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May 24, 2013

LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE CURRAGH INTERNMENT CAMP, 1923-26

 

Living conditions in the Curragh Internment Camp, Co. Kildare, in the post civil war years, 1923-1926, including evidence from Joe Keane.

Ciara Leacy

Outline Plan

Define and Justify

The civil war caused deep divisions in many parts of Ireland. These divisions were exacerbated by the treatment of the many thousands of anti-treaty prisoners after the conflict had concluded. I feel that the conditions in the prison camps, particularly the Curragh, warrant a special study, as the fate of the anti-treaty prisoners is unknown to many people, even within the vicinity of the prison camps, and because this mistreatment has fuelled the hatred and division which has characterised Irish politics for more than 85 years.

Aims

In conducting this research, I aim to learn a great deal about the aftermath of the Irish civil war and the conditions in the prison camps, subjects which are only briefly discussed in the Leaving Certificate curriculum. I wish to gain an understanding of the lasting hatred present between the Free State and the Irregular forces that fought each other so viciously and with such passion for almost a year. In the process of conducting this research, I hope to acquire investigative and analytical skills which will be invaluable to me in third level education as well as in my future career.

Intended approach

I intend to approach this study by visiting the Curragh Military camp and the museum that is maintained there today. I hope to contact Mr. Reggie Darling, chairman of the Curragh local history group. I will visit Newbridge library and the local studies, genealogy and archives department. I intend to speak with Mr. Mario Corrigan and Mr. James Durney, the local historians in Newbridge library. I intend to search for information on the history of the Curragh internment camp, particularly in the post civil war period.

Sources

1.      Letters written by Joe Keane from No.3 camp, Tintown, The Curragh internment Camp to his sister Brigid Keane, Stradbally, Co. Laois, between 17th September 1923 and 26th November 1923.
2.      Durney, James. The Civil War in Kildare (Cork: Mercier Press, 2011)
3.      McGuffin, John. Internment (Dublin: Anvil Books ltd., 1973)
4.      Crawford, Hugh. ‘The Internment Camps’ in The Curragh Revisited (Newbridge: Donovan Printing Ltd., 2002) 10-14.
5.      Durney, James. ‘The Curragh internees 1921-24: from defiance to defeat’. Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society 2010-2011. Vol. XX (Part 2). 6-24.

Evaluation of sources

(1)   The four letters from Joe Keane to Brigid Keane were vital in my research study. They gave a clear first-hand account of the conditions and treatment experienced by the Irregular prisoners. They were a unique primary source and contained many details of life in the internment camps which were overlooked in the other sources. However, as they were a personal account, there was, unavoidably, substantial bias visible in the letters. Certain parts were also very difficult to read as the ink had faded or the pencil had smudged. Creases in the paper had also rendered some of the writing unintelligible.
(2)   James Durney’s book “The Civil War in Kildare” also provided much information about the prison camps. Durney, a Local Historian in Newbridge Library, examines in a balanced and unbiased way the impact of the Civil War on County Kildare. This information is divided into thirteen distinct chapters, with chapter 11 entirely devoted to the Tintown camps.  There is a detailed and comprehensive index and though this is a secondary source, it draws on a huge selection of sources, with the full bibliography and list of sources reaching almost seventeen pages.
(3)   “Internment” by John McGuffin is a general account of internment in Ireland in the twentieth century up until 1973 (when the book was published). It covers a huge amount of time and therefore only a few pages in chapter 4 were relevant to my research topic. The information mostly focussed on the conditions in the camp which I found useful but the source’s author, John McGuffin, was a radical nationalist and anarchist, and, therefore, this source was very biased.

Extended Essay 
 
“War with the foreigner brings to the fore all that is best and noblest in a nation – civil war brings out all that is mean and base” Frank Aiken, August 1922

The Irish civil war began with the bombing of the Four Courts in Dublin on the 28th June 1922. The fighting continued for almost a year until Frank Aiken, the leader of the anti-treaty forces, ordered his troops to dump arms on the 24th May 1923. By then almost 12,000 republicans had been imprisoned by the Free State in several prisons around the country. These men and women were first interned under the Army Emergency Powers Resolution 1922 and later under the Public Safety Act 1922.
The Curragh prison camp accommodated many prisoners both during and after the civil war. The camps military governor was commandant Billy Byrne. The general organisation of the prisoners was, for the most part, left to the prisoners themselves. According to Joe Keane “there is a leader for each hut, then a leader for each 300 men and then the camp staff who deal with the entire management”. Keane was in fact a member of this “staff “and thus had no “fatigues” (menial chores) to carry out and was involved in the administrative side of the camp organisation. The prisoners elected Peader O’Donnell as their O/C, the leader of all the prisoners.
The camps in which the prisoners were held were known as Tintown 1, 2 and 3 and were opened in 1923. The prisoners were cramped together and had very little privacy. Very few of the windows had glass and there were gaps in the floor. Winter in the camp was very cold with Joe Keane describing it as “agony” and saying that it was “very cold and the rain gets in easily. It’s just the same as a hayshed”. The rations received by the prisoners were “not sufficient at all” and had to be supplemented by packages from home.  Throughout his stay in the Curragh, Keane requested that the following items be sent to him: tea, sugar, tins of milk, butter, bread, onions, cocoa, meat, cheese, Bovril, eggs, brown loaf, rashers, sausages and puddings. The prisoners were allowed to cook their own food. Sanitation in the camps was “primitive”, the facilities less than adequate for the thousands incarcerated.  The prisoners were required to supply their own toiletries with Keane requesting toothpaste, a hair comb, soap and razors.
There was much discontent voiced at the mistreatment of prisoners in the internment camps. Several high profile pro-treaty senators, such as W.B. Yeats, Lord Granard and Sir Bryan Mahon voiced concerns about the treatment of the internees. General Richard Mulcahy, commander in chief of the national army rejected all allegations of ill-treatment. One prisoner, Alfred McLoughlin, was interned for a year without being informed why he was being detained. In a letter which he wrote to the Irish Times he describes his treatment at the hands of the guards: “I slept on bare boards in the Curragh military prison for 5 nights... I was handcuffed night and day… I was threatened, with a gun, several times that I would be shot. In April 1923, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported that the prisoners were treated like prisoners of war. However, there was a major flaw in this report – no prisoners were interviewed during the investigation.
On the 10th Oct 1923, prisoners in Mountjoy jail began a hunger strike against conditions in the jails and their continued internment 5 months after the hostilities had ceased. Within a matter of days, the strike had spread with 7,033 prisoners on strike around the country, including 3,390 in the Tintown camps. Many prisoners came off the strike prematurely, but some continued until the bitter end: Andy O’Sullivan and Denis Barry both died on hunger strike.  The Free State government was not sympathetic to the strikers – Ernest Blythe, Minister for Finance, told them that they “will be put into orange boxes and you will be buried in un-consecrated ground”. Joe Keane himself was on the strike and he came off it on the 2nd Nov. The hunger strikers were not offered much “special treatment”. Coming off the strike, they received for their first meal 1 pint of Bovril; their next meal consisted of tea and stale bread and after that, normal diet.
Religion played an important role in the prisoners’ lives. Joe Keane mentions a Fr. D. (possibly Father Donnelly, chaplain to the troops on the Curragh) several times whom he seemed to be very close to. “Fr. D.” heard confessions on Sat in the dining hall and mass was said there on Sundays. However the institute of the church was not well liked by the prisoners – it was strongly pro-treaty and condemned the actions of the Irregular forces. When Denis Barry died on hunger strike on 11th November 1923 his body was refused entry into his local church in Blackrock, Co. Cork. He was buried at St Finbar’s cemetery, Cork and no clergymen were permitted to attend his funeral. Keane, at one point, condemns religion as a “money making scandal” and says that he cannot “warm to any clergy”, clearly reflecting opinions in the prisons at the time.
Communication with the world outside the prison was also very important for the prisoners. In April 1923 the Free State removed a ban on parcels and letters, and the prisoners were allowed one letter each week.  It is clear from his letters that Joe Keane relied on his sister Brigid for toiletries, stationery, clothing items and food supplies, and also on letter writing as a distraction from the monotony of the daily life in the camp. Several remarks made in his letters, particularly in the second of the four, seem to imply that the letter was being smuggled out of the camp via an unofficial route. This is supported by the fact that security in the camp was not fool-proof - in Dec 1923 Corporal Joseph Bergin was murdered for allegedly carrying “information” to republican prisoners inside the camp. This leads me to believe that Joe Keane and many others were not solely relying on official lines of communication for information.
The morale in the prison camps was very low. Towards the end of 1924, the prisoners had abandoned all structure within their ranks. There seem to be several reasons for this. The powers of the Free State to enforce internment were far greater than those of the British, leading to many more internees being imprisoned; and there seemed to be no end to their continued incarceration. While the British controlled the camps there were no fatalities amongst the interned. However, under the Free State there were 17 deaths among the internees, fuelling the fall in morale amongst them. There were also many more executions carried out under the Free State than under British rule – between Dec 1922 and April 1923 77 executions were carried out nationwide compared to 24 under British rule. In Dec 1922, 7 men were executed in the Curragh, the largest single execution between 1916 and 1923. The higher level of executions had a negative effect on the already weakening morale of the prisoners.
In late 1923, the Free State introduced the “dribble policy” – a policy of phased releases. This was introduced as a direct result of the 1923 hunger strikes, as the Free State feared a repeat of it the following year. By 1926, all internees had been released. Joe Keane was released in late 1923. He passed away on Dec 20th 1929 as a result of lung and bronchial problems, more than likely exacerbated by his time spent in the cold, damp and unhygienic conditions in the Curragh.

Review of Process  
 
My interest in this topic was fuelled by the discovery of a series of letters written by Joe Keane, my great-granduncle, an irregular soldier who was incarcerated in the Curragh from mid-1923 to late 1923. These letters were written to his sister Brigid, and paint a detailed picture of camp life at the time. After several careful readings of Joe Keane’s letters, I realised that they focussed mainly on the daily life and conditions in the camp, rather than the political situation at the time.  It was therefore clear to me that my project should focus on the day-to-day happenings in the Tintown camps.
I encountered several problems while researching this topic. After several Internet searches, I had discovered very little new information. My local library had no material relating to this topic. I could only find sources with the help of Mr Reggie Darling of The Curragh Local History group who supplied me with “The Curragh revisited” and Mr. Mario Corrigan of Newbridge Library who gave me access to several other sources. The museum in the Curragh camp did not hold their archives on site. These were only available in the Military Archives in Dublin, which I was unable to visit.
I believe that I achieved the aims set down in my outline plan. I broadened my knowledge of not only the internment camps, but also the political situation immediately after the civil war. I also believe that I acquired several skills in the process of this investigation – finding and structuring relevant information, note-taking, proof-reading and editing. These skills will hopefully be valuable to me in the future.
If I was to begin this study again, I would make several changes. I would begin earlier and set earlier deadlines for myself. I would be less hesitant in editing the first draft of the extended essay. I would attempt to visit the national Military Archives in order to access the administrative records of the camp.

