James Francis "Jim" Tinneny

Jim was the son of Francis Tinneny of Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland and Margaret Coleman.  He was born in Roslea, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland May 22, 1923. He attended Saint Tierney's Primary School in Roslea followed by technical school in the city of Clones. His sister Betty remembers him as a good dancer during his school years.

Jim entered the Irish Army in 1939 and after completing initial training at the Curragh in Co. Kildare; he served as a private in cavalry platoons in counties Galway and Sligo in Ireland.  In 1941, Jim left the Irish Army and enlisted in the Royal Air Force where he served until the conclusion of World War II.


(L) Jim - a teenager in the Irish Army. 

Courtesy of Mary Tinneny Barton


(R) Jim in his RAF uniform near the end of WWII.

Courtesy of Betty Tinneny                     


After the War Jim said that there weren’t many jobs around Roslea so he submitted applications to immigrate to South Africa, New Zealand or Canada.  He quickly decided he didn’t want to go to South Africa then ruled out Canada because he figured it would be too cold – although he had been approved for both. He settled on New Zealand. 

Jim said that when he first arrived in Australia there was no unemployment and jobs were easily available.  He initially worked at the main post office in Auckland then found a job with the railroad, next he worked as a longshoreman on the docks.  This was followed by a job working with overhead electric.  Finally he worked as a painter and decorator.  In New Zealand he met and Mary Agnes Kenrick.  Mary was the daughter of Thomas Kenrick and Cicely Madigan. 

Mary had spent two years as a nun but left the convent due to poor health.

Jim and Mary settled in Auckland, New Zealand where they had five children Francis, Patrick, Bernadette, Mary and Peter.

Photos Right:  Jim and Mary.

Courtesy of Mary Tinneny Barton