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August 31, 2007

COME OUT YE BLACK AND TANS!

Black and Tans incident re-enacted in Naas
by
 
JAMES DURNEY
 
 
On August 20 1920 an ambush on a police patrol at Greenhills, Kill, by local IRA unit left two RIC men dead. Subsequently, a party of Black and Tans arrived in Kill, wrecked Broughall's pub, stole a large quantity of drink, assaulted a few locals and then drove into Naas where they burnt down Boushells Boot Shop beside the Leinster Leader offices. While researching this event for a book titled 'On the One Road. Political Unrest in Kildare 1913-1994' I was told  that the Black and Tans were searching for Jimmy White, a local volunteer, who lived across the road beside Haydes shop and Boushells was burnt down in mistake for Whites.
Frank Lawler, whose father, Peter, was an IRA officer at the time, has since told me that Boushells was singled out because the owner, Ben Boushell, had cleared all the shoes out of his front window except for a black shoe and a tan shoe which he left on display to annoy the Black and Tans, who must have taking the insult as intended and burnt down the shop.
On Thursday, 22 August 2007,  Naas Local History Group in conjunction with Lord Edward's Own Re-enactment Group from Monasterevin staged a re-enactment of the burning of Boushell's. Local author and historian James Durney (playing the part of Jimmy White) was arrested in McCormack's pub and thrown in the back of a Black and Tan crossley tender, while local historian and Leinster Leader corrrespondent Liam Kenny (playing the part of Leinster Leader 1920s republican journalist Michael O'Kelly) and local historian and UDC councillor Paddy Behan (playing the part of Sinn Fein councillor Dan Purcell) were arrested at the Leader offices. All three, joined by another detainee, Donadea historian and author, Seamus Cullen, were taking away by the Black and Tans to a destination unknown. A large crowd attended the re-enactment, which was well received with onlookers joining in with catcalls against the Tans and vocal support for the 'detainees'..
 
Resize Wizard-1.jpg
  Photo - Sean Dunne
'Summary Justice for Paddy Behan, James Durney and Liam Kenny'
 
A report of the Black and Tan recreation in Naas
Text courtesy James Durney
Photo courtesy Sean Dunne
Re-enactment: Monasterevin Re-enactors
 

MAYNOOTH PAGEANT

 

Flights of the Earls - the Maynooth Connection!

 

Maynooth Local History Group, in cooperation with the management of the Manor Mills Shopping Centre intends to hold a 'living history pageant' on the promenade of the shopping centre at 12.30 on Sunday 16th September to commemorate the Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls and the 'Maynooth Connection.' All this work is being done on a voluntary basis.

Rita Edwards

A note from Rita Edwards on a forthcoming pageant by Maynooth Local History Group commemorating the Anniversary of the Filght of the Earls and the Maynooth connection with this historic event - 12.30 p.m. Sunay 16 Sept. 2007.

August 29, 2007

LOCAL HISTORY TALKS RESUME IN NAAS AND KILDARE TOWN

 NAAS LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER
NAAS  LBRARY - 7.45 p.m.
THE STORY OF KINGSWEAR
CLLR. SEAMIE MOORE
 
Fifty years ago this month the sod was turned on an industry which was to have a central place in the social and economic life of mid-Kildare. The Kingswear plant on the Newbridge Road out of Naas was  opened in a purpose built factory, itself an architectural icon of its time.  Not alone was Kingswear (it made workplace garments) a significant employer but it also fulfilled a social function with many of the young adults from Kildare and adjoining counties who came to work there forming relationships and moving into married life. The story of Kingswear, and its romances, will be recalled on Monday night 3 September by former staff member Cllr. Seamie Moore and friends, in Naas Library at 7.45pm. This is the first talk in the Naas Local History Group's autumn season and, as always, all are welcome.
 
[supplied by Liam Kenny]

Cill Dara Historical Society

Kildare Town's Local History Group
presents
 
The Hill of Allen
with
 
Sean Byrne
Wednesday 5th September
8 p.m. Kildare Education Centre (Old Parochial House)
 
Friary Road, Kildare Town
[supplied by Joe Connelly]

The Autumn Local History Schedules are beginning once again.

Naas - Mon. 3 Sept. THE STORY OF KINGSWEAR

Kildare Town - Wed. 5 Sept. THE HILL OF ALLEN

ALLEN - THE TOWER ON THE HILL OF ALLEN

 
Leinster Leader, August 3rd 1963.
A Leinster Landmark
The tower on The Hill of Allen
by
Eileen Ryan
 
        One of Leinster’s best known landmarks, and the one which probably lingers longest in the memory of the county’s exiles is the Tower on the Hill of Allen.  Its outline appearing on the horizon means home for so many returning Kildare people.
        Known locally as “Aylmer’s Folly,” The Tower was the strange idea of a man who was in the year 1798, Sir Gerald George Aylmer, of Donadea Castle, Co. Kildare.
        Commenced in 1859, the work of building the Tower continued during the summer months only of the subsequent four years, as the position was too exposed for masonry work during the winter.  There does not appear to have been any architect or engineer.

PURPOSE UNCERTAIN

        Two masons named Lawrence and William Gorry, brothers, built the Tower, and their names are cut on the landing at the top of the stairs.  The purpose for which the tower was erected is uncertain.  William Gorry had been bound to the trade at the age of sixteen years, in the year 1846.  He frequently worked at Donadea Castle, and often told how Sir Gerald would look across from there to Allen hill and say “I’ll build something on that.”  He would examine the work as it proceeded, and tell the masons that it was better to spend his money giving employment than paying engineers.
        The Hill of Allen lies about five miles to the north of Kildare, and commands an extensive view of the Dublin, Wicklow and Slieve Bloom mountains, as well as the Curragh plains, and the surrounding immense bog to which it gives its name.  It is renowned as having been the site of the royal residence of the famed champion, Finn Mac Cumhail, a real historical character that flourished there in the latter end of the 3rd century.

FAINT TRACES

        There are now but faint traces to indicate the site of the royal palace.  The summit of the Hill is very level and was formerly surrounded by earth entrenchments.  A small mound called Suidh-Fionn, Finn’s Chair, occupies the highest point, and in its centre stands the Tower.
        In an age when labour-saving machinery and materials were unknown the erection of the Tower on such an elevation must have been a formidable undertaking.  When digging the foundations the workmen discovered a cave, nine feet deep, filled with soft clay at the bottom of which they came upon a remarkably large human skeleton, which was believed in the neighbourhood to have been that of the giant Finn MacCumhail.
        The Tower is about 60 feet high, the base of it being 676 feet above sea-level, and the internal diameter is 9 feet.  It is built of limestone, quarried and cut at Edenderry, and brought from there to Robertstown by canal, and carted to the Hill by Sir Gerald’s tenants.  He promised that their names would be cut as “an everlasting memorial” on the steps of the Tower.  There are eighty-three steps, and on each one name is inscribed, making a list in stone of the ancestors of many families still living in the Allen district.

FROM  BALLYKNOCKAN

        Three canons formerly stood at Donadea Castle, and from one of these the wheels were borrowed for the four-wheeled lorry which conveyed the stones to the top of the Hill.  The granite coping and steps, and the pedestal of the table at the top of the Tower, came from Ballyknockan, CoWicklow, and the limestone table from Edenderry.  On the Hill of Allen itself was quarried the stone which lines the tower.
        William Gorry and his brother completed their work by placing a copper-framed glass dome on the tower, and a railing around the building.
         On the outside of the tower numerous inscriptions are scattered, and on the flags inside the iron railing the visit of the then Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward VII is recorded: “September 16 A.D. 1861 H.R.H. The Prince of Wales ascended this Tower.”  The Prince was stationed at the Curragh during the year 1861, and on August 24th of that year Queen Victoria reviewed the troops at the Camp.
 
THE INSCRIPTION

        Inside the tower at the top of the stairs, is the following inscription:-
        “In thankful remembrance of God’s mercies, many and great- Built by Sir Gerald George Alymer, Baronet, A.D. 1860”: and on the top landing: “Lawrence and William Gorry, Bros., Masons.” Then on the top steps are the words “assisted by” and the names of the tenants are given on the steps as follows: - James Dowling, Allenwood: Anne Healy, Allenwood: Wilson Symonds, Allenwood, Thomas Baker, Allenwood, Patrick Logan, Allenwood, John Tiernan, Allenwood: Michael Gannon, Allenwood: Thomas Culleton, Allenwood: James Walsh, Allenwood: William Flynn, Allenwood: Denis Healy, Ballentine: John Tiernan, Ballentine: William Lazenby, Ballentine: Mel Somers, Ballyteague: Christ. Healy, Ballyteague: Peter Healy, Ballyteague: Edmond Hegarty, Ballyteague: Edward Payne, Ballyteague: James Doyle, Ballyteague: John Thornton, Ballyteague: James Hennigan, Ballyteague: Patrick Moran, Ballyteague: Francis Dowling, Barnecrow: James Carroll, Barnecrow: Francis Dowling, Baronstown: George Low, Baronstown: Thomas Flood, Carrick: James Walsh, Carrick: George Wilson, Carrick: Elizabeth Knowles, Carrick: James Doogan, Carrick: Patrick Lennon, Cloncumber: Thomas Hynes, Cloncumber: Robert Strong, Coolagh: Thomas Carter, Coolagh: Joseph Strong, Coolagh: John Rochford, Coolagh: Patrick Callan, Derrymullen: Bridget Mulhall, Derrymullen: Thomas Harbert, Derrymullen: Joseph Payne, Drimshree: Peter Cribbin, Drimshree: Michael Thorpe, Drimshree: Samuel Strong, Dunburne: William Wilson, Dunburne: Hugh Kelly, Dunburne: James Dowling, Dunburne: Patrick Dunn, Dunburne: Charles Ryan, Dunburne: James Norton, Grangeclare: William Price, Grangeclare: James Carter, Grangeclare: John Fitzpatrick, Grangeclare: Michael Connor, Grangeclare: Joseph Nevitt, Grangeclare: Joseph Carter, Grangeclare: Thomas Carter, Grangeclare: George Price, Grangeclare: William Tyrell, Grangeclare: Lawrence Behan, Grangeclare: James Brennan, Grangeclare: John Lazenby, Grangeclare: William Ormsby, Grangeclare: Christopher Hickey, Grangeclare: John Cribben, Grangeclare: Ed. Nowlan, Grangehiggin: Matthew Nowlan, Grangehiggin: Peter Noylan, Kilmeague: William Curtis, Kilmeague: Stephenson Haslam, Kilmeague: Matthew Lazenby, Kilmeague: John Healy, Kilmeague: Christopher Quinn, Littleton: Marcella Cribbin, Lowtown: Lawrence Cribbin, Lowtown: Matthew Knowles, Pluckerstown: Denis Dunny, Pluckerstown: John Dunny, Pluckerstown: Patrick Hickey, Rathernan: Richard Kelly, Rathernan: Catherine Healy, Russellstown: Peter Healy, Russellstown.
 
By Eileen Ryan

(original article had Eileen Ryan's name at bottom but placed here at top to clearly indicate the author; Eileen Ryan is well-remembered in Co. Kildare for her excellent book on Monasterevin. I believe she lived at Hybla)

[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Carl Dodd]

An interesting article on the Tower of Allen by Eileen Ryan from the Leinster Leader of 1963.

August 25, 2007

CENTENARY OF KILDARE'S FIRST ALL-IRELAND VICTORY IN 1907

Kildare Voice 15 June 2007
 
Centenary of Kildare’s first All Ireland victory
by
EOGHAN CORRY

June 16 1907, a hundred years ago was when Kildare won the first of their four All Ireland titles and an important date in forging the identity of our county.
The first of our four All Ireland football championships was won with the minimum of fuss and with little impact compared with the razzmatazz connected with such occasions nowadays.
The creation of parliamentary constituencies (North and South Kildare both elected one MP to the English House of Commons) and local elections of 1898 had helped initiate something resembling a Kildare identity.
But it was the GAA that elevated our counties something more than lines on a map. And it was the surge of popularity created by Kildare’s performances in four big football matches against Kerry that enabled the GAA to do so, placing it at the heart of popular culture for the first time a century ago.
Three of these matches were played in 1905, for the All Ireland “home” title of 1903 because the chaotic GAA championship ran two years late in those days.
Kildare lost at the third attempt, having filled newspaper columns, special trains, makeshift stands in borrowed agricultural showgrounds, and the coffers of the GAA in the meantime.
The same counties were back playing the 1905 final two years later, on June 16 1907, exactly a hundred years before the launch of this paper.
There was a sense of unfinished business for both counties. The customary wrangle over the venue for the final took three Central Council meetings to resolve. Kildare initially refused to travel to Munster to play and at one stage the title was awarded to Kerry on a walkover.
Eventually they went to Thurles and won, invoking the spirit of Wolfe Tone and his grave in Bodenstown in the dressing room pre match address.
Who were these men? Writing the Centenary History of the GAA in Kildare I tried to encounter them through the memories of half a dozen or so old men who had witnessed some of those games.
None of the players were alive, and a bit like a boy in a Dickens story, I started with an evening visit to Mainham graveyard to imagine their football heroism through tombstone inscriptions.
The graveyard analogy was apt. These were solid men who did something today’s heroes would love to emulate.
Was it easier then? Probably. Fewer counties competed. Ulster was a pushover. When Kildare played the semi-final some of the selected Cavan team did not show up and a newspaper columnist concluded "Cavan would not even win the junior championship of Kildare.”
Dublin and Kerry were Kildare’s only real opponents. Kildare’s own club structure was undergoing a bit of a revivial, new clubs were springing up all over the flatlands, but the experience of the men of Newbridge Sarsfields, or rather their predecessors Roseberry, and Clane meant those clubs dominated the local championship.
A bit like the way Munster’s forwards and Leinster’s backs make up the current Irish rugby team, the two clubs balanced each other out to make up the winning 17 - the 15 a side game was not introduced until 1913.
Joe Rafferty, the captain and mentor of 1903 was in command of operations from midfield, and he apparently picked his 17 with breath-taking simplicity, Roseberry men in the backs, Clane men in the forwards.
The trains to Thurles stopped at stations along the Kildare line that have long been closed. Some of the spectators still had excitement in their voices as they recalled the crush of that journey.
Trains were cheap but wages were low. It could cost most of a labourer’s salary to get there and back. We can estimate that 15,000 showed up, not much more than a county final nowadays.
A telephone was used for the first time to send the result back to ecstatic Kildare. Bonfires were lit at the crossroads so the returning spectators saw the heather blazing in the midsummer light.
We don’t know much about the game itself. Newspapers credit Kildare’s victory on their wing play with a newcomer Tom Kelly the apparent star of the show.
The ball was heavier in those days and football, if the rules of the time were followed, was more likely a pushing game than the high fielding propulsion game we have today.
Kildare lost the toss. But when Kerry chose to play against the breeze Kildare went 0-6 to 0-1 up at half-time and never lost the lead.
Joe Rafferty's "deft punching" caused havoc at centre-field and Kildare got the game's only goal when Jack Connolly hit the crossbar, only to power his own rebound over the line "after a few minutes of life-and-death struggle."
The heroes dispersed, many of them to America. Fractious relationships with their employers made the prospects of a life abroad very appealing.
It always struck me as ironic that while Kildare’s two premier fee-paying boys boarding schools, Clongowes and Dominican Newbridge, sent rugby teams to the fields cheered on by the middle classes, the college farmhands were virtually inventing Gaelic Football as we know it in borrowed rugby jerseys.
None of them thought that a hundred years later the GAA would be loaning its stadium back to rugby.

