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December 23, 2008


Researched by
Col. William H. Gibson (retd.)
Donated on 5 Aug. 2008
PRO N.I. – T106/6/62 Petition to Lord Lieutenant
1730, April 6 :  Petition of Robert Bulkeley, New Ross Co. Wexford. Petitioner is a schoolmaster, seeks to obtain a lease of the tithes (value £100) of the Parish of Naas, Co. Kildare, which titles have been leased by CHARLES RYVES, son of Sir Richard Ryves, to petitioners father. Petitioner’s mother had married one Henry Bellwood who had disposed of the lease.
Belfast Newsletter 21 Aug 1753
Within a few days the Kilcock rioters have been taken and sent to Naas jail.
Belfast Newsletter 10 Jul 1754
Dublin  Jun 7.  We hear from Portarlington in the queen’s County that notwithstanding 0the proclamation lately issued by their Excellencies the Lords Justices against the rioters at Kilcock, several persons assembled themselves in the said town last week and in a riotous and tumultuous manner broke down the ditches of several parcels of land to the great loss of the owners thereof, under the pretence of the same having been commons.
Last Wednesday John Commons the elder and John Roach a Petty Constable, two of the Killcock (sic) rioters, were taken at Manooth (sic) by Richard Cane of Laribryan Esq., and yesterday they were committed to the jayl (sic) of Naas, and it is hoped that many others will soon be taken, to put an end to their unwarrantable and riotous proceedings.
Belfast Newsletter 1 Mar 1754
Naas. Feb 24. Last night on Smith, a waiter at Mr. Broughall’s in Kildare, seemingly in perfect health, and in the height of merrimen (sic) among his fellow servants, dropped suddenly dead.
Belfast Newsletter 20 April 1754
Naas Apr 25. There is a remarkable appearance of gentlemen at our Assizes. Michael Mahon convicted of a murder some time ago on the Curragh to be hanged and quartered. Neil O’Neil, Surgeon, found guilty of firing at, and wounding a Popish priest, and of carrying arms, being a papist; for the first offence he is not yet sentenced, for the last he is to be confined a year and a day, fined 50L and to lye in Gaol till it be paid. John Sullivan, James Medlicott and John Brayor to be transported for shop-breaking; and Lawrence Lewis, who killed his servant, as he was shooting a rabbit, found guilty of accidental manslaughter.
Belfast Newsletter 7 May 1754
Dublin May 4. Wednesday night about 12 o’clock Mr. David Shortely was coming to Town from Naas, he was attacked by two footpads on the road between Naas and Johnstown, one of them demanded his money but on Mr. Sharpely making resistance, one of them ran off, upon which he seized the other and brought him to Naas Gaol.
 Belfast Newsletter 17 May 1754
Naas May 9. Michael Mahon was this day executed and gibbeted for murdering and robbing the carman on the Curragh. He acknowledged the justice of his execution but declared he had never before been guilty of any capital crime.
(*See entry for Belfast Newsletter 20 April 1754 above)

Belfast Newsletter 28 Jan 1755
Naas Jan 23. Thursday last a woman died, to all appearance, and was buried the Saturday following; but about an hour after some boys, playing in the Churchyard, heard a noise underground, with which acquainting their parents, the grave was immediately opened and the woman found living. Proper care was immediately taken of her and she is now thoroughly recovered.
Belfast Newsletter 16 Mar 1756
Naas March 1. Last Tuesday on Fitzgerald and another man had a dispute in athy and some strokes but were prevented from doing any mischief; the day following, Fitzgerald went to the house where the man he had the dispute with lived, with a loaded pistol and shot him dead and made his escape.
Dublin Gazette 26 Apr – 29 Apr 1760
Death at Naas, the Rev. Adam Perry, Master of the diocesan school in that town.
Dublin Gazette 1 July – 5 July 1760
Dublin. On Sunday last one Simon Treacy farmer Two-Mile-Bridge in the Co. of Kildare was committed to Naas goal on suspicion of murdering his wife, as she has not been heard of since 11 June last.
Dublin Gazette 15 July – 19 July 1760
13 July Naas. Yesterday the wife of Mr. Simon Treacy (supposed to have been murdered and for which the husband was committed to the goal of this town) arrived here from Dublin.
Dublin Gazette 15 Nov – 18 Nov 1760
Death a few days ago in Naas, Mr John Eustace.
Dublin Gazette 16 Dec – 20 Dec 1760
Death a few days ago at Naas, Thomas McAvey Esq.  M.D.

