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August 30, 2005


Cill Dara Historical Society
The Kildare Education Centre, (Old Parochial House), Friary Rd., Kildare

Wednesday 7th September at 8 p. m.
Speaker -Mark McLoughlin   
Wednesday 5th October at 8 p. m.
Speaker -Tom Nelson 
Author of ‘The Land War in Co. Kildare’ & Researching a PhD Thesis on Kildare Co. Co.

Wednesday 2nd November at 8 p. m.
Speaker -Seamus Kelly
Author of ‘A Ramble In Rathangan,’ And ‘Leixlip  - A Walking Tour’ 

Wednesday 7th December at 8 p. m.

Further information contact Joseph Connelly 086 168 62 36

Posted by mariocorrigan at 10:13 PM


Leinster Leader 29/11/1941 p. 3


       Deep regret is felt by the people of Frenchfurze and Brownstown, Curragh, at the death of Mr. Daniel McDonnell, which occurred at his residence, Frenchfurze, at the age of 68 years. “Dan” as he was popularly called, belonged to one of the oldest families living around the Curragh edge, and was employed for a number of years up to his death as Assistant Curragh Ranger. In the discharge of his duties he earned the goodwill of everyone with whom he came in contact by his unobtrusive manner.
A grand uncle of his named Michael Houlihan, when a lad of sixteen years, assisted at the burial of a priest who was killed on the Curragh during the massacre of the insurgents by the British troops under the command of General Duff in 1798. This grave known as “The Priest’s Grave,” is a familiar landmark on the Curragh about midway between the Gibbet Rath and Strawhall.
The deceased leaves a widow and family to mourn his loss. The funeral, which took place to the family burial ground at Carna, was largely attended by the people living in the Curragh area.




( Mario Corrigan - The title says ML McDonagh while the text says Daniel McDonnell; as always the original entries are copied exactly as they appear in the paper - errors and all)

Posted by mariocorrigan at 10:05 PM

August 26, 2005


Wednesday 7th Sept. at 7.30 p.m. Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge

‘Photographic History of County Kildare, based on photographs taken from the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society’

To promote Heritage Week, the County Kildare Archaeological Society, in association with the History and Family Research Centre, Co. Kildare Library and Arts Service, is hosting a photographic presentation in Riverbank, Newbridge, which will explore some elements of the History of County Kildare.

The aim of the presentation is to promote the heritage, history and archaeology of Co. Kildare and to demonstrate the pivotal role in the protection and promotion of the County’s heritage, played by the Kildare Archaeological Society, from its origins in 1891 down to the present day.
The Society is ever looking towards the future and would welcome non-members as well as members along on the night, particularly younger people. The need to encourage and develop an interest in the heritage and history of the County amongst the younger generations is of prime importance to the Society and the indeed the County Library.
Last year the Kildare Archaeological Society collaborated with the Local Studies Dept., History and Family Research Centre to host a presentation by Mary Ryan on ‘The Clongorey Evictions.’ This proved to be a  most successful evening and they have collaborated once more to present a photographic presentation on the history of County Kildare based almost entirely on material taken from the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society. So much material became available in the preparation of the presentation that there has already been talk of another collaboration for Heritage Week in 2006.

ALL are WELCOME and admission is FREE but try and make it early as the night will surely attract a lot of interest from around the County.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 04:19 PM

August 24, 2005



Although there was a slight chill in the air the sun was still strong. A canopy was erected near the ruin of the old church to protect against all eventualities.


Fr Carbery.jpgb

The mass was celebrated by Fr. Adrian Carbery and was beautifully enhanced by the parish choir.


Fr. Carbery asked people to remember the generations of Kildare people who were buried in the graveyard and the Franciscans who served the local community for hundreds of years at Grey Abbey. He also paid tribute to the Grey Abbey Conservation Project and the men of the CE scheme who keep the graveyard beautifully maintained.


Amongst those present were some visitors from Canada who were introduced to me by Joe Connelly after the Mass. Paul White was in Kildare Town in search of his ancestors and to follow up on information researched by his family over the past few years. His Grandfather was Michael White from Cherryville who is buried at Grey Abbey.

