6 Apr 2012
Allow me to add a word about the Mulvany connection. This supplementary information comes to me from Wing Commander Jeff Jefford, editor of the Journal of the Royal Air Force Hisitorical Society.
On 25 September 1941 a letter to The Times from one Rev. John Watson of Golders Green Methodist Church inquired whether anyone knew "the origin of the phrase 'Per ardua ad astra', the motto of the Royal Air Force." A reply of 30 September from a J R Mulvany of Chorley Wood said that "'Per Ardua Ad Astra' is the motto of the Mulvanys, an old Irish family".
I prefer to rely on the information provided to me by the Irish Heraldic Office, and think that the claim by the said J R Mulvany can be discounted as a fine instance of blarney.