Dublin Gazette 29 Dec 1761 – 2 Jan 1762
 Whereas James Healy stands indicted, at an assizes held for the Co. of Kildare at Naas, for assaulting Thomas Pollard, carrier to the Incorporated Society for Promoting English Protestant Schools in Ireland and forcibly refeuing (sic) and carrying away Charles and James Malloway, two children belonging to the said Society, and for harbouring and concealing said children. For more effectual bringing this offender to Justice, the Society hereby promise a reward of Two Pounds Sterling to the person or persons who shall apprehend the said James Hely, and lodge him in any of the goals of this Kingdom. Signed by Order. THOMAS GIBBON, SECRETARY.
N.B. The said Hely’s place of abode is on the lands of Belan, where he was lastly a shepherd and at present he is supposed to lurk somewhere in that neighbourhood.

Dublin Gazette 6 Feb – 9 Feb 1762
On Tuesday last Mr. Timothy Staunton, Parish Priest of Connell in the County of Kildaare was unhappily drowned in attempting to ford the Liffey near that place.

Dublin Gazette 9 Feb – 13 Feb 1762
 Deserted 14 Regiment of Dragoons commanded by the Earl of Lorne – EDWARD NELSON 19  yers, 5 feet 9 inches high, light brown complexion … by trade a comber. His parents live at Kilcullen Bridge or Baltinglass. A handsome straight young lad, believed to be married in Ballymoney or Celiveney near Eyre Court Co. Galway.

Dublin Gazette 23 – 27 Mar 1762
One Phillip McGuire is committed to Naas goal charged with being concerned with John Reynolds in the murder of Patrick Killale, flax-dresser, on the 14th inst. at Newtown-Kilbride.

Dublin Gazette 15 – 18 May 1762
(List of prisoners in the Fourcourts Marshalsea for debt)  Philip Butler late of Jigginstown in the County of Kildare.

Dublin Gazette 15 – 19 Jun 1762
Notice of reward of £10 for information leading to the capture of perpetrators of attacks on post horses of Christopher Barton, Post master Kilcullen Bridge (who was conveying Dublin Post mails between Kilcullen Bridge and Carlow).

Dublin Gazette 22 – 26 Jun 1762
Act lately passed for relief of insolvent debtors – Prisoner in the goal of Naas – First Notice.
Dennis Cunningham, late of Naas, in the County of Kildare, brogue maker.

Dublin Gazette 31 Jul – 3 Aug 1762
A few days ago a young man was accidentally killed at a Hurling match near Athy.

Pue’s Occurrences 10 – 14 Aug 1762
9th August. The races of Naas in the County of Kildare will begin Monday the 30th ins. And will continue the whole week. There will be three twenty and three fifteen pound plates and sweepstakes each day. Articles at large will be published speedily.

Dublin Gazette 4 – 7 Sep 1762
Naas Races. Monday. A purse of £15 “Give and take”:
Wm. Ryne Esq, mare ‘Sprightly Pegg’   1 1
Mr. Giles mare ‘Bitter’     2 2
Mr. Fitzgerald’s mare, Mr. Ferrol’s gelding ‘ Tester’, Mr. Casey’s gelding ‘Batchelor’ – a distance.

Pue’s Occurrences 23 –26 Oct 1762
Last week, Hugh Dowling labourer, James Dunne and Patrick Lawlor tinkers, were committed to Naas goal for ravishing and murdering Elizabeth Lawlor of Athy, who sold fruit and was upwards of 70 years of age.

Pue’s Occurrences  14 – 18 Dec 1762
Marriage a few days ago at Naas Mr William Peacock to Miss Jenny Peacock.

Pues Occurrences 26 – 29 Mar 1763
Thurs 24 March, about 8 o’clock at night as a man who lives at Castlecomer was coming to this city, he was attacked on the road between Kilcullenbridge and Naas by three footpads, who robbed him of 33 guineas in gold and 6s. 6d. in silver, but on his telling them he had not any more money, they returned him the 6s. 6d. and made him take an oath he would not speak of what happened for a considerable time.

