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February 27, 2007

An Tostal Celebrations in 1954

Leinster Leader 8/5/1954
            A well balance and varied programme of An Tostál fare proved most attractive in Kildare Town, and since Easter Sunday considerable interest centred on the various functions, features and fixtures.
            The programme opened auspiciously with the highly successful historical pageant, briefly referred to in a recent issue. Presented in the C.Y.M.S. Hall on Easter Monday and Tuesday by the boys and girls of Kildare, excited considerable comment and was highly praised by all who saw it.
            Outstanding features were the magnificent choral and solo singing, the accompaniment and incidental music, the well-timed entrances, the colourful costumes and the artistic stage settings and lighting.
            The boys of the De La Salle Schools and the girls of the Presentation Convent entered into the spirit of the pageant with understanding and enthusiasm and succeeded in infusing a spirit of realism into the whole presentation. Almost 100 in all were engaged and they deserve every credit and commendation for their efforts.
            Army Sergeant Barney McCourt was the moving spirit behind the appealing stage settings, and in his efforts he was expertly assisted by electrician Mr. Wm. Reilly.
            The choir was prepared by Rev. Mother Laserian; tableaux a wrranged by Rev. Bro. Cataldus, and accompanist was Miss M. McEnerney. Script was by Rev. E. McGrath O.Carm, Prior, Kildare; Rev. Bro. Cataldus, Commdt. W. Rea and Mr. B. Treacy.
            A special word of appreciation is due to the parents of the children taking part.
            Other feature’s of Kildare’s programme were the I.C.A. exhibition of work in the National Schools on Sunday week (public patronage of this exhibition was not up to expectations, despite the fact that the display was both interesting and informative); the fancy dress competition on the same night; an open-air basketball exhibition game (Army players v. C.Y.M.S. representatives) in the Market Square and a juvenile exhibition (concluding on Friday, April 30th) in the Courthouse.
            There were numerous visitors to the town during the period, and there was an exceptionally large number of visitors to the nearby Japanese Gardens at Tully.
            Under the auspices of the Kildare An Tostál Committee, a lecture was given by an tAthair Seosamh O’Murthuíle, S.J., on the Kildare men’s part in the Rising of 1798.
            After the lecture there was a presentation on behalf of the 1798 National Commemoration Committee of a certificate of honour to Mr. Daniel Rourke, of Rathcoole, the direct descendant of Felix Rourke, the incorruptible 1798 leader, he was hanged after the Emmet Rising of 1803 on refusing to give any information which might implicate his comrades.
            At the lecture was displayed a pair of dancing shoes belonging to Lady Pamela, the wife of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which had been preserved in the family of the Misses Cahill, Kildare, for over a century and a half; a cup belonging to Edward Fox Fitzgerald, the son of Lord Edward, was also shown.
            The lecturer recommended the founding at Kildare of a regional museum of the history of 1798 as a means of honouring the fine part played by the Kildaremen in that period of our history.

An article from the Leinster Leader of May 1954 on the An Tostal celebrations in the town for that year. 


Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:46 AM

February 14, 2007

Successful Local History Meeting

Mr. Zoltan Zinn Collis of Kilkea, Co. Kildare gave a vivid personal account of his life from his early experiences in Slovakia through the horrors of the Nazi Concentration Camp at Bergen Belsen to his rescue and smuggling to Ireland by Irish doctor Bob Collis. You could hear a pin drop in the room as the capacity crowd shared with difficulty the extraordinary personal experiences of Zoltan who was sent to Belsen with his family in late 1944 at the age of four. After hearing the talk I would simply urge people to look for his recently published autobiography - 'Final Witness' for this story can only be told in Zoltan's own words.

Zinn Collis.jpg


Mr. Zoltan Zinn-Collis at the Cill Dara Historical Society on Wednesday 7 February 2007



Congratulations to Joe Connelly of the Cill Dara Historical Society for organising Zoltan's visit and to the people of Kildare for a marvellous turn-out. It is great to see the Society going from strength to strength with many new members being added to the list. Full details of the Cill Dara Historical Society 2007 programme are available on this site.

For an excellent review of Mr. Zinn-Collis's book visit Irish Emigrant Online at


A fantastic crowd turned out in the Kildare Education Centre to hear Zoltan Zinn Collis's excellent talk on his life and experiences from the Concentration Camp at Bergen Belsen to Kilkea in Co. Kildare.

Posted by mariocorrigan at 11:12 PM

February 06, 2007

Kildare Postman Retires

Leinster Leader, 12 October, 1957, p. 3
            Mr. James Daly, Cross Keyes, Kildare, retired recently after a lengthy service of 48 years as postman in Kildare. To mark the occasion of his retirement a presentation of a beautiful watch, suitably inscribed was made to him by the staff of the Kildare Post Office.
            While wishing him every happiness in his well-earned retirement, Kildare people will regret the departure of Mr. Daly from his regular round. Always courteous and affable, he was extremely popular with all the townspeople who appreciated his unfailing and excellent service and the co-operation and goodwill with which he carried out his duties.
[Photo in issue of Oct 19, p. 4 – Marty Fleming photographer but photograph would not reproduce well from the microfilm] 

Posted by mariocorrigan at 01:53 PM