 

An outline plan and essay by student Ciara Lacey on living conditions in the Curragh Internment camp in the post civil war years. Our thanks to Ciara

COILL DUBH. THE GATHERING. CLAIRE LUMSDEN

Coill Dubh  a great place to grow up

Coill Dubh was a great place to grow up in. Everybody knew everyone and we all looked out for each other. We had some great games on the big green: rounders, I call over, making houses out of the cut grass, skipping, hand ball. There was never a child inside, we hated going in when the lights came on. And of coarse there was the swings, we would be on them morning and night. We would sing 'Where do you come from? Mighty, mighty, Coill Dubh!' I know you all remember that....
Then there was the time the double decker bus came to the village. They would sing songs and say mass on the big green. Anyone remember? Then there was the white man, ha ha. That was the talk for ages, but I still don't know what that was about. And of course my great mother Rena Power R.I.P., who nursed all in Coill Dubh, which she never minded, but that's the way Coill Dubh people were. They would always help one another and still do to this day. Mighty, mighty, Coill Dubh.

Claire Lumsden (Power)

36 Coill Dubh

Continuing our series on Coill Dubh's Gathering, we add Claire Lumsden's memories of growing up in the Village. Our thanks to Claire

DECORATED MANY TIMES BY U.S. MILITARY FORCE

Leinster Leader 25 September 1971


Decorated many times by U.S. military force

One of the most highly decorated members of the American Forces is native of South Kildare, and in recognition of his outstanding service the American Forces did him the honour of selecting him as one of the two Grand Marshalls for the 1971 American Memorial Day parade. He is Sergeant Michael Flood (27), son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Flood, Kilmeade. Having emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1964, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968. He served in Vietnam for 13 months and was wounded twice. One of his decorations is the highest American award to members of her fighting forces, the Purple Heart. Other decorations include the Navy achievement Medal with Combat Leaf; Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm; Combat Action Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal, and National Defence Service Medal. In 1967 he married Miss Ann Lawlor, daughter of Mrs. Mary Lawlor, Wood Road, Narraghmore, and the late Mr. Edward Lawlor, at Kilmeade Church. They live in Long Island, New York. Visiting Michael and his wife at present are his sister Miss Annette flood, Kilmeade, and his wife’s sisters, Mrs. Mary McLoughlin, Boleybeg, Ballitore, and Miss Mona Lawlor.

Note: Michael Flood is Secretary of the New York Kildare Association. His story is told in 'Vietnam. The Irish Experience,' by James Durney. 

A front page article from the Leinster Leader of 25 September 1971 on Kilmeade man Michael Flood's U.S. Marine Corps service

DONAGHMORE/GRANGEWILLIAM CEMETERY HEADSTONE DETAILS 1713-2013

Donaghmore/Grangewilliam Cemetery Headstones Details,

(1713 – 2012)

1. Eroded inset cross top of gravestone. ERECTED By Patrick Brady of Maynooth to the memory of his beloved Father John  Brady who died 27 Decembr (The letters br is placed above the letter m)  1823 Aged 54 Years also his belov,d Brother  John who died 9th  Octbr  1844 Aged 34 Years And Likewise his Beloved Mother Anne Brady (ady is displayed above Br) who DeParted  this life March 17th  1847 Aged alas in this Grave  now  73 Years  (73 Years is located end of row below 1847 Aged )  Resteth ?  the Remains of the said Patrick Brady who DeParted this life 2? Of June 1849 DeePly and Sincerely Regretted by Friends and Relatives Aged 26 Years Requicscant in Pace Amen. (No kerb surrounding)


2. A broken pointed slate gravestone lost in among trees and ivy, positioned beside no 2 below . No details  remaining on gravestone .

3.  A small stone lost in among trees and ivy, positioned alongside No 1 above. No details remaining.

4. Sacred Heart Of Jesus Have Mercy On The Soul Of Rose Smyth Leixlip Died 7th December 1956 Also Margaret Sherry Died 10th August 1932. Matthew Sherry Died October 1914. Richard Sherry Died 5th October 1974 R.I.P.

5. 5365 Lance CPL. M. Sherry Irish Guards 17th June 1918 Aged 26    R.I.P.  

6. In Loving Memory Of Mary Ann Sherry Died 12th Dec. 1923 Aged 61 Yrs Her Husband Patrick Died 25th Jan 1955 Aged 88 Yrs. Their Son John Died Nov 1918 And Daughter Rose Gough Died October 1942 Mary O’Connor nee Sherry  Died 25th Nov 1943 Aged 75 Yrs. Michael O’Connor Died 13th Oct. 1902  Aged 93 Yrs. R.I.P.(Rose Gough displayed No 21 in the Official Registry, Address shown as Confey, Leixlip.) (Note! Grave’s No. 4, 5 and 6 are all in one plot, measuring 99 inches by 14ft 6 inches approx.)
 
7. Blank slate gravestone no details .

8. IHS This Stone was Erected By Thomas Rooney of Leixlip in Memory of his Mother Elizabeth Rooney Ales Glinnan (Note! n at end of Glinnan is placed above the letter a) Who Dep.td this Life Novem.br y (Note! e above the y) 7th 1789 Ag.d (Note! d above g) 50 y.rs (Note! rs above y) & two of his Brothers & Also two of his Children.

9. IHS Erected by Own Neil in memory of his Father Manus Neil  who Dep,rd(Note!. rd placed above p) this Life Nov,r (Note ! r place above v) the 7th 1784 Ag,d (Note! d placed above g)75 Y,rs (Note ! rs is placed above Y) Also(Note! the letter s looks like the letter f)  Judith Neile Wife  of the Above (Note! Above is at the end of the line and the letter e is reduced in size and placed along the v) Own Neile who Departed this Life Janry, the 11th  1796  Aged 47  years Also Catherine Neile  Daughter of the Above  the Own Neile  who Dep,rd this Life Apr,l the 2nd  1792 Ag,d (Note! d is placed above g) 18 years  (Note Neile is spelled as Neil in the first two rows).


10. My Jesus Mercy (Plinth under cross) FLANAGAN. (Small cross standing alone with the face of Jesus with crown of thorn in centre of cross).

11. Small curved grave stone, lettering faded away over the years.8:19:6


12. Gravestone broken in half, only the lower section left standing, no information on stone.


13. In Loving Memory (Upright section of cross)  Of Laurence Keane Maynooth Died 23rd April 1948 (Second plinth down the following displayed) His Son Laurence Died 30th April 1959 And His Wife Catherine Died 22nd September 1965 (Third plinth down the following displayed)  Also His Daughters Bernadette Died 14th October 1966 Rosaleen  Died 20th April 2009  Rest In Peace. (Grave  9ft ,9inches by 9ft,9 inches , Cross 66,1/2 inches high) (KEANE displayed on the back of gravestone).


14. IHS Erected By Dennes Tilberry in memory of his Wife Rosana Tilberry  who Departed this life Jan,ry 29th 1788 Aged 40 years. (Note Feb 2012, this gravestone is almost flat  on it back in the ground ,only a few feet from Keanes grave. Was covered over with ivy ) .

15. In this grave resteth (As displayed on gravestone) the remains of Bridget Ormsby who died June the 12th (th placed above the number12) 1849 aged 72 years may she rest in peace amen.

16. This Stone was erected By Sam Kenny in memory of His Father Patrick Kenny who Departed this life Yc: 9:1792??(Note! The rest of information buried under the ground). ( Grave stone under some trees no kerbs)(Note the letter S in stone and Sam is the old style that looks like the letter f without the cross piece)?

17. This Stone Erected by Ann Kenny to the Memory of her Beloved Husband James Kenny who Departed Dec. the 24 1801 Aged 48 Years. (Grave stone under some trees no kerbs)

18. Small blank stone lying flat on the ground, no marking to be seen.

19.  Erected By Julia Dunne Dowdstown in affectionate Remembrance  Of Her Beloved Husband Edward Dunne Who Died 22nd June 1895 Aged 42 Years Also Julia His Wife Who Died 30th June 1929 Aged 79 Years.  John Dunne Who Died 4th May 1945 Joseph L Dunne  Died 14th Sept. 1963 Also Harriett His Wife Died 18th  Feb 1975  Aged 77 Years R.I.P.  (Bottom left corner of gravestone L F Harrison and right hand side Dublin).8:19:6

20. Erect by Mrs? hrine (Christine) Glennon ?? of Leixlip in memory ? her beloved husband (John) ???? Glennon ??31st August 1872 ?? d 63 years ?? his Sister Mary wh?? 15thAugust 1872 ?? years (Note Feb 2013. Pointed top gravestone is in poor condition, the front left side of gravestone is chipping/flaking away and a lot of the lettering has disappeared over the years.)

21. This tomb was Erected by M? & Richard McClean to the memory of their diseas,d Parents Jam?? McClean who departed this Life 18th May 1823 Aged 85 Years, and Mary ??McClean who Departed 3th Oct 1818 Aged 67? Years ??? (Gravestone on the flat, but broken into 4 sections with some small pieces missing, top left corner gone. (Small piece, bottom left  with the following displayed ) Beloved Brother 19th Nov, `820? Who died, other pieces make up the following 82 Years ... And Jam... 1806 Aged 27 Years ... Also Thomas &Charles Their Sisters Mary Anne & Emely (Note March 2012 gravestone on the flat on the ground with the lettering upright).

22. Broken gravestone covered in ivy, no lettering left.  At the head of grave no 21 McClean

23. Small upright stone, left side looks like it broken away and gone. No details shown on surface.

24. IHS This Stone Erected by Nicholas Dardis to the Memory of Gilbert O Shaughnecy who Depart.d this Life Febry the 6th 1802 Aged 80 years. (Gravestone lost under tree and covered in ivy)

25. IHS Erected by Pat Fannan in Memory of his Brother Barny Fannan who Died Aug. 3rd  (Note rd is above 3) 1730 Aged 51 y, rs O Lord have mercy on his Soul & Posterity.( No kerbs and gravestone leaning  forward)

26.  Not sure if it a gravestone or a marker stone, covered in moss no lettering displayed front or back of stone.

27. This looks like a stone used to mark a grave plot. Stone flaking away.

28. In Loving Memory Of Margaret Connor, Died 9th July 1915, Aged 15 Years , John Connor  ,, ,, 15th May 1921 ,, , , 23 ,, ,,  Michael Connor  ,, ,, 16th July 1921 ,, ,, 16 ,, ,,   Kathleen Connor ,, ,, 8th June 1922 ,, ,, 19 ,, ,, R.I.P. (Note! April 2012. Metal plate found imbedded in the ground at the bottom of a upright steel bar, Looks like it was  at some time attached to the steel cross).

