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January 23, 2007

Construction of Wallpaper Factory - July/August 1936

Leinster Leader 1/8/1936, p. 3.
            The tender of the well-known firm of contractors, Messrs. Sheridan Brothers, Newbridge, for the erection of the factory buildings to house the new wallpaper industry at Kildare has been accepted, at approximately ₤13,000. Work on the site (at Cross Keys, on the fringe of the town of Kildare) commenced on Tuesday and construction will proceed apace, as the main building must be completed within the coming four months. The acceptance of Messrs. Sheridan’s tender gave great satisfaction in the district as the firm will employ wholly local labour.
Leinster Leader 15/8/1936, p. 9.
            Following a slight initial delay work has commenced in earnest on the erection of the new wallpaper factory at Kildare. For the past week the contractors, Messrs. Sheridan, Newbridge, have had gangs of local labourers and carters busily engaged in levelling operations, sinking foundations etc. The site, at Crosskeys, at the western end of the town, is an ideal one and during the past week has been viewed by a great number of persons interested in this very important industry.

Two articles from the Leinster Leader recording the initial stages of construction of the Wallpaper factory.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:36 PM

January 18, 2007

2007 Schedule for Cill Dara Historical Society

Cill Dara
Historical Society
- Kildare Town's Local History Group -
Series of Talks & Walks
Talks Begin at 8pm
 The Education Centre Kildare
(Old Parochial House)
Friary Road, Kildare Town.
Wednesday 3rd January
Visit to Clongowes Wood College
~ with Brendan Cullen ~
Wednesday 7th February
'Final Witness' - My Journey from The Holocaust to Kildare
~ with Zoltan Zinn-Collis ~
Wednesday 7th March
'The Forgotten Heritage of Kildare'
~ with Ger McCarthy ~
Wednesday 4th   April
'Lifting the Veil on the Nuns' Story' - Enterprising Irish Women Abroad
~ with Dr. Barbara Walsh ~
Wednesday 2nd   May
'MacLiammóir - Kildare - Theatre'
~ with Tom Madden ~
Saturday 9th June
Annual Outing to Birr & Roscrea
~   Details will follow ~
Wednesday 4th July
'The Hayden Lecture'
in association with Kildare Derby Festival
'The Curragh - A Land Divided'
~ with Guy Williams ~
Wednesday 1st   August
Wednesday 5th September
'The Hill of Allen'
~ with Sean Byrne ~
Wednesday 3rd October
' Preserving The Heritage of Kildare Town'
~ with Adrian J. Mullowney ~
Wednesday 7th November
'The Hoystead Family of Nurney' - and their present circumstances
~ with Paud O'Connor ~
Wednesday 5th December
'Kildare 1907' - What they said in the Papers
~ with Stephen Talbot ~
Further Information:
Contact Joe @   086 168 62 36

Another busy and interesting year planned by Kildare Town's Local History Group

[Schedule e-mailed to me by Joe Connelly of the Cill Dara Historical Society]

