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July 27, 2011

CURRAGH MILITARY FUNERAL

A FAMILY QUEST
When Caroline Walker met with genealogist Karel Kiely of Kildare Library & Arts Services and rootsireland (Irish Family History Foundation) at the WHO DO YOU THIN YOU ARE LIVE show in London in February 2011, all she had was a cutting from the Oxford Journal and an as yet unidentified photograph of a military funeral. She believed this to be the funeral of her ancestor at the Curragh Military Cemetery but was not able to positively identify it. The Oxford paper recorded the death as follows
Cyril Alexander Gardner clippingPSHOP.jpg

 CYRIL ALEXANDER GARDNER who died last week from a shot wound accidentally inflicted whilst cleaning his captain’s revolver. Aged 19 years and eight months, he was the fourth son of Mr. Walter and Mrs. Frances Gardner, 137 Magdalen road. Mr. Gardner was in the Royal Horse Artillery, stationed in Ireland, and was buried at Curragh Cemetery with full military honours.

 Karel was able to immediately identify the location of the photograph as being close to the military cemetery and put Caroline in touch with the Local Studies Dept. Gardners name does not however appear on the excellent transcription list for the Curragh Cemetery which was done by Mick Dolan. Becuase we can now search The Kildare Observer we were able to look for a local obituary - nothing however appeared here for Gardner either - when we searched for Cyril Alexander we found the obituary and noticed the name was recorded as Gardiner in the local press.

Funeral of Cyril A Gardner 1913 Irelandedit.jpg

The Kildare Observer November 1, 1913

TRAGIC OCCURRENCE NEWBRIDGE BARRACKS
INQUEST AND VERDICT


On Friday last DR. E. Cosgrove, Coroner for North Kildare, held an inquest at the Military Hospital, Newbridge Barracks, on the today of a young man named Cyril Alexander Gardiner, aged 21 years, military servant to Captain the Hon. O. H. Stanley, “D” Battery, R.H.A.
The following were sworn on the jury - Messers. P. Charleton, P. Burne, Joseph Kelly, T.C; John Coffey, A. Crossley, A. McKinley, M. O’Brien, K. Wallace, E. Geo M. O’Brien.
Sergt. J. Whisker appeared on behalf of the police.
Captain the Hon. O. H. Stanley deposed that deceased had been over six months in his employment as military servant. He was about 21 years of age. He always found him to be quiet, sober, steady young man, and as far as he knew there were no circumstances that would have induced him to commit suicide. At about 8.20 p.m. on the previous night the waiter came to witness and told him his civilian groom, Henry Heal, wanted to see him. He then accompanied the latter to his (witness’s) quarters and went upstairs with Heal. He found deceased lying in a pool of blood with his head against the door. Witness searched the room and found his revolver lying on the floor about five yards from where deceased lay. Near the revolver he found an empty cartridge and a full one. He now identified the revolver as his (witness’s) property. The cartridges also were those he used for the revolver, which contained seven chambers. If fully loaded when one cartridge was fired another automatically came into position. It was also a self ejector, which accounted for the empty cartridge being found on the floor.
To the Coroner – if there were two cartridges in the magazine, when the first was fired and ejected, the second one would have been found in position in the revolver. It was an intricate piece of mechanism, and it would want to be understood to use it. There were no cartridges in the revolver when he saw it previous to finding it on the floor.
Henry Heal deposed – I am a civilian groom in the employment of Captain the Hon. O. H. Stanley and live at Newbridge. I knew the deceased, Cyril Alexander Gardiner. I last saw him alive at 8.5 p.m. on last night. He was in the kitchen of the officer’s quarters. The deceased was then sober and apparently in his usual health. I never heard him make any threat to take his life, nor did he appear to be depressed in any way. Deceased went upstairs to Captain Stanley’s quarters and was absent about three minutes when I heard something like a fall. I then went upstairs to Captain Stanley’s room and found deceased lying on the floor with his head against the door of the ante room. I saw a lot of blood around. I felt his pulse and he appeared to be quite dead. I immediately went and informed Captain Stanley, who accompanied me to the room.
By Mr. McKinley – He never heard deceased make any threat. There was nothing noticeable about him in any way that would suggest any such thing. As far as witness knew, deceased was not in trouble of any description.
Capt. Sidney Clement Bowle R.A.M.C. Newbridge Hospital, deposed – I was called to deceases about 8.35 p.m. and arrived at Captain Stanley’s quarters at 8.45 p.m. I saw the body lying on the floor. Deceased was then in my opinion about half an hour dead. I made a superficial examination of the body and found a bullet wound at the right temple, which had an exit wound on the left side of the head. I found no other wounds on the body. Death in my opinion was due to shock and haemorrhage, the result of a bullet wound o0n the left side of the head.
Sergt. Whisker (to the Coroner) – I may state, sir, that I have searched the effects of deceased and have found nothing that would indicate his intentions of committing suicide. He believed deceased was a native of Oxford. Mr. Charleton (foreman) – Considering the intricate mechanism of the revolver, as explained by Captain Stanley, there is a possibility of the unfortunate occurrence having been an accident, and in consequence I would be in favour of returning an open verdict.
Mr. McKinley – I do not see that we have the slightest evidence that it was accidental.
The Coroner said it was a regrettable occurrence, and they had heard the evidence, which did not in any way point to the fact that there was any known reason why deceased should take his own life. As far as they knew deceased was not in any pecuniary difficulties nor was he depressed or suffering from melancholia or illness of any kind which might lead up to it. There was just a possibility that it might have been an accident. Anyone tampering with the revolver and not knowing the working of it, which was rather intricate might possibly have accidentally shot himself.
The following verdict was returned: - “That the deceased, Cyril Alexander Gardiner, died at Newbridge Barracks from shock and haemorrhage, the result of a bullet wound self inflicted.”
Deceased, who was of a very lively temperament, was very popular with his comrades and numerous civilian friends, and the greatest sympathy is expressed for his relatives.
Deceased was interred on Monday with full military honours at the Curragh cemetery. The firing party consisted of “D” Battery, R.H.A. followed by the band of the 16th (Queen’s) Lancers, who preceded the gun carriage bearing the coffin on which were a number of beautiful wreaths presented by his comrades and friends.
The greatest sympathy is expressed on all sides for his father and mother, who were present in the sad cortege, and his family.
The funeral procession, prominent in which was the charger of deceased led by a comrade, was brought up by large parties of “D” Battery, R.H.A., and Royal Field Artillery, and was a most imposing spectacle.