29. RIP (Small white painted concrete cross. RIP painted in black on front.)

30.  Here lies the Body of Mr. George Masterson who Departed this Life on 29th of October 1797 agd. 46 Years with Two of his Children. (Gravestone leaning to the front and 8 Inches thick).

31. IHS Errected (Note! Errected engraved on gravestone) by Daniel (Note! just below Daniel and in between the second row the following is engraved & Margret, looks like a after taught). Walters (Note The letter s at the end of the name Walters is half the size of the rest of the letters) In memory of his Children John  Walters Dep,rd this Life the 19th Dec,r 1791 Ag,d10 yr,s Also two of his Children. (Gravestone leaning forward)

32. In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Parents Annie Dunne Died 23rd Feb 1932 Aged 38 William Dunne Died 23rd July 1939 Aged 48 Their Son Michael Died 8th July 1950 Aged 27 R.I.P. (Small white marble slab left upright alongside tree trunk close to the wall ,Carton side of graveyard),

33. In Memoriam Esther Caulfield 1947 Joseph Caulfield 1958 Their Family Joseph (Joey) Caulfield 1949 Main Street Maynooth Eileen McDonagh (Nee Caulfield) 1979 Dublin. Frederick Leo Caulfield 1981 New York City Erected By James McDonagh 199. Bracken Glasnevin (displayed on right hand side of gravestone).(Small  low gravestone)

34. A cross gravestone with no details displayed

35. IHS Erected by John Weldon in memory of his Children (N is placed above e) John Dep, td August the 12th (th is above 2of 12) 1790: Mary Dep.td Feb, ry y (e above y) 1 (st above 1). Aged, 6 yr, s Also Judith Weldon.


36.  Two small upright stone’s, no lettering or markings displayed. Stones in front of grave no.  31 Walters


37. A small blank white stone, no markings. In front of grave No. 28 R.I.P. cross,

38. Small pointed blank gravestone. No marking to be found.

39. Small blank Stone, no markings, positioned further right of No. 42 Craughwell and back a step.

40. In Loving Memory Of our dear son Dick Flood died 11th March 1936 aged 28 years “Till we meet again”. R.I.P. (No 6 Cemetery Registry address given Carton, Maynooth.) (Lead Inscription  and the gravestone is up against Church wall).

41. (Note Top left corner of gravestone missing with some of the lettering also gone, condition of the remainder of gravestone is very poor flaking away)???? stone was Erected?? Memory of Thomas??  ate of Collinstown ho?? D?? this Life Novmr? the 4th 1786 7? Yrs.  ?? in the Memory OF????? Cooney she???? 20th 1792?? Ag???? . (Note! there are three holes in the top section of the gravestone as if a brace was once used  to keep the gravestone together )( Under 1786 flower stem with leaves run from left to right side of gravestone)

42. IHS This Stone Erected by Laurnce Craughwell ? who lived in Castletown to the Memory of his Belov ? Son Michal Craughwel ? Departd this Life Feb the 5 ?? 1804 Aged 21??? (Note! April 2012 Gravestone is broken up into 3 sections and largest piece is on its side).

43. Small blank Stone no markings, right of grave stone no 42 Craughwell.

44. In Loving Memory Of Bridget Mary Hall (nee O’Neill) Died May 30th 1957 her mother Bridget O’Neill died February 11th 1922 her brother Michael O’Neill died November 18th 1918 R.I.P. (Granit gravestone with kerbs. Single plot).

45. A small blank stone covered in white lichen. Not sure if the stone is a grave marking or not.

46. In Loving Memory Of Our Darling Child (The following is displayed on the second plinth down) Hilda Moira Clare O’Brien Who Died On Sept. 6th 1916 Aged 20 Daughter Of Sir. Timothy O’Brien Bart. D.L. And Lady O’Brien Of Lohort?  Castle Co Cork And Grangewilliam Maynooth Requiescant In Peace (All above details are lead inscription, Lead missing in the letter m in Memory). (Grave 24 inches by 8 foot).

47. Here lies old Joe an honest Man ?ay more of  Mortal if you can   (Lower section of grave stone the following displayed) Joseph Foster  died  1781 ( This gravestone is lying flat on it back and is now in 3 pieces , a few small pieces in the centre section are missing Lettering fading away 2013).

48. In Loving Memory Of Joseph Kilduff Ballygoran died 7th Feb. 1945 aged 91 years his son, Michael Kilduff died24th. Jan 1971 aged 84 years Julia wife of Michael, died 3th. Oct. 1978 aged 79 years. (Bottom of gravestone the following displayed) “Thy Kingdom Come”. (Double grave plot with kerbs).


49. Erected By John Riely of Maynooth In Memory in memory of Belov,d Mother Catherine Riely Who Departed this Life Nov,r  5th  1817 Aged  78 Years Also his Sister Margaret Who Departed this life Jan,y 10th 1819 Aged42? Years. (Very hard to make out lettering covered in moss. No kerbs).

50. IHS Th?? (Section of gravestone flaked away) Stone belong (th is positioned between the letter g and t). th to T Eaton ? and his Posterity 1766. (Small gravestone low in the ground).8:19:6

51. This Stone is erected by Catherine Thompson of Maynooth in memory of her beloved Husband John Thompson who died on the 15th of April 1867 aged 45 years, also three of their Children Michael, John and Mary Anne who died young. (No kerbs).

52. A blank small Stone no markings. To the right of grave stones No 51 and 58 Thompson and Colgan

53. IHS Here Lyeth Y (A letter e is positioned above the letter Y) Bodey (As spelled on gravestone) Of Thomas (s is positioned above the letter a of Thoma) Darsey Who Dap?? (red is positioned on the row above, but a section of the gravestone below right has broken off and lost). This Lief (As spelled on the gravestone). Y With a e above Y) 14 Day Of mareh (As spelled on the gravestone) 1747 In Y with e above Y 9 year of his age. (Gravestone buried in the ground and more information may be missing ??).

54. IHS This Stone Was Er-ected (Erected is broken up between row 1 and 2.) by Elizabeth Hanlon to the Memory (Note! Memo on the end of the 2nd row and ry displayed on the start of the 3th row) of Patrick Hanlon her Husband who departed (Note! De is on the end of the row and parted is on the start of the next row) this Life Y (with e above Y) 26th April 1774 Aged 70 Yrs.  Requiescant In Peace. (No kerbs). (Gravestone covered in moss and hard to read).

55. Curved small blank Stone. Located in front of grave stone no 44 Hall.

56. Erected By J Casey In Memory Of His Beloved Mother Who Died 8th June 1847 Aged 53 Years Also His Beloved Wife Mary Casey Who Died 27 June 1880 Aged 59 Years Also James Casey Who Died 1 June 1886 Aged 83 Years R.I.P. (Bottom left of gravestone) PARDIFF. (Lettering poor in places and covered in moss).

57. This Stone Was Erected By S???? Kelahan In Memory Of Her Father Richard Kelahan Deceased ey ?? 25th 1741 Aged 60 Years Also Of Edward Kelahan Deceased April Y 17th 1761 Aged 35 Yrs Also??? (The lower section is covered with clay). (Gravestone in very poor condition).

58. Sacred Heart Of Jesus Have Mercy On The Soul Of Patrick Colgan  Who Died 27th April 1913 Aged 65 Years Also His Wife Anne Colgan Who Died 24th September 1933 Aged 83 Years And Their Children John Died 30th June 1937 Pierce Died 18th May 1956 Katherine Maher  Died 11th May 1959 Patrick Died 15th Sept.1960 R.I.P. (Right side of gravestone ) Also Their Children  Joseph  Died 10th July 1962  Esther Died 8th Dec. 1962 Mary Died 24th Feb. 1972 (Left hand side of gravestone) Nicholas Maher Died 26th Apr 1964 And His Son Pierce Died 31st Dec 1975 Marie beloved wife of Pierce died 25th Sept. 2010.      ( Bottom right of grave stone ) McDonnell Templemore Co. Tipp.(This gravestone was cleaned up and Marie was engraved March 2012).


59. Blank broken stone covered in moss no markings displayed.

60. A Small curved top stone with an only a cross engraved on the front no other details.

61. Very small blank square stone. Not sure if it a grave marker?

62. Died 25th March ???? years as also Elizabeth ??? to Edward Mother to y/e above died 18th Janry 1753 aged 60 years. (Only a small piece of the gravestone remaining, top 2/3 is missing).

63. Upright stone, unable to make out any marking covered in white lichen and section top left flaked away. .

64. Erected to the memory of My Dear Husband Henry Ardiff who died 14th Sept 1911 aged 45 years Also his Infant son Eddie and his parents Henry and Mary who died 1899 also his wife Elizabeth died 26th march 1940 aged 68 years Jesus have mercy on them R.I.P. (Bottom left of gravestone) H. Ardiff (Right side) Leixlip (Elizabeth Auliff as spelled in Kildare Board Of Health Registry entry No 10 Address shown as Old Kilmainham, Dublin..) (Gravestone on the flat in the centre of the grave plot with the following displayed ).This Tomb was Erected by Mary Ardiff  in memory of her Beloved Husband Edward Ardiff  who Departed this Life  Feb, the 6th 1816  agd. 77 Years Requiescant in pace Also to the memory of Mary Ardiff who Departed this Life october (Note The letter O in October is displayed in the lower case o).  15th 1825 Aged 73Years.

65. Erected By (Some of the stone has flaked away 2012) Matidda Turner in memory of her beloved Brother William Wettleton who departed this life May the 9th 1861 aged 18 years. (William Wettleton is engraved within a rectangular piece cut out of the centre of the gravestone, very hard to read as gravestone is covered in white lichens).

66. IHS Here Lyethy (e above y) Body of Brian McBride who Departed this Life y (e above y) 19th (th above 9) Jan ry? (rt above n) 1754 Aged 64 Years. (Note! Grave plot no. 59 and no. 60 are very close together, gravestones no kerbs)

67. IHS Gloria in Exceleis Deo. this Stone Erecd (ed above cd) by Patrick Peppard (d above r) in memory of his father John &? (Note! & ? seems to be lightly edged at end of row) pepard (a place above r and d) And poster (‘it? above r) Ano (d above o) 1792.

