A French descendant of the man who gave his name to D'Olier Street visited Dublin yesterday for the first time and stood on the street that bears his name. The street, near O'Connell Bridge, is home to The Irish Times and was named after Mr Jeremiah d'Olier, one of the founders and first governors of the Bank of Ireland.
Dr Jean d'Olier (73), a military doctor, and his wife, Josette, employed leading French genealogists to trace the d'Olier family. The couple were delighted to discover the link to Ireland and, with the help of Irish Genealogical Ltd, they retraced their ancestors' steps in Dublin yesterday.
Isaac Olier was a Huguenot martyr who escaped to Holland during the Edict of Nantes. Wishing to have his French descent recognised, he assumed the prefix of d'. In 1688, he followed the Prince of Orange to England and then went to Ireland where he became a merchant and married Ms Martha Pilkington from Westmeath. Their only son, Isaac, was a goldsmith and a member of Dublin City Council. His third son, Jeremiah, became one of the first governors of the Bank of Ireland in 1801.