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Our readers come up trumps for Debbie after Korea letters appeal

July 9th, 2021 12:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

The photo that helped readers to connect with Debbie.

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BY HELEN RIDDELL

A FLORIDA woman who was trying to trace the families of her late father’s childhood friends in Eyeries to return correspondence they had sent to him while serving in Korea with the US Army, has now made contact with the men’s families – thanks to Southern Star readers.

Debbie Kelly, a resident of Florida USA is the daughter of the late Timothy Patrick Kelly of Pullincha, Eyeries, Beara. Her father served with the Irish Army, before emigrating to New York.

Two of his childhood friends from Eyeries, Timothy ‘Frank’ O’Neill and Donal Harrington also left Eyeries to emigrate to the USA where they joined the US Army, and went onto serve in Korea. The three men regularly corresponded with each other.

Debbie’s father passed away in 2012, and while sorting through his belongings she discovered that her father had kept all the letters the two men had sent to him while they were in Korea. She contacted The Southern Star to ask for help in trying to track down the men’s families so she could return the correspondence to them, explaining that she felt the letters now belonged with their families.

Donal Harrington was tragically killed in Korea and his remains were brought home to rest in Beara, the Stars and Stripes are engraved on his headstone. A niece and nephew of the late Donal have contacted The Southern Star and their details have now been passed onto Debbie.

A daughter of Timothy Kelly has also made contact with Debbie who said she was delighted to have made contact with the men’s families. ‘Since the article was published, I’m thrilled that I’ve now made contact with the families of both of my father’s old friends, and I have already mailed the letters that Frank and Donal wrote onto each family.’   

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