Anne - It was good to hear from you. I do not know the John Feerick of the Feerick Travel Agency in Ballinrobe, nor his brother Emer, but I have heard of them. I would surmise that they would be a good source of lineage if we could get in touch with them, and they may be able to answer the central question of John Feerick in pre-1879, Ballinrobe.
My cousin, Jim Feerick, gets over to Ireland quite a bit, and knows a lot about the Feerick family in Ballinrobe. I will ask him the next time I talk with him. I will keep up with our Genealogy Forum, and as I find out relevant items, I will post them.