Eimear Quinn

“I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I’ll set you free…”

Eimar’s Sense of Belonging

Eimear’s DNA results and family history research reveal a deep connection to the Emerald Isle. The family names of her grandparents — Quinn, Sharkey, Ennis, and Swift — can be traced to the Liberties, one of Dublin’s oldest neighborhoods, dating back to 1700.

With the discoveries MyHeritage made about Eimear’s family’s past, the lyrics of the song with which she won the 1996 Eurovision take on a particularly special meaning. She is the voice of her ancestors’ proud Irish future.
Silk weaving was an important and centuries-old industry in the Liberties, and the Quinns contributed to that tradition, beginning with her paternal great-grandfather, Albert Quinn.
Albert Quinn’s father, James, was a baker. Three of his sons followed in his footsteps, but Albert chose a different profession. He joined his maternal grandfather, William Harborne, in the silk weaving industry.
Albert Quinn married Catherine Clifford in 1909 at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in the heart of the neighborhood. According to the 1911 census, the Quinn and Clifford families lived only a few doors apart on Cork Street.
The Guinness brewery was in the heart of Dublin. Eimear’s maternal great-grandfather, Patrick Sharkey, began working there in 1894, when he was just 14. It was already the largest brewery in the world.

By the time he retired in 1940, Patrick was the foreman of the cooperage department, and a trusted and important employee.

His death notice in the Evening Herald announced the passing of Patrick Sharkey, “late of AGS (Arthur Guinness and Son) and Company.”





Martin Ennis was Eimear’s maternal great-grandfather. He was born in 1882 in Lansdowne Valley, Drimnagh, not far from central Dublin. His father, Patrick, was a papermaker, and probably worked at the nearby Drimnagh Paper Mill.

Martin worked as a ward master at a workhouse called the South Dublin Union (SDU). The SDU had been established in 1838 to serve poor, elderly and needy people in Dublin’s South City.

In 1914, he was placed in charge of the SDU farm at Pelletstown, near Naas in County Kildare. He employed his brother, Christopher, at the farm, because he was an experienced market gardener.

Martin Ennis was Eimear’s maternal great-grandfather. He was born in 1882 in Lansdowne Valley, Drimnagh, not far from central Dublin. His father, Patrick, was a papermaker, and probably worked at the nearby Drimnagh Paper Mill.

Martin worked as a ward master at a workhouse called the South Dublin Union (SDU). The SDU had been established in 1838 to serve poor, elderly and needy people in Dublin’s South City.

In 1914, he was placed in charge of the SDU farm at Pelletstown, near Naas in County Kildare. He employed his brother, Christopher, at the farm, because he was an experienced market gardener.


Given these deep family roots in Ireland, it’s no surprise that Eimear’s DNA test revealed 96% Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ethnicity. Perhaps less expected are the remaining results: she is 3.1% Ashkenazi Jewish, and 0.9% Middle Eastern.

Given these deep family roots in Ireland, it’s no surprise that Eimear’s DNA test revealed 96% Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ethnicity. Perhaps less expected are the remaining results: she is 3.1% Ashkenazi Jewish, and 0.9% Middle Eastern.

96.0%
Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
3.1%
Ashkenazi Jewish
0.9%
Middle Eastern
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