Funeral of Cyril A Gardner 1913 Irelandedit 2.jpg

On behalf of Kildare Library & Arts Services and the people of Co. Kildare at large, particularly the local history community I would like to thank Caroline for permission to re-print this truly remarkable photograph of a military funeral on the Curragh in 1913. We are delighted to have been able to find such a detailed account of the young man's tragic death. Certainly it was not unique and we have come across similar tragic incidents in the local newspapes in the past. The detail contained in the account, the photo of the funeral procession and the image of the young man in uniform do however provide us with a unique insight into the unfortunate incident. Our thanks to Caroline and Karel for making it possible to publish them on EHistory and share them with you all.

Mario Corrigan

 

The tragic account of the death of Cyril Alexander Gardner in November 1913 which produced a wonderful photograph of his military funeral to the Curragh Military Cemetery, Co. Kildare. A great piece of family history research!

July 26, 2011

DROICHEAD NUA MEMORIAL

Leinster Leader, February 25th 1956

Droichead Nua Memorial

An inaugural meeting of the Coisde Cuimhneachain Eamonn O Modhrain was held in the Town Hall, Droichead Nua. A committee was formed the purpose of which is the erection of a memorial to the late Eamonn O Modhrain.
Eamonn O Modhrain was a descendent of the ’98 leader, Captain Doorley, and a founder member of the Gaelic League and Sinn Fein in Droichead Nua. He combined a lifetime of devotion to Ireland with an unswerving allegiance to Republican ideals and served terms of imprisonment under both the British and Free State regimes.
It was unanimously agreed that the memorial should take the form of a hall in Droichead Nua, to be known as the Eamonn O Modhrain Memorial Hall, and to be used solely for National functions. A considerable sum of money is already in hands for this purpose, and arrangements have been made to supplement those by running carnivals etc. The committee have been fortunate in obtaining the services of the Vincent Lowe Trio for a ceid to be held on Easter Monday night.
The following officials were appointed, President P.J. Dunne; Vice-President J. O’Connor: Chairman, T. O’Kelly ; Vice-Chairman T. Aspell: Secretary Martin de Burca, M. O Siothcain.
Committee Misses Coogan, B. Kett, A. Keily, Mrs. Moran, Messrs. J. Barnes, J. Reid, C.P. O’Brien, D. Phelan, G. Higgins, J. Conway.

An article from the Leinster Leader, February 25, 1956 about the inaugural meeting of the Coisde Cuimhneachain Eamonn O Modhrain

HOME FROM SUEZ

Leinster Leader, December 1st 1956

Home From Suez


Joseph Daly, Ticknevin, Carbury, who joined the British merchant navy a year ago, has arrived home on holidays. A junior engineer on a ship called “The City of Johannesburg,” he was on his way home from Calcutta when the trouble in Egypt flared up. His ship was the last to get through the Suez canal before it was blocked by the Egyptians. His main impression of the East is the appalling poverty of the people.

An article from the Leinster Leader, December 1, 1956 about a Kildare man who has arrived home on holidays

CO. KILDARE PATIENTS IN QUEBAC EMIGRANT HOSPITAL

Co. Kildare Patients in Quebec Emigrant Hospital

Statement of the Number of Patients in the Quebec Emigrant Hospital from November 1st 1825 to 31st January 1831.