68. Small broken blank Stone, no lettering displayed, it looks like it was a grave marker.

69. A curved top blank stone covered in moss with no markings.

70. A small broken blank stone with no marking.

71. Blank curved stone, piece broken off front right. No lettering or markings to be seen.

72. IHS To the memory of James Neal dec.d in 1735 aged 48 years & of Henry Neal dec.d in 1758 aged 25 yrs.This Stone (S in stone looks like the letter t ) was erected by Margaret Neal A/S Odlom ?(VIS Odlom? Positioned between rows above Surviveing), Surviveing wife of y e Sirlt? & mother of y e latter In Loving memory of my Dear Wife Mary Murphy who died 7? of Novr (Note the letter N is in reverse) 1893 aged 28 years also her beloved child James Murphy who died 13th of Nov.r 1893 aged 18 days Sacred Heart  of Jesus Have Mercy On Them.

73. Small blank pointed stone, no markings. Stone positioned right of grave No 72, Neal.

74. IHS Here Lye.th (Note th is positioned above ye) The Body of Tho.ms (Note ms is positioned above o). Pepard who Dep.ted (Note ed is positioned above the letter p) this life AD 1713 aged 50 yrs (Note yrs is at a end of a row and yr is positioned above y) as also y Body of Elizabeth Pe.rd. (Note Pe.rd is located at an end of a row and rd is positioned above Pe) wife to John Pc.rd posterity by whome this Mo.nt (Note nt is placed above nt) was Er.cd 1740? His thy rest in peace.

75. Three cornered broken stone, no markings displayed on front. In front of No. 66 McBride grave stone.

76. Grave stone fallen forward and is lying flat down on the ground. Grave stone covered over with briers and high grass.

77. In Loving Memory Of Joseph Bean Died 8th March 1931 Aged 17 Years. And Madeleine Bean Died 24th Feb. 1933 Aged 22 Years. Also Their Grandparents Joseph And Mary Bean May They Rest In Peace. (Small white marble gravestone)

78. (Note April 2012! top and left side of gravestone gone) bodies of Anne??? in 1740 aged 28??atharine Reaf decd. In 1750 aged 64 of Willm Reaf dec.d in 1753 aged aged 68.

79.  In Loving Memory Of Edward Coogan Maynooth Died 2 March 1938 And His Son Jack Died 15 Jan .1906 His Wife Marcella Coogan Died 11 Feb. 1955. R.I.P. (Addition slab up against grave stone with the following displayed) Also Their Sons William, Died 5th May 1965. Eddie, Died 15th Aug. 1966.  Gerald, Died 10th Aug.1967.  And Daughter Nano Died 20th Feb.1975. Also Christopher Died 25th July 1976. (Grave 9 feet 8 inches by 9 foot 10 inches wide.)

80. Wooden cross no details, with steel chain railing around single grave. (Wooden cross has fallen down late2012 base rotten.

81. IHS Erected by Jane Moran of Ballygoran to the memory of his deceased children who lie here intered? If sincere Friendship and ???? (Note! gravestone face is flaking away at points) heart with social Love of much? Of  ??? Here lies a youth in whom there may combind Those three great virtues of the human mind Philip Moran who departed this life Nov.r 10th 1826 Aged 26 Years Requiescant in Pace Amen (Quiet a lot of  orange and white lichen on the Gravestone and in poor condition Jan 2013).

82. Erected by Thomas Downes of Monacoola to the memory of his Posterity here Lieth his Father Thomas Downes who Dep.ed this Life March the 10th  1766 Aged 67 Years & his Mother Mary Downes  May the 15th 1768 Aged 66 years ?? (More information lost in the ground).).

83. Erected By Martin Connolly Leixlip in memory of his beloved wife Elizabeth (Note! th is place above the letter be) Connolly who depd this life decr 16  1834  aged 39 years Here also Lieth the Remains of the above Named Martin Connolly who depd this Life Novr 29th 1880 aged 86 years Also his Daughter Bridget Clinton Who died May 20 1879 Aged 50 years And his beloved Grand Son Martin Connolly who died 20th  Jan 1883 Aged 31years Also Mr Wm. Connolly who died 20th of April 1887 Aged 55 years And his wife Mary Connolly died May 25th 1938 Aged 81 years May her soul rest in peace.


84. Two small broken stones covered in green moss no lettering displayed. May have being grave markers?

85. S (Top right of gravestone) (Note March 2012! A piece of the top section of the gravestone has flaked away and information is lost forever) Erec???  ?? on Evern in mem,r ???er Edmond Evern who d1727? Aged 60 ??  his mother Luern A1:S Coughlin died the same year age 50 his brother Anthony died 1726 aged 18 his son Anthony died in 1760 this?Mo???  er:s by y: above Simon ?? For him and his Po??ity. (Gravestone in a very poor condition resteration required now or lost forever 2013).

86. Small broken stone, no marking. A green wire surrounding marks out the single grave. Grave up beside gravestone No.87 Burke. 

87. In loving memory of Matthew Burke  558 O’Neill Park, Maynooth (Late of Carton) died 14th April 1965 aged 72 years  also his wife Annie Burke died 25th  Jan. 1984 aged 92 years James and Margaret Burke late 20 Leinster  Cottages, Maynooth interred in this cemetery (Bottom of gravestone the following displayed) eternal rest grant to them.

88. IHS This Stone & Burial Place Belongeth To Richard Palles & his Posterity 1758.

89. IHS (Heart upside down under IHS) In Loving Memory John Reilly Dublin Rd. Maynooth Died 20. May 1908 His Wife Rose Died 24. Sep. 1915 And Their Son Michael Died 7. Oct. 1946 (From her on the lettering is reduced in depth)   Also Anastasia Wife Of The Above Michael Died 12 .July 1958 And Their Son John Died 6. Sep. 1962 And His Wife Julia Died 19 May 1977 RIP. (Bottom left of gravestone MOSS. Bottom right DROGHEDA). (Kerbs all around with a ball at each corner).(Note Reilly engraved on back of gravestone) (Grave 10 foot 1 inch by 9 foot 9 inches wide)

90. IHS this stone and burial place belongeth to Paul Malone?? (Note! A piece of gravestone, (hole) gone covered in orange and white lichen and green moss).

91. IHS William Duke of Leinster hath Erected this Stone to the memory of Patrick Allen Gardener to his Grace and his Ancestors he departed this life the 22nd  of August A.D. 1778 Aged 82 years (Gravestone under tree’s)

92. Erected in memory of Edward Beahan of Maynooth who died 1795 aged 72 years Also to the memory of his wife Mary Beahan.  ? Bean died April 16th 184?  Aged 63 yrs Ewd. Beahan died Octb 26th 188?.  Aged 63 yrs Parck Beahan died Ma? Aged 50? Anne Beah?  (Note!  this gravestone in many small pieces on the ground alongside the grave).

93. IHS This Burial place belongeth to James Reabit and his Posterity Here Lyeth  three of His Children Se???? ( Note ! The remainder of the gravestone is buried in the ground ).


94. Erected By Thomas Deames of Maynooth  in memory of his beloved father John Deames died 20th. Oct. 1852, age 75 years. also his beloved mother Elizabeth Deames died 18th May 1824, age 36 years. Also his brother Joseph Deames died 29th. Jan.  1870 age 50 years also his sister Rose Deames died 5th. March 1880 age 49 years also Mary Anne Deames died 23th. Oct. 1891 age 74 years also the above Thomas Deames died 4th. Dec.1893 aged 76 years (Henry Note! Age is used in all entry’s but for the last one Thomas Deames where Aged is used.).

95. Erected By John Rossiney, of Melbourne Victoria. In affectionate  remembrance of his mother Catherine. Who died 24 April 1878  aged 75 years.  Also of his brother Patrick. His grandfather Michael. His  grandmother Julia. & uncle James .May there  sould rest in peace (Bottom left of gravestone the following displayed T.H.Dennany, and right side Glasnevin )(To the left of the main gravestone in the same graveplot there is an old small slate stone with the front flaking away. the following is still readiable  IHS ??re?? Ro ??? in me ??of his Wi??// Jul??Rosson?? AD 18????. A wrought iron railing sourround this grave. (Grave plot 6 foot by 7 foot 9 inches long)

96. Small banks stone pointed top no markings, low in the ground.

97. Gravestone fallen faced down in the ground unable to get any details March 2013.

98. This Stone was Erected by Willm Kelly of the City of Dublin Shipwright? To the memory of his Father John Kelly who Depd this life the 1 Day January 1804 Aged 46  Years also to his dearly beloved Wife Elizabeth Kelly alias Short who depd this life on the 13 Day July 1823 in the 33 year of her age with 4 ? of children ?? (The gravestone is lost in the earth.).

99. (Gravestone to the left of the plot)In Loving Memory Of Patrick Cusker Died 29th December 1945 His Wife Violet Died 3th March 1955 Their Sons George Died 28th July 1942 David 13th April 1955 Fred Died 29th July 1974 Also Elizabeth Died 1933 Rest In Peace (Gravestone centre of grave the following displayed )In Loving Memory Of William Cusker Died 6th January 1975 Aged 62 Years Also His Beloved Wife Marcella Died 24th October 2002 Aged 93 Years  Their Baby Patrick Died 1936 Their Grandson  Padraig Died 1978 Rest In Peace  (Marble  plaque left side of grave) Baby Padraig  Noone Grandson Of William Died 11th March 1978 Also Grandson Of Marcella Always Remembered Love Daddy And Mammy. (George Cusker displayed in the Kildare Board Of Health Registry Entry No. 18, Address shown as Carton, Maynooth.)

100. A pointed gravestone with only a sun and an image of a pig. No lettering displayed front starting to flake away.

101. IHS Errected  (Errected as spelled on gravestone) by Ann Segrave v of Maynooth (of Maynooth seems to be a after taught and fitted in between row 1 and 2) in Memory of her Husband Patrick Sergrave who Dep,rd this life April  the 10th 1790  Aged 50 y,rs Here also lieth  three of their Sons Patt? Segrave Died A.D. 1802 Aged 2.5 Years Matt Sergrave Died A.D.  1808 Aged 25 Years John Sergrave Died April 19th 1830 Aged 48 Years

102. Aged???? Patrick D??????? 1869?????? R.I.P. (Note Henry, April 2012. The front of the gravestone is flaking away and very little is left of the lettering).

