Midwife Bridget Minch
Castlebar County Mayo
Midwife Bridget Minch (nee Kenny) was born in Tawneyshawn, Crimlin, Castlebar Co. Mayo in 1874 to
John and Margaret Kenny. She was the of second eldest daughter of four children. Bridget’s parents were determined that they get some education and as no Catholic schools were allowed, she sent some of the children to the local Protestant school. This led to trouble with the clergy, they persevered as long as they could before eventually educating the children at home with books taken from the school. She often spoke of her mother using a stick with ashes from the fore spread on the floor to make the letters and numbers. As a result, they were one of the few families in the area that were literate.
Bridget emigrated at age of just eighteen to Philadelphia USA. There she met her husband Kildare man Michael Minch. They returned home and set up a small business in Castlebar but Michael returned to USA and Bridget soon followed. Michael passed away from TB in 1912 and Bridget pregnant at the time returned home with her three young children for family support.
Bridget the family believe enrolled in the midwifery course during the year 1913 and was a six month course. Bridget claim to fame as a midwife is she delivered Charles Haughey and he has even quoted as such in his autobiography Charles Haughey.
Bridget was described by her niece Kathleen Staunton as “a small stocky woman
with piercing blue eyes and a hard-set mouth. For a small woman she always
expected to be obeyed and she was seldom disappointed. ‘I’ll rule & I’ll boss’ was
her favourite war cry”
Below are some photographs and memorabilia of Bridget’s life, pdf of the families story about Bridget and a link to an interview with one of her grand daughters Pauline McGowan.