Names of Patients     Disease                 County
Mary Burn                  Uteri. Gest.              Kildare
Patrick Dempsey         Feb. cont. com.       Kildare
Peter Burn                   Feb. cont. com.       Kildare
Ann Hifferan                Graviditas                Kildare
James Gelogly             Wound of the hand   Kildare
Catherine Baird           Gastritis                    Kildare

Taken from ‘Quebec Emigrant Hospital Returns 1825-31,’ by Eileen Campbell in Irish Family History. Journal of Irish Family History Society. Vol. XIII 1997.

 

A return of Co. Kildare patients in Quebec Emigrant Hospital 1825-31.

COMMODORE THOMAS MACDONOUGH

Commodore Thomas Macdonough (1782-1825)

By W.S. Murphy

Commodore Macdonough’s first American forebear was Dr. James McDonough, who emigrated from County Kildare, Ireland, about 1730, and settled in what is now the State of Delaware, where he became a prosperous physician. Upon the outbreak of the American Revolution, his son, Dr. Thomas Macdonough, [Spelling of the name varied from generation to generation] later father of Commodore Macdonough, discarded his lancet and buckled on a Continental sword to fight as a major. Major Macdonough’s younger brother, James, died in that war. The youngest of these brothers was Micah Macdonough, who went off to fight American Indians in 1791. When, therefore, later Commodore Macdonough was born in New Castle County, Delaware, on December 23, 1782, he was already part and parcel of an interesting American military record, to which his older brother, Midshipman James Macdonough, added his bit when he lost a leg in the frigate Constellation, in 1799.
At sixteen, Thomas Macdonough received his midshipman’s warrant in the puny United States navy and, in 1800, shipping in the Ganges, Captain John Mullowney, plunged into the undeclared war on French privateers. In the next twelve years, Macdonough strode the decks of Constellation, Philadelphia, Constitution, Enterprise and Wasp, serving under such distinguished commanders as Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Alexander Murray, James Lawrence and Edward Preble. In 1801, aboard Constellation, Macdonough experienced his first brush against the gunboats of Tripolitan pirates. In 1803, aboard the frigate Philadelphia, he participated in capture of a Moorish vessel of 30 guns. In February, 1804, under Decatur, he slipped into Tripoli harbour with a crew of sixty and helped to burn and sink the captured Philadelphia. It was “the boldest act of the age,” said Lord Nelson.
In 1806 Macdonough joined Commodore Isaac Hull at Middletown, Connecticut, for a few months, a most important preparation for his later career, since, there, he superintended the construction of gunboats. Between 1807 and early 1812, he helped to enforce the American Embargo of 1807, directed against Napoleon’s Berlin Decrees and British Orders in Council, and spent two years commanding merchant ships. In October, 1812, he took command of a squadron of two gunboats and three sloops on Lake Champlain. By this time, he had acquired a relish for gunfire, had boarded enemy vessels with cutlass in hand, and had won the deepest respect from fighting sailormen.
The British and American encounters of the next year – notwithstanding Commodore Perry’s spectacular victory on Lake Erie, September 10, 1813 – taught the British and Canadians that they could not attain their objectives through the then American Northwest. General William Hull similarly demonstrated the impossibility of successful American invasion of Canada. If, however, Britain could control Lake Champlain and support that position with an army, her troops could descend on New York and conquer the American upstart. Immediately after his arrival, therefore, Macdonough hastened to replace his weak squadron with a real one. By October, 1813, he had rebuilt old ships and built new ones. Now he sailed them through Lake Champlain to contest its possession. But Napoleon’s armies were already reeling back in Europe and, wisely, the British commanders in Canada decided to postpone the American decision. For close to a year, Macdonough and his British opponent, Admiral George Downie, continued to complete the building and arming of their fleets.
By early September, 1814, Downie had seventeen ships carrying 91 guns on Lake Champlain, and General George Prevost had stationed 10,000 British veterans near adjacent Plattsburg. Macdonough’s fleet now embraced sixteen ships with 102 guns. But President, of 10 guns, was blown ashore in a storm, leaving 92 American guns to clash with 91 British guns. General Alexander Macomb had only 1,500 uncertain troops with which to oppose Prevost’s 10,000. Everything depended on the outcome of the naval engagement on the lake. On September 3, the American fleet sailed into Plattsburg Bay, with Eagle (20 guns) in the van, followed by Macdonough’s flagship Saratoga (26 guns), then Ticonderoga (17 guns), Preble (7 guns), and Montgomery (6 guns). Ten sloops and so-called gunboats or galleys with a total of 16 guns completed the line, which pointed almost due north. Then the American flotilla anchored, close to southward-pointing Cumberland Head, which the British ships, approaching from the north, would be forced to go round. By dawn of Sunday, September 11, 1814, Admiral Downie had sailed his squadron into the area which Macdonough had assigned him and on Macdonough’s starboard side. Thus Downie would be forced to fight precisely where and as Macdonough had arranged.
Chubb (11 guns) provided the British van; then came Linnet (16 guns). Downie’s flagship Confiance (39 guns), and Finch (11 guns), all in a straight line, with thirteen small sloops and gunboats (18 guns in all) bringing up the rear. The battle opened about nine o’clock that morning, a distance of about 300 yards separating the two lines. Chubb contrived to reach the head of the American formation, but devastated by American fire and with half her crew casualties, did not succeed in anchoring and soon fell into American hands. Finch, despite small loss, failed to close, then ran aground well out of the encounter. But the small British craft kept Ticonderoga too busy to play any part in the main battle and forced Preble out of line. This left Macdonough, in Saratoga, and Eagle, with considerable help from his gunboats at the end of the line, fighting Linnet and Downie’s flagship Confiance, both at anchor. For over two hours the battle waxed and waned, with the advantage moving from one side to the other. At first, the British gunfire was highly effective; and twice Macdonough was knocked into semi-consciousness by flying debris, though he quickly revived. Soon, however, Downie and several other officers on his flagship having been killed, effectiveness of the British fire fell fast away.
Now Eagle and Saratoga executed an extraordinary manoeuvre. In preparation for the encounter, Macdonough had provided his flagship with kedge anchors. So as the fight was approaching its climax, Eagle cut the cable at her bows and anchored by her stern, thus confronting the enemy with a fresh broadside of ten guns. Macdonough, in turn, dropped an anchor astern, hauled up one kedge anchor, passed the stern cable to the bows, and hauled in on it. Saratoga came slowly around and opened fire from her undamaged port broadside of thirteen guns. The surviving lieutenant of Confiance attempted similarly to turn his own ship; but as it had suffered cruel losses and was filling with water, the effort was useless. She turned only far enough to permit herself to be raked; then helpless, she surrendered. Now making use of his second kedge anchor, Macdonough brought his fresh broadside to bear on Linnet, which shortly was also helpless, sinking, and could only surrender. With 388 British killed and wounded and 220 similar American casualties in the action, the British small craft were allowed to withdraw from the lake without pursuit. “Trafalgar,” said one British participant, “was but a fleabite to this.” Macdonough, with his battered squadron and his patched-up prizes, was in uncontestable control of Lake Champlain. That night, General Prevost led his useless army of 10,000 back to Canada.
Commodore Macdonough’s spectacular victory on Lake Champlain constituted the apex of his career and of his short life. Immediately following his triumph, he was officially wined, dined, and accorded numerous honours, including the award of a gold medal by a grateful and still scary Congress. The States of Vermont and New York – which he had saved from British capture and possible severance from the American Union – presented him with 1,100 acres of land. “In one month,” Macdonough said, “from a poor lieutenant I became a rich man.” But his health having being seriously impaired, he was compelled, thereafter, to accept modest assignments. First, he took command of the 150-foot steamboat, Fulton First, designed by distinguished Robert Fulton, himself of Irish stock. Macdonough’s post on this ship – mounting 30 guns and able to throw hot water as well as shot – made him the first commander of a steam vessel of war. Shortly after Fulton First’s trial run, however, in June, 1815, he took charge of the Portsmouth (New Hamphire) Navy Yard. In the summer of 1824, his last assignment carried him, in command of an American fleet, to the Mediterranean. On October 14 of that year, wasted by pulmonary tuberculosis to sixty pounds weight, he left “Old Ironsides” to sail for home. Less than a month later, he died aboard the merchant brig Edwin, 600 miles off the Delaware Capes, close to his beginnings.