103. Steel cross, lost in heavy wooded area no detail to hand. 


104. A Small blank stone with no markings. Stone located above grave stone no. 112 Keely.


105.  A small blank stone with no lettering or markings. Positioned in front of No.90 Cuskers grave.


106. (Byrne grave plot has 3 gravestone in a double grave plot) In Loving Memory Of  John Byrne Who Died 2nd Jan. 1958  Aged 67 Years His Son Thomas Byrne Who Died 10th May 1960 Aged 31 Years Also His Wife Margaret Byrne  Who Died 8th April 1965 Aged 64 Years R.I.P. (Second Gravestone the following details displayed) In Loving Memory Of Angela Byrne  (nee Keelty) Rail Park, Maynooth Died 10th September 1996 Aged 58 Years “ Forever In Your Thoughts” R.I.P.  (Third Gravestone the following details displayed)  In Memory Of John Byrne Who Died 25. Sept.1914. Age 65.  Also His Children, Margaret Died 18 Aug. 1918.  Mary Died 23. Nov. 1919. Katie. Died 23. April 1922 Our Dearly Beloved Mother Mary Byrne Died 29. Aug. 1930. Their Son Thomas Died 29th Oct. 1942. Elizabeth McCormack, Their Daughter Died 13th July 1948 R.I.P. (Bottom left of gravestone the following displayed) Burnell?  (Bottom right of gravestone the following displayed) Carrick. (Thomas Byrne displayed No 22 Cemetery Registry, Address shown as Railpark, Maynooth). (Seamus  Byrne died 7th July and is buried in this plot)


107. IHS This ( This is on the left side and Stone on the right side of the gravestone) Stone was Erected by Michel, McCul in Memory of his Father Jams, McCul who Departed this Life AD 1768 Aged 56 Yrs also a brother and sister of the above Mick. ??? (Lettering lost in the clay))

108. Erected by Jane Allen in memory of Michael McCullagh who Depd this life? March the ?? 1799? Agd 46 yrs Also Mary his Wife who Depd this Life May the ??  ???? Agd ? Also in the memory of Ann Flannery Allice McCullagh who Depd this Life March the 17th  ? 1800 Agd? yrs (Note! Henry 2013. Very difficult to read details as gravestone covered in brown lichen, edges and bottom of gravestone decorated)


109. Erected By Edward Downes In Memory of his beloved Father Denis Downes Who Died 21 oct. 1859. Aged 62 Years also his Mother Catherine Downes who died 30 may 1872 Aged 58 Years. also Jane Margaret and Patrick Downes of maynooth who died young.  May they rest in peace. (Bottom left) 1870 (Bottom right) EDW Downes 36 Tighe St. Dublin.

110. In loving memory of our parents Thomas & Kate Keely also our brothers Thomas & John (Burnell Bottom of gravestone the following displayed) R.I.P.

111. IHS this monument was Erected by Thomas Keely for him and his posterity his father James Keely died in??? aged 64?  His Mother??? Alias Horan died??? 17?? Aged 5? Also??? Children. (Note March 2012! the face of the gravestone is flaking off at various places and unable to pull a lot of details).

112. Erected by Joseph Keely in fond memory of his parents James & Bridget also my beloved brothers & sisters John William James Margaret & Anne Joseph Keely died 14. Feb. 1932.  (Bottom left of gravestone the following displayed) Burnell Edenderry.

113. This Stone and burial place belongeth to Mr James Kelly of Exchange Street and Mrs Judith Kelly of Meath Street both of the City of Dublin and their prosterity Here Lyeth the body of Mrs Elinor Kelly wife of the above James Kelly who Dep.d this Life the 29th of August 1787 Aged 38 Years Here also lyeth the Body of Mr William Kelly husband to the above Judith Kelly who Departed this Life the 29th of August 1787 Aged 40 years.

114. IHS This stone was Erected by Edward O Connor of Essex (Note, Essex is displayed with the first letter s in Essex looking like the letter f) Quay Dublin in Memory of his Dearly beloved Wife Mary O Connor who departed this Life the 6th day of January A D 1809 Aged 28 Years Also their Son William O Connor who departed this Life the 28th March A D 1807 Aged 5 Years (Note1 The street name of Essex is spelled as it was Efsex).

115. IHS This was erected by Thomas Carty in memory of his Child Mary who departed march (Note! Letter m in march in lower case on gravestone) the 25 1773 Aged 3 years.

116. IHS Heare Lyeth y/e Body of Patrick San (Note! The rest of his Surname is on the next row) ders who departed this Life y/e 29th of ???? Aged ??? (Gravestone has fallen foward and the lower section is buried in the clay,unable to read the rest of the lettering).

117. IHS Gloria in Exceleis Deo. (Lower section of curve the following is displayed) T. M. Carthy Celbridge.  Erected By Thomas Mack in memory of his son Thomas Mack who Depd. This life Febry 25th?  1828 Aged 22 Years He Lived beloved and Died Lamented. Also to the memory of all his Posterity.

118. Hyland RIP (The Surname appears on the back of cross gravestone).

119. Top section of a cement cross just above ground, there is no details on cross.

120. Erected By Alice Blake In Memory Of Her Loving Husband William Blake Died 11Apr. 1922 Aged 69 Years .Also Her Daughter Mary Dunne, Died 20 Apr.  1915 Aged 25 Years. Rose Blake Died 19th July 1913 Aged 20 Also The Above Alice Died 7 Sep 1955 Aged 89 R.I.P. BLAKE. (White marble gravestone).

121. IHS Erected by John and Marse?? Rielly in memory of Hugh Rielly who departed this life on the 10th November 1840 aged 45 years Also to the memory Silvester Rielly who departed this life 10th December 1840 aged 41.

122. Nevin Ballygoran, Maynooth. In Loving Memory Of Mam And Dad Kathleen Nevin (Nee Burke) Died 19th March 1984 Aged 74 Years Michael Nevin Died 8th October 1984 Aged 76 Years Holy Mary Pray For Them. R.I.P.  Erected By Their Sons and Daughter. (Side of plinth Ardiff Leixlip) (Black marble gravestone, in the same grave as below Jesus Mercy Mary Help (On the circular part, top of gravestone) In Loving Memory Of Mary Burke, Ballygoran, Maynooth. Died 30th Oct. 1942.  Aged 68 Years. & Her  Infant Son Oliver Died 19th Dec. 1922 ,Aged 2 1/2  Years  Her Loving Husband Thomas Died 19th Feb 1951 Aged 74 Years Also Their Granddaughter Kathleen Burke Died 21st March 1953 Aged 14 Years R.I.P (White marble gravestone) Grave treble plot  and kerbed )

123. In Loving Memory Of My Father Patrick Fay Died 5th? Dec? 1935? Aged 62 Years Also My Brothers Peter Died 15th Nov 1937? Aged 8 1/2? Years Patrick Died 26th June 1938 Aged 23 Years Also My Mother Catherine Died 6th Jan 1942 Aged 52 Years. (Stone covered in moss hard to read)(No 1 Cemetery Registry Address given Old Hill, Leixlip.).

124. To the Memory of Mr Gurtis Hughes 3rd Son of Mr John Hughes of Maynooth he Departed this Life on the 31st Day of January  1811 Aged 20 Years. (Grave plot within church ruins)

125. In Loving Memory Of My Dear Husband Joseph Flood Died 9th Feb. 1939 Aged 63 Years Also His Father Richard Flood Died 7th March 1919 Aged 92 Years .And His Mother Anne Flood Died 18th July  1901 Aged 70 Years. “Thy Will Be Done” R.I.P.  (Lead Inscription) (No7 in Cemetery Registry Address shown Carton, Maynooth).(Grave plot within church ruins)

126. Erected By Joseph Weafer In Memory Of His  Beloved Wife Bridget Who Departed This Life 17th September 1880 Aged 76 Years Also His Two Children  Margaret And Joseph Who Died Young . R.I.P. (Bottom left of gravestone the following displayed T.H. Drennany bottom right Glasnevin). (New gravestone erected 2012 with the following details) Richard Hudson Bradshaw 1942 – 2010 Rest In Peace. (Grave plot right up against wall in the church ruins)

127. Pray For The Soul Of Mr Thomas Duggan Margaret, His Wife And John Their Son Whose Remains are Here Interred. (Note only the bottom plinth of the gravestone is standing, at the back of the plinth there is a top half of a cross )(Grave plot within church ruins)

128. Erected By Rev. E. O’Reilly In Memory Of His Beloved Father Peter O’Reilly Died 18th July 1904 Aged 90 Years His Beloved Mother Margaret Murphy O’Reilly Died 25th April 1895 Aged 66Years  His Beloved Brother Thomas Joseph Student Of Holy Cross College Clonliffe Died 25th February 1882 Aged 27 Years And His Beloved Sister Mary Kate Who Died Young R.I.P.  (Right side of gravestone the following displayed)  Also of his beloved sister May Joseph Wray died 4th November 1898 aged 34 years the beloved Wife of Charles Wray esqr. Solicitor Manorhamilton. R.I.P.  (Back of gravestone ) Also in memory of his beloved sister Lucy Josephine Redmond died 27th January 1904 aged 31 years and interred in Laraghbryan.The Beloved wife of Thomas Redmond esqr.  Maynooth R.I.P. (Left side of gravestone the following displayed) Also of his beloved nieces Jennie Clare Stephanie Murphy died 16th August 1895 aged 3 years & 7 months and Evelyn  Margaret Mary Murphy  died 21st August 1895 aged 6 years &7 months the beloved daughters of Joseph & Jane Frances  Murphy. (This stone slab is on the flat at the foot of Rev. E. O’Reilly gravestone)  Erected Catherine Murphy of Maynooth to the Memory of her Affection Husband Patrick Murphy who departed this life 22nd  December 1816?46  Aged 69 Years Also her daughter Catherine who died 31 Dec 1827  Aged 2 Years and  her son Patrick who died 14 Nov 1829 Aged 4 Years Also her son Edward Murphy who died May 31st  1852 Aged 33 Years Requiescant in pace Amen.(Grave plot within church ruins)

129. Pray For The Soul Of Martin O’Donnell Who Died 10th December 1975 Aged 68 Years And His Son Monsignor Matthew O’Donnell President St. Patrick College Maynooth Who Died 27th September 1996 Aged 63 Years And His Beloved Wife Maura (Nee Weafer) Who Died 16th March 2005 Aged 96 Years R.I.P.(Note Henry. April 2012. Monsignor Matthew O’Donnell was the 26th President of Maynooth College from 1994 to 1996, he died in office. He lived in Maynooth in his young days.  He is buried within church ruins with his father.)