Paul White at Michaels Grave.jpg

 Paul White from Canada beside the grave of his Grandfather, Michael White of Cherryville and Kildare Town.

One of Michael’s sons was Paul’s father who went to Canada, another son was Stephen White who was executed in 1922 on the Curragh during the Civil War. Stephen would have been Paul’s uncle.

Paul White at Stephens grave.jpg


 Paul beside the grave of the uncle he never knew, Stephen White who was executed in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

Paul paid a visit to me in the Local Studies Dept. of Kildare Co. Library the next day and was able to trace his family in the 1901and 1911 Census. They were iron moulders from Cherryville and lived next door to the Fitzgeralds. The site of Fitzgerald’s forge is still a well-known location in the area. Some time after 1911 they moved in to Kildare Town to Grey Abbey St. where before the Civil War young Stephen worked on the railway. No doubt it was here also he came into contact with Patrick Mangan, of Fairgreen, another railway worker and another of those executed in 1922. Their knowledge of the rail timetables and the workings of the railway obviously helped them during their raids on the railway lines and disruption of the Free State communications.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:28 PM


Slater’s Trade Directory 1846


Is a market town, the seat of a diocese, and formerly a parliamentary borough, in the barony of Ophaly, and parish and county of its name, 32 miles S.W. from Dublin, 13 W. from Naas, 7 S.E. from Rathangan, 6 E.N.E. from Monastereven, and 5 W.S.W. from Newbridge; situated on the mail roads between Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The town derives its name from Kill-dara, or Chille-darraigh, the “Church or cell of the Oak,” from the circumstances of the first Christian church, founded here, having its site amongst trees of that kind. The town, which is the property of the Duke of Leinster, enjoys but little trade, yet, from the numerous remains of its ancient religious edifices, it possesses an aspect of importance, and boasts two admirably conducted hotels, for families and commercial gentlemen-they are called the “Rosmore Arms” and the “Leinster Arms,” and are both posting establishments. James II conferred upon the inhabitants a charter of incorporation; the municipal body consisting of a sovereign, two portrieves, and a certain number of burgesses and freemen, assisted by a recorder, with other officers; for many years these officials have, however, ceased to exercise any judicial functions, indeed the corporation may be said to be virtually extinct, and the government of the town is now vested in the magistrates, who sit in petty session every alternate Thursday in the court-house, a plain structure. Quarter sessions are likewise held in April and October, in the same building.

The cathedral of Kildare has long been in a ruinous condition, and although at various times partially repaired, it appears, at the present day, but a mass of ruins. The original structure dates its existence from a very early period; and it was repaired and adorned by Bishop Ralph, of Bristol, who enjoyed the see of Kildare from 1223 to 1232. The south transept is a ruin; the nave, which stands unroofed, displays some arches, and other architectural features, in the pointed style. The choir retains both walls and roof, and is used as the parish church; it contains the sepulchral vault of the Earls of Kildare and Dukes of Leinster. In the church-yard is the lofty pedestal of an ancient stone cross; and about thirty yards west of the cathedral is the interesting “Pillar-Tower of Kildare,” full one hundred and thirty feet high. Its origin is variously ascribed to the Danes, who, it is supposed, erected it as a watch tower; while others contend that this and similar towers, of which there are many in Ireland, are connected with the services of religion. Besides the cathedral, the other places of worship are the Roman Catholic chapel, a fine spacious edifice; the chapel attached to a Carmelite friary, and one belonging to the Presentation Convent. The principal charitable institution is the county infirmary, erected in 1780, munificently presented to the county by the Duke of Leinster. It will accommodate fifty patients, and in connection with it is a dispensary, the whole under the able management of W. P. Geoghegan, M.D. there are schools under the dean and chapter, and also the national board-the instruction of the female pupils of the latter is undertaken by the nuns of the Presentation Convent, who confer a great amount of benefit on the children of the poor, by their laudable exertions in the path of eduation. Near to the town is the celebrated “Curragh of Kildare,” supposed to be one of the finest commons in Europe, and containing, within its limits, three hare parks. Race meetings are held on the Curragh in April, June, September, and October. In September, 1821, his late Majesty, George IV, who visited these races, contributed to the club a whip of 100 guineas value to be run for annually. The market is held on Thursday; and fairs February 12th, April 5th and 26th, May 12th, June 29th, and September 19th. Population of the town, in 1841, 1,629.

