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Local Studies Department

WORLD WAR I: Appendix - Kildare County Directory 1915-16

Kildare, an inland county in Leinster province. Boundaries: N., Meath; E., Dublin and Wicklow; S., Carlow,; W., Queen’s, King’s and Westmeath. Greatest length, N. and S., 40 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 27 miles; comprising an area of 418,645 acres, of which 102,197 are under tillage, 254,876 in pasture, 6,615, in plantations, 53,103 waste, bog, mountain, &c., and 1,854 under water. The subsoil is limestone and clay—slate; the surface level, with a few low hills interspersed. The rivers Liffey and Barrow pass through the county; the Boyne rises in its N. part. The Grand and Royal Canals traverse it, as also the Great Southern and Western Railway, passing through or near the towns of Naas, Newbridge, Kildare, Monasterevan, and Athy; and the Midland Great Western Railway passing near the towns of Leixlip, Maynooth, Kilcock, and Enfield. It contains 50,000 acres of bog; the common called the Curragh covers 5,000 acres. Large quantities of turf are sent to Dublin by the canals. The occupations are chiefly agricultural, but there are some woollen, cotton, and paper factories. Adjoining the town of Maynooth is the Roman Catholic College of St. Patrick.

The administrative county is divided into 2 urban and 5 rural districts, and contains 110 parishes, and 1,239 townlands, having a population in 1911 of 66,627 — males, 37,684; females, 28,943 (Roman Catholics, 54,684; Protestant Episcopalians, 10,498; Presbyterians, 611; Methodists, 576; others, 258); or 13,023 families, inhabiting 12,697 houses; also 857 uninhabited and 54 building. The towns exceeding 500 in population in 1911 are:­

Naas
3,842
Newbridge
3,400
Maynooth
886
Monasterevan
732
Kilcock
590
Rathangan
54
Athy
3,535
Kildare
2,369
Celbridge
842
Leixlip
583
Kilcullen
537

The county returns 2 members to Parliament; registered electors, 1915, Nth. Division, 6319; South, 5,593, with 15 polling districts. It is on the Leinster Circuit. The Assizes are held at Naas, and Quarter Sessions at Athy, Kildare, and Naas. There are 14 petty Sessions District Courts, and 3 parts of Petty Sessions Districts holding courts in other counties. There is no Poor Law Union wholly within the county, but it contains portions of the 6 unions of Athy, Baltinglass, Carlow, Celbridge, Edenderry, and Naas. The county Constabulary force consists of 176 men. The county is within the Dublin military district, except the Curragh Camp and Newbridge, which constitute the Curragh military district; and there are barrack stations at Athy, Naas, Newbridge, and the Curragh. In conjunction with the cos. Carlow, Dublin, and Wicklow, Kildare forms No. 66 Regimental District, the Depot of which is at Naas.

Poor Law Unions

Athy Union (partly in Co. Kildare and Queen’s - The Guardians met on Wednesdays, at 11 o’clock a.m.

Celbridge Union (partly in Cos. Kildare and Dublin)... The Board of Guardians meet on Fridays...

Naas Union (partly in Cos. Kildare and Wicklow)... The Board of Guardians meets weekly on Wednesdays, except 1st Wednesday of month. ...