130. In Loving Memory Of Matthew Weafer Carton Lodge, Maynooth who died 8th July 1960 aged 83 years Annie Maria (Ceccie) Weafer who died 5th Dec 1924 aged 18 years Margaret (Peg) Weafer (Nee Bracken) who died 12th Dec 1940. aged 33 years Bridget (Bea Nee McGovern) beloved wife of Thomas Weafer Who Died 14th July 1969 aged 54 years. Annie, beloved wife of Matthew Weafer who died     23th Oct.1969, aged 93 Years. Their Son Thomas Weafer Main St. Maynooth. who died 18th May 1973 aged 61 years. R.I.P? (Margaret Weafer displayed No. 9 Cemetery Registry Address shown as Main St. Maynooth). (Grave plot is within the church ruins).WEAFER engraved and lettering painted black on the back of gravestone).

131. In Loving Memory of my dear husband Joseph Weafer Sunview, Maynooth who died 7th May 1933 Aged 62 years. (Grave plot within church ruins)

132. Broken gravestone only the plinth left. Positioned between the graves of J. Weafer. No 131 and B. Fahy. No 133.(Grave plot within church ruins)

133. In Loving Memory of Bridget Fahey Died 10th Novr. 1911 Aged 26 Years (Bottom of gravestone the following displayed) Erected by her sorrowing husband R.I.P. (Lead Inscription). ( Note April 2012 ! Letter g of Loving, F of Fahey and number  6 of 26 the lead  insert has fallen out). (Grave plot within church ruins).

134. A grave plot with large granite kerbs but the gravestone is no longer in situ. Grave positioned at the back of Hall. O’Neill single grave No.44.

135. A small pointed gravestone, The front of the stone has flaked away over time. Stone is positioned beside Allen gravestone No. 91.

136. Small  upright  blank stone left of gravestone No. 76 may be a grave marker? .

137. A small upright blank stone right of gravestone No 76. That is on it flat facing down.

Headstone details of Donaghmore/Grangewilliam Cemetery from 1713-2013, transcribed by Henry Flynn. Our thanks to Henry

May 17, 2013

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: TOM HENNESSY

Tom Hennessy

My name is Tom Hennessy, born in Athenry County Galway in 1926. My mother, Elizabeth Dempsey, was from Blackrock, County Wicklow, and my father Patrick Hennessy from Garryduff, Gowran, County Kilkenny. My brother Paddy and my two sisters, Joan and Colette, were also born in Athenry. My father, who was a Garda, was granted a transfer to Kildare Town in 1936, where my brother Eamon was born. I got my Intermediate and Leaving certificate in St, Joseph Academy, in Kildare, and applied for work in Bord Na Mona. In 1945 I was appointed office helper to the camp superintendent in Derries camp near Edenderry,  County Offaly.
I then applied for a clerical position in Central Stores and was transferred to the clerical section Central Stores the same year, where I worked in headquarters organizing weekly payments for workers in County Kildare. The payroll was then brought to each hostel and the workers were paid by cheque weekly. In 1948 the centralization took place and staff were sent to reside in the various hostels to pay the workers and maintain stock in the stores. Most of my friends were sent to Timahoe, or Corduff south, as it was then called. I requested a transfer there which was granted in 1948.
A special billet was provided for staff until a new building with separate bedrooms and a communal sitting room was provided. I got married in 1953 and moved into a new bungalow on 29 May 1953 to  number 91 in Coill Dubh Village, which had just been completed. Sean Butler, Brendan O’ Mahony and William Finn, of the clerical staff, were in neighboring houses. My three daughters were born in Coill Dubh and went to school there.
In 1956 we founded the Coill Dubh Hurling Club of which I was their first chairman. I played left half back with them for two years, althought I had not hurled since I left Athenry in 1936. At that time most of the players were elderly, but what they lacked in pace the made up for in skill. Coill Dubh continued to improve until it became one of the better hurling clubs in Co. Kildare. Some of the players in those early years were, Mick Young, Tom Fanning, Tom Casey, Joe Harris, Luke Shinners, John Dee, Paddy Scanlan, Pat Geary, Micky Finn and ? Treacy.
I was also associated with the drama group, mostly painting the background scenes. In 1962 I was transferred as Stores Supervisor to Ballydermot, which ended my assiciation with Coill Dubh. I retired from Bord Na Mona in 1986 after 41 years of service.
Tom Hennessy
Sheane
Rathangan
County Kildare

 

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature Tom Hennessy. Our thanks to Tom

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: THE GORMAN FAMILY

The Gorman family, 98 Coill Dubh, who formally lived in number 155.

James Gorman, A sligo native served in the Curragh Camp during the Second World War. He moved to Allenwood to work for Bord Na Mona after the war. He met Kathleen Percival during trips to the local shop her mother Margaret Percival ran.  She provided the local Bord Na Mona workers with cigarettes, papers, milk, etc. Kathleen was later to become  his wife.

They later noved to Coill Dubh village, and their two son were born in Coill Dubh. Seamus was born in 1958 and William was born in 1962. Our next door neigbours were the Percivals, who were cousins of ours. When we lived on the front row our neigbours were the Wise family,  Farrell family, Magarahan family and Paddy Lyons and family.

Seamus left Coill Dubh in 1982 and went to live in Celbridge where he married a girl from the village of Celbridge. William still lives in 98 Coill Dubh. We have very fond memories of growing up in Coill Dubh.

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature the Gorman family.

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: THE MCDERMOTT FAMILY

The Mc Dermott Family 116 Coill Dubh

Micheal Mc Dermott from County Cavan was the son of a 'readesman'. He met Kathleen Finnegan who was a farmers daughter living in Monaghan. They married in 1948 and came down to live in Mainham, Clane, County Kildare. Micheal got a job with Bord Ma Mona, with the offer of a house. The moved into 116 Coill Dubh on 5 June 1953.
They went on to have five childern:  three boys, Micheal, PJ, and Peter, and two girls, Marguerite and Betty. We have many happy memories of growing up in Coill Dubh. We had great neigbours, who were so kind. The Rooneys and the Reddys lived either side of us.
Sadly our mother, Kathleen, past away in 1971, and our father, Micheal, died twenty years later in 1991. To this day, Peter Mc Dermott lives happly in the homeplace, 116 Coill Dubh, with his wife Sylvia and their  family.

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature the McDermott family. Our thanks to Peter McDermott

NEWBRIDGE GOES TO BLAZES IN ITS CENTENARY YEAR

Newbridge goes to blazes in its centenary year

The good citizens of Newbridge have in recent weeks been celebrating the bicentenary of the mapping out of their town in the autumn 1812. However they can count themselves fortunate to have an intact town on which to base their celebrations as judging from the dramatic account of a fire in the town centre in October 1912 the town was very nearly reduced to ashes in the year of its first centenary. It took the full resources of the town’s scratch fire-brigade, local residents, and soldiers from the barracks to quench the flames which might easily have raced through the premises in the closely packed side streets of the town. As it was there was a sad equine casualty but beyond that Newbridge was saved to survive intact for at least another hundred years.
The Kildare Observer reported that the fire was discovered in the early hours of a Tuesday morning when a man named Copeland who lived at Lower Eyre Street noticed flames taking hold in extensive premises on the street used by Mr Edward O’Byrne as a dairy, slaughter house and stables. Copeland roused his neighbours in Eyre Street and sent word to the owner, Mr O’Byrne, whose residence was in Henry Street. Then with back-up in the shape of a local lad named Ryan, Copeland went to the rear of the premises where he found the gate open. The fire had taken hold and in breathless prose the Observer reporter wrote that “the structure which was composed mainly of wood, soon became a mass of fire, the galvanized roof catching the full fury of the fiery element.” 
By now help was arriving from all quarters of the town. The list of helpers reads like a “who’s who” of prominent citizens and functionaries in the Newbridge of 1912. From the barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary came Sergt. Whisker, and Constables Greenaway, McKeown, Kenny and McInerney. They were followed by the township fire brigade in which there was no demarcation between local authority technical staff, administrators and elected members: Denis Quinn, Engineer was joined by Mr. Seawright, the Town Clerk, and by Joseph Kelly, Town Commissioner. But even this combined force struggled to keep the fire at bay. The flames, accelerated by hay stored in on O’Byrne’s premises had by then reached alarming proportions and were soon illuminating the entire neighbourhood with the intense heat and flying sparks a source of imminent danger to anybody in close proximity.
There were fears for the adjoining homes in Eyre Street: the one on the north side was fortunately untenanted as its occupiers, the Misses Dowling, were not in occupation for some time past, but the property to the south comprising a shop and house looked in immediate danger of being gutted. The situation was so serious that the local officials had to call on the sort of manpower that only a military town like Newbridge could mobilise. Sergt O’Hara, of the Connaught Rangers, who resided close-by ran to the military barracks and alerted the barrack fire piquet. Within minutes the military fire brigade reinforced by 150 gunners from the Royal Field and Royal Horse Artillery units in the barracks were on the scene.
However the fire-fighting efforts were subject to the kind of confusion which often attends crisis incidents. The township fire brigade despite having the local knowledge of the town engineer and a town councillor on board had difficulty in finding a working fire hydrant. And the military were forced to pump water from the Liffey; the distance involved meant that there was little pressure in their hose.
Gradually the efforts of the fire fighters began to tell. The township fire hose “ably worked by Mr Quinn and his assistants plied a constant stream on the blazing stables while military, civilians and police vied with each other to save the adjoining houses.” There were great fears that the blaze fanned by a strong wind could race from one house to another if not contained.  After a fierce struggle with the fiery elements the brave workers had the satisfaction of seeing their efforts rewarded and by six in the morning (three hours after the blaze was detected) a few smouldering embers were all that was left of what threatened to be a serious conflagration.
There was however one casualty who sadly did not escape the inferno: the charred remains of a brood mare were discovered on removing the debris.
The Kildare Observer concluded its report of the incident – which seemed to have been witnessed first-hand by the reporter such was the level of vivid detail – by stressing that “credit is due to the local fire brigade, police and civilian workers for their concerted action in averting what seemed to be a very serious outbreak.”
It was a close call as had the fire escaped it could have raced through the closely-packed dwellings of Newbridge and the town might not have survived its first centenary year never mind last to its bicentenary.
Series no: 299.