Dublin Gazette 29 Mar – 2 Apr 1763
A few days ago Mr. Garrett Keatinge, who loves in the neighbourhood of Castlecomer, was robbed by three footpads at the 17 mile stone near Kilcullenbridge of upwards of 33 guineas. (See Pues Occurrences 26 – 29 Mar 1763, above)

National archives – Mss. M 2554 – Letters ‘Martial Affairs 1763-1765’
Page 34 – Letter Dublin 3 June 1763, signed by Captain Donal Grant 52nd Regiment for major of Brigade:- “For Subaltern Officer and 30 men quartered in Dublin to march to Kildare …… there has been a great riot at or near the town of Kildare ….. to be quartered there until further notice.”

Pue’s Occurrences 7 – 11 Jun 1763
Cork 6 Jun. This morning the 83rd Regiment commanded by Col. Armstrong and the 91st Regiment commanded by Lord Blaney, lately landed from Portugal, were disbanded in the New Barrack yards……
*(See entry under Pue’s Occurrences 23 – 27 Aug 1763)

Dublin Gazette 20 – 23 Aug 1763
Naas 18 August. This day a dreadful fire broke out here, which consumed twenty thatched houses before it was extinguished, by which the inhabitants are reduced to great distress. Happily no lives were lost.

Pue’s Ocurrences 23 – 27 Aug 1763
Died at Baltinglass, Lt White lately returned from Portugal. He died of wounds he received a week before in a duel fought in the churchyard of that place with a brother officer; he had two balls extracted and the wound of a third which entered near his throat caused his death.
* (The Army List 1763 shows Lt James White as an officer of the 91st Regiment, his rank dated from 1 April 1762).

Dublin Gazette 30 Jul – 2 Aug 1763
The Newbridge in the County of Kildare thrown down last spring by the flood, is now re-built and passable for carriages.

Dublin Gazette 24 – 27 Sep 1763
Naas 22nd September. This day died in our goal John Cullen, who was tried the last Assizes at Athy, for being concerned in forcibly carrying away the daughter of Mr. Hugh Terrence, with an intent to compel her to marry contrary to her inclination. He was to have been imprisoned for a year and a day.

Dublin Gazette 22 Oct – 25 Oct 1763
John Bourke Jun. Esq. is elected a Burgess in Parliament for the Borough of Naas, in the room of Richard Burgh Esq. deceased.

Dublin Gazette 3 Dec – 6 Dec 1763
Death at Naas, the wife of Rev. Mr. William Donnelan.

Freeman’s Journal  11 - 14 Feb 1764
Married a few days ago, John Bourke the Younger, representative in Parliament of the Borough of Naas, to Mary Leeson daughter of the Earl of Milltown.

Freeman’s Journal 11 - 14 Feb 1764
 Died at Harristown Co. Kildare aged 88 years Mr. Richard Manwaring.

Freeman’s Journal 18-21 Feb 1764
Monday last in Francis-street died of the small Pox, in the fourteenth Year of her Age, Miss Sarah Hannan, only Daughter of Mr. Cornelius Hannan, of Osberstown, in the County of Kildare; a young Lady whose many amiable Qualities and most engaging Behaviour makes her deeply and justly lamented.

Freeman’s Journal 7 – 10 April 1764
Died. Mark McAulay Doctor, of near Kilcullen Bridge

Dublin Gazette 26 – 29 May 1764
Died at Drummine in the County of Kildare aged 119, Mr John Keightley.

Dublin Gazette 1 – 5 June 1765
Dublin. We hear that John Bourke esq. the Younger, member of the Borough of Naas, succeeds the late George Gardiner Esq. as Surveyor of the stores in the Custom House.

Dublin Gazette 5 – 8 Jun 1765
 Thurs 3 Jan. In the morning a Gentleman’s coach was overturned within two miles of Naas, by which accident a footman was unhappily killed.

