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June 28, 2013

THE MORPETH ROLL. IRELAND IDENTIFIED IN 1841

The Morpeth Roll. Ireland identified in 1841

James Durney


In 1841, on stepping down as Chief Secretary, George Howard, Lord Morpeth, received a grand farewell testimonial from the people of Ireland. This took the form of 160,000 signatures on sheets of paper wrapped around a gigantic bobbin; when unwound, the testimonial measures a staggering 420 metres. After decades of lying in obscurity in Castle Howard, in Yorkshire, the Morpeth Roll has been the subject of intense research, digitization and conversation. It is now been seen in public for the first time in 170 years as part of a touring exhibition throughout Ireland. The project is a unique and exciting collaboration between Castle Howard, NUI Maynooth and Ancestry.com.
Four Courts Press have published a lavishly illustrated book of essays The Morpeth Roll. Ireland identified in 1841, discussing the significance of the roll, and examines what it can tell us about pre-Famine Ireland. Just how the roll was commissioned and assembled in a matter of weeks, with signatures collected from across Ireland, is one focus of enquiry; as are the reasons for Morpeth’s extraordinary popularity, which endured when he returned to Dublin as viceroy in the 1850s. The roll is not only a document of national significance, it is also a unique mechanical object, presenting a very special challenge for display and interpretation.
Christopher Ridgway, editor and contributor to the publication, is curator at Castle Howard in Yorkshire and adjunct professor in the Department of History at the national university of Ireland, Maynooth. The Morpeth Roll is a significant historical and genealogical source and Ridgway wrote:

In Ireland, the expertise and knowledge of the local and family history communities are crucial in uncovering the stories behind the names on the roll … In November 2012, Mario Corrigan of Kildare Co. Library, gave a stunning presentation on how to trace these signatories and overcome the absence of any identifying tags. His successful interrogation of the roll convincingly laid to rest anxieties about how traceable these names were.


The collaboration between Castle Howard, NUI Maynooth and Ancestry.com has enabled the roll to be researched, conserved and digitized. The Morpeth Roll can be seen and searched on the Ancestry website at www.ancestry.com/Morpeth

The recently discovered Morpeth Roll is a pre-Famine significant genealogical and historical source

LATE KIT MILLS

Leinster Leader January 30 1971


Late Kit Mills

On Saturday, 16th January, Kit Mills was laid to rest. No flag, no trumpets, no volley ― Kit went to his eternal rest, exactly as he would have wished. And we are all the poorer for his passing.
My longest memory of Kit is linked with sunlight, dappled water of the Liffey, deep shade of river-bank trees and the twinkling of his kindly eyes as he revealed to me the marvellous fund of knowledge, which was his, of where the biggest trout lay and how to coax them to take. How many times have I met Kit, when my owm bag was empty, and his well filled, and he handed me a fine trout, just to keep my spirits up! Later on, when I got my first rifle, Kit would always accept a fat rabbit from me to even the score.
A devoted family man, Kit was seldom happier than when, sitting by the fire, with his family about him he would tell stories of the hard times of long ago, when two shillings a week was lordly wages, and the boy in school, asked "who is the Lord," saw fit to answer ― "Lord Mayo, Lord Leitrim, and all the others sir." Even when he attained his three score years and ten, Kit was full of the joys of life, and had as little time as ever for "the moaners and the begrudgers."
I knew Kit Mills a long long time before I could drag from him the details of his earlier exploits, when fighting for our country's freedom. And even then, the exploits that made him legendary among his comrades had to be described by others. Kit always said that he fought to be free ― not for money or fame, or wealth, or, least of all, a pension. He used that freedom to the full, glorying in the sports of rod and gun, a storehouse of information on stream and field, a kindly, helpful man, a good husband and proud father.
And now Kit is no longer with us. To his wife, Bridget, his sons Mick and Peter, and to his daughters I extend my most sincere sympathy. His old world is changing fast, and we are all losers by his going.
J.P.

A tribute to Christopher 'Kit' Mills, of Kill, who died in January 1971

AN AUSTERE KILDARE HOUSE WHICH SHELTERED THE DYING AND WOUNDED

An austere Kildare house which sheltered the dying and wounded

Stories of haunted houses are common in popular folklore and come to the fore at this time of Hallow e’en when tales abound of hauntings and of eerie things going bump in the night. There is no evidence that Firmount House, an austere Victorian pile near Clane, is haunted but certainly its associations with times of suffering and death are enough to send a shiver down the spine. 

Built in the 1870s as a residence Firmount was leased in 1917 from its owner Major Henry by a committee of local worthies who had set about establishing a convalescent home for wounded soldiers who were being repatriated to Ireland from the carnage of the First World War battlefields.

The first intimation of a hospital for Firmount was reported in March 1917 when the Kildare Observer carried a story of a meeting in Naas chaired by the Countess of Mayo from Palmerstown House.  The meeting heard that country houses at Moorefield (Newbridge), Craddockstown (Naas) and Firmount (Clane) were being inspected with a view to opening a convalescent home for Irish soldiers brought back wounded from the war zone. The thousands of wounded returning from the front overwhelmed the capacity of the military hospitals in Ireland and a number of big houses around the country were pressed into service to cope with the never-ending flow of casualities.

For the many Kildare casualties it was eventually agreed to rent Firmount from its owner Major Henry.  The committee furnished the house and when the soldiers were ensconced raised funds for its upkeep and provided entertainment for the patients. One can only imagine the state of psychological and physical shock among the men following their close calls with death on the merciless battlefields of Flanders.

A decade later the world war one casualties had gone from Firmount but it was to find a new use when the Kildare Co Board of Health decided it needed accommodation for the hundreds of victims of TB, a deadly consumptive disease which was stalking the land. After inspection by  Dr. Harbison, the County Medical Officer of Health, Firmount was purchased as the County Sanatorium. TB was a lethal condition and for many unfortunate victims admission to Firmount was a one way journey.  People throughout Kildare spoke in hushed tones of family members or neighbours who had “gone to Firmount”, the very phrase indicating that the sufferer had little or no chance of survival despite the best efforts of the medical staff at the sanatorium.

The last patients had left Firmount by the 1950s but in the following decade the house was to take on another unexpected role which brought it into the frontline of precautions against death and disaster on a grand scale. During what was termed the Cold War episodes such as the Cuban Missile crisis (fifty years ago this month) when the United States and the  Soviet Union came close to triggering a nuclear war prompted Irish authorities to begin rudimentary precautions should Ireland be affected by radioactive clouds from a global nuclear conflagration.

In 1967 the building was handed over by Kildare County Council to the Department of Defence which adapted the building for use as a Civil Defence Headquarters for Counties Dublin and Kildare.  The plan was that in the event of nuclear contamination spreading to Ireland top officials would convene at Firmount to track the radioactive clouds and trigger warning and evacuation plans for the Irish population. 

