by ehistoryadmin on July 11, 2015



Mr. Philip Kennedy, South Main St., Naas, who died suddenly on Thursday, added 92, was one of the oldest working publicans in the country. He was also a veteran of the War of Independence.

Native of Monread, Naas, he was educated in the local schools. He became apprenticed at an early age of the licensed trade in Dublin. Later he became manager of Walter’s public house in Dun Laoghaire. During his younger days he played football and hurling. He joined the Irish Volunteers before 1916, and one of his proudest possessions was a flag which belonged to the local Volunteers.


The late Mr. Kennedy was essentially of a quiet disposition, and was reluctant to talk about his involvement in the War of Independence. But it is known that he took a role in the 1916 Rising.

He was arrested and interned for a period in 1918. His main work was as an intelligence officer for Micheal Collins.He was ideally placed in Dun Laoghaire, to report to troop movements and comings and goings at the main Irish passenger seaport. After the Treaty he took no further part in politics and concentrated on his business life.

In 1925 he bought Doran’s (formerly Masterson’s) grocery and licensed premises in South Main St. His premises is a landmark in the town and one of the last of the old-time combined pub and grocery businesses.

Despite the growth of supermarkets, he retained his traditional style of shop. The unchanged décor of the premises attracted customers in its own right.


For many years the premises has been the venue for question time competitions attracting entries from a wide area and becoming and established entertainment on the local scene.


The late Mr. Kennedy was Chairman of the local branch of the Licensed Vinters Association and was its oldest member still active in the trade. Over the years he was active in a number of organizations, the most notable being Kildare Ratepayers Association of which he was Chairman in the ‘fifties. He was interested in Gaelic games throughout his life and up to recent years was a regular attender at big games. He also had a lifelong interest in Irish music and culture.


But he devoted most of his life to his business. He was a devout Catholic who strictly observed his religious duties. He was also noted for his charitableness and his good living was an example to all. One of the town’s oldest residents, he was a fund of local and national history. His memory was undimmed by the years, and some years ago he made a valuable tape recording of his recollections for Co. Kildare Archaeological Society.

He was working in his premises right up to the time of his death. He took ill suddenly on Thursday evening and died shortly afterwards in Naas hospital. He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen (nee Gleeson), just two months ago.


The remains were removed to the Parish Church, Naas on Friday evening. Rev. P. Ramsbottom, C.C. officiated at the funeral Mass the following morning. Interment took place afterwards to St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, with Fr. Ramsbottom officiating.

Re-typed by Hannah Mustapha



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