Posted by mariocorrigan at 07:45 PM

January 15, 2007

St. Brigid's - First Ever Kildare Senior Hurling Championship 1978

Leinster Leader 14/10/1978, p. 8.
St. Brigid’s …………… 3-10;
Ardclough……………… 2-9.
THE LONG WAIT for St. Brigid’s ended at Droichead Nua last Sunday when they turned in a sparkling third quarter to win their first ever Kildare Senior Hurling Championship.
            Their opponents and victims of the day, the much-honoured Ardclough side, fought hard to regain a title they last won two years ago, but at the end of a first-class hour of close sporting hurling, they were forced to give best to a club which in its 29-year history had won every title except the illusive senior trophy.
            The winners, who had an earlier round win over the same opposition, were slight prematch [sic] favourites to lift the Sean Carey Cup but for long periods it seemed to the fair-sized crowd that their second appearance in a senior county decider (they lost to the same opposition two years ago), would again be a losing one.
            They won the toss but elected to play into the strong wind and this decision seemed to be ill-advised. The more experienced Ardclough side took an early grip on the exchanges and playing some lively hurling totted up some early scores.
            During their period of dominance, they were first to the ball, with St. Brigid’s lacking the bite shown in the earlier round and playing like a side somewhat overcome by the occasion. St. Brigid’s did show improvement in the second quarter and were afforded some golden scoring opportunities, but still could only manage one core [sic-score] in that first half, a goal. And when Ardclough led at the interval by 1-6 to 1-0, another title looked destined for Ardclough.
            But in the minutes after the changeover the whole scene changed. St. Brigid’s who had been listless in the first half, were a team transformed. Every sector showed a hundred per cent improvement. An early goal set the pattern and it was St. Brigd’s now who called the tune. Score followed score for St. Brigid’s and in a fifteen minute spell of brilliant hurling they added 2-4 to hit the front for the first time.
            Against this surprising pressure, the Ardclough defence began to falter and their fullback line in particular failed dismally to cope with the dashing St. Brigid’s attack. St. Brigid’s went five points clear but going into the last quarter slackened off somewhat and Ardclough with a goal hit back to get within two points of the leaders.
            But the winners defence defended heroically and with long serving Tommy Burke, sound all through the hour but tremendous under the severe Ardclough onslaught, clearing ball after ball, they held out. During that nailbiting finish Ardclough had their chances of salvaging the verdict, but they messed and missed and their failure to convert a late close-in free was a deciding factor.
            A close but merited win for a team that have had their share of ill-luck since their Junior title win of eight years ago. And it must be added a deserving reward for those hurling enthusiasts in the club who have kept plugging away seeking the number one title despite many setbacks. Club Chairman Ger Tiernan, for so long a member of their senior side, didn’t play on this memorable occasion, but all will agree that no one contributed more to this hard-won victory.
It was a fine team effort by the well trained and dedicated winning side and each member of the winning team must be applauded but for Tommy Burke, Jack and Mick O’Connell, John O’Leary, Pat White and Danny Rankins it was especially pleasing to share, after years of trying, in the club’s greatest triumph.
The losers battled right on to the final whistle and could have snatched it. But when on top they failed to wrap it up and for once their normally sound defence wilted under the St. Brigid’s third quarter pressure. The Walshes, Ned and Johnny, Dom Maguire, Bobby Burke, and Tommy Johnson were their most prominent players.
Referee, Mick Kelleher, Athy.

Leinster Leader report from October 1978 on St. Brigid's Hurling Club's sensational victory  over Ardclough in the County Senior Championship

[original spelling and grammar retained - mistakes identified by [sic] in text]

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:39 PM

January 08, 2007

Junior Hurling Final 1969 - first County Title for St. Brigid's

Leinster Leader 22/11/1969, p.10.
St. Brigids 2-14          Broadford 1-5
THE Junior Hurling League Final, which brought St. Brigids their first County Title, was another disappointment.
Broadford lost this game in the first half when they failed to avail of the assistance of a strong wind and allowed themselves to fall into a nine goal [sic] deficit, halftime score reading 1gl 5pts, to 5pts. In that period Broadford had plenty of chances but their attack failed to turn them into scores.
For ten minutes of the second half exchanges were even and little divided the sides but then in a purple patch that saw the three Connells add a succession of well taken scores, St. Brigids gained a clear advantage and in the last ten minutes were very much on top.
Best for the winners were Mick, Tommy and Jack O’Connell, Tommy Anderson, Eddie McDermott, Tommy Burke, Danny Rankins and Des Hipwell. Tom Moore, Michael Moore, Paddy Mangan, Mick McKeever and Teddy Gorman played well for the losers who were forced to line out short three of their best players.