There was political sensitivity about the plan when a number of national newspapers portrayed Firmount and other control centres as being bunkers to which the elite would retreat while the rest of the population huddled into makeshift nuclear shelters in their back gardens. However there was no bunker at Firmount and the sum total of its nuclear protection was to block up the windows with concrete blocks. Fortunately the nuclear missiles stayed in their silos and Firmount was never put to the test as to whether its role as an emergency control centre would be effective should the real thing occur. 

Although used by Civil Defence for exercises until a few years ago it was deemed surplus to requirements by the Dept of Defence and put up for tender in January 2010. No acceptable tenders were received but another attempt at shifting the building from the State property register was successful earlier this month when Firmount sold at auction. 
There is no evidence that Firmount House is haunted but the the sighs of wounded soldiers or of dying TB patients once accommodated within its walls might well be imagined  on a Hallow e’en night. Series no: 303.

 

Liam Kenny charts the history of Firmount House, in Clane, in his looking Back series, no. 303

CHANGE AND UPHEAVAL NOTHING NEW FOR KILDARE'S LOCAL COUNCILS

Change and upheaval nothing new for Kildare’s local councils

Local newspapers throughout the land are this week reacting to the news of upheavals among the town councils of Ireland.  According to headlines the eighty town councils in the country are to be abolished and replaced by a new type of council known as a “municipal district council” which will cover both the towns and rural areas. There will be four or five of the new councils in each county. The County Councils such as Kildare County Council remain intact and will continue to be the lead local authority in each county. 
This is not the first time that the map of Irish local government has been reconfigured but a striking feature down through the centuries is the consistency of the County as a unit of administration. In the context of Kildare for example, the present shape of the county can be traced to 1297 when it was mapped out by the Normans who had brought the concept of counties with them from their homelands in Europe.
This County unit of administration was given its present democratic character in the closing years of the 19th century when a Westminster parliament translated a scheme for local government to Ireland. The 1898 Local Government (Ireland) Act  was an extraordinary piece of legislation which established the basis for the network of elected County Councils which has remained a notably consistent feature of the civic map of Ireland.
The 1898 Local Government Act achieved breakthroughs on many fronts. It extended the right of voting in local government elections to all householders and, for the first time, opened up the vote to women. It was not a perfect franchise; women, for instance, had to be over thirty years and while they could vote they could not stand as county council candidates. However the extension of the franchise to all householders gave ‘ordinary’ people the right to participate for the first time in choosing their own representatives.
In organisational terms the 1898 Act redrew the local authority map of County Kildare. The Grand Jury — an elitist body which had run county business for centuries — and its subsidiary Baronies were abolished as units of local government. They were replaced by the elected County Council on the same County boundary but, crucially, elected by the people of the County through a regulated voting process.
Similarly the Boards of Guardians who had been formed in the 1830s to administer the workhouses at Athy, Celbridge and Naas were transformed into newly created Rural District Councils for sanitation and housing purposes The Boards which had been set up as poor relief authorities in the years before the Great Famine (1845-47) had opened the door to participation in local democracy; while property ownership was a qualification to vote for Board members they at least had allowed some middle-class farmers and businesspeople to come through into public life. However their role as a forum for local democracy was to prove minor compared to the excitement generated by the advent of the new County and Rural District councils in 1899 where, for the first time, every household in the county had a stake in choosing its local representatives.
As well as the County and the Rural District Councils there were also three town councils in Co. Kildare. Two of them, Athy and Naas, had their roots in royal charters granted by English monarchs in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Their democratic existence dated from the middle of the 19th century when votes were granted to the ratepayers and, subsequently, Town Commissions were elected in both towns. Newbridge was to join their ranks as a town commission in 1865.
Since then there have been changes in the terminology and the status of the town local authorities.  Naas for instance was upgraded to Urban District Council status in 1900. This status remained even though the title was changed by law to Town Council in 2002.  The reform announcement last week will bring another change of title and capacity which will see a type of merger between the town council and the county council electoral area to form a new unit of local government to be known as the “municipal district council”. 
Whatever change might occur in the system of local government in Kildare over the coming months the County’s town authorities hold two records in the story of Irish urban government. Firstly, Leixlip Town Council is the most recently created of the 80 town councils in Ireland having been established in 1988. It looks too as if it will hold the record for the shortest lived with the Liffeyside town likely to be affected by the changes underway.
And the second Kildare footnote to Irish local government history is established by the county town with Naas Urban District Council having been the last local authority to have its councillors removed from office for refusing to adopt a budget. From 1985 to 1988 the nine town councilors were replaced by a single Commissioner – one Mr. Dan Turpin. No other council in Ireland has had its members removed from office in the three decades since. 
Thus as far as Kildare is concerned change and upheaval are nothing new in the realms of urban government. Series no: 302.

Change and upheaval are nothing new in the realms of Kildare’s local councils, writes Liam Kenny in his Looking Back series, no. 302

June 22, 2013

IRISH OPEN AT CARTON. FREE WALKING TOUR OF LEIXLIP

Irish Open Golf Championship at Carton

Free walking tour of Leixlip


John Colgan, author of ‘Leixlip, County Kildare,’ will take locals and golfing visitors alike on a guided walking tour of historic Leixlip village on Wednesday evening, 26th June, starting at St. Mary’s Church, Main Street, at 7 pm. Free to all. The speaker will use the wonders of electronic amplification of sound to facilitate those who are hard of hearing. The walk will be of about one and a half hour’s duration.

John Colgan will take locals and golfing visitors alike on a free guided walking tour of historic Leixlip village on Wednesday evening, 26th June