Goalkeeper: Jack Fitzgerald (Roseberry);
Full back line Jack Murray (Roseberry), Jack Gorman (Roseberry), Larry Cribben;
Half back line Tom Keogh (Roseberry), William Merriman, Ned Kennedy 0-3 (Roseberry);
Midfielders Mick Fitzgerald (Roseberry), Joe Rafferty, Mick Murray (Roseberry), Jack Connolly 1-0 (Roseberry); 
Half forwards: Jem Scott, Bill Bracken, Matt Donnelly;
Full forward line Bill "Steel" Losty 0-2, Tom Kelly, Frank "Joyce" Conlan 0-1 (Roseberry).
 
Key dates
1884 John Wyse Power, editor of Leinster Leader, among seven men who found the GAA in Thurles
1887 Kildare GAA board established under chairmanship of Dr William O’Connor.
1900 GAA in Kildsre revived by Dick Radley
1905 Kildare reach All Ireland final of 1903 and are defeated by kerry
19078 Kildare defeat Kerry to win first of four All Ireland titles

Eoghan Corry comments on early GAA success for County Kildare from his weekly column in the Kildare Voice. Our thanks to Eoghan.

ST. MOCHUA c. 570-630 A.D.

St Mochua c. 570-630 A.D.
by
SEAMUS CULLEN
The missionary work of St Patrick is well known. What is not as a well known is the fact that Christianity did not extend to the entire country for at least two centuries after the coming of St Patrick. Many native Irish missionaries took over the work of St Patrick and brought Christianity to the remainder of the country.
One of those native Irish missionaries was St Mochua who was also known as Crónán and he operated in an area now covered by South Dublin and North Kildare. So who was St Mochua.? His father was Lugaidh and his mother was Cainer. It is not known for definite when Mochua was born but it is thought be in the 570 period, approximately one hundred years after the death of St Patrick. His missionary work extended along the eastern section of the Slí Mór which was one of the five principal roads in the country at the time. At the beginning of Mochua’s missionary career there were only two Christian Churches on the section of the road between Dublin Bay and the Bog of Allen, one at Taghadoe founded by St Tua and the other at Donadea founded by St Patrick. A number of other Churches that were close to the road included Donacumper near Celbridge and Clonshanbo near Donadea.
Mochua began his missionary work in Clondalkin where he founded a Monastery and became its first Abbot. He was subsequently appointed a Bishop.  His next foundation was at Celbridge where the Sli Mor forded the Liffey. It is likely there were pre-Christian religious activity in Celbridge which was centred at a spring on the west bank of the Liffey. The Christians took over this site, gave the spring a christian meaning and it then became a Holy Well. In later years it was named ‘Thobor Mochua’. Less than half a mile from the well on the site of the ruins of St Mochua’s Medieval Church in Tea Lane Graveyard, Mochua built his second Church.
Mochua then turned his attention to the area of the Sli Mor between Taghadoe and Donadea. There may have been pre-Christian ritual activity at an ancient Iron Age burial site in the townland of Raheen which is situated at the foot of Rathcoffey Hill. Mochua then built his next Church at the nearest section of the road to this burial site. With a Christian community emerging close to the new Church the area became known as Bal-Raheen, the community or settlement of Raheen. This was the beginning of the first Christian community in the Rathcoffey area. It is not possible to put an accurate date on when this Church was founded but it is likely to be in the 620 period. The site of the Church is close to Balraheen Crossroads in the disused graveyard nearby.
The Sli Mor west of Donadea crossed the Bog of Allen through a series of fertile islands in the Bog. One of the biggest of these islands is named Timahoe or Tigh Mochua which translates Mochua’s house. It is not known what connection St Mochua had with the area as the early Christian Church in Timahoe is dedicated to St Kynog, however, as the placename suggests, Mochua had a house in the area which may have predated the building of the first Church.
St Mochua died at the monastery of Clondalkin on 6 August 630 AD and his relics were subsequently kept there for many centuries. In the period following the Norman era devotion to Mochua gradually declined. Details, however, survive of a pattern continuing at St Mochua’s holy well in Celbridge in the late eighteenth century. Pilgrims would even travel from as far as Clondalkin on 5 of August the eve of St Mochua’s feast day for the pattern. It is likely that pilgrims would also have travelled from the Rathcoffey area.
The memory of St Mochua was revived in Rathcoffey in 1930 when the Parish Priest of Clane Fr Laurence Keogh built a new school in the village and named it St Mochuo’s National School.  In 1993 historians in Timahoe honoured the memory of St Mochua by naming the new historical society in the area ‘St Mochua Historical Society’. Three years ago a revival of St Mochua’s feast day began in Clondalkin with an Ecumenical Service in St Johns Church of Ireland on the site of St Mochua’s monastery.  Last year Celbridge Historical Society with assistance from the local Community Council repaired the damaged Tobar Mochua monument and reinstated it in a prominent position on the Mill wall. Today, we can safely say that St Mochua has been remembered and will continue to be remembered in all four areas that he has been associated with in South County Dublin and in the Northern half of County Kildare.
 
Bibliographic note:
John O’Donovan, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters.
Rev John O’Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints, Volume 8.
Joe Williams, St Mochua and the Round Tower.
Hermann Geissel, The Road on the Long Ridge.

An interesting article on the life of St. Mochua and the establishment of monasteries by him in Co. Kildare. Our thanks to Seamus.

WALKS AND TALKS - A RECENT NAAS VENTURE

Canal side memories in Naas (Naas History Group walk, 19 July 2007)
 compiled by
LIAM KENNY
We might think we have bad weather now but imagine back in 1947 the winter was so cold that it was possible to bring a horse and dray across the Naas canal near Abbey bridge. This was one of many images and stories told at Naas Local History Group's canal side walk last Thursday evening. ' It was one of the few fine evenings that we have had this year,' said Chairperson Ronnie Kinane, ' so we decided to follow the setting sun from the Town Hall down Abbey Street down to the Abbey Bridge and along the canal bank to Basin Street.' The evening was not so much a guided walk as a treasure trove of spontaneous recollection and reminiscence. Jackie Bracken of the Abbey Bridge told about the canal being frozen over in 1947 while Cllr. Seamie Moore recalled the barges coming up the Naas line laden with coal, barrels and produce of every kind. Another Naas Town Councillor and knowledgeable historian Paddy Behan documented the formal history of the canal to Naas noting that it was built to the town in 1789, the same year as the French revolution. Earlier outside the Moat, Stan Hickey, John Miley and Christy Treacy recalled stories of attending the Christian Brothers school which functioned in the Moat Hall long before it became a venue for plays and theatre. At the bottom of Abbey Street Brian McCabe pushed the historic horizon back over the centuries by describing his surveys of the old Abbey cemetery and discovery of stone fragments from the ancient Abbey which gave the location its name in modern times. Over thirty local people and visitors joined in the walk which ended with an investigation of the complex of gateways dating from the era of Cunningham's bakery at Naas harbour. Such was the interest generated that History Group planners are considering another outdoor foray while there is still length in the evenings.

 

 

PLEASE LOOK AT THE ARTICLE ON HERTAGE WEEK EVENTS FOR GUIDED WALKS AND TOURS IN CO. KILDARE FROM 24th AUG to 2 SEPT 2007

 

These are just the sort of activity that Local History Groups and other organisations can arrange to acquaint people with the history and heritage of their locality as well as encouraging a helath.

 

 

A note by Liam Kenny on a recent historic walk in Naas.

SALE OF LEINSTER ESTATES




Leinster Leader: 17/06/1922




Sale to English Purchaser


 


Historic

Co. Kildare Estate


 



 

         In the family of the Fitzgeralds since the Norman Conquest, the Leinster estate, embracing the greater part of Kildare, Kilkea Castle and the principal towns of the county, has now passed into the proprietorship of an English Baronet, Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley.
Their heritage will, however revert to the Fitzgerald family on the death of the present Duke of Leinster, who sold his reversionary interest-which accounts for the present change of ownership-when his two elder brothers were still alive.
He was then Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and the Duke of the time, the sixth to hold the title was still in his early twenties. With another senior brother also alive there was little prospect of his succeeding to the title, and he disposed of his reversionary rights for, it is stated a relatively small sum to Sir. Harry Mallaby-Deeley, whose baronetcy was announced in the recent British Honours list.
The investment turned out a sound one for the baronet, as Lord Desmond Fitzgerald the sixth Duke’s eldest brother was killed in the war, and the sixth duke himself died a few moths ago. Lord Edward Fitzgerald thus coming into the title, and Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley into the estate of the historic Geraldines. His holdings do not end here, for part of the Irish estates of the Duke of Leinster were sold to the tenants on the passing of Mr. Wyndham’s Purchase Act of 1908, and the proceeds amounting to nearly £1,000,000 invested in London ground rents. The life interest on these investments it is presumed will now become the property of Sir. Harry Mallaby-Deeley, says the Dublin correspondent of the “Daily Express.” The Leinster seat of ducal residence is Carton, Maynooth, which has been charge of Lord Frederick Fitzgerald and his sister-uncle and aunt of the present duke.
Many people have been employed on the great demesne of Carton, and the change of owners has led to a change of conditions. Some twelve or more workmen were dismissed last week to cut down expenses, and general disappointment and discontent are felt in consequence.
No demonstration or hoisting of a red flag however has taken place, as was announced by a London contemporary.
The new owner is best known for the campaign he instigated and waged against the profiteers in the clothing business, opening an establishment in London, he sold suits at a figure which broke the prices and smashed the profiteering or “the trade.” He is a very wealthy man, and it is reliably stated will make comparatively few changes in the working of the Leinster estate.
To a London newspaper he declared he was unaware of the cutting down of expenses, and added that, as far as he knew, his recently acquired Irish property was being run as usual. It is not likely that he will come to live at Carton.
The dispossessed Duke of Leinster is just thirty years of age. He married Miss May Etheridge, a musical comedy star, in a London Registry Office in 1913. As an officer of the West Riding Regiment he fought in the world war and succeeded to the title through the early death of the youthful sixth duke, whose delicate health prevented him ever taking his seat in the House of Lords. An uncle, Lord Walter Fitzgerald, resides in Kilkea Castle County Kildare.
The Fitzgerald family have lived in Kildare since the first years of the thirteenth century. Shortly after their arrival they introduced into Ireland the Franciscan and Dominican Orders, but in Tudor times deserted the old Faith. They were not many generations in the country until having made common cause with the people they became more Irish than the Irish themselves. For centuries the Geraldines held a foremost place in the Irish national struggle. The names of Garret Oge, Silken Thomas and Lord Edward are as imperishable as Irish history itself.

Any severance of the Fitzgerald family with the management of the Leinster property will be greatly regretted in Kildare, where despite the fact that the land has been largely sold to tenants, they still retain large interests, the ground rents, and many of the buildings and homes in practically all the towns being held from them. Very extensive employment is given on the demesnes, tillage being intensive and a splendid class of livestock bred. Being a resident family a very deep interest was taken in the welfare of the employees, who are comfortably housed and well treated. In addition the Leinster estate trustees always subscribed generously to any object that tended to benefit Kildare and its people.
In connection with the purchase of the Duke of Leinster’s estate at Carton, Co. Kildare, the “Daily Mail” published the following statement by Sir Mullaby-Deeley, M. P.-
“Some four or five years ago I was asked to purchase these reversionary rights, and I refused” said Sir Harry.
“About twelve months later the offer was repeated. I said I was still not very keen on purchasing, but that I was prepared at a price to buy. I was told by expert advisers that the price I proposed to pay was perfectly ridiculous-meaning that my offer was in their opinion, far too high”.
“As far as I know the estate is being run as usual. I am bearing the whole expenses of the estate, and my agreement with the Duke is that everything should be carried on exactly as it has been in the past.”
“It is still open for re-purchase by the Duke’s Family”.
The Duke of Leinster has authorised the following statement to be made to the representative of a London paper by his private secretary.
“I can say that the Duke is in no way parting with his birthright, as he has an option of re-purchase within a certain number of years.”
“ The cost for re-purchase is £350,000 and not £400,000 as has been stated. The estate of the Duke of Leinster is worth more than £2,500,000, and, in addition, the heirlooms are valued by him at the best part of £2,000,000.The Castle costs £8,000 a year to maintain, and the annual income from the estates is more than £45,000. The employees on the estate are still in the Duke’s service, and there is no need to worry about the place changing hands.”
“Certain negotiations are in hand at the present moment and, no doubt, they will be completed within the next two or three days.”
“Sir H. Mallaby-Deeley is in daily touch with the Duke, and it is only a question of the solicitors making the necessary arrangements for the completion of a deal which will be satisfactory to both parties.”
Lord Frederick Fitzgerald points out that the portion of the estate sold under the Wyndham Act reached over half a million-not nearly a million as stated in the “Sunday Express,” and that it is an error to say that the amount realised was invested in London ground rents. It is true, he adds, that estate expenses have been cut down. “Some labourers having regretfully been discharged owing to the enormous death duties.”
 

Leinster Leader: 24/06/1922

                                                   The Carton Estate Sale

Interviewed by a “Daily Express” representative at Carton House, where he is in charge of the estate in the absence of Sir. Mallaby-Deeley, the present owner, Lord Frederick Fitzgerald replied to Sir Harry’s repudiation of instructions for the dismissal of servants. “Certainly,” he said. “I received instructions to reduce the staff of the estate. They came from the firm of Messrs. Freshfields,...., and .... Sir Harry’s solicitors. He had written to Sir Harry asking, in view of the repudiations if the dismissed men may be reinstated at

A very interesting article on the sale of the Leinster title and subsequent loss of the great Leinster estates is published here to mark the 150th article on the EHistory site.  This story is one of the 'whispered scandals' of Kildare Local History and this article from the Leinster Leader of June 1922 helps shed some light on the events.

[complied and edited by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh and Sarah]

 

'ALDRIDGE WAS THE SURPRISE PACKET OF THE MATCH'

Leinster Leader 31 May 2007
‘ALDRIDGE WAS THE SURPRISE PACKET OF THE MATCH’
by
 
LIAM KENNY
 
 
Another summer of action on the GAA grounds of the island stretches ahead with speculation surrounding the hot favourites for the Senior Football and Hurling titles. County colours are being taken from attics and presses as fans across the country mobilise for the early rounds of the championships.
 
And that was very much the sentiment in County Kildare fifty years ago when the county team took on neighbours Offaly in the first round of the championship. The mid-fifties were a halcyon period for Kildare sports followers when the Lily white strip was a byword for flair and style on the playing fields of the land. Indeed Kildare went in to the 1957 championship as Leinster title-holders and were pitted against Offaly in the first round fixture at Portlaoise.
 
For all their favourite status the Lilywhite followers got a shock when Offaly scored in the opening minutes. To take up the report from the Leinster Leader of 25 May 1957 ‘Our followers received a severe cold douche when Offaly scored a goal in the first few minutes’. However the Kildare side regrouped and the Leader correspondent highlighted the contribution made by the some of the Lilywhite squad: ‘Wright, slightly over 19 years of age, has secured a place in the hearts of our followers … Aldridge was the surprise packet of the match … Harrison was a brilliant and accurate worker and we owe a lot to him for raising the flag so often.’
 
The Leader GAA correspondent of 1957 clearly did not believe in handing out bouquets just for the sake of it and had mastered the art of the qualified compliment, as his assessment of some other Kildare players shows: ‘ P Loughlin though still slow, showed good opportunism …left-corner man Hogan did not come up to expectations but it was his first real test … Larry McCormack was unfortunate to receive a hard knock at the beginning of the game, yet under the disability he worried his man and added his quota to our success.’
 
