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DOWN COMES BUILDING AND 300 YEARS OF HISTORY

 
 
 
Leinster Leader July 21 1973
 
 
Down comes building and 300 years of history
 
 
 
 
A link with Kilcullen for over 300 years was ground into rubble in the past couple of weeks when the old Garda Barracks succumbed to the onslaughts of a demolition squad.
Generally regarded as about 300 years old, the building, owned by Messrs Brennan, had become dangerous and was demolished in the interest of public safety. It had a very chequered history and one of the oldest residents in the town gave a ‘Leader’ reporter quite a bit of it. Apparently, it was one of the original buildings to be raised near the Liffeyside at Kilcullen and served mainly as a residence (one of the “big houses” in the then village) until about 75 years ago when it was taken over by a Miss Clementine Egan as a Post Office.
It remained a Post Office until Miss Egan died, about 1914, when it was taken over by the R.I.C. as a barracks. With the coming of the War of Independence – and the Black and Tans – a squad of these most unwelcome visitors took it over as a barrack strongpoint, heavily fortified and in its own way, for various reasons, one of the most dreaded buildings in Kilcullen. Sandbagged and steel shuttered, it was attacked by the I.R.A. on at least one occasion but no serious damage was done to the structure which was vacated by the British Forces on the signing of the Treaty.
Next occupants were the members of the newly formed Garda Siochana. They moved in early in 1923 when a Sergt. Griffin was the first station sergeant; it was still used as a Garda station until about 1933 when the men in blue moved to their new Station on the Athy road.
After that it became the property of the Brennan family and was used as a hardware store until it became dangerous and the demolition squad was called in. The bulldozers revealed little in the way of souvenirs or mementos. An empty ·303 rifle bullet case and some used revolver shells as well as a shankless but other wise perfectly preserved clay pipe were the only items of interest uncovered by the bulldozer blade and shovels of the workers; the years had done their work well and for all its hectic history this old KIlcullen building had little to show of the very significant role it had played in the history of the town for 300 years.   

The Leinster Leader of July 21st 1973 reports on the demolition of a building which had a 300 year link with Kilcullen.


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