GROWING IN UP IN COILL DUBH. PADDY MCDONALD

 Growing up in Coill Dubh. Paddy McDonald


My name is Paddy McDonald. I was born in Coill Dubh, in 1965, in house no 72. My father, Jack McDonald, was from Prosperous, Co. Kildare, my mother, Hannah, is from Ardkit, Enniskean, Co. Cork. I have four sisters: Bridget (Bid), Kathleen (Ka), Hannah (Nan) and Marie; and two brothers: Michael (Mike) and Sean (Jack). I am the youngest of seven. My first memory is starting school. In my class was Danny Cluskey, Davey Anderson, Martin Butler, Peter Duggan, Patrick Gorman, Brendan Johnson, Martin Wyse, Brian Kenna, Raymond Bagnall, Andy (Nanner) Dunne, Declan Farrell, and Anthony Hurley(RIP) and the girls were Bridget Johnson, Celine Hanafey, Cathy Duggan, Winifred Byrne, Martina, Dee and Ann Lawless, Majella Henry, Josie Kelly, Claire Kelly, Margaret (Mag) Keely, Bri Brereton, Ellen Brereton, Caroline Sullivan and Mary Kenna.  Leo Gordon and Anna Holt joined the school a few years later. Their family’s came home from England.
My first big memory of school is when President Nixon came to visit Timahoe. The teachers told us to be on our best behavior. We all had flags and we were to wave them when he went past, but the night before his visit I was very sick, so on the morning of the visit my mother would not let me go to see him. I was sitting at my bedroom window looking at everyone going past with their flags. Thinking back to that time I remember there was a lot of talk in school about the Secret Service agents. They all carried guns, so it was fear or excitement that made me miss that day. My next memory is one morning going to school and Hugh Lawless had his truck parked in front of his house. He had a tanker on the back with liquid tar in it. Some of the bigger boys had opened the valve and let some tar out, so going to school and being a child I had to walk in it. My shoes were destroyed, but I still had to go to school. I was sitting in the classroom when I could hear Mrs. Musgrave shouting who has dirt on their shoes? I kept quiet and she walked into the classroom and looked around the floor and under me on the floor was tar stuck to the tiles. So I was on my hands and knees cleaning every tile with turpentine. I thought when I had them cleaned that was the end to it, but then I had to go home after school. When I did I would take my shoes off and put on my old shoes to go out and play. That time you had Sunday shoes and school shoes and an old pair to play in. My mother went to clean my school shoes and let’s just say I got another ear bashing, so my Sunday shoes were demoted to school shoes and I got a new pair of shoes. That was the only good thing to come out of it.
My next memory is in 1974 on a frosty morning. I was going to school; the ice was thick on the ground so we would go to school a little early because we knew when it was frosty there would be a slide at the back of the new school. There was a lot of us sliding on this morning. I fell while sliding and ended up doing the splits and lads just landed on top of me. I started shouting in pain for them to get off me and when I went to get up I could not. Raymond Nolan was dragging me up, but I could not stand, my leg was like a spring. I was lying there for 20 minutes when the master came out. He was trying to get me to stand, but I was in too much pain. One of the other teachers rang for an ambulance, but they were slow getting out because of bad roads so I was lifted onto a ladder and taken into the tea room until the ambulance arrived. When it did I was taken to Naas Hospital, but they moved me to Crumlin Hospital. I was there for months. On the day I was coming home I got a pain in my side and had to stay in for another 2 weeks to get my appendix out.
After school it was race to get to Mrs. Mooneys or Granny Gordon to get a trolley to collect waste for their pigs. The more you collected, the more money you got, so if you got there first you could collect the most. You would always go to the house with big families. They would have the most waste. You would always be watching out for the other person who was collecting to see where he was, because there would be a trail of slop on the footpath. There was other ways of making money – you would watch out for the Bord na Mona tractor and trailer or the truck with turf on it and you follow it to see where it was going. Depending on the house it was going to you would ask to bring in the turf for them and you would get paid. Joe Harris would be driving the Bord na Mona truck or tractor, but sometimes he would be only going home for his lunch and the load of turf was going somewhere else. Another way we use to make money was from collecting the slainte bottles for return, you would get 5p for every bottle collected. One day Mrs. Blake got more bottles than she bargained for. There was a metal gate at the side of the shop and behind the gate was crates of empty bottles so we would climb the gate grab a few bottles and go in to the shop and get your 5p. After about 8 bottles she said where are ye getting all the bottles from and it dawned on her, so the bottles were moved the next day. Another thing I would do is at half four every day you would be watching out for the paper van. I had to get Mrs. Parsons the Evening Herald and 20 Carroll’s – you would always get a few pence for doing it.
Things we used to do in Coill Dubh – you had your football and hurling. We would play that on the big green until someone broke a window. Normally it was Joe Harris’s   window in number 45, or Joe Fulton’s in 46 and Harry Donavan’s in 44, whose window was broken when they lived there. Other things we used to do was play kick the can. It was played at the back of Bagnall’s, number 68; and depending on the weather we would go to the bog and jump bog holes, the bigger the better. Many a lad landed in the middle of the bog hole. None of us ever had a new bike. What we used to do was go to the dump in Blackwood and look for parts of bikes and make one out of that. The bike you would make would have no brakes or mud guards, but that did not matter. You would get tubes or tyres in Blakes. Another thing we used to do was make go carts. You would collect pram wheels and some timber and nail it together and a bit of string for the steering and you were good to go. One time Andy (Nanner) Dunne’s father brought home wheels from Bord na Mona and we made a go-cart with them. They were white wheels made with some kind of hard plastic. They were noisy and they would skid on concrete so we use to hook the cart onto the bike and pull it around. You would fall off the bike or fall out of the cart; it always hurt.
The summer months, if you were old enough, you would go to the canal in Lowtown to swim. When I was around 9 or 10 I would ask my mother could I go and my answer was always look what happened to Mathew Butler (RIP). I was only let go if there was an adult with us. On some occasions I would put shorts on me, go out the back way grab a towel off the line and go to the canal. When I came home I would put the towel back on the line. My mother was taking the clothes in one evening and I could hear her say that’s strange all the clothes were dry except the towel.
During the summer months my father worked long hours in the bog for Bord na Mona. He worked on a bagger (turf cutter), so as a treat on a Sunday my mother would pack a picnic and we would go out to my father. He could have been working anywhere from Timahoe to Carbury and we would have to walk out to the bagger to meet him. I remember they were hot summers and you would be walking and looking out for him and all you would see was a heat haze coming off the bog. I thought we were in a desert. I would have a bottle of diluted orange and it was gone by the time we got to the tip head. When I was older I would cycle out to my father for the evening, but sometimes I would get a lift on a wagon master (bog train) or a loco with Patsy Dunne, Tim Butler or Paddy Millea and sometimes Doc Cronly would give me a lift in the bog tractor.
The winter months in Coill Dubh there was not a lot to do. If it was raining you would have to stay in and play games. Francie Browne (RIP) would bring his Sobuttio game up to our house and we would play it on the landing. If there was frost forecast we would pour water down the road at our house so we could have a slide the next day. Sometimes the slide was that good the cars or the CIE bus would not get up the hill. Then there was Halloween – you would always look forward to this time of the year. You would be dressed up In old clothes or make something out of old clothes. There was no such thing as a costume but the best thing about Halloween was the bonfire. There were some big ones. I remember one year there was 2 truck-loads of tyres brought into the village for the bonfire. The evening of Halloween the tyres were stacked the height of a house and set on fire. There was some blaze and black smoke from it. Someone called the guards and the fire brigade, but when they came out to put the fire out on the big green, another smaller fire was lighting on the bungalow’s green and that was a big no no. You were not allowed play football on that green never mind light fires, so the fire brigade put that out and another one was lighting on the red rows green. In the end the fire brigade gave up and the big green fire was lighting again.
At home there were jobs that had to be done. You were always told when a load of turf was coming so you had to come straight home after school. The turf would be tipped up on the lane and you would have to bring it into the garden. So when Bord na Mona got a tractor and trailer I thought it was great, no more bringing in turf. But I was wrong. It still had to be stacked so my father could clamp it. Another job I hated was getting manure from Granny Gordons or Mrs. Mooney. You would have to wheel barrow it up to the garden and stock pile it until you had enough. When the drills for the vegetables were ready you would have to spread it over the drills. The best job of all was when you had to polish the floors – you would be given an old jumper or something like that. You would tie it around your knees and just slide up and down the hall or the kitchen. My mother would have to tell us to stop, because you would break your neck on the floor it was that shiny.
In the summer holidays I got a job as post man. I would cover Patrick (Podge) Gormley when he was on holidays. When I left school, in 1982, I got the job as post man for Coill Dubh and Timahoe. I worked there for 8 years. In 1988 I bought my house, number 80, Coill Dubh off Stoney Grace. In 1989 I got married to Geraldine Harte, from Lucan, Co. Dublin. We have two kids: Emma and Sean. I am still living in Coill Dubh. I don’t think it will change now.