The game comes across as an exciting one which exemplified the old footballing virtues of the high-catch and kick, as the following passage recounts: ‘ Offaly were still dangerous and kept up the pressure but Kildare getting free put Aldridge in possession. In a neat bit of play Wright jumped high for the ball and in a split second sent to the net to give us a comfortable lead.’
 
Kildare held on to the lead and accelerated away from the Faithful county to win comfortably with a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-3. Much of the credit went to Kildare’s accuracy from the placed ball according to the report: ‘the Offaly men’s finishing efforts were extremely poor whilst Kildare’s forwards, especially Seamus Harrison, rarely missed an opportunity of scoring from all angles. Harrison was deadly accurate on frees.’
 
Not all of the praise for the Lilywhite’s promising opening win was expended on the players. Then, as now, the behind-the-scenes team had a role to play. According to the Leader  analysis ‘ A word of praise is due to the trainer Mr. J. Fitzgerald of Saggart who has inculcated in the players the enthusiasm that previous teams lacked and their fitness and determination was apparent from the start.’.
 
Thus Kildare GAA officials of May 1957 had something to cheer about from the opening championship round. But the joy of the county board administrators was tempered by some unwelcome venue intrusions as a black-box notice, curiously printed in the middle of the match report, announced: ‘Owing to the destruction of property at St. Conleth’s Park (Football Grounds), Droichead Nua, all persons – old or young – found trespassing on the Park will be prosecuted.’
 
Soon that rather stern note the sporting readers of the Leader of 1957 settled down to follow the fortunes of the Lilywhites through another championship season.
 
* Many thanks to the Local History Dept., Kildare County Library for help with this material. Series No. 17

Liam Kenny comments on the opening round of the Championship of 1957 in his regular column, 'Nothing New Under the Sun,' in the Leinster Leader of 31 May 2007. Our thanks to Liam.

KILDARE TDs IN CLIFF-HANGER POLL FIFTY YEARS AGO.


KILDARE TDS IN CLIFF-HANGER POLL FIFTY YEARS AGO.

by

LIAM KENNY


In years to come the date printed at the dateline of this paper, 24 May 2007, may come to be regarded as one of the most historic in the first decade of 21st century Ireland.  On this date upwards of one million Irish people will have had an opportunity to go the polls to elect a new Dail which, in turn, will elect a Government to bring the country forward for another number of years. Kildare voters have a say in that process today, electing four TDs from the North Kildare constituency and three from the South Kildare constituency.

Fifty years ago an identical democratic exercise was underway in the 1957 General Election.  Four candidates stood in the election in what was the County Kildare three-seater constituency.  Their candidacy was officially notified to the electorate in March 1957 when the County Returning Officer Mr. P J O’Neill published a notice in the Leinster Leader identifying the candidates and their nominees.  They were: Patrick Dooley, 4 St Michael’s Terrace, Athy who was nominated by Michael G. Nolan and Edward Purcell; Thomas Harris, Caragh, Naas, nominated by William Miley and Thomas Dunne; Gerard Sweetman, Kill, nominated by Patrick Frayne and Patrick Fitzsimons; and William Norton, 6 Marlyn Park, Dublin, nominated by Michael Smyth and Peter Paul Wilkinson. All but Dooley had been TD’s in the previous Dail.


Patrick Dooley’s occupation was given as National Teacher and Tom Harris was a farmer although better known as a 1916 veteran.  The most notable occupations in the official notice were those of Norton who contested the election as Tainaiste and Minister for Industry and Commerce in the outgoing Interparty Government (1954-57) and Ger Sweetman, who was Minister for Finance in the same Government. It is often forgotten that at that time, through Norton and Sweetman, Kildare had the second and third most powerful portfolios at the Cabinet table – a level of combined ministerial clout not since matched in the county.

However despite the ministerial profiles of Norton and Sweetman (Labour and Fine Gael respectively)  it was the two Fianna  Fail candidates, Dooley and Harris, who almost triggered the shock of the election in the three-seater Kildare constituency which had gone into the election with one each of Labour, FF and FG.

There was a national swing towards Fianna Fail and that was reflected in the polling in County Kildare. It was clear that a cliff hanger was ahead when the ballot boxes from around the county were opened at the count centre in Naas Town Hall.
In the tightest of polls the four candidates polled within 700 votes of one another from a poll of 26,769 valid votes.  The first count result was: Labour’s Bill Norton topping with 7,038 votes; Patrick Dooley of FF second with 6,860 votes; Sweetman of FG on third position with 6,339 and Harris of FF just marginally behind with 6,311.  The quota – the magic figure needed to guarantee election – was 6,638 votes.  Norton and Dooley were above the quota and deemed elected but all eyes centred on Sweetman and Norton’s respective bundles of votes. 

Fianna Fail had pulled off a major achievement by winning almost two quotas. The decision on the third seat was now down to the transfer of Bill Norton’s surplus which, in an arithmetic coincidence, was exactly 400 votes above quota.  After further drama, including a Fianna Fail demand for a recheck of the votes (which did not alter the position), Mr. O’Neill, the returning officer, proceeded to distribute Norton’s 400 surplus.  Some 300 of Norton’s surplus transferred to Sweetman, indicating an effective coalition transfer strategy. This was enough to drag him over the quota and ensure election but the memory of that razor thin 29 vote margin between the outgoing Minister for Finance from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail’s Tom Harris became part of Kildare political folklore.  The next few days will tell if there will be similar drama in the count centres of the Irish General Election of fifty years later.

Compiled by Liam Kenny from the rich resource of the Leinster Leader files, Local Studies Dept., Kildare Co. Library. Series No. 17.

 

Liam Kenny's article for 24 May 2007 (the day of the 2007 General Election) which explores the 1957 General election within the Couny of Kildare. Our thanks to Liam.

KILDARE AUTHOR RECALLS TROUBLED ERA OF THE FIRST DAIL

Leinster Leader 17 May 2007 
 
KILDARE AUTHOR RECALLS TROUBLED ERA OF THE FIRST DAIL
by
LIAM KENNY
 
 
The 2007 General Election campaign now reaching a crescendo in the Kildare constituencies brings colour and interest to the daily conversations of life. The merits, style and personalities of the candidates are discussed whenever politically-minded Lilywhites meet. Kildare folk of an older generation may recall by-gone elections and none more memorable than the General Election of fifty years ago when four candidates stood for the county Kildare constituency in the General Election of 1957.
 
One of the 1957 candidates was Tom Harris of Caragh, Naas, a 1916 veteran and household name in Kildare politics having represented the county in the Dail since 1931. The Harris family is deeply rooted in Co. Kildare, although no longer involved in politics. However a member of the family, Annie Ryan, daughter of Tom Harris, is making her own influential contribution to our understanding of modern Ireland.
 
Two years ago Annie Ryan became one of the first historians to access the statements of the IRA and Cumann na mBan members who had participated in the War of Independence period from 1916-21. These statements had been compiled, in a far-sighted move by the Government in the late 1940s and 1950s, at a time when many of those active in the War of Independence were still hale and hearty. A team of officials operating under the Government’s Bureau of Military History interviewed the veterans and were rewarded with detailed and lucid personal memoirs of those troubled times.
 
The statements were locked in the basement of government buildings while a succession of Governments baulked at releasing such material while memories of the Troubles were still controversial.   Eventually, fifty years after they were compiled, the statements were opened to researchers in 2002. Annie Ryan -- who grew up in Caragh and went to school in Naas but has lived in Dublin for many years -- was among the first to access the newly released archives. After two years of meticulous study she compiled a  a brilliantly contextualised study of the 1916 Rising and published  ‘Witnesses – Inside the Easter Rising’ which gained  acclaim for the compelling and accurate manner in which it recounted the story of the Rising from the first-hand witness of its participants.
 
Now Annie Ryan has spent the last year researching a sequel, again drawing extensively from the original memoirs and has just published her second book ‘Comrades – Inside the War of Independence’. It is a great read – authoritative yet accessible and an ideal approach for readers keen to understand the human dimension to the troubled period of the War of Independence and all the personality - driven nuances of those formative years in the story of modern Ireland.
 
 
Given the author’s Lilywhite origins there is particular mention of Kildare personalities from that time. Among the witness statements featured are those of:her father Tom Harris, then an IRA officer and Kildare County Councillor; Pat Colgan, IRA Commandant in Kildare who shared a hut with Michael Collins in the Frongoch interment camp; James Dunne, lieutenant of the Kill IRA company in October 1920; Domhnall O’Buachalla described as the ‘extraordinarily brave shopkeeper from Maynooth’; and Patrick O’Carroll, IRA officer, Naas resident and, later, KCC employee. There is even reference to a former Leinster Leader editor, Michael O’Kelly, who was president of Sinn Fein in Co. Kildare. Men of the cloth feature in the witness records too including the legendary Fr. P.J.Doyle, Parish Priest of Naas who was a confidant of Kevin O’Higgins, one of the most talented TDs in the first Dail Eireann of 1919.
 
It is highly appropriate that the first-hand recollections of personalities behind the formation of the first independent Irish parliament, the first Dail (1919), should be published by a daughter of a Kildare TD who served from the 6th to the 15th Dails (1931-57), as now in May 2007 we go to the polls to elect the members of the 30th Dail Eireann.
 
Comrades – War of Independence by Annie Ryan, published by the Liberties Press, 2007. Series No.16.
 
 

Troubled times in Ireland recalled in Annie Ryan's new book, 'Comrades.' Liam Kenny comments on the Kildare personalities in his column 'Nothing New Under the Sun' which appeared in the Leinster Leader of 17 May 2007. Our thanks to Liam.

HARRISTOWN RAILWAY BRIDGE

Harristown Railway Bridge
by
LIAM KENNY
 
While the extant rail lines in the county have been well recorded in various publications, a number of old lines abandoned in the 20th century are still relatively unknown. One outstanding feature, unknown even to transport history enthusiasts in the county is a magnificent five-arched railway bridge across the River Liffey at Harristown, about a mile upstream of the roadbridge on the Carnalway-Harristown road.  This brick and stone bridge dates from 1883 and was built as part of the Sallins-Tullow GSWR branch line. It is landlocked (ie not visible from the road) and therefore little known and almost certainly not on the RMP or any listing. Come back to me if you want any more directions.
 

A note on a unique part of County Kildare's Industrial Heritage by Liam Kenny. Our thanks to Liam

August 23, 2007

HERITAGE WEEK 2007

Heritage Week 2007
 
Nearly thirty events have been planned through out the county to celebrate Heritage Week in Kildare. This is a great opportunity to discover Kildare’s unique and varied heritage.
Heritage week in takes place from the Sat 26th August to Sun 2nd September and is part of a European Wide initiative with the express aims of fostering awareness of Ireland’s built, natural and cultural heritage, thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation, increasing interest in our shared heritage.
Throughout Kildare, there are a wide variety of events this year and Bridget Loughlin, County Kildare Heritage Officer urges people to come along and take part. Many of these events are lorganised by Local Groups and reflects a growing interest in local history and heritage eplains Bridget.
These events include a series of talks on KFM entitled “Your Time – Your Place”, given by The County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups, Celbridge Library will host a talk  “Desperate Housewives” by Dr. Maebh O’Regan and archaeologist Emer Dennehy will give a presentation on the 13th Century Franciscan site at Grey Abbey and an illustrated talk on the greater Leixlip area in maps, including the Dublin to Mullingar toll or turnpike road will be given by local historian John Colgan in Leixlip library.
For the more active, IPCC are looking for volunteers to assist in the removal of invasive species at Lullymore West Cutaway bog as part of its conservation management
A number of exhibitions will be held through out the county including the History of Leixlip GAA in Leixlip library and a demonstration of online mapping – Historical 19th Century Series will be given by the Ordnance survey of Ireland in Naas Library.
Many local history groups will be hosting events such as a bus trip around Kildare exploring “The Forgotten Heritage of County Kildare" led by Ger McCarthy of Naas Local History group, a guided tour of Johnstown’s Historical Sites by Brian McCabe of Johnstown Local History Group and Kilcullen Heritage Centre will host a reflection on the Capers and their importance to Kilcullen through the 70s and 80's.
Heritage sites within the county, such as the Athy and Kildare Heritage Centre, The National Stud and Maynooth Castle have free admission or special concessions during the week. Kildare County Council has compiled a listing of these and the many other events happening around the County, which is available on www.kildare.ie or in all local libraries. To view a listing of Heritage Week events in other counties go to www.heritageweek.ie or call 1850200878


 
For further information, please contact, Bridget Loughlin: (045) 980791
Email: bloughlin@kildarecoco.ie
 
 
HERITAGE WEEK 2007 in COUNTY KILDARE

Saturday 25th August to Sunday 2nd September 2007
 

‘Heritage Week Art Competition’
Athy Heritage Centre is hosting a  ‘Heritage Week Art Competition’ open to both children and adults. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Nimrod Expedition’.
Children’s Categories are 4-7, 8-13, 14-18. Please write your name, date of birth and phone number on your entry. CLOSING DATE for entries is Wednesday 15th August 2007 before 5p.m.
Venue:                 Athy Heritage Centre, Town Hall
Contact                Margaret Walsh
Tel:                      0598633075
Email:                  athyheritage@eircom.net
Athy Heritage Centre - Museum Exhibitions
The Heritage Centre-Museum houses exhibitions and audio visuals which focus on Ernest Shackleton, Gordan Bennett Race, WW1, Canals among others. 25% off admission prices during Heritage Week.
Venue:    Athy Heritage Centre - museum 
Contact:   Margaret Walsh   
Tel.:    0598633075
Email:    athyheritage@eircom.net
Website:   www.athyheritagecentre-museum.ie 
 
Tours of St Mary's Church of Ireland, Leixlip. "A place of worship for over 800 years'.
Adult and Child friendly tours of the oldest public building in Leixlip still in regular use. Tours running from 25/08/2007 - 02/09/2007 Times: 9.30am - 3.00pm 
 
Venue:  St Mary's Church of Ireland, Main Street, Leixlip, Co Kildare, Kildare
Contact:    Helen Ryan
Email:     sta@indigo.ie
Telephone:    01 6240976
Fax:     01 6240846
 
Removal of Invasive Species – Bog of Allen Nature Centre (IPCC)
Removal of invasive species and coppicing of Birch trees to manage Lullymore West cutaway bog for butterflies, mainly the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly. Running from August 27th to September 1st, the main day takes place on Saturday 1st of September
Venue: The Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare
Contact: Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC)
Telephone: 045 – 860133
Email: bogs@ipcc.ie
Fax: 045 – 860481
Web: www.ipcc.ie

History of Leixlip GAA Exhibition
An exhibition tracing the history of the GAA in Leixlip through photographs, newspaper articles and other local history sources running throughout Heritage Week.
Venue:    Leixlip Library
Contact:   Kevin Murphy
Tel.:    01 6060050
Email:    leixliplib@kildarecoco.ie

Art Exhibition at Castletown House
Exhibition by local artists in all mediums. For further information please contact organiser directly.
Venue:    Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare
Contact:    Bea O'Connell
Tel:     01 6271275
 
Exhibition of Memorabilia relating to Kildare Poet and Literary Nationalist Teresa Brayton
Venue:    Maynooth Community Library, Mainstreet, Maynooth
Time:      during normal opening hours
Contact:    Bernadette Gilligan
Tel:     01 6285530
Email:     bgilligan@kildarecoco.ie

