One of the most predominant surnames in the Registers of the French Church of Portarlington is “Blanc” in its many guises; Le Blanc, Blang and eventually Blong as the name became more Irish. According to David Grant of GrantOnline the Blancs had been butchers in Portarlington since their arrival in 1699 and had remained in the town throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th and indeed the 20th century. So highly regarded was the Blanc’s craft that they even got a mention in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake:

“came along merendally his stockpot dinner of a half a pound or round steak, very rare, Blong's best from Portarlington's Butchery, with a side of riceypeasy and Corkshire alla mellonge and bacon with (a little mar pliche!)”

You can see an entry for Le Blanc below:

More information on the Register of the French Church of Portarlington

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