(original spelling and grammar are retained - Mario Corrigan)

Posted by mariocorrigan at 10:28 PM

August 15, 2005


The Annual Graveyard Mass will take place at Grey Abbey on Monday 22nd August at 7.30 p.m., all are welcome. Our thanks to Paddy Burke and his team for their marvellous work in maintaining the graveyard.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 01:24 PM

August 14, 2005


Accomodation - guesthouses

Curragh Lodge Hotel Tel: 045-522144 Fax: 045-521247 Email:
Eating out

Curragh Racecourse

Derby Festival

Food andDrink

Duxy Darcey's Claregate Street
Kildare  045 521231
John McGuire 8 Dublin Road
Kildare  045 521709
Nolans Pub The Square
Kildare  045 521528
The Vatican The Square
Kildare  045 521334
The Silken Thomas The Square
Kildare  045 521695
Kevin Mahon Claregate Street
Kildare  045 521010
Bolands The Square
Kildare  045 521263
The Harp Bar Crosskeys
Kildare  045 521225
The Gregory Tavern Main Street
Kildare  045 520099  

The Silken Thomas The Square
Kildare  045 521695
Jimmy Bean's Market Square
Kildare  045 520600
Curragh Lodge Hotel Kildare  045 522144
Cush Inn Kildangan
Kildare  045 523467
Yum Yums Japanese Gardens Restaurant Tully
Kildare  045 521619
Kristianna's Café Bistro Claregate Street
Kildare  045 522985
Annamar’s Station Road
Kildare Town  045-522899

Fast Food
Abrakebabra Unit 2, Station Road
Kildare  045 520033


Heritage and Local History


Kildare By-Pass Sculpture

Kildare County Council
Phone 045 873800 Fax 045 876875 Email

Kildare Co. Library

Kildare Education Centre


Kildare College Of Further Studies   
Principal Moya  Curry 
Deputy Principal Colm Feeney 
Address Kildare 
Telephone 045 521287
Fax 045 521999


Kildare (County) TD's and Councillors

Lourdesville Nursing Home
Director of Nursing : Mary Melody
Lourdesville Nursing Home
Athy Road, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland 

Phone: (045) 521496
Fax: (045) 522796
087 522612

National Stud, Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra's Gardens
Frieda O'Connell
Irish National Stud
Co. Kildare
PHONE: +353-45-522963 and +353-45-521617
FAX: +353-45-522964
Tourism enquiries: Further information on arranging group visits

OPEN 7 days, 9.30a.m. - 6.00p.m. Last admission 1 hour before closing.
12th February to 12th November

Presentation Convent
Postal address: 
Presentation Secondary School, Kildare Town Phone: 045-521654 

Public Houses - Pubs


The Silken Thomas The Square
Kildare  045 521695
Jimmy Bean's Market Square
Kildare  045 520600
Curragh Lodge Hotel Kildare  045 522144
Cush Inn Kildangan
Kildare  045 523467
Yum Yums Japanese Gardens Restaurant Tully
Kildare  045 521619
Kristianna's Café Bistro Claregate Street
Kildare  045 522985
Annamar’s Station Road
Kildare Town  045-522899
Fast Food
Abrakebabra Unit 2, Station Road
Kildare  045 520033


Round Towers GFC Kildare

Scoil Naofa Bhríd   
Principal Paula  Watters 
Deputy Principal Bernie McWey 
Address Kildare Town 
Telephone 045 521799
Fax 045 521799

Type Primary

Scoil na Mainistreach De La Salle
Address: Scoil na Mainistreach De La Salle,
Bride Street,
Telephone: 045-521852

Solas Bhride
Address: Solas Bhríde
14 Dara Park
Co. Kildare
Phone: 045 522890
Fax: 045 522212

St Joseph's Academy   
Principal Eamonn  Mulvihill 
Address Kildare Town 
Telephone 045 521788
Fax 045 522014

Tourist Guide

Vocational School
Principal:                Moya Corry

Deputy Principal:    Colm Feeney

Phone: 045 – 521287

Fax: 045 – 521999


Posted by mariocorrigan at 03:53 PM


Grey Abbey Location.jpg The Location of Grey Abbey on the 1837 OS 6inch map.