Variety of Events at Maynooth Castle
Maynooth Castle will host a variety of events throughout Heritage Week (musical performances, living history exhibitions and GAA related events).
There will also be free guided tours of this 13th century castle, stronghold of the great Earl of Kildare, Garret Mor Fitzgerald
Venue:    Maynooth Castle, Maynooth Co. Kildare
Contact:   Donna O'Connor
Tel:     01 6286744
Email:     maynoothcastle@opw.ie
 
Irish National Stud 2 for the price of 1
2 for the price of 1 on production of the Heritage Week Booklet. Includes a guided tour of the stud, visit to the Japanese Gardens, the Horse Museum and St. Fiachra's Garden
Venue:    Irish National Stud, Tully Kildare Town, Co. Kildare
Contact:    Frieda O'Connell
Tel:     045 521617
Email:     japanesegardens@eircom.net
 
Free Entry to Kildare Town Heritage Centre with Fascinating Video
During Heritage week there is free entry to Kildare Town Heritage Centre where you can view a fascinating video on the history and heritage of Kildare Town.
Venue:    Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare.
Contact:   Kildare Town Heritage Centre
Tel:    045 530672
 
National Science Museum
The museum has the finest collection of historic scientific instruments on public display in Ireland. Contains original apparatus of Nicholas Callan. Tuesday and Thursday 2-4p.m., Sunday 2-6p.m.
Venue:    Museum, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Kildare
Contact:    Niall McKeith
Tel:     01 7083780
Email:     niall.mckeith@nuim.ie
 
‘Your Time – Your Place’ Radio Talks – KFM
The County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups will be organising radio talks each morning on KFM from Monday 27th July to Friday 31st July on aspects of Kildare’s heritage, both built and natural. Narrated by local poet, writer and broadcaster Mae Leonard.
Venue:     KFM
Contact:   Larry Breen 
Tel.:    
Email:    larrybreen8@eircom.net
 
Presentation of prizes for Heritage Week Art Competition
Heritage week starts with the presentation of both children and adults art competitions at 3.30pm on Friday the 24th. The theme for this year’s competition is the "Nimrod Expedition". The winning entries will be on display for the duration of heritage week and during the Ernest Shackelton Autumn School which is held on the October bank holiday
Venue:                  Athy Heritage Centre, Town Hall
Contact                Margaret Walsh
Tel:                        0598633075
Email:                    athyheritage@eircom.net
 
 
Guided Historic Town Walks – Kildare Town
Walks take about an hour and depart from outside the Heritage Centre on Market Square at the following times:
Saturday 25th Aug – 11am, Sunday 26th Aug – 1pm, Monday 27th Aug – 11am, Saturday 1st Sep – 11am, Sunday 2nd Sept – 1pm, Monday 3rd Sept – 11am
Venue:    Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare.
Contact:   Kildare Town Heritage Centre
Tel:    045 530672
 
Ordnance Survey – Demonstration of Online Mapping – Historical 19th Century Series
A must for all local history researchers and enthusiasts in Naas Library on Thursday 23rd August at 3pm and 7pm
Venue:    Naas Library, Naas, Co. Kildare
Contact:   Naas Library
Tel:    045 879111
 
Military Medal Fair
Saturday 25th August from 11a.m. to 5p.m.
Venue:    Athy Heritage Centre - museum 
Contact:   Margaret Walsh   
Tel.:    0598633075
Email:    athyheritage@eircom.net
Website:    www.athyheritagecentre-museum.ie

"The Forgotten Heritage of County Kildare" Bus Trip to South County Kildare led by Ger McCarthy
Bus trip to south Kildare based on Ger McCarthy's book, "the forgotten heritage of county Kildare". Organised by Naas Local History Group, departing from the church of the Irish Martyrs at 11am on Saturday the 25th and returning at approximately 5pm. picnic lunch must be brought; cost is 12.50 payable to Ronnie Kinane.
Venue:    Naas church of the Irish Martyrs
Contact:    Ronnie Kinane
Tel:     045 876254
 
Curragh Local History Group Open Day
In Conjunction with Heritage Week in County Kildare, the Curragh Local History Group is having an open day at their premises at McSweeney Road, Curragh on Saturday 25th August from 10.30a.m. to 4.30p.m.
Venue: Curragh Local History Group, McSweeney Road, Curragh 
Contact:   Oliver Mc Crossan   
Tel.:    
Email:    olivermccrossan@eircom.net
Website:   www.athyheritagecentre-museum.ie

Royal Canal Amenity Group Heritage Walk
The Maynooth branch of the royal canal amenity group is organising a walk from Dukes Harbour (Maynooth) to the 14th lock at Jackson’s Bridge (the Kilcock side) on Saturday 25th august at 3.30pm
Venue:    Dukes Harbour, Royal Canal    
Contact:   Declan O’Connor
Tel.:   
Email:    kilvic@eircom.net

Guided Tour of Grounds and Chapel of St Patrick’s College with optional visit to the National Science Museum
Sunday 26 august 2007 2.00pm at main gate of St Patrick’s College (near Maynooth Castle)
Venue:    St. Patrick’s College
Contact:   Rita Edwards
Tel.:    01 6016332
Email:    ritaedwards@eircom.net
 
Donadea Forest Park
Tir na Mona are hosting a talk, followed by a walk in Donadea Forest Park on Sunday 26th August.  This talk will be presented by James Reid.
Venue:                 Meeting at the Castle in Donadea
Time:    3pm
 
Ballynafagh Lake Walk
Tir na Mona is hosting a walk and talk in Ballynafagh Lake on Monday 27th August. This is a chance to learn about this wonderful biodiversity area and its place in local history. This talk will be lead by Sean Flannery.
Venue:                 Meeting at the car of Ballynafagh Lake car park.
Time:    7.30pm
 
"It was all for the Craic"
A reflection on the Capers and their importance to Kilcullen through the 70s and 80's. With guests, performances and clips from the past. Wednesday 29th August starting at 8.00pm
Venue:    Kilcullen Heritage Centre, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare
Contact:   Nessa Dunlea
Tel:     0872339610
Email:     dunlea@eircom.net 
 
Clane local History Heritage walk
Clane Local History Group will celebrate National Heritage Week by organising a walking tour of some of the many ancient sites of this historical village.
The walk begins on Wednesday 29th Aug at Aldi car park at 7.30 p.m.
 
Official Opening of Jacinta Crowley-Long’s Art Exhibition ‘Lost and Found’
Thursday 30th August – Friday September 14th. Official opening at 7p.m. on Thursday 30th
Venue:    Athy Heritage Centre - museum 
Contact:   Margaret Walsh   
Tel.:    0598633075
Email:    athyheritage@eircom.net
Website:   www.athyheritagecentre-museum.ie

‘Roads, Resolution and Research’ NRA on Archaeological Finds on Road Schemes
The National Roads Authority are holding a seminar at the Gresham Hotel on August 30th admission is free but places are limited and must be booked in advance! Registration on the day is at 9.30 am
Venue:    Gresham Hotel
Contact:   Lillian Butler
Tel.:    01 6602511
Email:    lbutler@nra.ie

‘Leixlip in Maps’ Talk
An illustrated talk on the greater Leixlip area in maps, including the Dublin to Mullingar toll or turnpike road given by local historian John Colgan on the 30th August at 7.30pm
Venue:    Leixlip Library
Contact:   Kevin Murphy
Tel.:    01 6060050
Email:    leixliplib@kildarecoco.ie

Exhibition and Talk on Kildare Poet and Literary Nationalist Teresa Brayton
Exhibition of memorabilia during heritage week and talk starting at 7.30pm Friday 31st August in Maynooth Library followed by traditional Irish Music, Poetry and song.
Venue:    Maynooth Community Library
Contact:   Bernadette Gilligan
Tel.:    01 6285530
Email:    maynoothlib@kildarecoco.ie
 
Guided Walking Tour of Johnstown's Historical Sites
Local Historian Brian McCabe will lead a walking tour to the many historically significant buildings and sites in and around the village on Saturday 1st of September at 11 am
Venue:    Meet outside MyNu/Kildare Kitchen 11am sharp
Contact:    Johnstown Combined Residents' Association
Email:     johnstownvillage@hotmail.com
 
Walk and Talk – The History of Transport Systems Serving Kilcock from the 18th to 20th Centuries
Talk given by historian Jim Rochfort, starting from Shaw Bridge at 3pm on Sunday September 2nd.
Venue:    Meet at Shaw Bridge
Contact:   Bernadette Gilligan, Maynooth Community Library 
Tel.:    087 – 7603346 
Email:

Heritage Walk to Rathcoffey Castle and Barbeque
Family Day organised by Rathcoffey Historical Group begins with the Annual Heritage day walk to Rathcoffey Castle followed by a barbeque in the grounds of Rathcoffey GAA centre on Sunday 2nd September. Meet outside the school at 3.45pm
Venue:    Rathcoffey Hill/Rathcoffey GAA centre
Contact:   Seamus Cullen
Tel.:   
Email:   
Website: 

Illustrated Lecture on Grey Abbey, Kildare
Archaeologist Ms Emer Dennehy will talk about excavation work at the 13th Century Franciscan site at Grey Abbey, burial grounds of the Earls of Kildare at 3.00pm at Kildare Shopping Village Sunday 2nd September.
Venue:  Kildare Shopping Village, Meet at entrance near Le Creuset shop, Kildare
Contact:    Mary Glennon
Tel:      045 876243
Email:    glennonmp@eircom.net
 
Desperate Housewives of the 19th Century
Lecture given by Dr. Maebh O’Regan in Celbridge Library on Monday 3rd September at 8pm
Venue:    Celbridge Community Library   
Contact:   Marianne, Celbridge Community Library 
Tel.:    01-6272207
Email:    celbridgelib@kildarecoco.ie
 
Bat Walk and Talk in Ballymore Eustace
Conor Kelleher for Bat Conservation Ireland will give a presentation on these fascinating creatures and then lead a walk about town to find them on Tuesday 4th September. Sponsored by Kildare County Council. Starting at 7p.m. Bring suitable rain gear and a torch. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Venue:    Parish Centre, Ballymore Eustace
Time:    7p.m. Tuesday 4th September
 
Women's Integrate Network Craft Exhibition
Friday 14th September 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Venue:                  Athy Heritage Centre, Town Hall
Contact                Margaret Walsh
Tel:                        0598633075
Email:                    athyheritage@eircom.net

August 18, 2007

ORDNANCE SURVEY TRAINING DAY

The Historic Maps of the Ordnance Survey are now available online through the public library system on public access PCs. A special training day with Denis Cronin of the Ordnance Survey is being held in Naas Library on Thursday 23rd August.

Two sessions, one at 3 p.m and the second at 7 p.m will be held for libray staff and for members of the public. If you want to take part and learn how to access and use this amazing resource please contact Naas Library for details at naaslib@kildarecoco.ie or 045 879111 or the Local Studies Dept. at localhistory@kildarecoco.ie or 087 9871046 (Tues. and Wed.)

Learn how to use the online edition of the first edition 6 inch Ordnance Survey maps of Kildare (and of all Ireland) - special training day in Naas Library, Thursday 23rd August at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m

LEIXLIP CHRONOLOGY 1781-1799 AD

LEIXLIP CHRONOLOGY 1781 - 1799 AD

by

JOHN COLGAN

 

1781:  Conolly's land agents rent books [TCD MSS 3945] have Daniel Marston paying rent of £16 0s 0d half yearly, due 25th March and 29th September on the Iron Mills, Leixlip; and Simon (later Eleanor) Tankard paying half yearly rent of £1 2s 9d for the Bridge Tenement, Leixlip, due 25th March and 29th September; also John King for £40 0s 0d arrears of rent on the Corn Mills, Leixlip, due 1st May 1781, paid on March 20, 1783; and rent from the Reps. of Chas. Fellows for the Shingled House and adjoining garden of £6 11s 3d and £0 17s 5¼ d respectively, half yearly; also George Warren paying half year's rent in full for the Salmon Leap Inn, £7  0s  0d. Is it Warren or Warner? A George Warner and a Susannah Turvey obtained a marriage licence in 1768 and a George Warren and a Eliz. Maria Cross, ditto, in 1776!  Turvey and Warner are names which have been in Leixlip in recent times [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report].  A Simon Tankard, perhaps the aforementioned Tankard's father or grandfather, died on 9/9/1736 and is buried in St Mary's churchyard.
 
1782:  George Warner, Leixlip, gent, died with will probated by the Prerogative Court in 1782; a copy, ref. no. O.C.576, is available in the National Archives [Deputy Keeper, 57th Report]
 
1782:  It was recorded by the House of Commons that "The name of the Rt. Hon. Thomas Conolly being called, and no Excuse having been made for his absence, ordered that the Rt. Hon, Thomas Conolly be taken into custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House"  [HoCJ, Vol 9, p398, 14/2/1782].
 
1782:  Elinor, [sic] the daughter of Thomas Goodshaw II and his wife, Eliza., was baptised on 5/9/1782 at St Mary's, Leixlip; Elinor later married Daniel Johnson at St Mary's on 7/1/1808 at just short of 16 years of age. Eliza is buried at St Mary's graveyard, Leixlip; the gravestone declares she died 15/10/1829.
 
1782:  By the end of the three half-years to 1/5/1782, Charles Fellows had been replaced by reps., suggesting his death and Glascock's rents arrears had increased greatly  -  nearly tripling, thus:
Tyans lands                arrears at end of period,                       £57   8s  0d
Inghams Holding                 ditto,                                          £112  3s  9½d
pt. Hamiltons Farm             ditto;                                             £35 13s 1½d
[Castletown Papers, box 72, IAA]
 
c.1782:  Kenneth Milne reports, JKAS, Vol XIV, No. 2, p262+, that Naas was collecting tolls and customs in a rented tollhouse from goods entering the town. A report of the commissioners appointed to enquire into the municipal corporations in Ireland, 1835 is cited. 
 
1782:  For the two years to 25/12/1782, hearth taxes raised a total of £125,506 16s in Ireland. The Naas District for these purposes covered Carbury, Carlow, Kildare, Leixlip and Naas with Leixlip being partly in Kildare and Meath! Of the Naas District, 10,340 had one hearth; 1,445 had from 2 to 5 hearths and 297 had six or more. The comparable figures for Dublin were 7,384, 6,176, and 8,634, Dublin district covering the City and South County Dublin [HoCJ, Vol 11, Appendix, p. xlvi and xlvii].
 
1783:  Alexander Taylor's Map of Co. Kildare, in 6 sheets, was made for the Grand Jury.  Facsimiles are available from the RIA, Dawson St. [Background details in JKAS, Vl XVI, No 4, 1983, p389 and 365.]
 
1783/84: An Act for naturalising foreigners - merchants, traders, artificers, artizans, manufacturers, workmen, seamen, farmers and others (except Jews) as shall settle in this Kingdom was made this year [Irish Statutes, Vol.12, 23 &24 Geo3, c38, p692-4]. It was an extension of a similar Act made in 19&20 Geo 3, c29.
 
1783:  Rent Book Commencing 14/4/1783 and ending 1/6/1785 includes, inter alia: 
28/4/1784: "Received from reps. Jas. Glascock in full for rents and arrears due Nov. 1780 as returned to me by Mr Coane for his holdings in and about Castletown and Leixlip...£216  19s  0½ d"
"Received from ditto in full for 5 half - years rent due 1/5/1783 for same....  £104  4s  9½d"
Throughout the period, King and Marston paid rent on the corn and iron mills, respectively.
On the outgoings side of Conolly's accounts is an entry for 13/2/1783:  "By one year's subscription to Mr Bruce for Leixlip Post office, due 23 July 1782, £5 13s 9d" [TCD MSS, 3947]. St Mary's graveyard headstone records the death of Bruce's wife, Jane, on 7/1/1781.  The General Post Office was established in 1784by Act of Parliament [Wilson’s Dublin Directory, 1818].
 
