by ehistoryadmin on May 13, 2017

Leinster Leader 26 November 1966


Anniversary Dinner Marks Occasion

Representatives of five families associated with County Kildare Archaeological Society since its foundation in Lord Mayo’s home at Palmerstown, Kill, in 1891 were among the guests at the 75th anniversary dinner of the Society in Naas on Saturday night.

Preserving the long line are the de Burgh, Aylmer, Mansfield, Clements and Wolfe families. And the Society’s unbroken link with the Churches was characterised in the presence of Archdeacon of Kildare, Ven. B. L. Handy, Clane and Very Rev. J. Doyle, P.P., Clane, the latter representing the Vice-President, Right Rev. Msgr. Miller, P.P., V.F., who takes the place on the Society’s Council ordinarily held by the Coadjutor Bishop of Kildare, Most. Rev. Dr. C. Comerford.


Comdt. J. Guiney, U.C.D., Naas, a Joint Secretary, spoke of the Society’s pleasure in having these representatives when he proposed the toast of the guests. He announced messages of goodwill from the Marquis of Kildare, Mons. Miller, Mr. G. Sweetman, T.D. (whose father was a founder member), Mr. Brian Cantwell, Council member; Mr. Percy le Clerk, Office of Public Works; Cork Archaeological Society; Lady Rosemary Fitzgerald, Mrs. Potterton, Mr. Gerald O’Neill and Mr. Eoin O’Mahony, B.L.

Comdt. Guiney mentioned that the Society had acquired Lord Walter Fitzgerald’s set of Journals. The Hon. Desmond Guinness, Leixlip Castle, in reply praised the Society on its step into the field of restoration. This work, he always felt, should be undertaken by the Society. It was gratifying to know that under the leadership of Capt. C. Costelloe, Naas, the ruins at Jigginstown, Naas, were to be cleaned up, gates and stiles erected, and a certain amount of excavation carried out, for Jigginstown was the only building of its date on that scale in Ireland.

Amateur’s role

The Director of the National Museum, Dr. A. T. Lucas, in toast to the Society, said that the heritage of the country was more immediately accessible in Kildare than in most of the 32 counties, and for this he paid tribute to the amateurs who, in the Society’s Journal, had contributed by field and research work.

Outstanding of these, said Dr. Lucas, were Lord Fitzgerald, Kilkea Castle, and Thomas Johnson Westropp. Lord Walter, he went on, might be described as the very embodiment of the Society. He was elected a Council member at the formation of the Society, having been a signatory to the notice which convened the inaugural meeting, and became Joint Secretary in 1893. He was still in the Society in 1921, two years before his death.

Enumerating Lord Walter’s articles and shorter contributions on archaeology, Dr. Lucas said that this on any sort of standards was a phenomenal outlook. More phenomenal still was the range of his knowledge and interest. Few men were so alive to import and interest of so many things. Both men, Dr. Lucas regretted, had suffered in that their works were not available in the form of a single unit.

The President, Gen. Sir Eric de Burgh, in reply, recalled that all the Society’s founders were personally known to him as a boy of 10 when the inaugural meeting took place in Palmerstown. He complimented all connected with the organisation and running of the function.

Guests were led into dinner by a piper, Cpl. C. Flynn, 3rd Batttalion and afterwards entertained by Miss Grainne Yeats, harpist, and Mr. Fergus Cahill, singer of ballads. Major P. N. N. Synnott, Furness, Naas, a Council member, was toastmaster.


(Photo with article: Miss M. Wolfe, Forenaughts, Naas, and Lt.-Col. C. M. L. Clements and Mrs. Clements, Kilcullen, were among guests representing families associated with County Kildare Archaeological Society since its foundation in 1891 at the 75th anniversary dinner of the Society in Naas on Saturday night. They are seen here with Baroness Bielenberg, Tallaght and the Hon. Desmond Guinness, Leixlip Castle.)

Re-typed by Jennifer O’Connor

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