Paddy McDonald.

Paddy McDonald recalls growing up in Coill Dubh. Our thanks to Paddy

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING. BITS AND PIECES. JIM FIELDS


This and That…Bits and pieces from the Blackwood area

By Jim Fields

The Field’s family are living in the Blackwood area since the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century. My grandfather, newly married, bought a house and a couple of acres in Blackwood. He had previously lived in Dunfiert, near Enfield. My brother Michael was the youngest of a family of eight; my father married Mary Rock and continued to live in this area all his life. I was born in 1940, so I have seen a few changes in my lifetime. I remember Coill Dubh Village being built around 1952. Before that the men working in Timahoe Bog lived in what was called Timahoe south camp. At that time it was not unusual to see a number of men alight from the Dublin evening bus at Blackwood Cross, where a lorry would be waiting to carry them to their new home at Timahoe camp.
Bits and Pieces
I remember my father recounting the first time he saw an aeroplane. He was fishing at Ballinafagh Lake on a Sunday evening when a plane flew overhead - that was around 1920. And when I speak of planes a memory of my own: I was in the bog – we cut turf in Cushahill, just in off the Allenwood road, near Brocagh Cross Roads. One day in 1945 we heard a droning noise coming from the Allenwood end of the bog, and a minute or two later, eight or ten planes appeared flying west to east. They were quiet low, about 1000 to 2000 feet high, they were flying towards Dublin. They may have being using the Edenderry to Dublin Road or the nearby canal to navigate to Dublin and the Irish sea, a short hop from there to Wales or England. The planes were probably R.A.F returning from the Atlantic.
Blackwood Canal
The Blackwood canal branched off the Grand Canal at Healy Bridge, about two miles east of Robertstown. It went through Moods Graigues and Blackwood and on to Ballinafagh Lake. It turned north at the lake and ended about a mile them on out at a place known locally as “The Point.”
Ballinfagh Lake was drained into the canal by a sluice gate a Lynch’s house. The Canal was closed and drained in the mid 1950’s. One drained section from the New Bridge on the Allenwood Road; down at Graigues Bridge was used by Kildare County Council as a refuse dump for a few years, till it was filled in. On the Blackwood Cross to Coill Dubh road the canal was crossed by a high humped bridge, a couple of years after the canal closed the bridge was taken down and the road was levelled off.
One memory I have of Blackwood Bridge goes back to the 1940’s. Many families cut a lot of turf in Clash Bog and carted it to Dublin in the winter months. Blackwood Bridge could be a problem in frosty weather, so the carters filled their loads in the bog on Friday evenings and brought the loads over the bridge. There was a wide grass margin over the bridge and they parked their loads there for the night. The horses were brought back on Saturday morning about 3am, yolked up and off they went to Dublin

 

 

 

The Field’s family are living in the Blackwood area since the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century. Our thanks to Jim

COILL DUBH'S GATHERING. MAUREEN CUSACK

Maureen Cusack remembers


When I first came to live in Cooleragh in 1957, the village had been built but no church existed and mass was celebrated firstly in the middle camp before moving to the Pipe Factory. There was always a very large congregation, which comprised of residents and local parishioners travelling from Timahoe, Blackwood and Hodgestown. Many fundraising events took place in those years to raise funds for the new church, which was opened in 1964.
I have vivid memories of hearing and seeing the senior children from the village who attended school in the camp, playing at break time. Mrs Smith and Mrs Dermody taught there at that time.
When I came to live in Cooleeragh I brought two greyhounds and an Irish terrier with me. Dan Rooney frequently helped out on the farm and after a while Robin asked him if Mike would be interested in walking the greyhounds after school. It wasn’t long before Mike started to invite his pals to help and so began the evening rota comprised of Michael Tracey, Michael, Sean Reilly and John Kenny. Three came each evening. The lads became very fond of the dogs and they all had their favourites.
Andy Casey and Aidan Farrell worked on the farm in the early years. Aidan delivered milk each morning and evening to the village from a two gallon delivery can. We also sold eggs and potatoes each Saturday in the village. Others who worked on the farm include Paddy Neill, Gay Gordon, Joe Millea, Peter Duggan, Mossy Dee and Jim Grace and Eugene Mac Gaharan came after retiring from Bord na Mona. I fondly remember many of the early residents such as Jim and Daisy Sullivan, John and Mrs. O’ Shea, John and Mrs. Gormley, The Murphy family, John and Mrs. Blake and Ma Sullivan who became my weekly companion to the butchers in Prosperous each Friday.
When Father Flood came to the parish he was instrumental in setting up the Credit Union. He invited me to an AGM at which I very reluctantly agreed to become a board member. As I reflect on the 25 years which I served on the board, it was a very rewarding and enjoyable experience as I spent many happy times with Steve and Betty Kinsella, Bridgie Young, Totty Butler, Kathleen Kenna, Iggy and Kathleen Kane and Mrs. Campbell from Rathcoffey. I must not forget Billy Finn who came to do up the tots or check them in pre-computer days.

Maureen Cusack

Maureen Cusack recalls coming to live in Cooleragh in 1957. Our thanks to Maureen

THE JOGGER

The Jogger

I was asked to run for charity, by God said I, “I WILL”
So they handed me this sponsor card and it I had to fill
I asked around the neighbourhood and of course the family
Would they throw in a few ‘ould pound and help to sponsor me.

I bought myself some trainers, a jersey and some togs.
And when I started jogging I was nearly ate by dogs.
The neighbours were all laughing and calling me a clown
So I just calmly told them, to put their money down.

I ran every morning and the same thing every night
And after two weeks running it started coming right
I knew how I was feeling that I could do this race
It was just a matter of timing, so I set myself a pace.

The time it passed so quickly, t’was the morning of the race
And when you hear of my mistake I stand now in disgrace
For in my haste to run this race and cross the finish line
Just like the clown they called me I forgot to check the time

So as I lay there sleeping the whole of Ireland ran
Sure I mixed up the starting time, which was four AM
Now as for all your sponsorship if it’s all right with you
I’ll train a little harder and a marathon I’ll do.

