Photo courtesy of Liz & Dennis O'Shea

This photograph was taken of Liz Tinneny O'Shea and her husband Dennis in their sailboat as it passed the World Trade Center towers shortly after they were built. Liz is the daughter of the late Philip Tinneny of Carrigallen, Co. Leitrem, Ireland and New York.

This section of the website was added on September 11, 2002, for the purpose of providing Tinneny descendants and their spouses who visit our family history site an opportunity to document where they were, how they learned of the event, their feelings and or anything else associated with the historically significant events of 9/11/01.  Feel free to be as brief or as detailed as you wish.  To add your comments please click here. God Bless the heroes, the victims and their families and God Bless America. 

I am the wife of Hubert Tinneny and we live in Quivvy, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland. On 9/11 I was in the town of Cavan with Rich and Lee Tinneny who were doing some shopping during their visit with us from America.  Once they had completed their shopping, we had intended to go and visit another cousin, Mary McGarvey, in Red Hills.  I went one way to do some shopping while they separated looking for gifts to bring back home.  I joined up with Rich on the corner of Ashe Street and that is when he told me about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers.  It took me a few minutes to take in what he had said. We then met up with Lee.  I felt that the world would never be the same again and I was downhearted.  

We headed home to Quivvy - no longer in the mood to visit family.  When we arrived home the phone was ringing from America for Rich and Lee with a request that they come home as family felt they needed them on this terrible occasion.  Then my niece Susan Lavery called from Co. Monaghan and my daughter Fidelma called from England both realizing the sad effect this had on us all and on America.

We watched the telly, nobody in a hurry to eat.  Ireland came to a standstill on that Friday (the 14th) to pray for all who died and to give courage to the living to do their best to overcome violence. This year (2002) we are all asked to spend one minute in prayer in memory of the dead.who died on 9/11.  God Bless Family and Friends and God Bless America.

Susanna Tinneny
Co. Cavan, Ireland   

Sept 11, 2001. I walked into school at Incarnation of Our Lord in Olney.  I am a teacher there.  The slogan of our school, due to the variety of cultural backgrounds is "Where The World Meets."  It was 8:45 a.m..  The television was on in the office.  I thought a weird television show or commercial was on the screen!  I saw the word "LIVE"...but remember thinking...No, no way.  I called my husband Rich on my cell phone, thinking he would confirm my disbelief...this could not be real.  Rich works at Police headquarters in Philadelphia.  It was all real... 
      While on the phone the second jet flew into Tower Two.  Oh my God!  It hit my heart and mind that what I was seeing was real!  I felt as if I was going to throw up.  Richie said that he did not know exactly what was happening but that something had blown up at the Pentagon as well.  We ended the call...confused, sad, sick!
       By 10:30 parents began calling and arriving at school, to be with, and, to take their children home.  I wanted to be with my four daughters and Richie.  I had never felt fear like this.  Our eldest daughter Ashley was in center city Philadelphia.  I had begun hearing that the city had shut down and began to fear that I would not be able to get to her or get her home safely.  I called Richie again.  Police headquarters was on lock down, he is essential personal and would not be permitted to leave.  Rich did not know when he would be home.  I remember crying as I tried to call Ashley.  Cell phone transmissions shut down due to the overwhelming number of calls.  I could not get her!
       I left school and headed for my daughter Devon's school which is normally eight minutes from my school.  En-route I did get a partial call from our friend Michael Fitzpatrick...he would pick up our two youngest daughters Annie and Mollie and bring them to our home.  The phone went dead......It took me a half an hour to get to Devon's school.  I remember crying as I drove.  I remember looking into the faces of people in traffic that seememd everyone was crying:  men, women and children.  When I got to Devon I remember hugging her.  I remember not wanting to let go.
       When I got home all four of our daughters were there.  We are the blessed ones and we know it clearly.  We will never forget.  Our hearts as a family go out to those who have lost life itself.  It is all such a gift....

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Donna Marie (Tinneny) Persico, Philadelphia.   9/12/2001


I will begin the story of Sept. 11 with what I was doing Sept. 10.

It was the Monday after Labor Day, and we were enjoying a most beautiful summer. On only a few days did we break 95 degrees. Otherwise, the season was magnificent and memorable. However, Monday was humid and the evening brought rain, hard rain. The sounds of summer innocence remained crickets chirping and our neighbors' children playing amidst the showers.