Dublin Gazette 22 – 26 Jan 1765
A gentleman coming to town from Kilkenny was robbed in the middle of the day between Kilcullen Bridge and Naas, of upwards of 60 guineas by two men, one mounted on a chestnut horse with a white face and the other on foot, but who rode off with the gentleman’s horse.
*(See entry under Dublin Gazette 29 Mar – 2 Apr 1763)

Freeman’s Journal 26-29 Jan 1765
A Mr. Reynolds of the City of Kilkenny is reported to have been robbed between Kilcullenbridge and Naas.

Dublin Gazette 30 Mar – 2 Apr 1765
Died at Naas Mr. Richard Tracy, formerly an eminent slater.

Dublin Gazette 6 – 9 Apr 1765
Tuesday 2nd April. Owen Neal a labourer was apprehended at Celbridge and committed to Naas goal charged with being guilty of several robberies.

Dublin Gazette 14 – 18 May 1765
A dispute arose at Naas between some countrymen and soldiers, in which some of the former was (sic) unhappily killed.

Dublin Gazette 25 – 28 May 1765
Died at Maudlins in the County of Kildare Mr John Holden, damask weaver.

Dublin Gazette 29 Jun – 2 Jul 1765
The dwelling house, Malt House, Bar and Stable belonging to Mr. Cahil of Clane in the County of Kildare, together with a large quantity of wheat and malt were consumed by fire.

Dublin Gazette 19 – 23 nov 1765
Monday 18 Nov. In the evening as a gentleman was coming to town he was attacked between Newbridge and Naas by three footpads armed with pistols, who robbed him of four forty shilling pieces and thirty three guineas, with which they made off.


Wishing everybody who visits ehistory a Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. We have been busy working on the re-publication of Mary Leadbeater's Annals of Ballitore which will be out early in 2009 and have been slow to update the site. Hope theses articles make up for it. We thank Bill Gibson for his kind donation of work he had researched and the staff at Kildare Collections and Research Services (Kildare Library and Arts Services) and of course Liam Kenny for his generous donation of his weekly articles in the Leinster Leader. 



Researched by
Col. William H. Gibson (retd.)
Donated on 5 Aug. 2008

Dublin Mercury 13 Jan – 17 Jan 1766
Died at Newbridge, Mrs. Elinor O’Connor aged 90 years.

Dublin Mercury  22 Apr-26 Apr 1766
Mr William Tone of Blackhall in the County of Kildare, an eminent farmer, was killed by a fall from a stack of wheat.

Dublin Mercury  20 Apr – May 3 1766
26th. At night, a cabin near Kilcullen Bridge in the County of Kildare, was burned to the ground and a man and woman unfortunately perished in the flames.

Dublin Gazette 7 –10 Jun 1766
Last week a woman was apprehended at Finglas and lodged in Kilmainham goal, charged with being concerned with her brother (not yet taken) in murdering a pedler near about four years ago.
*(see entry under Dublin Mercury 10 – 14 Jun 1766)

Dublin Mercury 10 Jun – 14 Jun 1766
 Last week as labourers were digging on the lands of Philpott Wolfe Esq. Near Naas in the County of Kildare, they found the skeleton of a human body, believed to have been murdered over three years ago, as James Reilly, Pedler, has been missing ever since. Last Friday a woman was committed to Naas goal for said fact.

Dublin Gazette 14 – 17 Jun 1766
The celebrated Richard Faulkner, master of a Bagnio in this city, returning from the races at the Curragh, broke his neck by a fall from his horse.
*(A bagnio was an 18th century bathing house, it was also the designation of a house of ill-repute).

Dublin Gazette 24 – 28 jun 1766
We hear that two men after losing their cash at the late meeting at the Curragh thought proper on their return to stop a gentleman belonging to the army and demanding his money, which he making an effort of giving, instead of his money, pulled out a pistol with which he shot one of the villains through the head, the other made his escape. This affair, it is said, gave rise to the report of a man being killed by a fall from his horse between Newbridge and Naas.

Dublin Gazette 28 Jun – 1 July 1766
On Monday last a duel was fought at Ballymore Eustace between Lt S-------b and Mr. T---- in which the latter received so dangerous a wound that he died this day.