[Full article 'Four American officers of the War of 1812,' by W. S. Murphy in The Journal of the Military History Society of Ireland, Vol. VI Summer, 1963, No. 22.] 

US Navy hero Commodore Macdonough’s first American forebear was Dr. James McDonough, who emigrated from County Kildare, about 1730

July 13, 2011

ROSIE O'DONNELL AND THE MURTAGH FAMILY

Rosie O'Donnell and the Murtagh family

James Durney

In December 2010 American actor and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell travelled to Kildare to trace her Irish roots. Rosie was filmed with Mario Corrigan, Kildare Collections and Research Services, at Newbridge Library, for the 'Who do you think you are?' TV programme. The Irish-American celebrity's family, the Murtaghs, had come from the Eadestown/Rathmore area and had spent some time in the Naas Workhouse, or Poor Law Union, before emigrating to Canada.

During the famine (1845-48), and for a number of years after, the Poor Law Unions were incapable of accommodating the vast numbers of destitute and starving people seeking relief. The Naas Union was no exception. The Naas Poor Law Union became actively involved in emigration in 1849 and continued their work until at least 1854. Emigrants were sent to Canada and Australia, while young boys were also apprenticed to the Merchant Sea Service or assisted to enter the Royal Navy. In July 1849 the first large group of pauper emigrants were sent to Quebec, Canada, followed by a further 136 in July 1852, and approximately 130 in April-May 1853. Beginning in 1853 there were several assisted emigrations of individual pauper families and smaller groups.


