Post Office. He also worked with
wood and made presses, tables, wardrobes and other pieces.
When World War I broke out he enlisted in the
Enniskillen Fusiliers of the British Army. He was only 15 years old
when he enlisted and had to lie about his age since the minimum age
for enlistment was 16. He served with the Royal Engineers from
April 12,1915 through August 14, 1919. He fought in the Battle of
the Somme in France. At one point while he was assigned in France
during the war he and his unit mates were living in what Frank
described as a haunted house. He said that they were unable to
sleep the entire time they were in that house. His daughter Betty
recalled in 2001 how throughout his life her father had nightmares
about the war and would wake the family up at night while
Photo: Francis in Army
Uniform WWI. Courtesy of Betty Tinneny
he returned from France he was discharged. He was hired by the Post
Office and on January 6, 1922 assumed his position as a postman in
the little town of Roslea in Northern Ireland.
Margaret Coleman in Staghall Catholic Church in Belturbet on October
9, 1922. Margaret, born August 10 1898, was from the townland of
Kilconny in Belturbet. Frank was a postman in Roslea when they
married. They had some difficulty finding a house to buy in Roslea
because of the troubles. Eventually they did find a house on Main
Street in Roslea. It was in that house that their seven children
were born. They were: James Francis, Richard Joseph, Thomas John,
Elizabeth Ann, William, Margaret, and Mary Theresa.
Margaret raised their children in Roslea where they attended Saint
Tierney's Church. Frank had a long and distinguished career
delivering mail in Roslea for over 40 years. He enjoyed fishing and
swimming while Margaret enjoyed knitting. His son Jim recalled what
a great talent his dad had with wood. He remembered seeing him
making cabinets and other pieces of furniture and pressing
decorative designs into the wood. Jim said his Dad never used nails
but dovetailed all of his work. When he was about 40 years old Frank
had serious stomach problems, which resulted in the doctors removing
about three-fourths of his stomach.
occasion of his retirement Mr. H. T. W. Millar, Director of the Post
Office in Northern Ireland presented Frank with the Imperial Service
Medal. It was presented to him after 44 years service as a postman
for the village of Roslea. The presentation took place at a
function in the Manor House, Killadeas, at which over 180 guests
attended. An account of the event was published in the local
newspaper on December 10, 1960 and reads as follows:
Presentation to Fermanagh
postman stands for all that is liked in the Post Office - he is
one of our best public relations officers,: said the director of
the Post Office in the Six Counties, Mr. H. T. W. Miller, at the
Post Office Sports and Social Club dinner and dance in the Maner
House, Killiadeas, on Thursday night when he presented the
Imperial Service Medal to Mr. F. J. Tinneny, Roslea - postman in
the village for the past 44 years.
similar award to be presented to Mr. J. McCullion, Enniskillen, was
not handed over, as Mr. McCullion was unable to attend owing to
illness. Over 180 guests attended the dinner, and as well as
representatives from many parts of the Six Counties there were also
Post Office employees present from Sligo and other parts of the
Presiding at the dinner, Mr. W. McClelland, Head Postmaster in
Enniskillen, said that they were very happy to see so many of their
number present at this annual function. He welcomed the
representatives from the various offices in the country, and
introduced Mr. Millar to make the presentation.
Mr. Millar complimented the various Post Office teams on their
efforts in the darts, table tennis competitions, etc., during the
season, and said that it was in having a club that a spirit was
built up which was beneficial to all.
Continuing he said that he hoped the Social Club would enlarge its
activities. He suggested that the older employees should take up
bowls or some games of this nature so that they also could
Describing the presentation of the Imperial Service as a "very
pleasant duty" which he had to perform, Mr. Millar said that this
award was only presented after a long and excellent term of service
on the part of an employee. Commenting on Mr. Tinneny's record, he
said that he traveled 300,000 miles on bicycle and on foot during
his 44 years in the position in Fermanagh. Mr. Tinneny had joined
the Post Office in Belturbet in 1908, he said, and spent some years
in the Army during the Great War then came back to Belturbet, and
sometime later took up the position in Roslea, which he had held for
Mr. Millar congratulated Mr. Tinneny and presented him with the
award amidst loud applause. He added that he regretted Mr.
McCullion was not present to receive his award, and said that all
present would unite with him in wishing both Mr. McCullion and Mr.
Tinneny every happiness.
Mr. Millar then presented the Post Office Darts Cup to Mr. C.
Hassard, of the Engineering Department, and Mr. H. R. Tucker
Engineer in Charge of the Engineering Department, presented Mr. Jack
Day, mechanic in charge of the department for some years with an
electric fire and a pair of slippers. Mr. Day has been transferred,
on promotion to Derry.
At the time of
his death Frank and Margaret lived at 2 St. Patrick's Park in Roslea,
County Fermanagh. About the first of November 1973 Frank had a
stroke. At first his arm and speech were effected. Then on
November 10th he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 78 years
It was Frank's
wish to be buried with his parents in the Tinneny family plot in the
Cemetery of Drumalee Church in Belturbet. When the family went to
the priest at Drumalee to make the arrangements for his burial, to
their dismay, they found that Frank's last wish couldn't be
honored. The priest told them that their had been no marker on the
Tinneny plot and it hadn't been used in 50 years. As a result the
reaming space in it had been sold to another family years before.
Frank was buried in Saint Tierney's Cemetery in his adopted town of
1979 Margaret was to the hospital where she was being studied to
confirm a diagnosis that she had diabetes. While hospitalized she
unexpectedly died in her sleep of hart failure on Frank's birthday,
March 31, in 1979. She was 81 years old..
Photo: Headstone on
Frank and Margaretís grave, St.
Roslea. Buried with them is their son Francis.
Photo by R. J.
Francis Tinnenys descendants include:
All the Tinnenys from Roslea and New Zealand which include
McElroy, Darcy, Joyce, Curran, and Barton.