1783:  John King wrote from Clondalkin, 9/4/1783, to Tom Conolly or his land agent pleading about his hardship in paying the rent on the corn mill at Leixlip, owing to his last undertenant not paying him. The letter noted TC's threat of ejection and his infirmities and wife's old age [Ref. item 803, MSS 3974-84 TCD]. In fact the Rentbook for Castletown's estates for the period, 1787 to 1792  - most likely the formal one in the Conolly's custody  - records, on p79, that "Mr King was ejected out of those mills in March 1788 and John McDaniel to the 29th September following at Mr King's rent, he having not redeemed them (the arrears)   ...  A lease of 41 years to commence 29/4/1788 at £100 p.a. on the Corn Mills of Leixlip, Co. Kildare"  [Castletown Papers, box 60 IAA].   
A John McDaniel and a Jane Vaughan obtained a marriage licence in 1810 [Deputy Keeper's 30th Report], but the above John McDaniel is more likely to be the McDaniel who erected a headstone in St Mary's in remembrance of his son, Alexander McDaniel, who d. 5/1/1774, aged 5.
 
1783: Robert Law, foreman of the Grand Jury of the Court Leet, wrote an obsequious letter to Tom Conolly seeking his assistance in erecting a market house on the plot adjoining the church yard, marked out by Lady Louisa, and under lease to Mr Cowen. In the course of his letter he noted the thriving progress of the town, including buildings and persons and the need for the market house for the sale of corn and other commodities. [Ref. 812, MSS 3974-84 TCD] Robert Law(e) and his wife, Martha, lived to be 78 years and are buried, along with their son, Alexander, Esq., who d.8/1/1850 aged 78, in St Mary's graveyard. A Robert Law, born Derry, boarded at TCD from Nov. 7, 1747 at the age of 17 and was awarded a BA in 1752, made a Fellow in 1754 and award an MA in 1755, BD in 1762 and DD in 1767. He was rector of Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh and subsequently of St. Mary's, Leixlip. He was treasurer of Cloyne (diocese).  He died June 11, 1789. This Robert may be the father of the earlier one mentioned above [Alumni, TCD]
A court leet was established in nearby Edenderry [formerly Colleystown], Co Offaly, which regulated its affairs, meeting twice yearly.   The court leet was a substitute for borough status, which would have given it resident magistrates. 400 were said to have participated in its deliberations in 1725. [TC Barnard, ‘The world of goods and County Offaly in the early 18th century’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p374.] The tolls of the market and fairs were leased to third parties for an annual rent. [Ibid, p375.]  See Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of the fairs and markets of Ireland, Parliamentary Papers, xli, Dublin, 1853.
 
1783:  I have yet to detect other leases involving Peter Tannam (see 1789), or where he came from. However, there was one Tannam  -  Matthew - of Monalvy, Kilmore, Co Meath, farmer, who transferred lands of 26 acres +, being part of Monaley,  to Arthur Bryan and other Bryans, the executors of the last will and testament of Arthur Dennis, late of Spring Valley, Co Meath, for the sum of £41 1s 4d, in a lease dated 27/7/1783.  Perhaps Matthew and Peter were related? [Reg. of Deeds Memo No: 363-306-244574]. A Richard Bryan was described as a perukemaker [=wigmaker] at Copper Alley, Dublin and a Samuel Bryan, a cloth merchant, of Old Bridge, Church St., in the Directory of Dublin, 1738 [Dublin Corporation, 2000]. A Samuel Bryan purchased Newtown around this time.
 
1783:  Vol 11 of the HoCJ for the period, 1783/5, lists among its members: Richard Townsend Herbert, Clothworthy Rowley, George Sandford (rep. Roscommon), Thos. Nesbitt, Travers Hartley, Arthur French, Rogerson and Sir James Cotter, Henry Cope, Thomas Conolly, Nicholas Colthurst, Henry Clements, Arthur Caldwell and Richard Townsend.
 
1783: Joseph Smyth of Balbriggan applied for grant aid for a cotton & calico factory at Balbriggan to the Irish House of Commons. Smyth, or his son James Smyth, United Irishman delegate of Leixlip in 1798, may have later moved to Leixlip. The proposed building was to be c100 feet long, 34 ft wide and five storeys high, capable of containing 2500 spindles. [HoCJ, Vol XI, 1/11/1783, p52-3.] Smyth was given £2,000 in 1785[HoCJ, Vol IX, p227]. [See Stephanie Bourke, The Hamilton Family & the Making of Balbriggan, Balbriggan, 2004, p39-48.]
1783:  A John Swan had a distillery at No 52 Smithfield, Dublin [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p116].
 
1783:  Andrew Ennis was PP of Maynooth from 1777 in a list of parish priests compiled by the RC archbishop of Dublin. There is no mention of Leixlip or Lucan, the former because it seems to have been merged with Maynooth since 1771, probably in 1777, and Lucan appears to be part of Palmerstown parish. [Cited by W M O’Riordan, ‘The Succession of Parish Priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin, 1771-1851’, Reportorium Novum, Vol 1, No 1, Dublin, 1955, p406-433.]
 
1784:  In 1784 the original Jameson came to Dublin from Alloa near Stirling, in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, and one son, John, married the daughter of a distiller called John Stein, of Bow St, and succeeded Stein as John Jameson & Sons in 1802.  There was also a brewery, Jameson & Pim [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p100, 117]. Pims lived in Kilmacreddock in recent times and a Jameson and Pim occupied Leixlip House at the one time.
 
1784:  Correspondence from James Glascock, with an address in York Street, Dublin, to Tom Conolly in London, Leixlip and Castletown, during this period [Ref. TCD MSS, 804, 843, 893, Conolly Papers] confirm that James Glascock was a solicitor/attorney in the firm Glascock and Black, to Conolly, as well as being his tenant; it seems [from item 843] that rent was payable to a Mr Simmons [sic].
A Samuel Black and Margaret Noble obtained a marriage licence in 1788 [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report].
 
1784:  John King, miller died in  May, 1784, leaving his Leixlip corn mills to his eldest son, Edward, who also carried out distilling in Leixlip (whiskey at 4 ½ d per pint).  John is buried in Clondalkin churchyard. Probate of his will granted to his wife in 1785. [Lena Boylan, ‘The Mills of Kildrought’, JKAS, Vol XV, No 2, 1972, p141-155.]
 
1784:   A letter from John Simmonds, dated Feby. 23rd 1784, from a Castletown address, to Edward Bulkeley Esq (No address on cover but may be Dublin City; Edward Bulkeley occupied land in Buckley’s Lane, Leixlip, at this time) wrote of the arrears in rent (due to the Conolly estate). Simmonds was a rent collector for Conolly [Box 36, Castletown Papers, IAA]. An Edward Bulkeley and a Mary Butler obtained a marriage licence in 1769 [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report] An Adrian Bulkeley lived at the corner of Werburgh St and Skinner's row, Dublin, in 1738 [Directory of Dublin, 1738, ibid] See 1635.
 
1784:  An Act was passed by parliament which gave Ireland its own postal service with two Postmasters’ General, John and Edward Lees, two Scotsmen, father and son, part of the Lord Lieutenant Townshend’s entourage.  The Act provided for special mail coaches instead of post-boys. [David Broderick, The First Toll-Roads, Cork, 2002, p121.]  See 1783,  for Leixlip Post Office.
 
c.1785:  Arthur Guinness hired John Purser, of London, as a brewer; the Purser family remained identified with James' Gate for nearly 100 years; to them is attributed the success of the company [PRONI: D/3031/3/1].
 
1785:  Two members of the Irish House of Commons, the Hon. W John Skeffington, with town residence at Earl St, and the Hon Henry Skeffington, ditto, at Ann St, Dublin, both had their country residence at Leixlip Castle. [Watson’s Directory, 1785]. They were family of the countess of Massereene, known to have stayed at the Castle at that time.
 
1785:  An Act, effective from 1/8/1785, enabled seneschals and stewards of manors (except those in Dublin city and county) to adjudicate on civil disputes involving debts of not more than £10 or actions for trespass of not more than £5 within the manor court. [Seneschal = steward or major-domo of medieval great house; cf. marshal, an officer of a (royal) household with judicial functions]
 
1785:  Richard Crosbie made the first ever assent in a balloon in Ireland from the Leinster lawn (Kildare House). Was he a Crosbie from Leixlip or Lucan? [A Peter, Dublin Fragments, Dublin, 1926, p88]
 
1785/6:  A list of carriage makers etc. who made and sold carriages in the City and Liberties of Dublin does not cite any Tannam amongst them.  [HoCJ, Vol 12, Appendix, pdvi, 1786/8]
 
1786: The Ryevale linen printing works was put up for auction this year, all to let for £80 a year. [Dublin Evening Post, 8/7/1786.]
 
1786:  The House of Commons Journal recorded, on 26/1/1786, a petition by Morley Saunders, Esq., who alleged an undue election and return of a James Somerville Esq., for the Borough of Baltinglass. It was determined that neither the sitting member nor the petitioner was duly elected and a new writ was ordered. There had been a similar petition by Morley Saunders on 13/4/1784 against the election of Sir John Allen Johnston, Bart, but the petition was withdrawn.
 
1786:  James Glascock demised unto Richard McLoughlin, in a deed dated 20 November 1786, in consideration for £120 paid to J Glascock and the sum of £700 laid out on the premises by Richard's deceased father, William McLaughlin, all that and those the houses and garden now in R. McL's possession and his undertenants, bounded on the east by a stone wall separating it from a garden formerly in the possession of Laurence Conolly, on the west by a stone wall which divides it from a field formerly in the possession of  Chas. Fellows; on the north by part of the street of Leixlip and the road leading to Marshfield; on the south by the mill race to the Iron Mills, for a yearly rent of £18 pounds payable on 25th March and 29th September, plus a fine of £9 on each life renewal [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 370-463-253912].
 
The Richard McLaughlin is likely to be he, an attorney who moved to the Exchequer, July 1778, from King's Bench [King's Inns Admission Papers], or he that died, intestate, a gentleman, at Dublin in 1789 [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report].
Rentbook, Castletown Estates, 1787 to 1792 [Box 60, Castletown Papers, IAA]:
p.83:   James Glascock, Esq., holding at Tyan's land at Leixlip at a half yearly rent of  £4 2s. This parcel is called Tyands Land, Upper Division, and the rent is said to be 4s 2d p.a. on 0a  2r  30p, rented to an [undertenant] John Johnson, with Mr Glascock as tenant, according to a record no. 3 in a  Leases Book of 1751 or later  from Castletown [Castletown Papers, box 59, IAA]. Johnson's brother, Ben, his sister, Eliz. and himself are required "to grind his corn at the mill of Leixlip".

Elizabeth Johnson was born in Leixlip on 30/11/1758; her father was Walter Johnson [St Mary's baptismal records]. Thomas and Bessie Johnson were living in Cooldrinagh until their deaths in 1874 and 1865, respectively, according to their gravestone at St Mary's, Leixlip. The Johnsons were related to the Goodshaws. Hestor Johnson was the name of Jonathan Swift's "Stella": was she related? Stella was a benefactor of Dr Steeven's Hospital, leaving £1,000 to support a chaplain there [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p194]
p.84:    Ditto..for Ingham's holding at a half-yearly rent of £8 0s 3d. 
 
p.85:   Eleanor Tankard for the [Rye] Bridge tenement holding at Leixlip, with half year's rent at £1 3s 10.5d (going on, like the others, 'til  about November 1792). She paid cash payments on all dates except once in November 1790, when Bart. Regan paid them. Simon Tankard, spouse or father of Eleanor, died 9/9/1736 and is buried in St Mary's, Leixlip.
 
p.94:   Wm Bruce of Salmon Leap holding, Co. Kildare, at £9 13s 10½d
William Bruce and Jane Walker obtained a marriage licence in 1775 [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report]. She died 7/1/1781 and is buried in St Mary's with her father, George, and mother, Celia.
p.96:   Daniel Marstin for the Iron Mills, half yearly rent of £16. Several entries offset his rent against bills for iron supplied; ditto for his other rental, Dowan's holding, on which he paid a rent of 5s.  Daniel Marston [sic] is buried in St Mary's graveyard, Leixlip; the details are indecipherable. [C O Brien says he lived at St Catherine's Park].
 
p.99:   Chas Fellows was renting Shingle [sic] house. Thos Atkinson was renting Marshfield paying rent of £2 10s half yearly.
 
p.116: Reps of George Warner were paying £7 per half year for the Salmon Leap Inn; Wm Bruce, Mrs Warner and Ms Spring paid some of  the rents due on this lease.
 
p.120:  Chris McGowan's tenancy, rental £2 2s half yearly.
 
1786:   Mary, the daughter of Christopher Magowan of Leixlip was baptised on 22/5/1786 at St Mary's.
 
1787/8: Marianne, the daughter of Christopher Magowan of Leixlip was baptised on 21/581787 or 8 at St Mary's.
 
1787:   John, the son of Elizabeth and Thomas Goodshaw II of Leixlip was baptised on 30/12/1787 at St Mary's; he died on 26/4/1839, aged 51 years and is buried in St Mary's graveyard [baptism and burial records].
 
1787:  Captain Napier, in a letter dated 24/9/1787, wrote to James Glascock of York St., Dublin, asking him to expedite the drawing up by him of a lease. Wm Glascock is mentioned at that address in another letter of the same date [Castletown Papers, Box 1, IAA].
 
1787:  The Castletown Estate Rentbook for 1787 to 1792 has the representatives of George Warner paying £7 per half-year rent for the Salmon Leap Inn. The book records Wm Bruce, Mrs Warner and Ms Spring paying some of the rents due in that period [Castletown Papers, Box 60, p.116, IAA].  Warner is probably an error on the part of the rent collector; the name was probably Walker.
1787: Mr Begnall, who had earlier had a school in Leixlip, opened his Academy [school] in Kildrought House, Celbridge, this year to educate young, Catholic gentlemen. Those attending were mainly the sons of Dublin merchants and better local farmers. They were instructed in reading, writing, Greek, Latin, history, geography, chronology and rhetoric. Proper attention was given to heir morals and health [Tony Doohan, A History of Celbridge, Celbridge, c1984, p63-4.]
 
1787:  Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Marriage Announcement: Morley Saunders, Grove, Co Wicklow, married Miss Glascock, daughter of James of York Street, July 1787 [p391].
 
1788:  John La Touche spent upwards of £1,000 in constructing a four arch stone bridge over the Liffey at Harrisontown, dated this year.  It is similar to Leixlip's. [Text and picture in JKAS, Vol VII, No.1, 1912, p37 & 41.]
 
1788:  A Robert Bagley [Bayley] of Ballilow?, Co Wicklow, in a deed dated 1/5/1788, transferred the lands of Parsonstown, Leixlip,  (20a 1r 6p) to James Glascock of Dublin city. He, in turn, assigned them to Nathaniel Warren, an alderman of Dublin City, by deed dated 2/4/1795 [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 500-477-314283].
 
1788:  Edward King was ejected from Leixlip corn mills by Thos Conolly's agent [See entry for 1783].
 
1788:  Lease of 2/10/1788 from Thos Conolly to John McDaniel, Leixlip, Miller, who was required to share the cost of scouring, cleaning and repairing the mill water course with the iron mills proprietor - a rent of £100 for the corn mills in Mill Lane. A map is attached to the lease shows the land area to cover a strip of land contained by Silleachán Lane [then the road to Confey] and the Silleachán valley (6a 0r 20p) and a small parcel of land, the 'dwelling house, gardens and mills' (0a 2r 24p) with map attached, showing mill wheel immediately adjacent the river Liffey [Sketch made], at the eastern extremity of the overall mills' plot, that is east of the sluice gate waste into the Liffey. [Box 27, Castletown Papers, IAA].
 