The Leinster Leader of 22 November 1969 recorded a victory for St. Brigid's in the Junior Hurling Final against Broadford.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 10:19 PM

January 05, 2007

Civil War Memories and Anecdotes

Paddy Sheehan, Newbridge
            The Sheehans were well known for their involvement locally in the pivotal events of the periods of 1916, the War of Independence and the Civil War. They not only kept documentary material relating to the period but because of their involvement and the involvement of other family members and acquaintances they have a fantastic local knowledge that they have willingly and generously shared with all and sundry. Paddy Sheehan was able recently to share some interesting anecdotes regarding Kildare Town in this troubled period which I would like to include here as a means of preserving them for the record.
            When lieutenant Wogan-Browne was killed in Kildare in February 1922 the local I.R.A. took those responsible into their custody. Those who had carried out the deed were themselves I.R.A. men but it seems that they had acted without the sanction of the I.R.A. (This may mean that the intended robbery was not sanctioned or the use of deadly force was not sanctioned). The three men were taken to Moran’s of Ballysax and housed there until a decision was made regarding punishment (official sources said that the men were eventually released without trial). While there, they escaped and left the locality. Apparently those guarding them were much relieved because they knew the men and did not want to be faced with the possibility of delivering them up or shooting them. According to Paddy Sheehan the men made their way out of the County, (possibly to Athlone) and joined the Free State Army, which was at that very moment scouring the countryside for them.
             When the local men were executed on the Curragh in 1922 they were buried there until they were re-interred at Grey Abbey in 1924. At the graveside a volley was fired by the I.R.A. and immediately all hell broke loose. ‘Plain Clothes men’ and soldiers rushed towards the grave and were confronted by friends and relatives of the deceased men, many of them women. The guns were never recovered and no arrests were made. Seemingly, many of the women brought umbrellas that day and the revolvers were hidden quickly in the umbrellas and never found.
            One account of the incident can be found in the Leinster Leader which says that after the burials the crowd went to Suncroft to the burial of Leo Dowling. According to Paddy Sheehan, they were met (although he seems to think it may have happened a day or two after the internments at Grey Abbey) by the local priest who warned them that a machine-gun had been positioned overlooking the graveyard and beseeched them not to fire a volley at the graveside as this would provoke a bloody response.
            Local tradition has it that the bodies were not allowed into the Church in Kildare but were waked in the Court-house. Newspaper reports and other accounts say they were waked in the Town Hall. Paddy Sheehan recounted that this happened also with the body of Thomas Behan in Rathangan. It may indeed have been official policy at the time.
            In 1935 a Republican monument was unveiled on the Market Square in Kildare to the memory of the executed men and a fiery oration was delivered on the occasion by Fr. Michael Flanagan. It seems that as the appointed time for the unveiling was approaching there was no sign of Fr. Flanagan and Paddy Sheehan and his brother got the idea that maybe he had disembarked in Newbridge because his visit was arranged with the help of the Sheehans and the correspondence was done through Newbridge. They hurriedly sped back to Newbridge and found Fr. Flanagan awaiting pick up at the side of the road. It seems he was mightily relieved when they introduced themselves for he had been a little uneasy to see a car hurtling along at high speed, screech to a stop nearby and some tall men in overcoats step down quickly to approach him! He was delivered safely, and in time, to his appointment in Kildare Town.
[these anecdotes are the result of conversations with Paddy Sheehan, in Sheehans Shop and on the phone, in Sep./Oct. 2005 – Mario Corrigan]

Below:- Photograph of Paddy Sheehan in Sheehan's Shoemakers shop in Newbridge - holding a cast-iron RIC sign from the old Constabulary Barracks in Newbridge. On the table is a folder of Sinn Fein Dail Court Reports - copies of these reports are now in Newbridge Library. My thanks to James Durney for the photograph.

P Sheehan.JPG



An article on events relating to 1922 and the Civil War from the Grey Abbey Conservation Project's book, 'Church of the Oak,' in memory of Paddy Sheehan of Newbridge who passed away shortly after it was published. My thanks to Paddy for his generosity and time.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 09:56 PM