In October 1912 Newbridge was very nearly reduced to ashes in the year of its first centenary, writes Liam Kenny in article 299 of his weekly series

May 10, 2013

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: SUSANNE O'SULLIVAN

Coill Dubh's Gathering: Susanne O'Sullivan


I am the third generation to own and live in 108 Coill Dubh. First was my Grandfather John “Gaffney” O’Sullivan, then my uncle Paudie O'Sullivan and now myself, Susann O'Sullivan. As long as I can remember my father, Willie O'Sullivan, always loved to hear stories about Coill Dubh and look through old photo albums that people would have. Coill Dubh is deep in his heart, as it is for all of our family. As far back as I can remember Coill Dubh was a very big part of my childhood, going to my granny for lunchtime and having to wash my hands and behind my ears before granny would let you have your lunch.
I remember well the Christmas that my cousins and I climbed into the press in the big bedroom. This was a half press which opened from the top, and led into the hotpress in the kitchen. Coill Dubh people are very aware of this press. We could climb into what we call the box, and go down into the hotpress in the kitchen without being caught. Well this one particular Christmas we could hear them planning what we were getting for Christmas, and then got back out off the box, counting the days for Christmas to see our lovely gifts.
In those days there were swings, slides, a hobby horse and jumping box, in the middle of the big green. I can still remember sliding down the slide and catching my good dress on a screw that was sticking up from it, and the worry of how I was going to explain this to my granny. But her bark was worst than her bite. I remember the time I had the Chicken Pox and she put me into the bath with bread soda in it, these were the cures in those days. It wouldn’t have being too bad, except in those days, hot water was not always available. The water was freezing, but she assured me that it would cool down the itch, she didn’t say anything about turning blue though......
But most of all, I will never forget the people of Coill Dubh  for their  love and kindness, that pulled us through the hardest thing we ever has to face, It was when our house went  on fire, and we lost our beautiful little sister, Tara. We will never get over losing Tara, but we shall also never forget the people of Coill Dubh, and Cooleragh, as they played a hugh part in helping us to rebuild our lives. My Mother still to this day talks about neighbours taking the clothes from their own children and giving them to us, as we had lost everything in the fire.
Number 99 Coill Dubh was to become our new home. I am now a mother of three beautiful girls, and I am the so proud to live back in 108 Coill Dubh, Granny’s house. I had so many school lunch time memories in this house with her, and now I am creating new memories with my girls, in the village that I love and call HOME.
Susanne O Sullivan

I sit here watching and dreaming
Of this summer day I loved
The boys with knee’s cut
From climbing those trees in the lanes
And the girls playing with their mothers pram
Trying to be mammy’s their own
With their dolls and tea party’s
And of how our imagination would
Run away with us as we played
Those summer days away
I think how now my own walk
In my footprints of childhood playing in
Those summer days so free and innocent.

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature Susanne O'Sullivan's memories. Our thanks to Susanne

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: MICHAEL REILLY

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING: Michael Reilly

My name is Micheal Reilly. I was born in 1948 in Carbury, Co, Kildare. My parents were John and Eileen Reilly. I was the first of four children - Mary, Sean and Ann following after me. My father John is deceased and my mother Eileen still lives with me in Timahoe. And I remember well moving to Coill Dubh from Carbury, when I was four years old, it was 19th December 1952. Our neighbours were James Gorman 155 and Eddie Byrne 153. My father started work in Bord Na Mona and continued there for the next thirty years until he passed away. When I started school, there was no school building in Coill Dubh, but we had the use of buildings belonging to Bord na Mona in Corduff, called the middle camp. The school building opened in Coill Dubh Village in 1956, and I remember well my first day of school as I had the pleasure of walking Joe Fox to school. The Principal at the time was Mr Dunne.
Along the road at the time from our houses there was a line of tall trees where I spent many a day playing on a swing we made from an old tyre and rope. My friends who played with me weere Mike Rooney, Mick Tracy, John Kenny, and Joe Fox. Joe was the baby of the group. At the age of twelve, myself, Mick Rooney, John Kenny, and Mick Tracy would walk the dogs for Robyn Cusack. We did this every evening after school and would be rewarded with a few shillings pocket money, and Mrs Cusack’s home baking. We had our own dog to look after and if he happened to  win a race we were rewarded with extra pocket money.
We had the pleasure of having the Rag Man who would roar, “ toys for rags and bottles and jam jars”. Then the dentist, he had a room rented from Michael Tracy who came on Saturdays between 12/3pm and on  leaving each Satruday he would throw two or three handfuls of sweets on the green and we would scuffle for them. I remember house number 8 and Blake’s shop being destroyed by fire. Blake’s shop used to be decorated for Christmas and the big tree Bord ma Mona would erect in the middle of the green.
After Coill Dubh school I attended Prosperos secondary school. As the years passed by I met my wife Marie who resided in Straffan. We got married in 1970 and had four children, John, Natalie, Aimee and Aoife. I worked in Donnelly Mirrors until my retirement. I love to meet my friends and reminisce about the good times we had in Coill Dubh. I now reside in Timahoe with my wife Marie and my mother Eileen an I am looking forward to the 14th September where I hope to meet many fo my old friends at The Gathering.
Thank you Willie for the Memories.
Michael Reilly

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature Michael O'Reilly's memories. Our thanks to Michael

THE GATHERING COILL DUBH - PHOTOS OF VILLAGE LIFE

Continuing our series on Coill Dubh and the forthcoming event to celebrate The Gathering. Photos courtesy of Alle Hamstra - taken in Coill Dubh in the 1970s. Our thanks to Alle and to Veronica Bagnall

 

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View of the canteen taken from the top of the factory
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 Kit Mooney and A.N. Other


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Alle Hamstra on his Triumph Tiger Cub

Continuing our series on Coill Dubh and the forthcoming event to celebrate The Gathering. Photos courtesy of Alle Hamstra - taken in Coill Dubh in the 1970s. Our thanks to Alle and to Veronica Bagnall

LEIXLIP CONNECTION TO THE GREAT LOCKOUT

Leixlip Connection and The Great Lockout, 1913

Tony Maher from Leixlip sent us a wonderful family photo and caption which connects Kildare to the Great Lockout of 1913.
 

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'His grandfather Edward Maher had to close his grocery shop in Main St. Leixlip because he gave out credit to his costumers during the 1913 Larkin strike. After selling his business to his brother-in-law Joe Dowdall, he went on to work in Guinness's Brewery in 1914 filling in for a Guinness worker who was on leave from the brewery, fighting in WWI. When the worker retuned from in 1917, Tony's grandfather secured other employment, as a clerk with Kildare County Council until he died in 1936. Dowdall's shop continued in business until the early 1980's.'

Tony Maher from Leixlip sent us a wonderful family photo and caption which connects Kildare to the Great Lockout of 1913.

May 03, 2013

THE GATHERING: COILL DUBH

Growing up in Coill Dubh, Number 42


Our family moved to Coill Dubh in 1963 when I was 14 years old. My parents, Mary and Micheal McManus came from Counties Monahan and Fermanagh, my mother from Fermanagh and my father from Monahan. My father was a motor mechanic. He had a garage in Fermanagh, but just thought it was time for a change. He applied for a job with Bord ma Mona and was succesful in his application. We then moved to County Kildare. I have one sister and four brothers, Maura is the eldest, then myself, Micheal, Hugh, Thomas and Conor. The boys all went to Coill Dubh School, then onto Prosperous. I started work when I was around 15 years of age, it was in The Meat Packers in Leixlip. Then as I got older I started to go out and met lots of friends. We did most of our dancing in Rathcoffey Hall, and Lawlor’s of Naas. My friends were Hannah Sullivan, Josie Barrett, Margaret Brereton and many more. Then I met my partner Noel Smullen, and got married on the 18th March 1978. Still going strong.
Mags Smullen.

As Coill Dubh's Gathering Festival gathers pace we will be publishing stories from many of the families and people who came to the area sixty years ago. Our thanks to Mags Smullen

THE GATHERING: COILL DUBH

 

Making our way to our final Home

Living their childhoods in different country parishes in County Roscommon in difficult times in our Country’s history, my Mam and Dad decided to sell their small farm and move to Dublin. No work in the country drew many to the big towns and cities at that time. Arriving in Dublin they lived in No. 34 Haddington Rd, with their two children. Dad searched the city for work every day and was successful in getting some small jobs at times, although nothing permanent, and being a culchie didn’t help. A meeting with an old lady in the church that still stands on Haddington Road, was to change his focus in the outlook for work. She told him he should focus on looking for farming work, which he was experienced at, and to make a long story short, he saw a job in the newspaper the following day that was to bring them to Gardice in County Meath. Two children were born in  Roscommon, and now two were to be born in Meath (No Dubs!)
Dad had now began working in Bord Ma Mona in Timahoe. He cycled each day from Meath, 17 miles to and from work, a job in its self. The building of the village as we now know it was almost completed and there were some families already living there when both my parents first visited to see where they might live in the future. Forms were filled in and then the waiting game began to see if their application would be successful. Weeks passed, and not a word. Mam was getting anxious as it generally only took a few weeks to get a decision one way or the other. Dad took the bull by the horns and went into the office at the “tip head” and asked if there was any word of his application for a house in the Village. The little man, who shall remain nameless... told him he would just have to wait and closed the hatch in the window.
As my father made his way out of the office, heart sunk I’m sure, another man came out and probably noticing him being annoyed, asked him if everything was alright? Dad proceeded to tell him his story, the exact date he sent in the forms, how so and so had got word and his form want in later than his, etc. This helpful soul told him to wait there... and when he came back to him a few minutes later he told him his form had been in the wrong file, but assured him he would fast track it for him and he would have word in one week, and it should be good news. One can only imagine .... no ... one cannot imagine the delight that there must have been that evening when he cycled home to Gardice and told the good news to Mam. Mam, yeah, that’s what dad called my mother all his life, Mam this, and, Mam that.
So it came to pass, and two weeks later they both, with their four children moved into 120 Coill Dubh. Running water, electricity, inside bathroom, three bed rooms, a scullery, a big kitchen, sure Mrs Bucket (bouquet) would have been impressed. Dad worked with the Bord, as they called it, until his retirement at 65. Mam went on to have five more children, 3 girls and 6 boys in total. Watching all the men go to and from work each on their bikes looks almost romantic now in hindsight, but ... it was anything but for them. Work was hard, rain, hail or snow, draining of the bog and preparing it for the following year’s harvesting of turf cutting was continuous. There must have been always the fear of a man getting sick, or worse still, dying, as should this happen in the early years, and it did happen, the policy of the Bord was to evict the mother and children and get another man and his family into the house.
As for living in the village for our parents in those early years, it must have been, looking back on it, a wonderful but strange social setting. Coming from a country background and being immersed into a village of 160 houses, side by side, people from all parts of the country, but being called the culchies by the locals, it is difficult to know how much integration really took place. Mammy made some life-long friends, but as she was a quiet person, being an only child, whose mother had died when she was four years old and being spoiled by her dad, known as Big Bill Shannon, living in a village environment must have been like landing on the moon to her, not to mention the rearing of nine children of her own.
Many times over the years when we talk of the village and its earlier years, my Mother would always mention what she called “the good people” who helped so many during those years of hardship that have now been purposely forgotten. Mam would always mention both Robin Cusack and his good wife and in the same breath Aiden Ward of Ward’s shop in Cooleragh. The decent people, she would say, fed the village when there was little money and very large families. Talking to Eadin Ward some years ago now, I mentioned to him how my mother held him in such high esteem and the Cusack family also, and I wanted to thank him for his generosity to all in the Village at that time. He replied with, Ah Gra, your mother came from framing stock herself, your father worked hard all his life. All he wanted was a smoke of his pipe and two pints in Dag’s whenever money allowed. it was a pleasure knowing and helping such quiet inoffensive people.
Rambling from the Tip Head to the top switch some time ago with brother’s Eugene and Michael brought happy and sad memories flooding rapidly into my mind. Remembering working and messing on the bog those long summer days, not a care in the world, arriving home exhausted. but ready to play soccer on the big green. Only Billy and Des Hopkins could really play, we just tried to kill them ... ha, ha .. and looking back to our front door and seeing Dad with his hat on, smoking his pipe while watching us, made us fight even harder for that exclusive ball.
They lived a very simple life, as did most parents of that time, but worry, both financially and otherwise, must have been a constant drain on them. I was ten days old arriving in the Village, sixty Years ago this year, and now I look at society in general and nothing has changed really.
Poverty has again raised its head in many family units, if it ever left .. and the strain of living is still inside the Daddy’s and Mammy’s of today, just as it was in my early years. My only hope would be that there are still Wards and Cusacks in our midst to alleviate some of the hardship during these difficult times. If by some miracle you can’t see the difficulties some families are going through at this time, maybe you should go to spec savers or just look harder.
John and Bridget Kenny
120 Coill Dubh
Naas
Co Kildare