A search of the Poor Law Union Naas (PLUN) Minute Books from October 1848 to January 1855 for mention of Andrew Murtagh and family came up with four references to the Murtaghs.

In the Poor Law Union Naas Minute Book 27 (PLUN/M/27), February 1854-July 1854, the first mention of the Murtagh family was found.

Minutes of Proceedings of the Board of Guardians, at a meeting held on 28 June 1854. Chairman: George Wolfe.

Proposed by Mr. McDonald and seconded by Mr. Wolfe that Andrew Murtagh, his wife and four children belonging to the E.D. of Rathmore be sent immediately to Canada as emigrants at the expense of Rathmore E.D. Poor Rate and that as the season is so far advanced the Poor Law Commissioners will be pleased not to delay their sanction.

No. 22131/53 Minutes of Proceedings of the Board of Guardians, at a meeting held on 4 July 1854.

Enclosing a form in which to state the particulars concerning the Murtaghs whom the Guardians propose to emigrate.

No. 22896 10 July 1854. Minutes of Proceedings of the Board of Guardians, at a meeting held on 12 July 1854. Chairman: W. La Touche.

Sealed order consenting to the sum of £34-14-0 being applied by the Guardians out of any monies in their hands arising from any Rates in the Electoral Division of Rathmore for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the emigration to Quebec of Andrew Murtagh and family.

Poor Law Union Naas Minute Book 27 (PLUN/M/28), July 1854-January 1855:

26 August 1854. Debit clothing Account and Credit Treasure with the several sums above. Establishment Account.

N.42. Miley passage of the Murtagh family and landing money chargeable to Rathmore E.D. £31-10.

The above is the last mention of the Murtagh family, who seem to have left the Naas Union around the middle of August. W. Miley, we believe, is the agent who paid the fare of the Murtagh family to Quebec and had an Establishment Account with Naas Poor Law Union. Terence McDonald was a Poor Law Guardian, from Jigginstown, just outside of Naas town, whose relative, another Terence McDonald, still lives in the vicinity.

A search of the Leinster Express (published in Naas and Maryborough) revealed several reports from the meetings of the Naas Union. In the report of the newspapers 1 July 1854 edition (for the meeting of 28 June), the recorded ‘number of paupers chargeable to each Electoral Division,’ was for Rathmore: 17. In the 5 August edition the figure for Rathmore was again 17, but in the next report (19 August), the number of paupers chargeable to Rathmore was down to 10. Was this figure minus the Murtagh family?

Also in the 1 July issue was a report title ‘Canada’ which dealt with trade, elections and emigration to the colony.

Large numbers of emigrants were arriving at Quebec and Montreal, the majority of them appearing in good circumstances, cleanly in their appearance, and of the class of men who are most likely to become useful settlers.

The Leinster Express also carried a return of emigrants who left Cork for the different colonies in 1854 in contrast to the previous year. From 9 April to 28 May 1854 5,704 left Cork, while for the same period of the previous year 7,365 had emigrated. The tide of emigration was by then on the decrease. In the country, on the whole, things were beginning to improve. In 1854 there were 1280 persons admitted to the Naas Union. The average number of inmates that year was 614, down from the peak year – 1850 – when the figures were 1143. 130 inmates died in 1854, while 263 died in 1850. The long term effects of famine and disease were still evident in high workhouse admissions up to the late 1850s when pauper numbers finally began to decline.


Terence McDonald, the man who proposed that the Murtaghs be given assisted emigration, was elected in March 1840 as a Guardian for Naas Poor Law Union. The Leinster Express 28 March 1840 reported:
 
A meeting was got up by the Rev. Gerald Doyle, Parish Priest of that town on Sunday, 8th March inst., after Mass at which three persons, Thomas Hayden, of Jigginstown, Terence McDonald, of Jigginstown and Michael Doyle, of Oberstown – Roman Catholics of course – were put in nomination, “as fit and proper persons to represent the Electoral division of Naas”.

The election took place on Wednesday last … The following are the names of the persons elected: Naas Division – Messrs, Peter Lyons, Thomas Headon, and Terence McDonald.

Terence McDonald died on 5 November 1874 and is buried in St. David's, Naas. In the making of the programme Rosie O'Donnell, also met Terence McDonald's direct descendent, well-known Naas man, Terry McDonald, of Jigginstown. She also met direct descendents of George Wolfe, who had flown over from Holland. This meeting, while not shown in the episode, was filmed, ironically enough in Murtagh's pub, Naas!