Please come into Kildare Town and enjoy the good food and the craic. Find out where to go and what to do in the Kildare Town Heritage Centre in the Market Square. Visit the world famous National Stud, Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra's Gardens.

Mainline bus services stop in the Market Square so you can check out directions in the Heritage Centre in the refurbished Market House. The Abbey is a short walk from the Market Square. Cross at the pedestrian crossing and take the road opposite to the Market Square to the small St. Brigid's Square at the Church. There is a Y type junction but take the main road which runs to the right of this triangular Square (!) past the CYMS Hall and the National School - Grey Abbey and it's well maintained graveyard is immediately on your right.

From the Railway Station it is a short walk to the centre of Town  - check out directions at the Heritage Centre in the Market Square. Cross at the pedestrian crossing and take the road opposite to the Market Square to the small St. Brigid's Square at the Church. There is a Y type junction but take the main road which runs to the right of this triangular Square (!) past the CYMS Hall and the National School - Grey Abbey and it's well maintained graveyard is immediately on your right.

To drive to the Grey Abbey via Kildare Town

Situated on the edge of Kildare Town Grey Abbey is now easily accessible by car from the N7 motorway. From Dublin simply take the Kildare Town exit which leads to a roundabout take the third exit across the bridge, the first EXIT on the next roundabout and then the first right at the lights for Kildare Town. In the centre of town take a right at the lights and then take the road straight to Grey Abbey which is on the edge of town on your right.
 From southern Ireland take the Kildare Town exit, then from the roundabout take the first left exit to the lights and follow the directions above.




Alternatively, straight from the motorway - but don't foget to come in to Kildare Town

Situated on the edge of Kildare Town Grey Abbey is now easily accessible from the N7 motorway. From Dublin simply take the Kildare Town exit which leads to a roundabout and take the first left exit and then the left turn for Kildare Town. The Abbey and its well maintained graveyard is on the left. From southern Ireland take the Kildare Town exit, then from the roundabout take the third exit across the bridge, the second exit on the next roundabout and then the first left for Kildare Town.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 03:53 PM


