NAAS, IRISH NATIONAL VOLUNTEER BANNER
a note by
[The real historian of the banner is Stan Hickey who gave a copy of the photo to me and a lightning-fast explanation (today 23 Feb 2008) of how it came to be preserved. During a clean-out of his home Stan came across the banner in his attic where it had obviously been preserved by his parents although he was unsure how it had came into the possession of his father who had always been a ‘Labour Man.’ Determined to find out more he examined old newspaper files to find out that it had actually been stolen from the UDC offices sometime around 1914/15 or shortly after. With the re-publication of Naas Local History Group’s Nas Na Riogh – From Poorhouse Road to the Fairy Flax, in 2001, Stan presented the banner to the UDC who have plans to display it in their offices.]
The Leinster Leader of 22 August 1914 mentioned a forthcoming meeting of the Volunteers in Naas which would discuss amongst other things the need for the purchase of equipment for the ceremony connected with the forthcoming ‘presentation of colours.’
At this meeting Monday 24 August the issue of the presentation of colours was raised – “the colours to be presented to the corps on behalf of the Naas Branch of Cumann na Bhan. The flag is now completed and has been exhibited at the drapery and millinery establishment of Mrs. O’ Farrell, Main Street, during the week, where it was admired by all who saw it. It is a very beautiful one, and is the work of Mrs. J. Shiel, on whose great artistic sense it reflects the highest credit. Mounted on a handsome pole it bears the ancient arms of Naas, on a green ground of Irish poplin with the letters I.N.V. at the top and Naas and District Corps beneath. The scroll Nas na Riogh, occupies a place across the centre, while shamrocks are effectively worked on either side of the coat of arms, the decorated and gilt lettering, and shamrocks are delicately hand-painted and shaded, while the borders of the flag all round are hemmed with gilt tasselated cord, the whole combining a piece of artistic work which in conception and design make it worthy of the lady who executed it, and of the noble purpose to which it is to be dedicated.”
The date for the presentation of the colours was provisionally fixed for 27 Sept. at a general muster of all the corps in the surrounding districts.
On the 19 Sept. 1914 it was announced that this date had been changed and the presentation was to be postponed until 11 Oct. when Col. Moore, Chief Inspector of the National Volunteers would present the new colours.
The report of the presentation was carried on 17 Oct. 1914.
Companies from the surrounding district took part and over 1,000 men were present at a memorable occasion at the Gaelic Field, Naas which was watched by thousands of onlookers.
The flag was presented by Col. Moore to Capt. Wolfe who received them on behalf of the battalion (4th Battalion of the Kildare Regiment of the Irish National Volunteers). The flag was then carried by Lieut. J. Hughes, accompanied by a guard of honour, back to the their position in the centre of the parade.
After the complete battalion marched past the saluting base and exhibited their skills they marched back to the town where they were dismissed at the Town Hall, the procession nearly a quarter of a mile in length.
Short note on the I.N.V. banner for Naas and District which was presented by Stan Hickey to Naas UDC some years back. Reports from the Leinster Leader of 1914 gave us some unique information on the banner.