It was the first full weekend of preparing my football forecasts, and I was working hard while listening to the Giants-Broncos Monday Night game through the AM static (I made a vow not to listen to the annoying Dennis Miller that 2001 NFL season). The broadcast from Denver included former Giant Dick Lynch on the color commentary. Ironically, his son Richard was one of those murdered in the World Trade Center North Tower.

I finished my preparation for the coming morning, and watched the end of the football game, going immediately to bed afterwards. Those were the first hours of a day we would never forget.

Tuesday morning, Sept. 11 was perfect. The sky was a cloudless crystal blue, and the air was crisp. Autumn was in the air, and evidence of the previous day's rain was gone. I'm an early riser every Tuesday during football season, as I update Paul T. Graham Football League stats and write copy for my game forecasts before my "real" workday begins. Thus, I was awake with the sun shortly before 6 a.m. Lack of sleep was overcome by the sheer beauty of the day.

While the world was changing in the skies above, I was writing about games that never would be played and a reality that never would be ours. At 8:34, 12 minutes before the first plane struck the WTC, my work was complete. I began the day with a feeling of relief, satisfaction, and anticipation. We were rolling out a series of new variable portfolios, and our first organizational meeting was at 1 p.m. It's fun to learn something new.

I was preparing some information and attending to my emails when I heard a couple of the late arrivals speaking of a plane hitting a tower. This was about 9 a.m. I didn't know which tower or what type of plane, because I was half-listening. Then a few moments later I heard about a second plane hitting a tower probably about 5 minutes later. I was still busy with my work, but a few minutes later I heard that it was the World Trade Center and I immediately thought of 1993. I had heard about that bombing at work, too and I thought right away that this wasn't a pair of accidents, but I prayed that they were.

Minutes later, I walked over to the bank of TVs we had on our floor, near the ING VA Sales Desk. Folks were huddled around them en masse, with but a single shot of the two mighty towers gashed and burning. My first thought was those scars will be there forever, no matter how well they're rebuilt. It's amazing how different our sense of tragedy and importance was before Sept. 11.

At about 9:28, President Bush spoke and declared that the attacks likely were the work of terrorists. I thought immediately of Osama bin Laden and his murderous gang of extremists. Moments later, the brief speech was complete and the coverage returned to the burning buildings, but from such a distance that the human scope of the tragedy was invisible. The Twin Towers were modern structures with tinted windows, so there was no sense of how many people were in the buildings or how deep within the Towers the fire was.

One of the TV talking heads made a comment about the whole thing being reminiscent of a movie entitled "The Towering Inferno". We groaned. News then came that hundreds of planes were in the air, and were being grounded by the FAA. Seconds later, we learned a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. Again, there was no sense of the human tragedy there, as you never imagine people actually working in that limited-windowed structure.

I tried to call Jessica without success at her office, as busy signals were the norm. Same for Mom at her office. I reached Dad at home, and asked him if he ever thought he'd live to see a day like this. He said no, and he'd lived through Pearl Harbor. Ironically, I had been reading a book about Pearl Harbor on my last train trip to and from New York, in May 2001. It was a riveting book, but not as captivating as the perfect New York skyline, which always attracted my eyes out windows on every car and train trip. They especially were mesmerizing on that beautiful May 30 day, a clear jewel every bit as perfect as the beginning of Sept. 11.

Back to the Towers, and as the long-range camera panned away from the buildings, the incomprehensible happened. You almost had to rub your eyes in disbelief and say, "did I really just see one of the buildings disappear?" It had, but again, there was no concept of firemen, policemen, and office workers being in those once-mighty edifices.

In numbed disbelief, I returned again to my office to hear that my sister-in-law was missing. She often worked in Lower Manhattan, and we couldn't reach her cell phone. Three hours after the first plane hit, we tracked her down in the Bronx, but my business contacts at Salomon Brothers weren't so lucky. They lost their building, 7 WTC, before the end of the day. My contact at Capital Guardian, Jordan Wallens, lost something even more important, his older brother Blake.

Just minutes later, we heard that a plane crashed in Pittsburgh. The world was coming apart, and we were powerless to stop it. The Limerick nuclear plant was about 15 miles from us, and certainly within feasibility as a target. I finally reached Jess and Mom, and learned they were on their respective ways home. All of my most important people were safe, and I was reasonably safe in the rolling hills of West Whiteland Township, Chester County, near major highways going in all directions, if necessary.