Lewis's Topographical Dictionary 1837


 KILDARE, an incorporated market and post-town, a parish, and the seat of a diocese, in the barony of EAST OPHALY, county of KILDARE, and province of LEINSTER, 9¼ miles (W.S.W.) from Naas, and 25 miles (W.S.W.) from Dublin, on the mail coach road to Limerick; containing 2541 inhabitants, of which number, 1753 are in the town. This place derived its name either from Chille-dara, "the wood of oaks," or from Kill-dara, "the cell or church of the oaks," from the situation of the first Christian church founded here among trees of that kind. The source of its ancient importance appears to have been the foundation of a monastery by St. Bridget, the daughter of a native Irish chieftain, who in the fifth century is said to have received the veil from the hands of St. Patrick. This monastery, which was both for monks and nuns under the same roof, and had only one church, soon caused other habitations to be erected in the neighbourhood, which, on its being subsequently made the seat of an episcopal see, became a town of importance. It is recorded that, in 638, Aed Dubh, or Black Hugh, King of Leinster, resigned his authority, and took the habit of the Augustine order in this monastery, of which he afterwards became abbot and bishop. The town and monastery were consumed by fire in 770, and again about four years after; and in 830 they suffered greatly from the depredation of Ceallach Mac Brann, who slew many of the clergy in their own house. Farannan, abbot of Armagh, attended by a retinue of his clergy, visited the abbey in 835; and during his stay, Fethlemid, at the head of an armed force, seized the church and carried off the clergy prisoners. In the following year, a Danish fleet of thirty ships arrived in the river Liffey, and another also in the Boyne, and, making an irruption into the country, not only plundered every church and abbey within the territories of Magh-Liffe and Magh-Breagh, but also destroyed the town with fire and sword, and carried away the shrines of St. Bridget and St. Conlaeth. From this period till the commencement of the 11th century, the annals of Kildare present only a continued series of Danish rapine and massacre; and scarcely had the ravages of these invaders ceased, when the town was plundered by the people of Hyfaolan. It was either wholly or in part destroyed by fire in 1038, 1040, 1071, 1088, and 1089; and, in 1135, the abbess of the monastery was forcibly taken from her cloister by Dermod Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, who compelled her to marry one of his followers; on which occasion not less than 170 inhabitants of the town and inmates of the abbey were slaughtered. Till the time of the English invasion, the town and monastery were continually exposed to depredation by fire and sword; but shortly after that event, one of the English adventurers who had obtained possession of this territory erected a castle for its defence. In 1220, the sacred fire, which had been maintained here from the time of St. Bridget, was extinguished by Henry de Londres, archbishop of Dublin; it was, however, soon afterwards rekindled, and continued to burn till the Reformation. In 1260, a monastery was founded here by William de Vescy, for Grey friars, which was completed by Gerald Fitzmaurice, Lord Offaly; the same William also founded a convent for Carmelite friars in 1290; and in 1294, Calbhach O'Connor of Offaly took the town and castle by force, and destroyed all the rolls of the Earl of Kildare. A parliament was held here in 1309, or the beginning of the following year; and in 1316, the castle and town were granted to John Fitzgerald, who was at that time created Earl of Kildare; but in the wars during the reign of Elizabeth, the town was reduced to a state of entire ruin and depopulation. In 1641, the castle was garrisoned by the Earl of Castlehaven, but in 1647 it was taken by Col. Jones for the parliament; it fell again into the hands of the Irish, but was finally retaken by the Lord-Lieutenant in 1649. During the disturbances of 1798, 2000 of the insurgents, under a leader named Perkins, having agreed to surrender themselves on the 28th of March, on condition of being allowed to return unmolested to their several homes, and of the liberation of Perkins' brother from the gaol of Naas, Major-Gen. Sir James Duffe advanced at the head of 600 men to the Gibbet-rath on the Curragh, where they had assembled for that purpose; but some imprudent firing taking place on their part, they were charged by the troops, and more than 200 of them were killed.The town, though consisting only of 346 houses, and carrying on but little trade, has an appearance of importance, form its commanding situation on boldly rising ground, and from the numerous remains of its ancient religious edifices. It is badly supplied with water, raised from a very deep well near the market-house, by a forcing pump, into a public cistern. The principal streets are portions of the public roads, and are kept in repair by the county. It is a place of great resort during the races, which are held on the Curragh in the last week of April, the second Monday in June, and the second Monday in October, when the king's plates are contested. A gift of two annual plates of £100 each was obtained through Sir W. Temple, and, in 1821, Geo. IV. attended a meeting at this place. The jockey club have a house in the town, for the use of the members during the races, which are well attended and under good regulations. The Curragh is under the care of a ranger appointed by the Crown, and is distinguished as the "Newmarket" of Ireland, not only as the principal race-meeting, but as a central spot for the breeding and training of the best horses in the country. No manufactures are carried on here, nor any trade except what arises from its public situation and for the supply of the neighbourhood. The market is on Thursday, and fairs are held on Feb. 12th, April 5th and 26th, May 12th, June 29th, and Sept. 19th. The market-house is a neat building. There is a constabulary police station in the town. By charter of James II the town was governed by a corporation consisting of a sovereign (who was a justice of the peace), two portreeves, 20 burgesses, and an indefinite number of freemen, assisted by a recorder, town-clerk, two sergeants-at-mace, and other officers. The corporation returned two members to the Irish parliament till the Union, when the borough was disfranchised, and the £15,000 awarded as compensation was paid to William, Duke of Leinster. The borough court had jurisdiction to the extent of five marks, but no proceedings have issued from it for several years; and since 1828 neither sovereign nor any other officer has been elected, and the corporation is virtually extinct. The quarter sessions for the county are held here in April and October, and petty sessions every alternate Thursday.

