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WHITE ABBEY BAZAAR OPENED BY MR. RICHARD CROKER

The Kildare Observer
September 11, 1909

WHITE ABBEY BAZAAR


OPENED BY MR. RICHARD CROKER

The Bazaar and Fete opened on Sunday in the White Abbey, Kildare, was a very great success. Thousands thronged the town, and the Very Rev. Father Staples, Prior, O.C.C., should be immensely pleased at the outcome of his energetic work. It may be said that the Bazaar opened with the Marathon race from Newbridge at 2 o’clock, when Mr. Richard Croker started 26 competitors on the road for Kildare to wind up at the White Abbey grounds. When Mr. Croker arrived at Newbridge thousands were thronging the streets anxious to see the start, and when a rosette with Mr. Croker’s colours – pale blue and gold – was pinned on him by one of the committee, he was warmly cheered. Such excitement has not been witnessed for years in the district as was exhibited while the race was in progress. Each competitor was attended by a cyclist – a matter which was arranged by the committee; but the roads being exceedingly greasy, before Ballymanny Hill was in sight some 14 cyclists had bitten the dust – or rather, the mud. After entering the Curragh proper some others came down, and it was amusing as well as exciting to see the different cars in endeavouring to avoid mishaps taking advantage of the excuse to get in on the short grass and endeavour to pass others. Hackneys, traps and motors went at top speed towards the Bazaar in accompanying the Marathon runners; and when the short grass was reached a large number of horsemen were seen to ride beside the road as if forming a guard. Crowds were assembled at different points while the men sped into Kildare, and the result of the race was – Patrick Brady, Kilteel, 1; Edward Darcy, Kildare, 2; Phil Doyle, Abbeyleix, 3; D. Langman, Kildare, 4; - Moran, Ballyroan, 5; M. Farrington, Granbeg, 6; Thomas Dorcy, Newbridge, 7. The prizes were presented by Mrs. Bowman.
Immediately on the arrival of the Marathon winners the Very Rev. Father Staples, Prior, introduced Mr. Richard Croker, saying he had to thank him very heartily for his kindness in coming there to open the Bazaar. Since Mr. Croker had come to Ireland he had done many good works, but the present was not the least of his many good ones. For the past 200 years the Carmelite Community had been paying a large rent for the White Abbey grounds, but recently he (Father Staples) had got an opportunity of purchasing out the ground rent free for ever and he availed of it. The bazaar was for the purpose of clearing off the debt incurred in connection with it. Mr. Croker by his presence there had contributed a great deal to help in the good work. To show their appreciation of him in Newbridge when starting the Marathon race Mr. Croker was cheered by thousands who had assembled.
Mr. Croker said it gave him a very great pleasure to formally open the bazaar, and to see such thousands assisting Father Staples in his good work. He had known Father Staples for a very considerable time, and everything in his hands was bound to be successful.
The bazaar was then opened, and special trains having arrived from different centres the grounds were thronged by thousands during the afternoon who enjoyed the varied forms of amusement.
In connection with the sports, the boys’ race was won by Joe Ryan, Frenchfurze, T. Heffernan and E. McCormack being respectively second and third. D. Kirby (Dublin) won the two mile walk.
The Kildare Derby (donkey race) aroused a very great deal of amusement, and after three heats Mr. J. O’Neill’s Americus Girl won after a good finish, with Pollardstown and White Night following.
There were four teams entered for the tug-of-war, but owing to a dispute it was not finished.
The day throughout was on the rainy side, but not sufficiently to damp the pleasure of those present. Fireworks were witnessed in the evening.
Stallholder – Mrs. Dunne, Osborne Lodge, and Mrs. Dawson, Rathbride Manor; Mrs. Parkinson and the Misses Brophy, Mrs. Charles Bergin, the Misses Maxwell, and the Misses Regan, Mrs. Joe Connolly, Mrs. Jas. Healy, the Misses O’Grady and Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Francis Bergin, the Misses Bergin, and Mrs. Strath, Mrs. Harte and Mrs. Lizzie Talbot, Mrs. Cosgrave, Mrs. Kennedy, and the Misses Kennedy, Mrs. and Miss McHugh and friends; Miss Fitzpatrick and friends, Mrs. Dr. Griffen, the Misses Mooney, Miss O’Neill, and the Misses Byrne, Mrs. Stynes and the Misses Quinn, Newbridge; Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Lawlor, and Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Wm. Ryan, Mrs. Cooney, Mrs. Dennehy, and Miss Gavin, Mrs. Heffernan, Misses Heffernan, and Miss K. Byrne, Mrs. Logan, Miss Logan and Miss Behan, Mrs. Heffernan, Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Flemming, Mrs. Conlan and the Misses Conlan and friends, Miss Mary Bergin. Café Chantant – Miss Talbot. Tea Gardens – Mrs. D. Boland, Miss Boland, the Misses Moore and Mrs. Behan.


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