In December 2010 American actor and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell travelled to Kildare to trace her Irish roots

A KILDARE O'NEILL IN THE INVALIDES

A Kildare O’Neill in the Invalides

James Durney

In June 2010 Eoghan Ó hAnnracháin gave a lecture titled ‘O’Neills in the Invalides’ at the gathering of the Association of O’Neill Clans in Paris. Ó hAnnracháin contributed an article to The Irish Sword. The Journal of the Military History Society of Ireland, Vol. XXVIII, Summer 2011, No. 111, based on this lecture in which he provided the details of nineteen veterans with the O’Neill family name, who had served in the armies of France, between 1670 and 1745. This cohort of O’Neills consisted of one half-pay officer, six sergeants, three corporals, one trooper and eight soldiers, all born in Ireland. The French army archives in the Château de Vincennes have extensive files on Irish regiments, on Irish officers and also on those Irish soldiers who were admitted to the old soldiers’ home – the Hôtel Royal des Invalides (H.R.I.). Admission to the home required relatively long service – one entrant had served for forty-two years. Of the nineteen mentioned in the article, one – Germain Onelle – was from Co. Kildare.

Germain Onelle: aged 55; native of Co. Kildare; soldier in Linchy’s company, Dillon (formerly Greder alemand, Furstemberg and Hamilton) regiment, where he served 23 years according to his certificate; he held an order from the marquis de Barbezieux to be admitted; married in Paris.
Admitted:11 March 1700.

The names of the nineteen O’Neills were entered in the records of the H.R.I. without an apostrophe after the ‘O.’ Moreover, the way in which the name was spelled would suggest that they pronounced it after the Irish manner, as Néill. According to Ó hAnnracháin particulars of what finally became of Germain Onelle are not found in the registers.

Of the nineteen O'Neills admitted to the old soldiers' home in France, one was from Kildare

July 12, 2011

FIREMAN RETIRES AFTER 26 YEARS

Leinster Leader 24 June 2005
Fireman retires after 26 years

Naas Fire Brigade will this week bid farewell to one of its most active and long-serving members with the retirement of Thomas Doyle Jnr., writes Sylvia Pownall.
Tommy joined Naas Fire Brigade in 1979 alongside his father Thomas and his brother Anthony, who is now Chief Fire officer at the Naas station. He has dedicated more than two decades to a family tradition – his grandfather before him was also a member of Naas Fire Brigade, making him a third generation fire fighter. Tommy was appointed sub-officer in June 1986. Some of the biggest fires he fought were at Merrins Tyre Centre; Morristown House where the Irish RM was set; and, more recently, the Red House at Newhall.
In 2000 Tommy received his 21-year medal of service and the following year saw the team move from their temporary home at the Water Tower as Naas got its long-awaited state-of-the-art station. “The fire service has come a long way since my grandfather’s time when all he had was a handcart,” recalled Tommy. “But thankfully, I have seen the fire service grow to be an up-to-date and highly efficient service.”
The Naas station is recognised as one of the most modern in Ireland and fire fighters from the UK regularly travel over for training in procedures and equipment. Tommy will continue in his role as caretaker for Naas town Council, but looks forward to the extra time off to pursue his hobbies, which include golf.

[Tommy Doyle died on 2 January 2009, aged forty-eight.]

A Leinster Leader article by Sylvia Pownall on the retirement of Naas fire-fighter Tommy Doyle

CO. KILDARE ACTOR TO SEE THE TROOPS

Leinster Leader 26 December 1964
Co. Kildare actor to see troops

THE EDITOR, LEINSTER LEADER
SIR – I am an Irish actor/writer who – while achieving some success abroad – have yet to perform in my native country. (Live that is. I have acted in numerous Hollywood television shows and films which were subsequently aired over Telefis Eireann and the BBC).
When I emigrated from Ireland (Newbridge) five years ago I had never acted or written a serious line in my life. It was only after I landed in California that I discovered my talents lay in this direction.
I am returning to Ireland to spend Christmas with my parents who live in Kilcullen.
My younger brother is the jockey Dick Wixted, recent winner at Navan.
Combining business with pleasure I hope to obtain some material and facts for my forthcoming script – “A Time Out of Battle” a 90 minute “Special” to be broadcast nationwide under the auspices of the United Nations.
My story deals mainly with the Irish troops who fought under the U.N. banner in the Congo – the lamentable ambushes, the massacre of priests and nuns. During my stay I hope to meet with men of the Congo campaign.
Last week, I completed filming on a Metro-Goldwyn Meyer Television series, Combat – which I also had the pleasure of writing – double treat. Titled, “In Dark and Secret Ways,” is the tale of a German officer who masquerades as a priest to pass through enemy lines.
Listed prominently among the gifts I will be bringing to my family will be a print of a recent featurette – in which I starred in the leading role – titled, “The War of Fr. David.” Produced by The Hour of Saint Francis Company for the CBS and NBC networks it is, briefly, the story of a young Irish-American priest who is captured by Chinese communists, suspected of espionage, tortured, and, after being granted permission to say a last Mass, is executed.
I have secured permission from the producing company of the film for it to be aired over Telefis Eireann if they should so desire.
It might interest you to know that there are two newstands on Hollywood Boulevard where two-week-old copies of your newspaper can be bought – price 25 cents. Thanks for keeping us exiles in touch.