 Spelling and Grammar are retained as in the original

A description of Kildare Town taken from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of 1837. All the relevant articles for County Kildare are available at

Posted by mariocorrigan at 03:53 PM

August 11, 2005


Leinster Leader 30/7/1949 p. 3

The Kildare branch of the National Federation of Irish Ex-Servicemen held their first annual dinner in the Railway Hotel, Kildare, on Sunday last. The dinner was attended by Messrs. P. Maguire and S. Quinn, National Executive representatives, and by representatives from the Regular Army, Old I.R.A. and members of the Ballyshannon Pipe Band.
The Branch Chairman (Mr. Boner) proposed a toast, wishing success to the Federation.
Mr. Quinn, seconding, said that the Federation expected the support of all ex-servicemen and deserved to be on as sound a footing as other ex-service organisations in the country. As ex-members of the Irish Army, no ex-soldier should have the slightest doubt about his status or the part his organisation was entitled to play in the cultural and social life of the country.
Mr. Maguire, who also spoke, said that the Federation was the youngest national organisation in the country. Great efforts had been made by certain ex-servicemen to build up the Federation. In particular he would like to mention the founder of the Federation, Councillor P. White. The Kildare branch was one of the strongest branches in the thirty-two counties and he hoped it would maintain that position.
Messrs. Kelly, B. Cullen and J. Kavanagh also spoke. An enjoyable musical evening followed.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:43 PM


Tonight I attended a meeting of interested parties to look at the possibility of a ‘LAUNCH’ or re-launching of Kildare Town as a place to live, work, visit and shop. It was almost immediately recognised that much of the work to be done would impact on work being done by other established committees such as Kildare Town Development Association and Kildare Town Tourism Task Force. Kildare Town does not necessarily need another committee but possibly a strengthening of some of the committees already in existence or a re-focusing of efforts to improve the profile of the town and tackle the issue of a ‘sense of place.’ It was decided that while it was important to continue the efforts already made it would be best served for this group to act as a sub-committee of Kildare Town Development Association, itself an umbrella organisation which represents various committees and organisations with an interest in re-vitalising the image of Kildare Town and protecting the interests of the town and its citizens.
It was decided that the town and the interests of its population might be positively represented by access to a website and a newsletter to publicise forthcoming events, existing services and organisations, as well as providing an outlet for public opinion and commentary. To this end The Grey Abbey Conservation Project have offered to host community elements on its website for the immediate future to gauge the requirements of the people of Kildare and to examine how best this local community information can be accessed via the web.
I will be creating new categories for the site – YEARLY CALENDAR to highlight local events throughout the year; COMMUNITY INFORMATION, which can operate as a local services directory, and NEWS ABOUT TOWN, which will serve to keep the people of the town up to date with what is going on. The success of the site will depend on the response of local groups and their committees to supply information to me at on a regular basis.
Presently I add material weekly to the site and because of work and other commitments this will probably continue for the foreseeable future. Usually I put material up on the site on Sundays so if an event or item of news needs to be publicised then the material has to be sent at least a week prior to the event.
Should this experiment prove successful then the possibility of establishing a Kildare Town website can be explored.
The Grey Abbey Conservation Project has hitherto used the website to publish historical and heritage material related to Kildare Town but is interested in promoting Kildare Town in a positive manner.
All editorial decisions will rest with me until such time as a proper framework for accessing community information can be established and a suitable editorial board or editor can be chosen for that information.
Mario Corrigan
Chairman, Grey Abbey Conservation Project, 11 Aug. 2005.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:43 PM



FEBRUARY: Feile Bhride - to celebrate the Feast Day of the Patroness of Ireland and founder of the Church of Kildare,St. Brigid.




JUNE: Kildare Town Derby Festival(usually the last week in June); Budweiser Irish Derby






DECEMBER: Christmas Concert In Kildare Cathedral; Turning on of Christmas Lights

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:43 PM

Grey Abbey Conservation Project

The Grey Abbey Conservation Project are dedicated to the protection, promotion and conservation of the mid-13th century Franciscan religious foundation,  The Grey Abbey, Kildare and the history and heritage of Kildare Town in general.

CHAIRMAN: Mario Corrigan
31 Loughminane Green,
Green Road,
Kildare Town,
Co. Kildare,
Tel: 086 8913274

Secretary, Margie Sheridan
Grey Abbey Conservation Project,
Kildare Parish Office
Aras Bhride,
St. Brigid's Square,
Kildare Town,
Co. Kildare,

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:43 PM