The Rundles of Drogheda


?.?.1861  -  7.5.1937                                    27.11.1889 -  25.1.1975




Sarah Agnes Byrne
(from the photo below)

Sarah Agnes Byrne was born sometime between may 1861 and may 1862, in Avoca, Woodenbridge, County Wicklow. She had a twin sister, Julia who died in infancy.   Her father,  Myles Byrne was the schoolmaster in Woodenbridge. Her mother's maiden name was Annie Cosgrave. They had married in 1859.  Sarah was a great communicator and a very sociable person. Looking back, her claim to fame (which she would never have talked about) was that on many summers while her children were young, she would visit her parents in the Avoca/Woodenbridge area of County Wicklow during the summer months and on many occasions brought one or sometimes two of the children of her neighbours, the Collins family with her. Very often it would be her daughter Agnes and Michael Collins because they were the same age and were good friends. This gave the young Michael Collins the love of Wicklow and also later,  the love of a young girl Kitty Kernan, whom he loved until his untimely death at Beal na mBlath on August 23rd. 1922.  Sarah had six siblings; 

Julia                  (Died at birth or in infancy)

George Byrne     (Teacher and Turf Accountant), 

Michael Byrne    (Baker and Undertaker),  Lived in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow.

Daniel Byrne      (Farrer), 

Mary-Anne         (married Richard O'Brien)  

Katherine          (Married Joe McIntyre. They lived in Australia)

The Grahams in Bury St. Edmunds

Patrick John Graham  and  Sarah Agnes Byrne

Sarah Agnes Byrne was born around 1861 and died on 7th. May 1937 at the age of 75 and is buried in St. Peter's Cemetary, Drogheda. 

Patrick John Graham (a protestant) was born around 1849 in the town of Monaghan died on the 14th. August 1921 at the age of 72 in Edenfield, Lancashire. Details of where he was buried are to be confirmed.

Their movements

The first four children born into the Graham family (Agnes, Constance, George and Katherine) were born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland. Patrick was born in Sligo on the 12th. May 1896, and Mary Frances, and Josephine, (who died in Drogheda aged 4 months in 1904) were born in Drogheda. From these records we can see how the Grahams moved around coastal towns in Ireland and also how Agnes found herself in Drogheda in 1904 at the age of about 14. Connie was about 13, George about 9, Katherine 10 and Patrick about 7 or 8.  The likely scenario is that Patrick John may have been transferred from his coastguard job in Clonakilty to go to Drogheda. 




Agnes (Graham) Rundle

General Michael Collins





Photo taken by Ena Rundle


Their children

Agnes Graham (pictured left) was born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork on the 27th. November 1889. One of her happy childhood memories from Clonakilty was that she often played in the local graveyard with Michael Collins. Her friendship with Collins lasted even after the family moved away from Clonakilty. Michael often visited Drogheda to see his childhood friends as well as many visits to Avoca and Woodenbridge It was very likely that, as Agnes said, "He found his sweetheart"    

Agnes married Walter Rundle presumably before 1911 (their first child, Georgina Frances Rundle was born on the  29th  November 1911). Documentation of the marriage has, so far, been elusive. It doesn't appear on the Irish registry, but there is a possibility that they might have got married in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. 

It is known that Walter Rundle visited Plymouth in 1911 with his sister but there was no reference to Agnes.  The complete list of their ten children will shortly be on this website.   Agnes remained all her life at  6 St Mark's Terrace, Drogheda and died in the Lourdes Hospital after a short illness on the 25th. January 1974 at the age of 85. She is buried with her mother Sarah in Drogheda.

Click on the second link at the bottom of this page and follow Walter Rundle's story and read how his marriage to Agnes ended abruptly in 1926.



A little snippet about Michael Collins

At some stage before the Civil War, Agnes' daughter Ena got Michael Collins' autograph as that was a hobby of hers. She also was given a golden ring by him.   Later in the early 1930's Ena also got another autograph in the same book, this time from Eamon de Valera, the other prominent figure in the Civil War. Unfortunately both the book and the ring were stolen. as was a letter to her from Collins. She had these in her posession until the early 1990's. If anyone comes across the book, or the letter, I'd like to hear from them. It may have been sold, so it may turn up some day.





Constance (Connie Graham) McAuley was born on the 24th. December 1891. She was a nurse by profession, but in her early years she also earned money by playing piano in the cinema during the "silent film"  era. Even  as late as the 1970's she could give an impressive performance on the piano. She too married a protestant, Mick McAuley, and is also not buried in her husband's grave in the protestant cemetary on the Chord Road, Drogheda. They lived in a house in  "Newtown" about two miles from Drogheda out the Greenhills Road. There was some grey area about the property and Connie didn't inherit it after Mick's death in December 1953. Seemingly the property remained in the ownership of Mick's parents and Connie was allowed to remain there until she died in 1974 (April 9th.) The house was first wired for electricity ( lights only ) in 1968 by Cyril Rundle (Agnes's son). Connie died on the 9th. April 1974 at the age of 82, and is buried with her mother in Drogheda. Her companion for the last 19 years of her life was a dog named Susie who died 7 days after Connie.

George Graham was likewise born in Clonakilty, we don't have exact dates, but chronologically, He was born between Connie and Kathy (1892/3). He married  Dorothy Knowles. They had three daughters, I only know the name of one of the girls, Mary Graham. Can you help with more information ?

Katherine (Kathy) Graham was born on the 15th. October 1894, also in Clonakilty. She married Joe McIntyre. They moved to Australia. They had a daughter Margaret Mary who was a nun who died in Yarrawonga in 1947. Possibly Kathy married a second time. This is being researched at the moment.

Patrick Graham was born on the 12th. may 1896 in Sligo (his birth is recorded in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo). He became a christian brother (a teaching order of clerics, now almost defunct). He died in 1918 and is interred in Bury St. Edmunds, possibly in a christian brothers community burial grounds.



Mary Frances Graham  (photo left ) was born in Drogheda in 1901.  She was a dressmaker and married a widower James O'Rourke and lived in "The Gatehouse", Ballinamore, County Leitrim. They had five children, Tony, Sarah (a nun), Patrick (a priest), Carmel (who died aged 10 months) and Sean. Mary was a heavy smoker and died of cancer on the 28th. May 1951 in "The Gatehouse". More details about Mary and James can be seen by following the O'Rourke links on our  homepage 




Josephine Graham born on the 14th. or 15th. August 1904 and died in December at the age of 4 months and is buried in St. Peter's (catholic) cemetary Drogheda with her mother.




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rundle family tree

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agnes and walter's children