In 2007–08 the Foundation was involved in the production of a BBC TV documentary on the Crown Bar – The Crown Jewel. The Crown is one of Belfast’s best known pubs and is owned by the National Trust. Its fine craftsmanship marks it out as being one of the city’s most important buildings. The Foundation was asked to carry out research into the owners of the Crown, the Flanigans. Patrick Flanigan and his wife Ellen (née Hughes) were both originally from Banbridge, County Down, where they married in 1880. Patrick was already working as a publican in Belfast and all of their children were born here.

By assembling information from a variety of sources, including church records, census returns, wills and testamentary papers, and newspapers the Foundation was able to build up a profile of this fascinating family. During filming the show's presenter, Dan Gordon, and the production crew visited the Foundation's offices to film a sequence about our discoveries. The show was broadcast in October 2008 and generated much interest. A couple of days later the Foundation was contacted by a great-grand-daughter of Patrick and Ellen Flanigan.

Patrick Flanigan death notice

Mrs Mary Gaywood was able to provide details of what happened to the family. It turned out that three of their sons died during the First World War. Two of their daughters married, but only Ellen, who married James Grant, had any children. Mrs Gaywood’s father was a child of this marriage. She was able to provide us with a photograph of the wedding of James Grant and Ellen Flanigan which took place in Belfast on 29 September 1909.