Christmas School Concert and Poems

Leinster Leader
            The children of the Presentation Convent Schools, under the guidance of the good Sisters, gave their annual treat to the Kildare folk last Sunday and Monday evenings; and their efforts were thoroughly appreciated and genuinely enjoyed by almost inconveniently large audiences. Indeed on Sunday evening a considerable number were quite content to witness the proceedings through the spacious wide open windows. Everything combined to add to the immense success which the concerts were unanimously voted to be. The stage, which itself, was irreproachable, was artistically furnished with a well chosen variety of exquisite scenery under perfect control; and thanks to Mrs. Cooney the electric current was brought to bear upon the success and surround them with all the magic glamour which perhaps only an abundance of electric light, skilfully managed, can effect. Nor were the little people, who animated those fairy-like scenes, in the least unworthy of their surroundings. Elegantly attired light on foot and light of heart, in all the gaiety and innocence of childhood, they kept tripping about the stage through a maze of Gaelic dance, or blended their young voices in melodies of sweet song, at times admirably suiting the action to the word. They were evidently delighted with themselves and beaming with happiness, and their audience in sympathy with them, were equally happy and delighted. Incidentally they gave unmistakable proof to all whom it might concern, and naturally the subject concerns everybody, that even the youngest among them are not by any means losing their time in school; and perhaps the realisation of this afforded the keenest satisfaction not only to the children’s parents but to the whole assembly. The more advanced pupils were seen at least to equal advantage, figuring in living Tableaux, illustrating striking events in the life of our far-famed Patroness St. Brigid of Cill-Dara. We cannot attempt to describe them. All must recognise that the venture was a particularly ambitious one; and it speaks volumes for the mental and indeed material resources of both Nuns and girls to testify that down to all the details of drapery, ornament, pose and paint, the Tableaux Vivants were crowned with success, while they were an equally eloquent and welcome tribute to Kildare’s interest in, and reverence for St. Brigid. Intensely humourous items were the “Suffragettes” in militant mood, the “Maids of Lee’ alternately young and old, and literally two-faced, and “Mrs. Mulligatanny’s Spring Cleaning.” The school girls were also quite at home in the musical department, reflecting much credit on their teachers and themselves. The Misses Bergin, Beechgrove, were generous as usual in contributing both violin and pianoforte items, at the same time high-class and popular, and they spared no efforts to provide very agreeable entertainment during the intervals. Miss Nolan, from Carlow, by her beautiful rendering of the vocal solos “Thora” and “Fiona” evoked hearty applause.
Leinster Leader, 20/12/1941, p. 5.
‘Tis Christmas time; O Blessed Babe,
Thy Festival is here,
All honour to Thy memory;
Thy Feast of love so dear,
Pray teach the warring hearts of men
To cease all earthly strife,
That peace my feign and tranquil be
The memory of Thy life.
‘Tis Christmas time; O loving Babe,
Thy Festival divine,
Thy aid we need; Thy Glorious Light
Oh, may it ever shine,
Pray help us in our duty
What’er that task may be,
And may we love Thee ever
Unto eternity.
‘Tis Christmas time; O gentle Babe,
Thy Festival once more,
Pray keep the Faith in Irish homes
And on them blessings pour,
May every Christian heart be true
To thee, dear Babe; our King,
May peace come soon to all the world
While Christmas joy bells ring.
P. McCormack.
Leinster Leader, 22/12/1945, p.4.
Long ago, one winter’s night,
The air without was cold,
Mary and Joseph shelter sought,
The Inns are full, they’re told.
They travelled on in silence
But One was ever near
To bless their Divine Mission,
And tho’ sad, they did not fear.
They found a cave-a stable
And with oxen resting there,
The Babe was born, the King of Kings,
Yes, in a manger bare.
The shepherds came, adoring Him,
Great joy their hearts did fill,
Angels sang Glory to God on High
Peace on earth to men of good will.
And there the gentle Joseph,
With Mary Mother mild,
Are moved with deep devotion
As they tend their loving Child.
A tender Babe, but yet a King,
A star His presence told,
The Wise Men came, their gifts to bring
Of frankincense, myrrh and gold.
O Blessed by Thy Holy Name,
Our Babe, Our Lord, Our King,
All praise and all thanksgiving
While Christmas joy-bells ring.
Patrick McCormack
From the Leinster Leader - Two poems by Paddy McCormack of Kildare and a report on a School Concert performed at the Presentation Convent. 

Posted by mariocorrigan at 09:41 PM