1788:  On 18/3/1788 the HoC agreed to consider a clause in a Bill for the preservation of watering slips. [HoCJ, Vol 12, p.408]
 
1788:   On the 17/6/1788 Michael Ryan was appointed PP of Lucan, replacing Andrew Toole; it is unclear when Lucan became a separate parish. [Cited by W M O’Riordan, ‘The Succession of Parish Priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin, 1771-1851’, Reportorium Novum, Vol   1 No 1, Dublin,1955, p406-433.]
 
1789:  An Act for better supplying of certain cities and towns with water (Dublin, Cork and Limerick excluded):  The Act established commissioners comprising the chief magistrate et al who were empowered to make watercourses through lands and to lay pipes for carrying water and related matters.  The same powers were given to grand juries outside of towns. [Irish Statutes,Vol 14, 29 Geo 3, c42, p.113+]. 
 
1789: A cotton hosiery factory at Balbriggan, belonging to Joseph Smyth, received a visit from Rev William and Mrs Bruce in August, 1789. The factory was then constructing a new mill wheel, 27 feet (dia) by 8 feet (width). [Bruce Papers, MSS 20886 NLI; ‘Journal of Tours’ by Rev W Bruce, 1789, 1794.] See 1783; Was Wm Bruce of Leixlip? This Rev Wm Bruce (1757-1841) was born in Dublin, educated at TCD, a Presbyterian minister and principal of Belfast Academy, 1790-1822. He was a frequent contributor to the Dublin University Magazine. [Hickey & Doherty, A New Dictionary of Irish History from 1800, Dublin, 2003, p44.]
1789: James Glascock, Esq. Dublin City, to Peter Tannam of Leixlip, Blacksmith; dated 3/4/1789. Glascock demised unto Tannam, his heirs and assigns for a term of 99 years from 25/3/1789, "All that the house and garden in the town of Leixlip in the county of Kildare bounded towards the west by the bridge of Leixlip and on the north, south and east by the River Liffey and Mill Race.." subject to a yearly rent of £12 10s 3d. The memorial was witnessed by Daniel Sullivan and Thomas Saunders and the deed by Daniel Sullivan and Wm. Read, gents, of Dublin City. [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1791-445-217-286593; it contains Peter Tannam’s signature in a clear hand.]  Glascock was then aged about 40 years. A Daniel Sullivan was a powerful papermaker in Dublin, fl 1796.
Peter Tannam's family descendants are still extant in Dublin city. The earliest record of the family suggests its local origins in Cabinteely or Cornel's Court (the latter dates to the 14th century at least) and there were many Peter Tannams. The family line shows several blacksmiths and car men, perhaps also in the parish of Kill O'Grange.(Frances) May Ennis, b. 2/4/1923, Rathmines), nee Murphy, and formerly of 1 Highfield Park, Leixlip, is most likely a direct descendant of the Peter Tannam of 1789. Her grandfather was Peter Joseph Tannam, a clerk in Hely's stationers, late of Dame Street, Dublin, who was b.1/2/1865 at 18 Little Britain Street, [the extension of Parnell St westwards] Dublin; his grandfather or grand uncle was likely to be the Peter Tannam of 1789. [The Tannam family tree is to hand, supplied by Michael Tannam, Bayside, Co Dublin, and compiled by his father the late John (Jack) Tannam, Raheny, Co Dublin].
1789:  Rent Book Commencing June 8th 1789 [Ref. TCD MSS 3947] has Christopher McGowan paying half yearly rent of £2 2s 0d on the Shoemaker's Tenement, Leixlip (adjoining Mill Lane/Dublin Road?) and James Glascock paying rent on the Island farm, and Ingham's holding, the latter due 29/9/89. Also Eleanor Tankard is continuing to pay £1 3s 10½d on the Bridge tenement, Leixlip; likewise, Daniel Marston on the Iron Mills and John Mc Daniel on the corn mills - continuing through to May, 1792 and due back to 25 March 1789 and perhaps further?
 
1789:  Elizabeth, the daughter of Elizabeth and Thomas Goodshaw II of Leixlip was baptised on 13/8/1789 at St Mary's.  A son, Walter James, was born to them on 30/9/1799 and baptised at St Mary's.
 
1789:  On 15/4/1789 a petition dated 13/3/1789 lodged by the High Sheriff, Grand Jury, Gentlemen, Clergy and some Freeholders of Kildare was presented to the HoC, and read, setting forth their "concern at the alarming progress of crimes in their County".. "due to the indiscriminate permission to vend malt and spirituous liquors granted to obscure and disorderly Houses  -  an opportunity to Vagabonds and Rogues of every description  -  to assemble at unreasonable hours to indulge in drunkenness without restraint and to debauch the morals" etc.  The petitioners asked the House to consider their views [HoCJ, Vol 13, p74].
 
 
 
1790: Con Costello, Kildare Saints, Soldiers & Horses, Naas, 1991, p115-120:  Horse racing is described. Squire Tom Conolly was a patron of the Curragh races, maintaining stables there, 1758-1772.  In 1790, the Irish Racing calendar was published. List of subscribers included “Mr Martin Hannen [Hallion?], Inn Keeper, Leixlip”. See The Racing Calendar, 1790.  Other horse racing info [?]:  JKAS, Vols 2, 3 and 14.  John Welcome, Irish Horseracing, 1982.
 
1790: John Coyne (of Leixlip?) opened his boarding school for young Protestant men in St Wolstan’s; it rivalled Begnall’s. [Doohan, opus cit, p64.]
 
1790: 19/2/1790: Leave was granted by the HoC for a Bill to build an Apothecaries Hall and for regulating the business in Dublin and suburbs (p.174, HoCJ, Vol 13, this date). It was approved by the House of Lords c7/4/1791.
 
1791:  An Act  -  The Apothecaries Act - was  made to erect a hall and to regulate entry to the profession, with effect from 24/6/1791.The directors (named, small number; none identified) had to power to say who shall be properly qualified to become an apprentice etc. From the same date no person could open a shop or act as an apothecary until he shall be examined by the profession. There was a right of appeal to the College of Physicians. The apprenticeship was to last 7 years. The Act also introduced restrictions on the sale of arsenic. [Irish Statutes, Vol 15, 31 Geo 3, c34, p724-741].
 
1791:  The French consul to Ireland toured Ireland and reported on same, including some references to Leixlip. The traveller, Frenchman, Coquerbert left only his notes, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, (Nouv. Acq. XXIII). [Síle Ní Chinnéide, An 18th-Century French Traveller in Kildare, JKAS Vol XV, No 4, 1974-75, p376-386.] There is more on Castletown etc. Some references to tolls charged en route.
 
1791:  The foundations of Sarah Bridge were laid on 22 June. The first steam engine was erected in Dublin by Henry Jackson. [Wilson's Dublin Street Directory].
 
1791:  An Act was made to prohibit horse racing within nine miles of Dublin Castle; any twelve or more persons found present in this area at a race meeting will constitute an unlawful assembly. Power was given to spill any 'spiritous liquours' found at such races. [Irish Statutes, 35Geo3, c43, p784+ ].
 
1791: Lord Cloncurry (first lord, alias, Robert Lawless), bought Mornington House, ie 24 Upr Merrion St, for £8K. His eldest son and heir, the Hon Valentine Lawless, shared the dangerous opinions of his friend, Lord Edward FitzGerald, and was imprisoned in the tower of London on that account.  On Valentine's return to Ireland in 1811 he settled down quietly at Lyons, the family seat, and occupied himself in writing his personal reminiscences [Frances Gerard, Picturesque Dublin, London, 1898, p224].
 
Robert Lawless is called Sir Nicholas Lawless [by Hone, Craig & Fewer, The New Neighbourhood of Dublin, Dublin, 2002, p216-8.]; he amassed a great fortune as a draper and banker at the end of this century. He died in 1799 just before the Union, for which he voted. His son, Valentine Browne Lawless, the 2nd Lord Cloncurry, was sworn a United Irishman in early life and lay a prisoner in the Tower of London. He later became one of the most distinguished figures in Irish public life, as a leader of Liberal peers and patron of the arts. [Hone et al, opus cit, p218.]
 
1792:  Indenture dated 17/9/1792 between Anne Shelly, widow, and Thomas Goodshaw, carpenter, both of Leixlip and Richard Bergin of Leixlip, builder, whereby the first two named leased to Bergin an area of land of 1a 3r 2p [plantation measure?], bounded by Leixlip Rd on the north and on the west by Cooldrina Lane; on the south by Mr Bailey’s estate in the possession of Anne Shelly, and on the east by the land of Anne Shelly and Thomas Goodshaw, which said premises were described in the said deed. Rent of £11 7s 6d. [Registry of Deeds Memo No 505-77-3230.]
 
1792:  James W. Glascock was among those attending a meeting of the board of trustees of the turnpike road on 25/9/1792 at Lynch's Tavern, Lucan. The meeting had received a letter from Robert Lawe, of Leixlip, claiming that his gravel-pit near Leixlip had been used by the board of trustees for 40 years for the repair of the road, but he had received no compensation. A map of the period shows a gravel pit near where Lawe is marked on the map, i.e. Knockmouder, by Louisa Bridge.
 
1793: Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Law [sic], Leixlip, was baptised on 27/9/1793 at St Mary's. She was followed by two Lawe sons, George Aldborough and William, born 29/4/1797 and 2/7/1798 respectively, and baptised at St Mary's.
 
1793:  A five-acre ‘Part of the Race Course let by Rt Hon T Conolly to Bart Kelly’ adjoining Green lane is sketched on a map of Leixlip Demesne, surveyed in October, 1793, probably for Conolly or the Castle’s occupier then. The surveyor is not identified by may have been John Longfield or John Brownrigg, who was working on the Royal Canal line about this time. [Longfield Maps, 21 F 37 no.156, ‘Leixlip Demesne’, 1793, NLI].
 
John [?] Brownrigg’s house and garden are shown on a map of Celbridge Main Street on the east site, leading to the Liffey, located about ten houses north of the Liffey Bridge. Date not noticed, if present. [Longfield Maps, 21 F 37 no.171, ‘Main St, Celbridge’, NLI]. There is a possibility that this may have been the house of William Brownrigg, of Leixlip flock mills (see St Mary’s Graveyard headstones file), who died 1820.
 
1793:  Map of Leixlip Demesne of Oct, 1793, illustrates nature of usage of demesne lands and occupiers. Included were: Wheat Field, Oak Field, Pond Field, Wood (2), Lawn, Rape Field, Scrubayhane, Ash Grove, Glenmore; Coane’s Field, Coogan’s Garden (with house), Murray’s Garden (with house to Celbridge rd) and Neal’s Field. Widow Cassidy and Capt Doughlop [sic; probably Doughlas] had property or land immediately to the rear of the Glebe House. Widow Cassidy owned the land approximately taken up by Leixlip Park estate and John Dalton had several holdings, including land approximately where Colaiste Chiarain is now located. A gazebo or temple (as it is referred to on some maps) is shown on the south bank of the Liffey facing the actual Salmon Leap falls, midway between the pair of falls. The miniature sketch of the temple is similar to the temple in front of Castletown House, by the Liffey, which still stands. Another house, possibly that of Mr Croker, is shown on Cooldrinagh lands east of the temple, and quite near to the river. The buildings around the Castle are much more extensive than those in the map for Cavendish of c1829, which see. [Longfield Maps, 21 F 37 no.156, ‘Leixlip Demesne’, 1793, NLI].
 
1793:  Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Birth Announcement: a son to Lady Morley Saunders, 10/5/1793 [p401].  She is related to Glascock of Leixlip.
 
1794: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Death Announcement: Daniel Marston, [iron] merchant, in Abbey St., 22/3/1793 [p243].
 
1794: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Death Announcement: George Chapman, a magistrate for co. Kildare & Queen’s co., nr. Portarlington, 6/1/1794 [p77].  May have tenuous connections with Newtown House.
 
1794: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Death Announcement: Eliza Spring, only daughter of the late William, near Leixlip, 10/2/1794 [p157].  See rent payments for Salmon Leap Inn; probably from Springfield [hotel].
 
1794:  The earliest RC baptism recorded, on the inside of the cover of the Baptismal Register, St Mary’s, Maynooth RC chapel (Leixlip & Maynooth parishes), is that of James Rooney, said to have been born, 5/1/1794, and christened with John McDaniel and Eleanor Chamberlaine as sponsors. [Register of Baptisms, 1814-27, St Mary’s, RC, Maynooth.]
 
1794:  County Militias were introduced to supersede voluntary forces of infantry, cavalry and artillery ['Ballads and Poems of the County Kildare', in JKAS, Vol 6, No 4, 1910, p349].
 
1794: An explanatory and amending Act to 29Geo.3 regarding the supply of piped water to houses was made. The commissioners appointed under the earlier Act can enter into agreements with householders to pay water rent for water supplied. The houses must have a stopcock and a cistern. The Act additionally requires occupiers to sweep, clean and scrape the footway along their houses before 10 am twice a week, or pay a fine of 1s to the inspector. [Irish Statutes,Vol 17, 34Geo3 c9, p141]. 
 
1794:  Freeman's Journal of 25/10/1794 reports a 'miraculous productions' relating to the new Spa at Leixlip being exhibited on the Canal Bridge by a country fellow of a lizard in a bottle etc [JKAS, Vol XIV, No 2, 1966/67, p282].
 
1794:  A newspaper advertisement of this year [date and title n/a] is thus: St Catherine’s Park Leixlip: -  to be let, the House and Demesne of St Catherine’s park, containing 50 acres, completely enclosed with a stone and lime wall. Or, the House will be let furnished with the Gardens, and with or without any quantity of the land. Proposals to Isaac Corry Esq., Merrion Square. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]  NB: Year is doubtful: see 1798.
 
1794: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Marriage Announcement: Rev. Hosea Guinness, of Bray is engaged to Miss Hart, 2nd daughter of the late Colonel Hart, 23.1.1794 [p77].
 
1794: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Death Announcement: Israel Read, later senior surgeon of Dublin Infirmary, at Dublin, July 1794 [p79].
 
1795:  Walker’s Hibernian Magazine had the following Marriage Announcement:  William F Pigott [possibly of Ryevale House] married Miss Houghton [of Celbridge mill family?],
 
1795 [p96]. See St Mary’s graveyard headstone data.
 
1795:  Nathaniel Clements, earl of Leitrim, of Killadoon, Celbridge, was a trustee of the linen manufacture. He was made earl in this year. [Watson’s Almanack, 1818].
 
1795:  Morley Saunders (the second) married Ellen Katherine Glascock, daughter of James Glascock of the Music Hall, Leixlip, this year. [source mislaid; possibly marriage settlement deed. Burke's Landed Gentry of 1847 gives no date for the marriage.]  T.U. Sadleir, writing on "The family of Saunders of Saunders' Grove, Co Wicklow" in the JKAS, Vol. 9, 1918-1921, p. 125+ give the marriage at June, 1787, and date of death as 25/3/1825 (another source puts d. at 20/9/1839). Burkes " A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland" (1858) puts the wedding at July, 1787. July,1787is the wedding month according to an announcement in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine [p391].
 