As Coill Dubh's Gathering Festival gathers pace we will be publishing stories from many of the families and people who came to the area sixty years ago. Our thanks to John and Bridget Kenny

THE GATHERING: COILL DUBH

A SPECIAL PAINTING

It was a September morning many years ago as I went down by the riverside of an early morning walk with  my little corgi dog Connie. The ducks were floating contentedly on the calm quiet river. Connie was enjoying himself his nose leading him to points of interest to him and sometimes to me. It was a very foggy morning by the riverside. Everything was quite and peaceful. Connie who had been leading the way suddenly came back to me and began to thump my shoes with his feet. Knowing Connie so well I suspected he  was trying to tell me something. I said, “O.k. Connie let’s stay going.” He immediately proceeded in an unusually excited fashion. I kept following him along the riverbank. As it was a foggy morning it was hard to see a few yards ahead. As I proceeded to follow Connie he suddenly stoped and began to wag his tail. As I walked along to where Connie was standing stitched to the ground with enthusiasm, I noticed a figure sitting by the riverside, as I got nearer I could see it was a man with much mud on his hands and face. Getting nearer still I noticed the piece of paper with a complex indecipherable message  on it. I greeted the man with the words, “Good morning sir.” He looked up at me bleary eyed and shaking head and said, “What is good about it this morning?” For want of something inspiring to say I replied,” Well,  we have met.” He replied, “Yes, only for you and your dog I would now have completed what I came her to do!”  After a few moments I realised the poor man was desperate and so fed up with life that he decided that foggy September morning was to be his last in this world of darkness and disillusionment. I asked Mick if I could please sit beside him for a few minutes. I introduced myself as Fr.Pat, a local priest. His immediate response was that God had long, long ago written him off.
He talked about many things and he told me many stories, I listened and told him I didn’t have answers to many of the things he asked me. He asked me was I ever in darkness. I responded, “ A great portion of  my life has been surrounded by darkness.” He replied that priest’s do not know about darkness, to which I responded, “Well, this one does, because it’s a tunnel I have to go through nearly every day.” At this point my friend Mick put out his clay filled hand and shook mine. That was the beginning of a friendship that took Mick from the brink of the river. It helped to give me, a young priest, a glimpse of the beauty and genius that can lie behind the most dishevelled appearance.
Whenever I feel low I look at the beautiful painting Mick did for me a few days after our meeting. The painting hangs in a place of honour for the past forty years wherever I have lived. The theme of the painting is ....


P.S 42:1

As the  Deer thirst’s after running waters.
So my soul thirst’s after you my God

Many a foggy and difficult day Mick’s treasured painting has given me the courage and power to keep going. I will always thank God for introducing me to Mick on that foggy Autumn morning by the quiet riverside.

From the pen of the Very Rev. Fr. Pat Ramsbottom P.R.


As Coill Dubh's Gathering Festival gathers pace we will be publishing stories from many of the families and people who came to the area sixty years ago. Our thanks to Fr. Pat Ramsbottom


THE GATHERING: COILL DUBH

As Coill Dubh's Gathering Festival gathers pace we will be publishing stories from many of the families who came to the area sixty years ago.

My name is William O Sullivan. I was born in St Bridget’s Terrace in Robertstown on 25th January 1953. My Father was John Gaffney O’ Sullivan, from Valentia Island, County Kerry, My Mothers name was Lil (Elizabeth) Moore from Canal Bank, Lowtown,Robertstown, Naas, Co Kildare. I have three brothers and two sisters, Jimmy, Margaret (Mag) Hannah, John, and Paudie. We came to live in Coill Dubh in 1955, to house number 108. As far as I know we were the first family to live in 108. I attended Coill Dubh National School and also the “Camp” which were billets belonging to Bord ma Mona. This is where the workers lived when they first came to work for the Board. The “Camp” also acted as a church, it was where I got my First Communion along with all my friends, Thomas Kenny, Jim Danagher, Luke Shinners, Paddy Brennan, David Fox, P.J. Carew, Ita Flynn, Helen Brereton, Mary Percival, along with several more.
It was after my First Communiion that we were introduced to the “footing” in Bord na Mona. My mother would go to the bog after all her house work and we would join her after school. Times were hard then. We would get our groceries on tick in the winter as our father’s wages were very small. We would raise a bill and Mr. Ward knew the the “footing” would allow us to clear this bill each year. As I got older I remember terrier racing and the May Pole at Ward’s shop. We also had the honour of having the Rag Man who would trade old clothes, jam jars and mineral bottles for toys. We also had the honour of having a flush toilet inside which we took turns flushing for a week! We had a black range which some people did not know how to use. One person in the yellow row of houses, complained of the fire smoking. When the caretaker came to check it out, he found the fire was ON TOP OF THE RANGE instead of IN IT! Another family placed a cat in the oven ........... guess what happened there?
We had our vegetables and milk supplied by the local farmers, Cusack’s and Brady’s. We had the dentist who called to Pat Tracey’s on Saturdays at 12 noon and finished at 3pm. We would all gather waiting for him to come out, as before leaving, he would always throw two or three handful of sweets, and we would scuffle for them. The mineral lorry, Slainte, delivered to Blake’s shop. The helper on the lorry would throw one or two bottles of minerals on the green, just to watch us scuffle for them! Many a jumper and trousers was torn in those scuffles! We had many a fall out over who would burn the waste paper for Blake’s shop as there was always some little reward for doing the job. We would also deliver Briquettes and paraffin oil for Mr. Gormley. He would give us a sugar stick. We also had Adamson’s Drapery and Furniture Store which supplied us with a lot of our clothes, which would be paid for by the week. For a penny (1d) you could get a sheet of brown paper to cover your school books.
Ward’s grocery shop was situated at number 38, Adamson’s Drapery and Furniture was number 39, John Blake’s Bicycles, Hardware, Electrical, Household Goods and Newsagents was at number 40, Gormley’s Chemist, Post Office and Fuel Merchants was at number 41. Up the road we had Tommy Conneff’s Butcher’s Shop, who supplied us with our weekly meat. Beside this was T.P. Groome’s Electrical and Grocery Store. We also had the use of the ICA hall for pictures and dancing, which is where the Golf Club is now situated.
When the “Footing” finished we would always have the potato picking season with Cusacks, Bradys, Kilmurrys and Mr. Ward. Waste food would be collected for the pigs kept by Mooney’s, Gordon’s and Kelly’s. It was after this that we got involved in the hurling, which we played in the Camp Field and on the Green in Coill Dubh Village.
We had two major fires in the village, one was a house fire at number 8 and the other was at Blake’s shop. I remember it was around this time that we got our Confirmation. As we were then in the parish of Clane the ceremony was held there. When I finished in Coill Dubh N.S. I went to second level in Prosperous, where the late Mr. Ray O’Malley was principal. Hurling and football was a major part of our lives. I played in an under 16 hurling All-Ireland in Croke Park in 1968. Other members of our club who played with me on the day were Luke Shinners, RIP, Thomas Kenny, Jim Danagher, David Fox and John Donoghue. We won our own under 15’s Kildare Championship, also in 1968.
After finishing school in Prosperous, we all started working in serveral different trades, I myself started work in the building business, later becoming a foreman and had several of my friends working with me. In 1970 I met a girl called Rita O’Connor from Donore, Caragh. We married in 1972 in Caragh Church and had five children, Derek, Regina, Tara, RIP, Susan and Adrian. 1975 was a sad year for my family, In June my father, John Gaffney passed away. Things were good for the next few years. In 1987, I was the manager of Coill Dubh when we won our first Senior Hurling Championship and also on the panel.
1988 was another sad year for our family. We lost our Mother in March and in November we lost our daughter Tara in a house fire in Cooleragh. I would like at this point to thank my neighbours in Cooleragh and Coill Dubh and surrounding area for getting us through that tragedy. I must also thank my brother, Paudie, who allowed us to move in with him to number 108. A fire disaster fund was set up by my team mates in the hurling club and my neighours which resulted in the buying of number 99, Coill Dubh, which had been previously owned by one of my neighbours, Tony Killeen. From then on, I became very involved in the hurling. I managed Coill Dubh to seven more Senior Championships and five League finals. I also Managed fourteen Senior Championship finals during  my spell in charge from 1987 to  2003.
The people of Coill Dubh and surrounding areas are a special breed of people, when tragedy strikes it strikes us all and the same goes for happiness. My family and myself will alway be in debt to the people of Coill Dubh and the surrounding area and by helping organise THE GATHERING, I feel I am helping to repay some of that debt.
Regards,
Willie, Rita, and family.

As Coill Dubh's Gathering Festival gathers pace we will be publishing stories from many of the families who came to the area sixty years ago. Our thanks to Willie O'Sullivan


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