JAMES L. WIXTED,
Hollywood.

[Kildare native James L. Wixted, actor/writer, is the father of actor Michael James Wixted.]

A letter from Hollywood-based Kildare native James L. Wixted to the Leinster Leader 26 December 1964

THE SAORSTAT CENSUS 1926

Kildare Observer 10 April 1926
The Saorstat Census

INTRICATE WORK NOW IN PROGRESS

The work of compiling the 1926 census of the Irish Free State is going ahead energetically.
All the forms have now being distributed to the number of 850,000. This is in excess of the number actually required, which should be about 656,000; but the margin will cover possibilities as to anything going wrong, and also the difficulty of knowing the exact number of houses in each locality. The work in the Civic Guard barracks is brisk, and as the members of that force are not as numerous as the old R.I.C., with consequent larger districts, it is conceivable that there may be some little delay in collecting the forms.

ELABORATE PLANS
As to the filling of the forms, the officials have gone to great lengths to try to simplify the matter. From the Department letters have been sent to the clergy enclosing pattern forms and instructions for filling them, and priests and clergy of other denominations are asked to exhort the people to take care of the forms and study them, and make a success of the census.
They are also asked to exhibit outside the churches placards of an explanatory nature which have been supplied. Letters were also sent to the principal employers, asking them to bring the matter under the notice of those in their employment and generally to advise and help them to fill up the forms correctly. Communications of a similar kind were sent to large farmers who might be able to reach numbers of labourers. The importance of the matter is further to be brought home to the people by posters exhibited outside the various post offices and Civic Guard barracks in the country. Labour organisations, employers’ organisations and such bodies as Chambers of Commerce, Harbour Commissioners, etc., are being communicated with from headquarters.

IN THE SCHOOLS
The officials are relying greatly on a course of lessons to be given in National, Secondary, and day technical schools in the work immediately preceding the census.
A model lesson has been drawn up for the teachers, and it is hoped that the latter will show initiative in the matter, and give examples suitable to the types of families to which the children belong.
About 50,000 pattern census forms are being used in connection with this part of the general scheme of instructions.
As an instance of some of the unusual classes of work that face compilers, it might be mentioned that every inmate of the Dublin Union would be regarded in practice as part of a large family. Officials, with their families, who live within such an institution, would have to appear on separate forms. The distribution of the forms throughout the country must be completed before the night of April 17, and the collection is to commence on the following Monday.

Kildare Observer 29 May 1926
The Saorstat Census

FIRST RETURN IN A MONTH

The first return in the Saorstat census is expected in about a month, Mr. McGilligan told Mr. Johnson (Lab.) during the debate on the vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce.
“Are all the forms collected yet?” queried Mr. Davin (Lab.)
Mr. McGilligan said he heard some forms were being collected last Thursday (20th), but these, he understood, were the last. He was not aware that there were any forms not yet collected.
It would have been quite easy and much more rapid if the enumerators had been asked to go around and merely collect the forms; but if they gave the enumerator strict instructions to see that the forms were filled in properly, then it was natural that it was going to be a longer task.
If that had not been done it would have meant, in cases where the forms were not correctly filled, that the enumerator would again have to visit such households to try to get the correct information.
When he made the statement that the first return of collected information would be available in a month, he said that under the impression that all the forms had been collected. If the collection were not completed, that month would not run from that day.
In the coming year it was proposed to take a census of agricultural production – from June next to May, 1927
Mr. Baxter (Far.) welcomed the announcement with regard to a census of production. If, however, that work was to be done effectively, it would be much more difficult task that was incurred in connection with the census of population. A census of production was overdue.

The first return in the Saorstat census is expected in about a month, Mr. McGilligan told Mr. Johnson (Lab.) during the debate on the vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce.“Are all the forms collected yet?” queried Mr. Davin (Lab.)Mr. McGilligan said he heard some forms were being collected last Thursday (20th), but these, he understood, were the last. He was not aware that there were any forms not yet collected.It would have been quite easy and much more rapid if the enumerators had been asked to go around and merely collect the forms; but if they gave the enumerator strict instructions to see that the forms were filled in properly, then it was natural that it was going to be a longer task.If that had not been done it would have meant, in cases where the forms were not correctly filled, that the enumerator would again have to visit such households to try to get the correct information.When he made the statement that the first return of collected information would be available in a month, he said that under the impression that all the forms had been collected. If the collection were not completed, that month would not run from that day.In the coming year it was proposed to take a census of agricultural production – from June next to May, 1927Mr. Baxter (Far.) welcomed the announcement with regard to a census of production. If, however, that work was to be done effectively, it would be much more difficult task that was incurred in connection with the census of population. A census of production was overdue.