1795:  Rev Edward Berwick was Vicar of Leixlip Union, from 1795 to 1820. He was son of Duke of Berwick, and was born in Co. Down in 1750. He married twice, first to Anne Birmingham of Monkstown, Co. Dublin, who died in her 24th year. An Anne Berwick of Confey died 20 July, 1800, probably on the birth of their son, Walter, (who was born in 1800). Walter became a judge of the Irish bankruptcy Court. Edward’s second marriage was to Rebecca Shuldam of Leixlip in 1802. Their son, Edward, born in 1804, afterwards became President of Queen's College, Galway. Rev Berwick died aged 64 on 3/6/1820. He is buried in the medieval church ruin in Confey graveyard. [Leslie, ibid, Confey tombstones survey and St Mary’s deaths’ records.] Rev Edward Berwick was a pamphleteer and chaplain to the Earl of Moira. He wrote a “Treatise on the government of the Church” in 1811. [FE Ball, The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 ?]
1795:  Elinor [sic] Tankard, Dublin, widow, died intestate, 1795 [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report].
 
1795:  Wilson's Dublin Street Directory lists, for the first time, James Hilles, Iron-merchant, 180 Abbey Street, Dublin. There has been no mention of any Tannam in Wilson's to date. By 1796, Hilles is a 'wholesale Iron-merchant'. By 1805 he is at nos. 158 & 159 Abbey Street.  By 1807 he was at nos. 151 and 152; then at no. 96, no. 19 (1814). In Wilson's for 1815, he is an "Iron-merchant and Iron and Tin-plate-manufacturer, Hilles Place, 98 Abbey Street and Leixlip Iron Works" - the first reference to Leixlip works.
The Genealogical Office has a draft pedigree of the Hilles family of Co Sligo, 1718 - 1791, in MS804, p.8, NLI.
 
1795:  On 11/2/1795 a petition of the Catholics of Co Kildare was presented to the HoC and read - noting that in 1793 the King, George III, removed many of the "disabilities, pains and penalties" under which Catholics laboured. They "suggest to the Wisdom of the House that the most effectual Mode to unite in Sentiment all his Majesty's Subjects of Ireland in support of our most excellent Constitution, ... will be to extend to them its Blessings, by the abolition of those Incapacities and Disqualifications of which" they complain. It was ordered that their petition lie on the Table of the House [p.50, Vol 16, 11/2/1795]. The address was drawn up by Ambrose O’Ferrall, Charles Aylmer, John Esmonde and Christopher Nangle. Fourteen RCs and others presented the petition to the Lord Lieutenant within a few days. The RCs were Dominic Wm O’Reilly, Patrick Latten, Daniel Caulfield, Gerald Aylmer, Charles Aylmer, John Cassidy (Secretary), James Hussey, Thomas Ryan, Walter Dowdall, Richard Dease, Captain Hussey, John Esmonde, Thos Dillon and Thos Fitzgerald (chairman).
See Turtle Bunbury and Art Kavanagh, The Landed Gentry & Aristocracy of County Kildare, Dublin, 2004, ‘Aylmer of Donadea’, p1-12, for the Aylmer family of this period.
 
1795:  James Glascock Esq., Arthur Guinness and others were appointed turnpike commissioners in an Act consolidating and modernising the several Mullingar turnpike Acts [Irish Statutes, Vol 17, 35 Geo 3, c 43, p.680+].
 
1796:  A survey (and map) of Newtown, Leixlip, for Miss Eliz. Bryan, was done this year. [M.518, NA, Dublin.]  She lived at Newtown Hill House, Captain’s Hill, Leixlip.
 
1796:  "An Act to explain and amend several Acts heretofore passed for the lighting, cleansing and watching of ...  market towns". Every July, Ministers, church-wardens and parishioners are to meet to appoint watchmen, the times of watch and their wages, and to provide articles for watch-houses. It was made lawful for watchmen to apprehend all idle and disorderly persons in the night-time, making any affray or committing any breach of the peace at late and unseasonable hours of the night, and to detain prisoners in the watch houses and take them before magistrates in the morning.. [Irish Statutes,Vol 17, 36Geo 3, c51, 1796].
 
1796:  Among the named pensioners of the Civil Establishment on 21/1/1796 were: Arthur Wolfe in trust for George Walker Bruce, £40 p.a; Mary Johnston, widow of Wm Johnston, £50 p.a.; and John White, Esq., £200 p.a. [HoCJ, Vol 16, Appendix, p.ccclxxxii+, 1795-96].
 
1796:  Andrew Ennis remained listed as PP at Maynooth (for there and Leixlip). [Cited by W M O’Riordan, ‘The Succession of Parish Priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin, 1771-1851’, Reportorium Novum, Vol 1, No 1, Dublin, 1955, p406-433.]
 
1796:  The Lord Lieutenant [Lord Camden?], accompanied by the Lord Chancellor [Pelham?], and other chief judges etc, came today for the laying of the first stone of the new Roman Catholic seminary at Maynooth. He was received by the President, professors, students at the gate; the Duke of Leinster and the principal nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood [inc Tom Conolly] - cited in Freeman’s Journal of c 20th and 21st April, 1796, and Walker’s Hibernian Magazine of May, 1796. A band of the Londonderry Militia greeted them. [See Jeremiah Newman, Maynooth and Georgian Ireland, Galway, 1979, p32-3.] Con Costello [A Most Delightful Station.., p10] writes that they were likely to have come from quarters in Dublin; they were, however, quartered in Leixlip.
 
1797:  James Hilles and Winifrede Coyne obtained a marriage licence [Deputy Keeper's 26th Report].
 
1797:  Justices of the Peace for Co Kildare this year included: Thos Croker, Chas Croker, Laurence Steele, Wm Brady, Thos Atkinson, Richard Cane, Thomas Ashe, Major General Richard Whyte, Wm Donnellan, David LaTouche, Junr., Thomas Ryan and Rev. T F Knipe.  The Duke of Leinster was the governor of Co Kildare.  George Sandford was Barrack Master for Dublin; as none was listed for Co Kildare, Kildare may be presumed to be within his ambit [Watson’s Almanack, 1797].
 
1797:  Members of the Irish Commons with Leixlip postal addresses this year were: Sir Michael Cromie, Bt, member for the borough of Donegal; country residence at Stacumnie; Rt Hon Sir H Cavendish, member for the borough of Lifford, of Marshfield; David LaTouche, member for the borough of Swords, residing at St Catherine’s (note another Rt Hon David LaTouche was also a member, probably the father of the former;  John Metge, Esq, member for the borough of Philipstown; Wm Sankey, Esq; the Hon. Nathaniel Clements, commonly called Lord Viscount Clements, Killadoon;  Rt Hon Thomas Conolly, member for the borough of Coleraine, of Castlwon, Celbridge; and the Rt Hon James Fitzgerald, of Hermitage (Lucan). [Watson’s Almanack, 1797].
 
1797:  Leixlip and Celbridge Cavalry existed with officers James Tisdall, Wm. Donnellan, J Simmons. [JKAS, p47, Vol XV No.1] The J. Simmons is most likely to be John Eston Simmonds, who was married to Catherine Cooper (dead by 1799), and who probably lived at Collinstown. Their youngest son, Edward, was accepted into the King's Inns as a student/apprentice in 1813, aged about 17 years. He had been educated at St Wolstan's, Co Kildare before then [King's Inns, ibid] A James Tisdall, of Coleraine St, and Charles Tisdall of Dublin were Fellows of TCD and a Richard T. was Register of the Court of Chancery, Darby Square in the Directory of Dublin, 1738.
 
The Cooper family lived in Leixlip at Barnhall and Collinstown until the 20th century, and several generations are buried in St Mary's graveyard. See separate note on the Coopers.
 
The Maynooth Corps, Rangers or Volunteers seem to have been the same as the Carton Union, ie infantry and cavalry under Col Hugh Cane of Dowdstown. F McManus was Captain/Lieutenant, and Richard Cane, chaplain. [Jeremiah Newman, Maynooth and Georgian Ireland, Galway, 1979, p50.] Another reference, dating to 26th January 1797 [List of District Corps Ireland, Dublin Castle, (in NLI)] has for the Maynooth Cavalry: Captain, His Grace, the Duke of Leinster; first Lieutenant, Thomas Long; 2nd Lieutenant, Richard Cane  -  all confirmed, 31st October, 1796.
 
1797: An Act was made to provide an annuity to Alicia, widow of the Rev. George Knipe, rector of the parish of Castlerichard, Co Meath, a magistrate massacred on that account - and for their children, John, George, Frances and Anne. The annuity was given to Thomas Knipe, clerk, of Church-hill, Co Meath, and others in trust. The total amount was £300 p.a. [Irish Statutes, Vol 18, 37Geo3, c63, p615]. Rev. T. F Knipe is listed as a magistrate for Co Kildare for 1797; he was one of ~83 in all [Watson’s Almanack, 1797].

A Miss Knipe was the occupier of 43 acres at St. Catherine's Park in 1825 and paid tithes to the Leixlip Union Cof I.
 
1797:  In May 1797 martial law was extended to the Carbury barony (but not North Salt) of Co Kildare as a result of arms raiding and assassinations by the Kildare insurgents of the north-west, and in the face of alleged supineness of the magistrates and the suspected disaffection of the FitzGerald family. [Ruan O’Donnell, ‘King’s County in 1798’, in Nolan & O’Neill, (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p487.]
 
1797:  In 1797 there were attacks on Protestant houses to seize arms and a man named Begley was murdered at Edenderry. May have been an ancestor of the Pegley family of Leixlip?  [Begley = little hero] [WA Maguire, ‘Missing Persons: Edenderry under the Blundells and the Downshires, 1707-1922’, in Nolan and O’Neill, (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p525].
 
1797:  St Mary's burial records for this year had 17 entries (including Mrs Mary Colgan of Dublin); two of them, on 6th and 23rd October, were soldiers. There were only three deaths recorded in 1798 and 7 in 1799, of which two were soldiers: Sergeants Downing, 30th November, and Pollock, December 1st, both of Leixlip and the 'L.D. Militia'.
 
1797:  In July a bandit entered the country residence of the Prime Sergeant at Hermitage near Lucan and robbed it of a blunderbuss, two pistols and a fowling piece. [See Jeremiah Newman, Maynooth and Georgian Ireland, Galway, 1979, p49.] The Rt Hon James Fitzgerald, MP, Irish Commons, had a country residence at Hermitage; the postal address was Leixlip [Watson’s Almanack, 1797].
 
1797-99:  Archibald Hamilton Rowan, of the Society of United Irishmen, was a calico printer and dyer in America at this period (to July, 1799). [Details in AK Longfield, ‘Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Calico Printer in America, 1797-1799’, JKAS, Vol XV, no 2, 1972, p178-185.]
 
1798:  In an unattributed newspaper report (published 9/8/1902), entitled ‘On the Kildare Frontier’, and related to a visit of the Old Guard Union to Confey to commemorate the Yeoman, Nicholas Dempsey, buried there, the writer refers to Newtown House thus: “Newtown was either in the occupation or under the control of Hamilton Rowan in or around 1798. At all events, it seems to have been one of the places where the munitions of war were provided for the rebels”. “A man still resident in Leixlip relates that while engaged in some alterations that were being made to the house some years ago, some old parchments and documents relating to the Ninety-Eight movement were found, amongst them a direction from Lord Edward Fitzgerald addressed to Hamilton Rowan, directing that certain stands of arms be served out to Reilly, of Maynooth, for the United men under his command. The papers were at the time of their discovery brought by Kelly, foreman carpenter of the work, to the “Irishman” Office, Dublin.” [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
 
1798: May 23/24, 1798, the Athlone mail coach was intercepted by the rebels at Lucan, robbed and burned. A regiment of Highlanders were called from Maynooth to the scene. The Duke of Leinster’s daughters had to go to Leixlip to get passes from the officers in command there to travel to Dublin. On their way home they saw the hanging body of a man, decorated with green ribands [on Old Hill?]. On 19th May Lord Edward Fitzgerald received his uniform in Dublin  -  a green military outfit, edged with red with a cap of conical form. [See Jeremiah Newman, Maynooth and Georgian Ireland, Galway, 1979, p52-9; p60.]
 
1798:  Report on Co. Kildare Gaol(s) [HoCJ, Vol 17, Appendix, 1796-98, p.dcxxxv].
"Naas Gaol is new and very strongly built; nevertheless the Gaoler (James Dillon) continues the use of his monstrous bar bolts, which did not prevent a man from making his escape the night before he was to be hanged; a certain proof of negligence or corruption in the Gaoler. The Gaol of Athy is secondary to Naas; it is an old and ruinous castle, consisting of four apartments for prisoners, without flues or windows, nor is there necessaries or a yard; the prisoners are allowed straw and bread, but neither bed covering nor fuel".
 
89 Crown prisoners in custody 1st January 1798; eight of whom were sentenced to death but respited, and four for transportation.  Three debtors were also in confinement and one obtained the benefit of the Insolvent Act.  Included were:
 
Name              Crime with which Charged       Verdict              Sentence & Observations
Martin McHugh          Murder                    Manslaughter             Burned in the hand
Charles Brazill        Administering Oaths           Guilty                   Death, but respited
Thomas Deegan     Administering Oaths           Guilty                 Transportation for Life
Thos. Deegan         Burglary & Robbery          Guilty                 Death, respited
Richard Lynagh & Ml. Casey  
 
Prisoners not Tried Included:
John Bryan               United Irishman
John Dempsey          Burglary & Felony
Francis Cormick       High Treason
 & John McHugh
Patrick Colgan &      Burglary & Robbery
John Murphy
 
1798:  Leave was given on the 12/3/1798 by the HoC to introduce a Bill to regulate post travelling though the Kingdom [HoCJ, Vol 17, this date, p298]. The Bill was passed and sent to the House of Lords on 4/5/1798. However, a little earlier the House ordered that the Committee preparing the Bill on the postal system provide free post for members and members of the forces etc. (p.264, ibid)
 
1798: Watson's Directory lists (on p. 91) John Finlay, George Vesey and Walter & George Nugent among the justices of the peace for Kildare.
 
1798:  St Catherine’s Park residence, now Liffey Valley House Hotel, was designed by Francis Johnston [Killanin & Duignan, ‘Leixlip’ in Shell Guide to Ireland, London, 1962].
 
1798:  On 14/2/1798, the HoC ordered that Daniel Beere, Deputy Pursuivant [= follower, attendant] of the court of the Exchequer, do attend at the Bar of this House forthwith. He was taken into custody, examined at the Bar and then discharged. Families called Beere lived in Maynooth and at the Black Castle, Leixlip; he may be related.
 
1798:  Major William Swan, Deputy Town Major, who resided at Nth Great George's St, assisted in the capture of Lord Ed FitzGerald.  He wrestled with FitzGerald to remove a dagger the latter held at the time of his capture. [Frances Gerard, Picturesque Dublin, London, 1898, p184/6]  Was he related to the Swans of Confey? John Swan says no military connection he knows of.
 
1798:  27/7/1798:  Leave was given by the HoC to bring in a Bill for the Attainder of Lord Edward Fitz-Gerald, Cornelius Grogan (of Wexford) and another, deceased, of Treason.
 
1798: 22/8/1798: leave was granted by the HoC to bring in a Bill for appointing Commissioners to enquire into the losses of persons to their property during the Rebellion [HoCJ, Vol 17, same date, p366]; the King's assent was given to the Bill on 6/10/1798.
 
1798:  On 30/8/1798 a Bill from the House of Lords was received in the HoC seeking their concurrence; it was to prevent persons who had been transported, banished or exiled from returning [HoCJ, Vol 17, same date, p.372].  Royal assent was given on 6/10/1798.
 