No, I won’t make the same mistake, no not a second time
And I guarantee each of you I’ll cross the finish line
So if you see me out there going for my jog
Please do me a favour and bring in your bloody dog.

Joe Kennedy

Allenwood 


'The Jogger,' a poem by Joe Kennedy, Allenwood. Our thanks to Joe  


June 20, 2013

MIDSUMMER NIGHT GATHERING EVENT

Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups
Midsummer Night Gathering Event

 

To mark this year of The Gathering the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups are hosting a free social get together of all members past and present and friends, in Kilcullen Town Hall & Heritage Center, Friday 21st June 2013 at 8pm.


Please join us for the music, craic and a special presentation by Mario Corrigan and James Durney on Historic Co Kildare Gatherings. As well as a gathering of friends we can also mark the longest day of the year. Refreshments will be served.

For further details contact:
Nessa Dunlea,
Giltown,
Kilcullen,
Co. Kildare
Ph: 045-481487

All welcome. Looking forward to meeting you all on the 21st!

To mark this year of The Gathering the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups are hosting a free social get together in Kilcullen Town Hall & Heritage Center, Friday 21st June

NAAS LOCAL HISTORY GROUP AUTUMN/WINTER PROGRAMME

Naas Local History Group

Autumn/Winter Programme 2013

Thursday 22 August (as part of Heritage Week) – The 1913 Lockout: The Kildare connections. An illustrated talk on the unknown Kildare connections in the Great Lockout, by James Durney and Mario Corrigan in Naas Community Library at 7.45. All Welcome.

Tuesday 10 September – 50th Anniversary of The Moat Club. Talk by Stan Hickey on fifty years of this great Naas institution, in The Moat Club at 7.45.  All Welcome

Tuesday 1 October – 75 years of St. Corban’s Place. A photo exhibition in Naas Town Hall at 7.45 to celebrate seventy-five years of St. Corban’s Place, 1938-2013. Official opening by Councillor Ger Dunne, St. Corban’s native. All Welcome.
 
Saturday 2 November – Workhouse Cemetery. Annual prayers in Famine Cemetery, St. Mary’s, Craddockstown Road, at 3 p.m. All Welcome.
 
Tuesday 5 November – A Winter’s Tale. Brian McCabe will present his seasonal offering to ponder on as the winter nights draw in. Naas Community Library at 7.45p.m. All Welcome.
 
Tuesday 3 December – History of Naas Fire Brigade. Illustrated talk by Anthony Doyle, Chief Fire Officer, in Naas Community Library at 7.45 p.m. All Welcome.
 
2014

Tuesday 21 January 2014 – A.G.M. Held in Naas Community Library at 7.45 p.m.
 
Tuesday 4 February 2014 – Ger Kinchella Memorial Talk. Held at Naas Library at 7.45 p.m. All Welcome.


Further details from Paddy Behan, PRO at 045876365 or 0872853792

An exciting programme for Autumn/Winter from Naas Local History Group

June 14, 2013

THE BOG IN TIMAHOE

The Bog in Timahoe


Come all you boys from Timahoe, Coill Dubh and Roberstown.
From Allenwood and Carbury, I pray you’ll gather round.
I’ll tell you of those days long past  when times were hard and tough,
When men came up to  Timahoe to work and save the turf.

From Waterford and Cork they came, and from Limerick, Tipp and Clare,
And from the West of Ireland they headed to Kildare.
For the work was hard and the pay was small  and the grub was never enough,
To try sustain these hearty men who work to save the turf.

Accommodation for these men was basic at it’s best,
T’was really just a place for them to eat and take a rest,
The work back then was done by hand  in sunshine and in rain,
And those who couldn’t stick the pace were sent back home again.

Now when machines came on the scene these men they stood in awe,
To see a bagger travel on a bog that was still raw,
With railway sleepers under her to help her travel on,
Those big machines were a sight to see in days that are now long gone.

The bog is standing idle now both machine and man are gone,
It’s sad to see it growing wild where so much work was done,
The men who came to Timahoe were loyal stout and tough,
And many a family was well reared with the saving of the turf.

Joe Kennedy
Allenwood

 

'The bog in Timahoe,' a poem by Joe Kennedy, Allenwood. Our thanks to Joe

COILL DUBH. TOM BROWNE

Tom Browne

My name is Tom Browne, born in 1952, son of Dan and Rose Browne, Coolcarrigan. Tom attended Timahoe National School until the age of 13, when he left school. He worked as a labourer in Wilson Wrights, Coolcarrigan. Tom met and married a local woman Babbie (Mary) Morris, daughter of Pat and Moriah Morris, Derry. Tom and Babbie had five children: Ann, Danny, Rose, Paddy and Tommy. They lived up the road in Derry for a few years before moving to Timahoe, where Tom still lives in the same house. Tom worked as a casual worker for Bord Na Mona for a few years. He was then offered a full time position in the mid-1950’s. Tom was an active member of the trade union movement, and he took up the position of shop steward for the Timahoe works. After a number of years he was elected as the first workers representative on the Board of Directors of Bord Na Mona. Tom continued to combine his union duties, workers representative, and laboured in Bord Na Mona until his retirement at the age of 65 in the early 1990’s.

Tom Browne, Timahoe, was a union official and workers representative in Bord Na Mona. Our thanks to Tom

COILL DUBH. MARTIN MOORE: A TRIBUTE

Martin Moore. A tribute

Martin Moore was born in Mountmellick, County Laois, in 1919. A carpenter by trade, he came to work in the Bord Na Mona camp in Mucklin in the mid-1940’s. There he met and married Mary (Molly) Bermingham, daughter of Peter and Ester Bermingham. Martin and Molly had four children only three children survived, Martin, Joseph, and Bridget. Baby Christina died in infancy. Martin and Molly resided in no. 22 Coill Dubh for a few years. Then they built their own house in Cooligmartin, Timahoe, in the late 1950’s. When the Camp in Mucklin closed down Martin was based in the Timahoe works. He continued to carry out maintenance and repairs on the houses for Bord Na Mona until his sudden death in 1975.
RIP Martin

