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New History of County Kildare Launched

Mayor Fionnuala Dukes has launched a new history that will be in demand with all those who have an interest in the story of County Kildare. The new publication – Kildare History and Society – was launched today (15 December) at Áras Chill Dara, Naas. It gives new insights into the county’s past and has tales that will inform and entertain general readers and serious historians alike.

At the Launch of Kildare History and Society

Published by Geography Publications, Kildare: History and Society, was written by 29 historians with unique local knowledge and has been edited by William Nolan and Thomas McGrath. It has essays on the history and heritage of the county from earliest times to the present day, and it is set to become the ultimate reference book for researchers of all ages and interests.

At over 800 pages, the fully-indexed history includes beautiful colour plates, aerial photographs, tables, maps and black and white prints which serve to illustrate the richness of the history and heritage of County Kildare.

From prehistoric times the county has served as a gateway to the rest of Ireland, along the Ancient Slí Dála to and from Tara and later by pilgrimage routes and highways. Through the turmoil and conflict of the later medieval and early modern periods, through the Rebellion of Silken Thomas to the 1798 Rebellion, the county suffered and survived. This place of saints, soldiers, horses, canals, highways and bogs, has seen garrisons, "big houses", grand juries, earls, ladies, artisans, patriots, songwriters, heroes and commoners. It has been a land of compromise, controversy and connections.

Kildare: History and Society is available at all good bookshops at €60. Its publication was funded by The European Union, Kildare County Council and The Heritage Council.

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Further information:

Mario Corrigan


John MacKenna (Author): Foreword

Patrick J. Duffy (NUIM): The territorial identity of Kildare’s landscapes

Padraig Clancy (Margaret Gowen Consultants): The Curragh: a prehistoric landscape

Gillian Barrett (Wolverhampton): Early settlement in Kildare: the evidence of aerial photography

Cathy Swift (NUIM): Brigid, Patrick and the kings of Kildare, AD 640-850

Emmett O’Byrne(UCD) : Conflict and change: the Irish of Kildare 1000-1269

Michael O’Neill (Architectural Historian): The medieval parish churches of Kildare

Colm Lennon (NUIM): The FitzGeralds of Kildare and aristocratic self –fashioning 1470-1630

Steven G. Ellis: Bastard Feudalism and the Kildare Rebellion 1534-35: the character of rebel support.

William Nolan (UCD): Kildare: ownership, settlement and valuation 1600-1900

Toby Barnard (Hertford College, Oxford): Mrs Conolly and Castletown 1720-1752

Mary Burke (St Patrick’s College of Education, Drumcondra, Dublin): Society and Settlement on the Monasterevan lands of the earl of Drogheda c.1750-1840

Christopher Woods (RIA): Wolfe Tone and Bodenstown

Mario Corrigan (Kildare County Library): The battles of Rathangan in1798

Liam Chambers (UL): Patrick O’Kelly and the interpretation of the 1798 rebellion in Kildare

Thomas McGrath (TCD): Bishops of Kildare and Leighlin 1715-1819: religion, politics and education

Arnold Horner (UCD): The Bogs Commission and Kildare

Karel Kiely (Kildare County Library): ‘His fellowship is considered almost death’: poverty and famine in Kildare 1820-1850

Con Costello (Kildare Archaeological Society): John O’Donovan’s Curragh

Frank Taaffe (Solicitor): Athy and the Great War 1914-1918

Terence Dooley (NUIM): IRA activity in Kildare during the war of independence

Liam Kenny (General Council of County Councils): Kildare County Council and the War of Independence

Brian Donnelly (National Archives Ireland): Evolution of Local Government in Kildare 1920-1970

Maria Luddy (University of Warwick): Sources for the history of women in Kildare

Proinnsias Breathnach (NUIM) and Chris van Egerat (UCD): Kildare’s equine industry

David Gorry (Scoil Mhuire, Clane): Population of Kildare at the beginning of the 21 st century

Des Egan (Poet): Poem: Kildare

NUIM= National University of Ireland, Maynooth; UCD=University College Dublin; UL=University of Limerick; RIA= Royal Irish Academy; TCD=Trinity College, Dublin