We halfheartedly tried to work and check on friends at the same time, Paul's brother Chris worked in the Trade Center and was the last one to say goodbye to Paul, with a Phillies' cap. Chris fortunately was safe, but unfortunately witnessed the first plane hitting the Towers from his car. He survived the '93 bombing, and on this day was late for work.

The company announced that we could leave at noon, and I hung around trying to get work done around 1:30. Upon exiting the building, the first thing I noticed was the perfect blue skies still were perfect and blue, despite all of the horrors that occurred there that morning. Ominously and yet reassuringly, no planes were in the sky. I would take a lunchtime stroll the following day, and the sky would be just as blue, and just as ominously quiet. No planes flew for the remainder of the week. The remainder of the Fall saw the weather continue to be gorgeous, and the temperatures mild well into December.

Reassuringly, my trip to the ATM to get cash was a breeze. My trips to the supermarket to load up on basics ended up being reassuringly unnecessary, but the extra food made for a nice donation to the many Sept. 11 funds that were organized in the days after the murders. Life ended up not being all that different in some ways. America remained the greatest country on earth, but the fires of evil turned us into the ultimate melting pot. Three months later, folks still are unwilling to honk their horns in traffic, most people display American flags everywhere proudly, and patriotism once again is acceptable behavior.

The forces that brought such pain to us Sept. 11 can wound us, but no one can deny the strength of the American spirit.

James J. Tinneny IV, Philadelphia.    9/12/02 

I'm 13 now...I was twelve at the time of the 9-11 may not think a twelve year old can have as many feelings as an adult has but they can..but they do.
I was in was a regular day..switching from class to class...talking to your friends in the hallway...and so on and so on.
I was sitting in math class..learning about a very boring thing when another teacher came into my class and said something to my teacher..then out loud she told us what had happened....New York has been attacked....right away we put on the t.v. and started watching the events of the morning in horror...I was stunned...I didn't know anyone could ever attack the U.S...I thought we were so strong!..that shows how much a 12 year old knows!..."ding" ,over the loud speaker came our principles voice...New Yorks World TrAde Centers have been attacked as well as The Pentagon in Washington D.C....I do not want the children watching these events on televisoin. We were all really upset..we wanted to know what was going on in the country...OUR country...but being the rule following person that he was our teacher turned it off....everybody was talking about it..all over the school. did you hear about the attacks...blah blah blah...lunch time came...we were told we would get an early name was called..I got my things from upstairs and left with my sister and the family friend that picked me up..I sat at home stunned in the chair..I turned on the t.v  and once again watched in mom and older sisters came home...everyone was so upset...for the next to weeks the news was on...everything was about the World Trade Centers, The Pentagon, The Heros of The Airplans, The People who Died, The Fireman and Polica Officers.
now I doesnt matter how strong the country itself matters how strong the people are..and we..the people of America have shown an amazing amount of strength.

ann marie persico 9/11/01

For quite a few years, we spent our vacations on sailboats and then a trawler. We always travelled south on the Hudson River and naturally past lower Manhatten. This particular year we travelled with another couple who saw an opportunity to make our mast look very tall with the World Trade Center towers in the background. We had a few laughs over that, but in September of 2001 it all came back, and I remembered we had that picture. So I enlarged it and put it in a frame in our living room. It still brings people to a standstill if they haven't seen it before. Thanks for letting me share this with others.

Liz & Dennis O'Shea 9/11/2002

I was in a jewelry store in Cavan Town, County Cavan, Ireland when the jeweler came from the back room with a cell phone in his hand and said "Your World Trade Centers have been attacked and one has fallen."  I immediately crossed the street to the Farnham Hotel and watched the second tower fall live on CNN.  It was totally unbelievable and remained so until while flying back home on September 17th we flew  past New York City at 35000 feet and saw the massive cloud of smoke raising from the site. 

On Friday, September 14th, Ireland declared a national day of mourning and remembrance for those who effected by the events in new York, Shanksville and at the Pentagon.  The entire country literally shut down -- even the Pubs closed which very, very rarely ever happens.  All the churches in Ireland, from the smallest villages to the major cities had Masses and church services that day.  As we drove to the 3 o'clock Mass in Belturbet the streets were vacant except for the many people walking and driving to the overflowing memorial Mass at the church of Anagh.  So many people, strangers,  acquaintances, family members even strangers on the street, offered Lee and I condolences requesting that we pass them on to those in America when we returned.   I conclude this note as I listen to the radio broadcast of the first anniversary of the events - it still seems "unbelievable".

Rich Tinneny
Columbia, SC 9/11/2002  

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