A tribute to Martin Moore, who lived at no. 22 Coill Dubh, and died in 1975

COILL DUBH 1970-2013

Coill Dubh 1970-2013


Those are the years I am living in Coill Dubh, and how this came about is I had come home from England with my wife Mary and two of our children, Neil and Ann. We were in a rented house in Prosperous when I heard there was a vacent house in Coill Dubh as there was a couple of ESB workers living in Coill Dubh. I applied to the late Mr Mulveis, Bord Na Mona, for a house which I eventually got, no. 156. I moved in on 8th December 1970 with Mary and the two kids. We had just moved in when there was a knock on the door and standing there was this giant of a man, who introduced himself as Mick Gantley, (Galway) no. 157. I think he thought we were English as he heard we had come from England. He said he wanted to show us how to work the range; light it and clean it. My two kids were amazed at this big man on his knees going through all the motions that we were to follow. He then had a cup of tea and left us. Coill Dubh was not new to Mary as she had lived here for years in no. 97 with her father and stepmother. Her father was a ganger in BNM (Con Burke RIP).
After we had settled in we began to know who lived on our row.
No. 151: The late Paddy Farrell.
No. 152: The late Jim Wyse and family.
No. 153: Paddy Lyons and family, who later moved to Kilmeague.
No. 154: Sean Haniffy and family, who later moved to Newbridge.
No. 155: The late Jim Gorman (Galway) and family.
No. 156: Ourselves, the McCormacks.
No. 157: The late Mike Gantley.
No. 158: The late Eugene Magarahan (Janey) and family.
No. 159: Iggy Kane and family.
No. 160: The late Bill Hunt and wife.
I knew quite a few people in Coill Dubh, as I had worked in BNM as a fitters helper for 10 years. What I really liked about Coill Dubh was everyone was so friendly. On a Sunday morning, the crowds walking to 10 o clock Mass were hugh. (Big changes since then). All the events of the week were discussed, and the local pub, Dags Welds, was another venue for all the news. Everything was sorted in Dags. What I liked also there was no class distinction in BNM. We all drank and chatted together. I loved the crack and coming home to 156 Coill Dubh was a bonus. When my time comes and I get to heaven, I hope there is a Coill Dubh Village there and no. 156 is vacant for me.
Thank you Coill Dubh.
Mike McCormack and family
P.S. Although my family have flown the nest, they still talk about their happy childhood growing up in Coill Dubh.

Mike McCormack and his family have lived in Coill Dubh from 1970-2013. He recalls those years. Our thanks to Mike

COILL DUBH. PAUL MULREAD: MY STORY

Coill Dubh: My story

I don’t really know where to start, but I suppose I will start by saying that I have lived in Coill Dubh for as long as I can remember. I was only two when my parents, Tom and Peg Mulreid, moved here from Celbridge. They were given the chance to buy house number 75 and they took it, and ever since we have not looked back.
I am now settled down with Tina Browne, from Timahoe, and have our own two girls, Rebecca, 10, and Abigail, 9. I can see the major differences in playing in the Village then and now. I can remember from about 8-9-10 the games we played; we all would gather together on the big green to play a game of rounders. Jaysus the craic we would have and we would only stop playing when we couldn’t see the ball anymore! Another favourite of ours was Cowboys and Indians, when there were trees out the back of our houses and loads to do out there. Climbing trees was a favourite. Lord I know that as I fell out of one and broke my arm!
Long before walls were built at the front of the houses we would start at Smiths house and run the Village jumping the paths which led to the front doors. Now that kept us fit. You could always tell when the big competitions were on the telly, we would be out playing the games: The Dublin Horse Show saw us breaking branches from trees and robbing clothes pegs from the mothers clothes line and making ourselves jumps. Just like the horses we kept it up till the next  big one came along, usually Wimbledon – that brought out the tennis rackets! There was nothing fancy about the games we played: conkers, kick the can, soccer and red rover. Technology was not needed, the only thing we needed was each other. When the summer came in, the forest was a favourite haunt, out jumping bog holes and annoying turf cutting men just to get an auld chase.
As I got a bit older Peter Daly (RIP) was trying to set up a Pitch and Putt club and I can remember myself and my dad offering to build one of the greens. There was 18 holes and different groups of people took on a hole. We got great satisfaction on the completed article and then to play on “Our” green….
In school we had just gotten a new principal, Paddy Hynes, who promised new things. Jaysus, little did we know that the new things would involve us (the school kids) out picking up stones from the newly developed pitch. Every afternoon after lunch we would all be out picking the stones up. It killed us, but the end product was a community field we are proud of. As a result we got a school GAA football team together and the school got involved in more sports, which is great in any world. Paddy Hynes started to change our school for the best and if you were ever unlucky enough to be on the end of his thumb and finger grabbing your hair locks and giving them a good auld pull ….. It made us respect the man even more and it did us no harm whatsoever.
One of my fondest memories of growing up in the Village was my Granny, Molly Hogan. I bet there isn’t a single person of a certain age who didn’t know my granny! Because my mam and dad worked I used to go to granny’s house after school, and on Fridays my good friend Tony Reilly and myself would head over to granny, because Friday was baking day! Myself and Tony would be covered in flour, but by god the scones would be top notch. I don’t know which was better, the scones or the smell in the house for hours after.
I wonder how many people remember my dad with his “Hippy” VW minibus? Every Saturday morning getting a load of us and heading over to the swimming pool in Edenderry for two sessions of fun? Ah, the memories!
Well back in 2003 we moved out of the Village to Clane, a much busier place than here and then in 2011 we moved back “Home” and we are as happy as ever, it makes such a difference when you know the people around you by their first names and everyone knows you. My kids now go to Coill Dubh school, just like me and like my mother before me. I hope their kids will follow on and also attend the school.  What more can I say? Coill Dubh is a friendly place to live, where everyone knows everyone….well nearly everyone.
 
Paul Mulreid
Coill Dubh
28 May 2013

Continuing our series on Coill Dubh's Gathering we feature Paul Mulread's memories of growing up in the Village. Our thanks to Paul

June 07, 2013

MAURICE ALWYN ADAMS, 'KILLED IN ACTION'

Maurice Alwyn Adams, ‘killed in action’


James Durney


It was the worst news a family could receive during the years 1914-1918, that their son, brother, father or husband, had been killed in action. Those words were visited upon Co. Kildare households by the hundreds during the long, bloody years of the Great War. Kildare Collections and Research Services, based in Newbridge Library are endeavoring to create a definitive list of those Kildaremen who were killed in action, or in accidents, or who died of wounds and disease during the Great War. However, as soon as a definitive list is printed or recorded it no longer becomes definitive, because someone, somewhere, will point out an unrecorded name or come up with an overlooked casualty. So it was this week when a local man was nearly omitted from the list at present being compiled.
In the late 1990s a list of all known Co. Kildare casualties was compiled by the FAS Leinster Leader projects in Athy and Naas. The list was the result of years of research, co-ordinated by Susan Kelly and Mary Carroll from information gathered together by Anne Maria Heskin, Frank Taaffe and Pat Casey. In the days before the internet made research so much easier trainees went to view the War Memorial Records, in the National Library, to painstakingly record the Co. Kildare casualties. The trainees included: Noelle Delaney, Rita Doyle, Paula Foley, Jacqueline Hyland and Sandra Clarke. Trainees Tanya Moran, Susan White, Annette Dempsey and Suzanne Reid spent many hours compiling the list, while Leinster Leader journalist Liam Kenny assisted on the final draft. The finished product, ‘World War I. List of the dead,’ was a monumental record to the county’s war dead. For years it has been a welcome source used by researchers, historians and family genealogists.
In 2012 Kildare Collections and Research Services decided to update the ‘World War I. List of the dead’ and hope to have the ‘definitive’ list finished by November 2013. The new list is being compiled by Mario Corrigan, James Durney, Clem Roche and Chris Holzgräwe using the original list as a foundation. Naturally, there are many pitfalls in compiling a list and mistakes can be easily made. One of them occurred last week, which was quite simple. The ‘World War I. List of the dead’ had an entry for ‘Maurice Adams. Reported killed in action June 16 1917. Son of Ven. Archdeacon of Kildare and Mrs. Adams. Born Kildare.’ A search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website threw up several Maurice Adams, but none that could be linked to our Maurice Adams. For a time Maurice Adams was consigned to the ‘Unaccountable and spurious connections’ list. However, further research provided a huge amount of personal information and eventually a photograph of Maurice Adams.
The Census of Ireland 1901 provided the first clues and verified that Maurice Alwyn Adams was indeed a native of the Short Grass. Residents of a house number 1 in Kill East recorded:

Adams, James. (57) Male. Head of Family. Church of Ireland. Born: Martland, New South Wales, Australia. Clerk in Holy Orders. Rector of Kill and Rathmore. Precentor of Kildare Cathedral.
Adams, Frances Maud. (51) Female. Wife. Church of Ireland. Born: Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
Adams, Amy Maud. (20) Female. Daughter. Church of Ireland. Born: Kill, Kildare.
Adams, Edith Marie. (18) Female. Daughter. Church of Ireland. Born: Kill, Kildare.
Adams, Maurice Alwyn. (17) Male. Son. Church of Ireland. Born: Kill, Kildare.
Adams, Blanche Eileen. (13) Female-Daughter-Church of Ireland. Born: Kill, Kildare.
Adams, Alice Ruth. (13) Female. Daughter. Church of Ireland. Born: Kill, Kildare.

There were also a niece, a female visitor, and two servants present in what turned out to be the rectory in Kill, now known as ‘Kill House.’ The 1911 Census recorded seven residents of the same house, this time referred to as number 7, in Kill East. They were James Adams, his wife, Frances Maud, daughters, Amy Maud, Blanche Eileen, and Alice Ruth. There were also two servants present. Maurice Alwyn Adams is not recorded and it is assumed he has moved elsewhere. He was mentioned as being present at the funeral of Charles Hendrick Aylmer, of Kerdiffstown, in December 1906.
A website recording the deaths of men from New Zealand revealed that Maurice Alwyn Adams had emigrated to New Zealand and when war broke out joined the armed forces. He enlisted at Tokomaru Bay, in the Military District of Wellington, his service number being 2/2350. In the meantime he had married, because his next of kin was given as Mrs. Lily Adams (wife), 34 Adelaide Road, Wellington, New Zealand. The first rank Maurice Adams achieved was as an artillery gunner; his last rank was a driver.
On 13 November 1915 the 8th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery, sailed for the European and Middle East war zones, on board two transports, the Willochra and Tofua. Among the men, horses and equipment was Maurice Alwyn Adams. The first stop was at Suez, Egypt, on 18 December 1915. After a period of training and assignation to units the reinforcements continued on to England and then the Western Front. The New Zealand Division settled in on the stalemated Western Front as part of the Second Army in 1916. In the spring of 1917 the Second Army began preparations for a major attack on Messines Ridge. Wire-cutting and artillery bombardments began on 21 May as troops, tanks and artillery massed for the main attack to begin on 4 June.
Maurice Alwyn Adams never saw the major offensive. He was killed on 28 May 1917, probably by German counter battery fire on the New Zealand positions. The dreaded news reached his home in mid-June that Maurice Adams was ‘killed in action’. Maurice Alwyn Adams was buried in Dranoutre Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Three years later, on 17 May 1920, a service conducted by his father, the Ven. Archdeacon Adams, was held at St. John’s Church, Kill, for the purpose of unveiling a memorial tablet, placed in the Church by the parishioners, in memory of those who died during the Great War. The names on the tablet were as follows: Lieut. G. H. Aylmer, Royal Innis. Fusiliers; Lieut. C. F. Blacker, Conn. Rangers; Lieut. R. B. C. Kennedy, Royal Dublin Fusiliers; M. A. Adams, N. Z. F. A.; A. R. Goodman, 23rd Batt. Canadians; J. H. Goodman, Seaforth Highlanders; Sergt. T. B. Goucher, Royal Innis. Fusiliers.
Lady Mayo, of Palmerstown, accompanied by the Archdeacon, unveiled the tablet, and addressed the congregation:

I have been asked by my old friend and rector of this parish, to say a few words. We have subscribed for and placed this tablet in our parish church in memory of those gallant men who went forth to fight for home and country against the German hordes. These young men went to the war full of hope and ambition, and, no doubt, when in France looked to coming home again to our little village of Kill and the green pastures of Kildare. Alas, they fell. They made the great sacrifice. The grass grows over their graves in France, but their memory remains green in our hearts. As long as the walls of our parish Church stand, so long will this memorial be there to remind you, your children, and children’s children of what these men performed, how they suffered and fell. This marble tablet is a tribute to their memory ‘Lest we forget.’

The father of Maurice Alwyn, James Moore Adams, was well-known in the Co. Kildare area, having arrived in Kill in 1881. James Adams married Frances Maud Johnston in 1878, in Rathdown, Dublin. In 1883 Rev. Adams was present at the consecration of St. Michael’s Church, at Millicent, Clane, and was conferred as Precentor of Kildare Cathedral in July 1898. At the time he was Rector of Kill and Rural Dean of Naas. According to the Kildare Observer of 9 July 1898 Mr. Adams had been over twenty years working in the Diocese and had raised a large amount of money for restoring and beautifying the churches under his care. He was a Representative of the Diocese on the General Synod, the Diocese Council, the Joint Finance Committee, the Board of Education, and the Temperance Society. During the restoration of Kildare Cathedral he was an active member of the Committee. James Adams retired as Rector of Kill and rural Dean of Naas and moved to York Road, Kingstown, Dublin. In January 1928 Rev. Adams officiated at the funeral of Lord Mayo, a fellow member of the County Kildare Archaeological Society. Frances Maud Adams died in 1923, aged seventy-three, and was buried in Deansgrange Cemetery. Rev. James Adams died c.1939-40 as it was mentioned at the County Kildare Archaeological Society meeting, of 11 March 1940, that he had passed away since the previous gathering.

Note: Thanks to Mario Corrigan, Karel Kiely and Brian McCabe for their help and contributions in researching this article.

 


It was the worst news a family could receive during the years 1914-1918, that their son, brother, father or husband, had been killed in action

OBITUARY. GEORGE BARTON


Obituary. George Barton, Ballyoulster, Celbridge.