1798:  Mr William Cope, member of Dublin city commons since 1784 and director of the Royal Canal Company, had been instrumental in inducing the United Irishman, Thomas Reynolds, to turn informer, for which Cope received a pension of £1000 for his wife and children. By 1804 his business had failed and he petitioned the government to do something for him and his son. [Dickson, Keogh & Whelan (eds), The United Irishmen – Republicanism, Radicalism and Rebellion, Dublin, 1993, p328, note 42.]
 
1798:  Thomas Conolly of Castletown succeeded in averting rebellion in Celbridge; he pleaded with his tenants not to get involved. His sister-in-law, Lady Sarah Lennox Napier, was a committed rebel. [Tony Doohan, A History of Celbridge, Celbridge, undated, p21].
 
1799:  On 21/12/1799, Catherine, daughter of John & Jane Ferguson, Lieutenant, Angus Fencibles, was born [St Mary's, Leixlip christenings].  Perhaps Mr Ferguson was related to the earlier and later doctors?
 
1799: Jane Glascock had will administered this year. If she was the wife of James Glascock, the younger, she would have been about 80 years old. See 1774.
 
1799:  D[aniel?] Simmonds, was listed as an attorney Exchequer rolls in 1799 [King's Inns, ibid]. Daniel Simmonds lived at Collinstown, Leixlip and had offices in Clare St., Dublin.
 
A Daniel Simmonds and a Sarah Cooper got a marriage licence in 1804 [Deputy Keeper's 30th report].
 
1799: Charles Farran had in 1799 obtained a judgement against Molyneux Marstin for £500 stg and Marstin [aka Marsdon] P115-120being in possession of several freeholds; Law had agreed to purchase them. Farran agreed to the purchase; lands included Levys holding (1r 9p), plot of ground formerly with John Downes (2a 20p), also Furry Hill, lately in Chris. McGowan's possession; also that part lately with Widow Barry (total of 6a), deceased; also the Tuck Mill or paper holding [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 545-57-355620].
 
1799:   On 16/4/1799 the Attorney General informed the House that the King had directed him to recommend annuities of not more than £3K p.a. altogether to persons who helped discover Conspirators and saved inhabitants from massacre. The message was referred to the Committee on Supply [HoCJ, Vol 18, same date, p112].
 
1799:  On 26/3/1799 the HoC set up a Committee of the whole house to give further consideration for certain Rates & Duties on inhabited dwelling-houses, according to the number of windows and lights therein respectively.
[HoCJ, Vol 18, same date, p84]. [See 1800 for amounts paid in that year].
 
The Act for Windows or Lights rates and duties in the year 25/3/1799 to 1800 was made, [Irish Statutes, Vol. 19, 39Geo3, c15, 1799].  All windows in every room, all sky-lights, lights in stair-cases, cellars etc. were chargeable under the Act. When two or more panes exist, if they were separated by 12 inches or more of a partition, they were treated as separate windows. Windows which were used for lighting looms, placed nearby, were exceptions to the window count. Also exempt were hospitals, poor-houses, and boarding-schools. The taxes applied to windows or lights present at 1/1/1799. For houses with 6 windows, the occupier was charged 6s 6d; for 8 windows, 11s 11d; for 15, £2 6s 7d; for 14, £1 19s 6 1/2d. For houses with five or fewer windows, there was no charge.
 
1799:  On 28/3/1799 the HoC agreed a Bill to continue the previous provisions for duties on fire hearths in dwelling houses and sent it to the House of Lords for their concurrence. [HoCJ, Vol 18, same date, p88.]
 
1799:  The Appendix to the HoCJ for this year provides, on p.ccxcii +, a Report of the State of the Gaol in Co. Kildare (at Naas) by Rev. Sleater, the Local Inspector:
"...the Gaoler .. keeps his Prisoners heavily bolted with bar-bolts; whenever this custom prevails it is generally done for the Prisoners to pay for their being taken off, as bar-bolts are a cruel and dangerous Ligature. This Gaol is very badly supplied with water. I have always found the bedding to be very bad."
99 persons were tried in this County the last year; 25 were convicted; 13 suffered death and seven were respited. 61 criminals were in custody on 1/1/1799.
 
Name                Crime with which Charged          Verdict      Sentence & Observations
Patrick Connolly   Tendering an unlawful oath       Guilty           Transportation for Life
Philip Keogh                       ditto                          ditto              Hanged
Laurence Bolger                 ditto                      Not Guilty         Discharged
James Mooney                   ditto                      Not Guilty         Discharged
Francis Mitchell   Shooting with intent to murder  Guilty             Hanged
John Connor                  Murder                         Guilty             Hanged
Jas. Casey, John    Attacking a dwelling house  Not Guilty        Discharged
 Dempsey & 12 Others  

Note that John Dempsey is referred to in Pat Power, People of Wicklow 1798 The Rebellion, Dun Laoghaire, 1999, p33, as amongst those transported to New south Wales, Australia. Saunders [Judith Saunders, ‘John Dempsey, Patriot, Prisoner and Pioneer’, Irish Family History, Vol 18, 2002, p17-20] writes that he was born in Co Kildare c1776, but nothing is know of his family or life before June 1801 when he was tried by Court Martial at Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, and sentenced to transportation to NS Wales for life. From Baltinglass he was sent to Naas gaol and there described as aged 20, native of Kildare, farm labourer, Catholic; 5’7” swarthy complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. On 30th May 1802 he board the Atlas II ship at Waterford with 190 fellow Irishmen, of whom an estimated 75 were United Irishmen and 112 others were classified as ‘political offenders, and four as criminally convicted. The ship arrived in Sydney on 30/10/1802, with all landing in good health, due to the kindness and attention of the Captain. He partnered Ann Roberts of London and had children. On 9/5/1845 he died, aged 69 and is buried at St Mathew’s Catholic Cemetery, Windsor, where his grave is graced with a fine sandstone gravestone, inscribed a second time at the bicentenary year of 1798 by his descendants. Ann lived to be 100 years.
 
The following were tried on 14/10/1798:
 
Name                 Crime with which Charged            Verdict    Sentence & Observations
Edward McLoughlin            Murder                         Guilty               Hanged
John Courtney                      ditto                             ditto                  ditto
James Rice                           ditto                             ditto                  ditto
Thomas Harte                      ditto                             ditto                   ditto
John Loughlin                       ditto                            ditto                    ditto
   -  together with 7 others tried for murder, found guilty and hanged.
 
1799:  HoCJ, Vol 18, Appendix on p.clxx+ provides "A List of Names of those persons who have subscribed to the Voluntary Contributions, and the sums paid by each" (towards the War effort, 1798). Amongst the names are the following:
George Sanford £200 The Primate £500   Archbishop of Cashel £500   Major Cane  £100
Bank of Ireland £20000 Dublin Corporation £1000  Society of Kings' Inns £4754 3s 11d  James Gandon £25
E. FitzGerald Esq £100 James Daniel £5 T H Ennis £5  A Bell £23 9s 6d
Colleystown Cavalry £68 5s  Rev. Dr Stone £50 Thos. FitzGerald Esq £100  G Law Esq  £11 7s 6d
Charles Colgan £20 Bishop of Meath £125  Henry Sandford £100  James Cotter £1 2s 9d
Wm. Petty £50  R.C inhabitants of Aghaboe, Co. Fermanagh £15 10s 10d    
  
   
          
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
  
Total amount said to be raised  - including much double counting of persons!  - £121,816. dated :26/2/1799
 
1799:  HoCJ, Vol 19, Appendix p.dccxxvii reports that 3,456 carriages paid duty for 1799 and 270 persons paid duty for 2 or more carriages.
 
1799:  HoCJ, Vol 19, 1800, Appendix, p.dccxciii, provides a Report on the State of the Gaol of the County of Kildare - Naas. It is short and similar to others, complaining of the harshness of the regime (iron bars in menacles and poor bedding).
There were 70 persons tried in 1799, of whom 22 were convicted, of whom 18 were sentenced to death and executed. The offences of those executed included: horse stealing, burglary, sheep felony, receiving, murder, and highway robbery. Among those convicted that year Edward Hart and Michael Canavan (same case), were given transportation for 7 years for larceny; and Patrick Farrell was sentenced to death for murder.
Among those in custody were Michael Swords, for high treason; Denis Nowlan for robbery; and Laurence Dempsey for robbery; all of these were committed to prison in December, 1799.
 
c1799:  Luttrelstown House was renamed as Woodlands by Luke White, who bought the place from Lord Carhampton’s estate about this time. Carhampton was the last of the Luttrells who held it, and ‘its name was at once changed because of the evil reputation it had acquired in connection with the Luttrells’ [Lucan and its neighbourhood, Weston St John Joyce, Dublin, 1901, p8]. Luke White was a Dublin bookseller (fl1797).
 

August 01, 2007

Our political parties agree on all the important details

‘Our political parties agree on all the important details …’
by
Liam Kenny
 
Election fervour is at full throttle: canvassing teams are hitting the doorsteps and party activists are festooning lamp posts with posters. Things were probably  less frenetic, but no less intense, back 50 years ago when the people of Kildare went to the polls to elect the 16th Dail Eireann. 
 
The editorial in the Leader of February 16 1957 began on a note of scepticism regarding the fervour whipped up by party activists: ‘ Important as a general election may be, it does not invariably produce as great an effect upon a nation’s affairs as electors are led to believe by party spokespersons.’ However in a seeming contradiction the editor  goes on to admonish readers on the importance of exercising their franchise ‘ The proportion of abstentionsts at recent by-elections was a danger signal. The democratic ideal – government of the people, by the people, for the people, is endangered when, as can happen, … a minority of the electorate has voted.’
 
While the legacy of civil war divisions meant that the difference between the parties was clear cut on one level, as far as economic and social policies were concerned the approaches of the main parties in Ireland were just as close to the centre as they are today. According to the Leader editor, that was an explanations for the falling turnout of previous elections: ‘ Our political parties are in agreement on all important details. This may be a part explanation of the lack of interest shown by electors in the casting of their votes. But it does not excuse them from making a choice and marking it on their ballot papers. Apathy in national affairs is bad citizenship.’
 
Admonishing readers to turn out and vote was one thing but the editor went on to speculate on the configuration of government in the wake of the elections. At that the time the choice was effectively between a Fianna Fail majority or a coalition government involving the other parties. Answering his own rhetorical question the editor seems to suggest that coalition is no bad thing: ‘ … the principle of co-operation (coalition) is accepted as sound in so many and varied undertakings that it would be strange not to try how it would work in politics.’ He goes on to draw an analogy with the international arena – an interesting comparison given that the world trembled with the dangers of the Cold War period in 1957: ‘ At present the nations, great and small, are forming new alliances and endeavouring to strengthen others. Not even Russia or the USA is content to stand alone.’
 
Thus  in so far as the neutral tradition of editorials would allow the writer of the day seemed to nod towards a continuation of the coalition, or Interparty government as it was then known headed by Cumann na Gael and Labour. The General Election result turned out to the contrary with Fianna Fail gaining a strong majority in the Dail although there was no political change in the Kildare constituency.
 
However when it came to the administration of the election not everbody was happy. A month later in the edition of March 16 the letters column carried a protest under the heading ‘ Employment of Polling Clerks’ . The letter- writer complained: ‘ In view of the serious unemployment in this area (Kildare, Newbridge) I am anxious to know who is responsible for employing polling clerks. In this area a number of employed persons were engaged, even Civil Servants and people believed to be in receipt of pensions from the Irish Government. No wonder we are unable to curb emigration when some can be employed on such work and paid twice out of public funds while other unfortunates have to go to bed hungry. Signed – Equal Rights for All.’   Thus on that postscript the story of the General Election of 1957 came to a conclusion – no doubt the General Election 2007 will produce stories and reactions that will similarly grace the columns for months to come.

 

Compiled by Liam Kenny from the rich resource of the Leinster Leader files, Local Studies Dept., Kildare County Library. Series No. 15

 

Reporting on the election fervour of 1957 - Liam Kenny takes a look in his regular feature in the Leinster Leader, Nothing New Under the Sun. Our thanks as always to Liam.

A truly Irish scene, the spirit of the real Punchestown’

‘A truly Irish scene, the spirit of the real Punchestown’
by
Liam Kenny
 
 
Another Punchestown has come and gone and with it many stories of fortunes won and lost. The race-goers who patronised the 2007 festival will, no doubt, have brought home many memories characteristic of the special atmosphere of the east Kildare track. However it is hard, in the modern era, to find quite the same sense of nostalgia and of occasion that permeated the festival in years past.
 
Fifty years ago the Punchestown review made the lead front page story in the Leinster Leader of 4 May 1957. And it is a tribute to the universal appeal of Punchestown in times past that the entire report could be written with hardly a mention of the main business of the occasion – the actual racing on the track.
 
The reporter of the day was particularly taken with the reconstruction of the grand stands. ‘ One of the main advantages resulting … is the much better view now available from the main stand giving a wider view of the course.’ There were also improvements in terms of crowd accessibility: ‘ The provision of stairways at the back of the building is also of considerable help, for in former years the top steps were so difficult to reach that often there was plenty of space on them while lower down spectators were packed tightly together.’
 
As it transpired in 1957 the new amenities were soon put to the test. The crowd on the opening Tuesday of the two-day meeting was modest but a surge in attendance on the Wednesday threatened to compromise the level of comfort: ‘ one had to be prepared to suffer somewhat in Wednesday’s crowds. Not even the freer entrances to the stands etc could prevent the occasional traffic-blocks among the milling crowds and more than one member of the fairer sex decided that discretion was the better-part of valour when it came to making the long climb to the top of the steep stand.’
 
And not alone were the representatives of the ‘fairer sex’ along in great number but they also ensured that the fashion sense of Punchestown’s time-honoured ladies’ day was maintained to its customary high standard: ‘ Not a few ladies defied the threatening clouds of the forenoon to appear in gaily-coloured frocks and dresses, but in the main it was a “tweedy” Punchestown with the accent on well-cut suits and coats.’   If the style was a little on the low-key side it was compensated for by some adventurous creations from the millinery department: “ The only realm in which the ladies unanimously decided to make a rare fling was in the headgear department. What hats! Some attractive and smart: others – well just lets describe the floral confections as eye-catching and leave it at that.’
 
The fashionable occupants of the reserved enclosures were not the only patrons of the festival to catch the eye of the 1957 observer. Indeed they seemed positively colourless compared to the account of one of the ‘outside’ patrons (those who went to the free area outside the stands) who had struck lucky at one of many raffle booths: ‘ Can you imagine anything more incongruous than bumping into a far-from-slim housewife, carrying a far-from-slim kitchen bread-bin in the thick of a Punchestown crowd.’ In an effort to provide some context for the startled reader our reporter explained: ‘But Mrs. Citizen apparently cannot resist the temptation to purchase, for a few coppers, a raffle ticket, which, if her Punchestown luck is kind can win her prizes ranging from an ornamental china dog to a collapsible kitchen-table, complete with cloth.’  
 
No doubt there was serious horse racing as well but these colourful observations were just some of the many impressions of the festival a half a century ago when it presented annually, in the words of our correspondent, ‘ a truly Irish scene, a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour, a bedlam of noise: in short, the spirit of the real Punchestown.’  

Compiled by Liam Kenny from the rich resource of the Leinster Leader files, Local Studies Dept., Kildare County Library. Series No. 14.

 

 

  Liam Kenny's article from the Leinster Leader 3 May 2007 regarding the sights and sounds of the Punchestown Festival of 50 years ago, from the Leinster Leader of 1957 - from his regular column, 'Nothing New Under the Sun.' Our thanks to Liam.

 

 


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