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June 12, 2006


Chapter 18 Parts 4 and 5 of the An Tostal Souvenir programme of 1953 are dedicated to the C.Y.M.S. with a brief note on the County Hospital. The latter building is now the Curragh Lodge Hotel.
IN 1936 a small working committee consisting of Rev. T. Kennedy, C.C., Dr. O’Driscoll, Messrs. J. J. Conlon, C. Houlihan and John Fitzpatrick, with the approval of Father Kane, P.P., purchased 8 acres at Crockanure as a recreation and Gaelic Sports field for the parishioners of Kildare. The grounds were purchased on behalf of the Parochial trustees, in whom they were vested, and were blessed and opened by Very Rev. Father Kane, P.P., and named St. Brigid’s Park. The opening match was Kildare v. Laois in Football. Towards the end of 1937, the old Electricity Supply Station was for sale and again with Father Kane’s warm approval, was purchased by the committee as a recreation centre for the men and youths of the town and district. A branch of the C.Y.M.S. was formed, with the following as the first committee: Spiritual Director,Father Kennedy, C.C.; President,Mr. C. J. Bergin; Vice-President,Dr. O’Driscoll; Secretary,Mr. John Fitzpatrick; Treasurer,Mr. C. Houlilian. Messrs. J. J. Conlan, Ml. Corry, Jas. Heffernan, Wm. Gannon, J. McGrath, J. Jones, M. Murphy and Phil Hopkins. One of the first tasks of the new Branch was to convert the old Power House into a suitable meeting hall with recreation room for the accommodation of the new Branch. In 1943 Father Kennedy was appointed C.C. Rathangan, and was replaced by Rev. Wm. Kinsella, C.C. In 1947 the Society was deeply grieved at the death of their beloved pastor, Father Kane, P. P., who had been a kind Father to them. They joined in the warm welcome to his successor, Father Foynes, P.P., and when a suitable opportunity arose, a deputation from the C.Y.M.S. with his permission waited on him and discussed the possibility of erecting a Parochial Hall which would cater for the social, cultural, and recreational needs of the parishioners. Father Foynes promised and gave his wholehearted support. With the cordial approval of the Bishop, the Branch undertook the heavy task of providing a Hall that would be worthy of Kildare. The foundation of the new Hall was blessed by Father Foynes in the summer of 1949. Under the constant and competent leadership of the President, Mr. J. J. Conlan, many willing hands supplied voluntary labour, and soon the new building was roofed. The interior fittings, electric light and heating, decorations, maple floor, all of the best quality, soon followed. The total cost was about £6,500. On Sunday, 2nd, July, 1950, his Lordship blessed and opened the Hall. The present Com­mittee are Spiritual Directors,Rev. P. Mac Suibne, P.P., and Rev. W. Kinsella, C.C.; President,Mr. J. J. Conlan; Vice-Presidenl President – sic],Mr. Joseph Canty; Secretary,Mr. M. Fleming; Treasurer,Mr. P. McCormack; also Mr. James Holohan, Chairman, Diocesan Council; Messrs. Wm. Gannon, Ml. Butler, Jas. Dempsey, J. McCullough, Patk. Hopkins, John Boland, H. D. Swift, Patrick Hennessy. A past Secretary of the Branch is H. D. Swift, and a past Treasurer is Dr. O’Driscoll.
The present membership is 250. The following are the sub committees through which the activities are carried on, with their Chairman or representatives: Hall—John Boland; Rosary-Patk. McCormack and John Boland; Band-Wm. Gannon; Billiards-Joseph Canty and Frank Ryan; Cards—H. D. Swift and Patk. Hennessy; Ath­letics—Jas. Morrissey; Catering—Patk. Morrissey ; Bad­minton—Frank Ryan.
                The present County Hospital is shown on Henry Walker’s map of the Curragh of 1807, and marked “Infirmary, now a Barrack.” It served as an infirmary for many years in the last century and was closed for some time before its re-opening in 1902 under the care of three Sisters of St. John of God, and under a local committee which. included the Parish Priest, Mrs. Parkinson, Mrs. More O’Ferrall. The late Mr. C. Bergin was Hon. Secretary. In 1942 the hospital was taken over by the Board of Health.

Chapter 18 Parts 4 and 5 of the An Tostal Souvenir programme of 1953 are dedicated to the C.Y.M.S. with a brief note on the County Hospital. The latter building is now the Curragh Lodge Hotel.

Posted by mariocorrigan at June 12, 2006 09:53 PM