Leinster Leader January 29 1971

Mr. George Barton, Ballyoulster, Celbridge, who died at the County Hospital, Naas, had retired recently as a senior aircraft inspector in the Air Corps after 45 years' service.
Affable and unfailingly helpful to those under his charge, he was acknowledged as one of the most competent aircraft technicians in Ireland. As such he contributed a great deal to the nurturing of the infant Air Corps in 1926, and, indirectly, the growth of Aer Lingus. Many of the early technicians in the latter company benefitted from his tuition in the Air Corps.
Only three weeks ago he was recipient of a presentation at Baldonnel (Casement Aerodrome) to mark his retirement. He was then recuperating from the effects of a road accident. Tributes were paid to him by Col. Patrick T. Swan, O.C. Air Corps and Director Military Aviation, and by Commdt. E. J. MacSweeney, Adjutant and Chief Administrative Officer.
Mr. Barton, who was native of Matlock, Derbyshire, came to the Air Corps Baldonnel, in 1926, with two other technicians from the Rolls Royce Engine Co. to overhaul and service the first Rolls Royce engine in the Irish Air Corps.
The trio accepted an office to become the first Irish Air Corps civilian aircraft Inspectors. Mr. Barton served diligently and with consummate skill up to the time of his recent retirement.
The funeral took place to Esker Cemetery, Lucan, following Service in Christ Church, Celbridge. Mr. Barton is survived by his wife Sadie (née Farrell), Lucan; sons Michael (Aer Lingus) and George (Roadstone Ltd.) and two married daughters.

An obituary for George Barton, Ballyoulster, Celbridge, from the Leinster Leader January 29 1971

OPENING OF NAAS SWIMMING POOL

 

Instruction priority in swimming pool, ― Minister

Leinster Leader 25 September 1971

THE MINISTER FOR Local Government, Mr. Robert Molloy, took a plunge on Sunday after he officially opened the £48,000 swimming pool at Naas.
More than 200 people gathered outside the building to hear the young Minister express his Department's views on swimming pools and housing.
He congratulated the members of the local committee, the people of the area, and contractors, Riversdale Products, Ltd. Co. Westmeath. The Naas pool was the 11th of 32 sanctioned by the Department. There were still 21 pools either under construction or at the final planning stage. There were tremendous demands on the Department, said Mr. Molloy, and the greatest priority was to build houses. This would always remain a priority, he added.
With housing come water and sewage, both of which were a great strain on capital. With such demands there will be restrictions in his department regarding the sanction of pools, said the Minister. "I am demands," he continued.
He went on: "The provision of the pool should lead to a more closely knit community and a more diversified leisure time for the youth of Naas. It should also increase the great go-ahead spirit which also exists in the area."
The main priority in the provision of swimming pools should be the teaching of swimming and life-saving. This was the overwhelming reason for the swimming pool programme at all. About 100 people were drowned every year either through inability to swim or over-confidence.
Again Mr. Molloy praised the local people for securing such an advanced pool. He was aware that before its opening they had to make do with the old canal harbour. It was obvious what the people thought of the facility when it was considered that they contributed £8,000 of the total cost. They were first asked for £5,000 said the Minister, and later for an additional £3,000.
He hoped that the school authorities would avail themselves of the facility offered which had a great health-giving and recreational value and might in some cases prove the difference between life and death.
The Chairman of Kildare County Council Mr. Michael Cunningham, told the people how the money was secured. The County Council borrowed money for the purpose and obtained a subsidy of 50 per cent of this loan from the Department of Local Government. The pool is the first provided by the local authority in the County. Local contributions obtained through the efforts of the Naas Swimming Pool Committee reached £8,000.
Naas U.D.C. has agreed to contribute one third of the running cost.
An average of 2,400 persons use the pool every week. There are six lessons a day with a maximum of 80 people per session.
Continuing, Mr. Cunningham said that a start had been made in swimming instruction through County Kildare Water Safety Committee. It was planned to develop this activity as much as possible in coming months.
Applications had been received from schools and clubs to reserve the pool for special sessions and it is intended to accommodate these at suitable times when the demand in public swimming levels off and forms a definite pattern. He added that the Council had recently approved of the provision of a toddler's pool.
Concluding, he paid tribute to the contractors, the County Manager and staff, particularly Mr. Tom McDonald.
"It is my day. The dream has really come true," said Mr. William Callaghan, U.D.C., Co.C., Chairman of the Pool Committee. He said the Committee could finally see the fruit of its hard work.
He hoped the committee would not break up. There was enough land on the site for a whole recreation park. "I hope it will come to fruition," concluded Mr. Callaghan.
The blessing ceremony was performed by V. Rev. P. Harris, P.P. The attendance included Deputies Paddy Malone and Terry Boylan, County Manager, Mr. E. Murray; County Engineer, Mr. C. D. O'Donoghue; County Accountant, Mr. G. Bannon, County Secretary, Mr. J. J. Mullaney, County Architect, Mr. N. Meagher; Rev. Laurence Newman, C.C., Killeigh, Offaly formally C.C., Naas; T. P. Corcoran, Town Clerk, Droichead Nua, members of Kildare County Council and Staff, and Naas U.D.C.

An article from the Leinster Leader 25 September 1971 on the opening of Naas swimming pool

June 06, 2013

BOOK LAUNCH: FROM CASTLEKEEP TO COUNCIL CHAMBER

Book Launch

 ‘From Castlekeep to Council Chamber. The story of Naas Town Hall,’ by Michael Mulvey.

On Thursday 13 June at 7.30 pm Naas Town Mayor Willie Callaghan  will launch ‘From Castlekeep to Council Chamber. The story of Naas Town Hall,’ by Michael Mulvey.

The launch will fittingly take place in the Council Chamber of Naas Town Hall. Light refreshments will be available. All are welcome.

Michael Mulvey is a well-known resident of Naas and would appreciate a big turnout for his first book-writing venture. Michael has kindly donated all profits to the Jack and Jill Foundation.

On Thursday 13 June at 7.30 pm Naas Town Mayor Willie Callaghan  will launch ‘From Castlekeep to Council Chamber. The story of Naas Town Hall,’ by Michael Mulvey

June 05, 2013

JOHN MOLLOY - A GREAT MAN OF CARAGH

JOHN MOLLOY - A GREAT MAN OF CARAGH

It is with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of John Molloy from Caragh Local History group, last week. John had been instrumental in the production of two fine local history publications in recent years - The Great Book of Caragh and The Great People of Caragh and his commitment and dedication will be a loss to the group and the local area. Even though he was facing a battle last year he arrived in the library with Maura Connolly to begin a new project which would promote and preserve the history of the area. We will miss him.

It is the people who actually do things that spur us on to do something ourselves and John was one who got things done.

As I have said before on other occasions - We are less for having lost them but more for having had them in our lives.

It is with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of John Molloy from Caragh Local History group, last week. Our thoughts are with his friends and family


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