Kildare Observer reports on the progress of the Saorstate Census of 1926

July 08, 2011

ART O'CONNOR. THE PRESIDENT FROM KILDARE

Art O’Connor. The President from Kildare

James Durney

While we have had many presidential visitors to Co. Kildare it is not very well known that one of our own countymen was President of the Republic, albeit for a short time. Art O’Connor is better known as a judge than a president. Arthur James Kickham O’Connor was born on 18 May 1888 at Elm Hall, Loughlinstown, Celbridge, the second son among four sons and five daughters of Art O’Connor, farmer, and Elizabeth O’Connor, neé Saul. He was educated at Holy Faith School, Celbridge, and Blackrock College, Dublin, before attending Trinity College, Dublin. He graduated in 1911 with an engineering degree and was immediately employed by Kildare County Council.
O’Connor, an enthusiastic supporter of the GAA and an active member of the Gaelic League, joined Sinn Féin in 1914. The following year he was among a small number of individuals elected onto the organising committee of the Irish Volunteers in North Kildare. Art was arrested and imprisoned in Durham Jail in May 1918 in connection with the so-called ‘German plot.’ He served as TD for Kildare South in the first Dáil (1919-21), during which he served as Substitute Director of Agriculture, and Kildare-Wicklow in the second Dáil (1921-22), serving as Secretary of Agriculture. He took the anti-Treaty side in the civil war and after being captured during the fighting in Dublin city centre was interned in Mountjoy and Kilmainham for the duration of the conflict.
Having lost his seat in the June 1922 general election O’Connor was unlucky not to win a seat in Kildare (1923) and in a Leix-Offaly by-election (1926). In March 1926 Art O’Connor became President of the Republic when Eamonn de Valera resigned. This lofty position did not prevent his heavy defeat in the general election of June 1927. He never ran for office again. According to The Dictionary of Irish Biography Art was generally ‘regarded as a nice man but an ineffective figurehead …’ and ‘engendered bitterness when he resigned the presidency in 1927’. His departure became necessary when, on receiving a TCD law degree, he was called to the bar, which involved him recognising Saorstát Ėireann.
Leaving his political life behind Art O’Connor built up a strong practice on the eastern circuit and was called to the Inner Bar in 1944. He was appointed a Circuit Court Judge in 1947 for Cork city and county, resigning in 1950 when he was appointed chairman of the military services pensions tribunal. Art O’Connor was in this position for a matter of months when he died on 10 May 1950, at Elm Hall, where he had lived most of his life.

[In 1938 Douglas Hyde became the first President of Ireland under the new  Constitution of Ėire (1937), which allowed for an elected Presidency and a two-house Parliament comprising a legislature (the Dáil) and a vocationally based senate.]

While we have had many presidential visitors to Co. Kildare it is not very well known that one of our own countymen was President of the Republic

July 01, 2011

IRISH POOR LAW MAPS ONLINE

A new online resource for Irish local history


The Irish Poor Law Maps show levels of poor relief in every poor law union in Ireland in the years 1851, 1871, 1891 and 1911 together with statistics for the percentage of relief given as outdoor relief and the average weekly cost of relief. The maps provide a quick and easy reference point for people researching the history of the poor law in their locality.

http://ah.brookes.ac.uk/researcharchive/irishpoorlawmaps/index.htm

The maps can be accessed via the link above and are designed to be
self-explanatory.

Virginia Crossman
--
Professor of Modern Irish History
Oxford Brookes University
Gipsy Lane
Oxford OX3 0BP

The Irish Poor Law Maps show levels of poor relief in every poor law union in Ireland in the years 1851, 1871, 1891 and 1911 together with statistics for the percentage of relief given as outdoor relief and the average weekly cost of relief. The maps provide a quick and easy reference point for people researching the history of the poor law in their locality.

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S KILDARE ANCESTORS

 TALK ON QUEEN ELIZABETH’S KILDARE ANCESTORS

St Mochua Historical Society, Timahoe, have organised a talk at the burial ground of Queen Elizabeth’s Irish ancestors for Wednesday evening 6 July.
The talk is entitled ‘Kildare has always been popular with Royals’ and will be held in the Colley mortuary chapel in the cemetery adjacent to Carbury Castle.

Six generations of the Queen’s county Kildare ancestors lived in Carbury Castle and many of them are interred in the mortuary chapel. The talk by historian Seamus Cullen will give details of the visits to county Kildare by English monarchs over the centuries and will also detail the Queen’s family tree leading back to her first Kildare ancestor Sir Henry Colley who died in the late 16th century.

Meet at Kelly’s of Timahoe at 6.00 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to join at  Carbury may do so, meet at the Church car park at 6-30 pm.

The evening concludes with a visit to the ‘O’Flaherty Museum’, Timahoe.

There is no charge and
all are welcome.

St Mochua Historical Society, Timahoe, have organised a talk at the burial ground of Queen Elizabeth’s Irish ancestors for Wednesday 6 July, entitled ‘Kildare has always been popular with Royals,’ by Seamus Cullen, and will be held in the Colley mortuary chapel in the cemetery adjacent to Carbury Castle. All Welcome


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