Dublin Gazette 1 – 5 Jul 1766
Letter from Carlow mention on 17th inst. 31 men and women crossing the River barrow near St. Mullins in a boat, it unfortunately turned over, by which accident 27 persons were drowned.

Dublin Mercury 4 Oct – 7 Oct 1766
Last week. Died at Grangeclear in the County of Kildare Mr. Darbie Mullowney, an opulent farmer. His death was occasioned by a blow he received with a hurling stick. The coroner’s inquest brought in their verdict of wilful murder by Thomas and Peter Doyle who have absconded.

Dublin Mercury 4 Oct – 7 Oct 1766
 We hear from Naas that on Michaelmas day the Corporation, after electing and swearing the magistrates for the year ensuing, unanimously granted the sum of 3,100 Sterling, out of the revenues of said Corporation, for the rebuilding of the steeple of the church of Naas and purchasing a ring of eight bells to be placed in it, which sum is to be paid by 100 Sterling per annum into the hands of John Bourke Esq., one of the Commissioners of His Majesty’s Revenue, and by him laid out for that purpose…..
Last Monday came on the election of Sovereign for Naas, when James Warren of Skinner Row Esq. was unanimously elected

Dublin Gazette 14- 17 Feb 1767
Last week a horrid murder was committed in the town of Athy on the body ofPatrick Knowles, formerly a mariner belonging to His Majesty’s ship Antelope, but last to the Rainbow in which service he had a acquired an extraordinary good character. One of the principals concerned in the murder viz. George Scott, was taken on the road to Munster on this side of Carlow and is secured in goal. Luke Smith another of the villains is supposed to have reached this county, for the apprehending of whom a reward will be given.

Dublin Gazette 4 – 7 Apr 1767
Married a few days ago at Ballitore in the Co. of Kildare Mr. Joshua Houghton to Miss Mary Taylor and John Hudson Jun. to Miss Elinor Parke, all of the people called Quakers.

Dublin Gazette 15 – 18 Aug 1767
On Sunday 2nd inst. the Rev. John Dempsey a Romish clergyman of Great Connel in the County of Kildare read his recantation from the errors of Popery and embraced the true religion in the parish church of Rathcool.

Died at Gilltown Co. Kildare Mrs Susanah Narney wife of John Narney, formerly Dame Street watchmaker, but now of Charlestown South Carolina.

Dublin Gazette 1 – 5 Sep 1767
At Athy Luke Smith, Richard Scott, George Brown and Edward Brown were tried for murder of Patrick Knowles and found guilty of manslaughter at large, and ordered to be burned on the hands and imprisoned for six months.
*(See Dublin Gazette entry  for 14 – 17 Feb 1767)

Dublin Gazette 19 – 23 Jan 1768
Married Mr Samuel Busby watchmaker on Cork Hill to Miss Judith Walker of Ballymany, adjoining the Curragh of Kildare.

Dublin Gazette 23 – 27 Feb 1768
Dr. Percival has received from Mr William Harrington, executor to the late John Harrington of Athy, a legacy of twenty pounds to be laid out in the purchase of a clock for the church of Athy and the remainder to be distributed among the poor of the parish.

Dublin Gazette 26 – 28 Apr 1768
With pleasure we inform the publick that the bridges of Kilcullen and Brannockstown are now completely finished by a grant of  £600 from Parliament in the year 1766, upon application from Sir Kildare Dixon Burrowes Bart., under whose inspection the work has been properly executed.

Dublin Gazette 28 – 30 Apr 1768
The Rev. Dr. King acknowledges receipt of £10 from Rev. Dr. Domville to be distributed among the poor of the parishes of Tiperkevin and Ballymore Eustace, without any distinction of religion or party.

Dublin Gazette 3 – 5 May 1768
On 25th past, Denis Dwyer was executed at Naas pursuant to his sentence for stealing a horse, the property of Mr. Harry Winston of Feathard (sic) in the County of Tipperary.

Dublin Gazette 17 – 19 Maay 1768
Sat 15 May.  One Brett concerned in the murder of Mr. Cawley, Smock Alley, was apprehended at the fair of Kilcock and lodged in the goal of Naas.

Dublin Gazette 19 – 22 Nov 1768
On Sunday morning 6th the dwelling house and out offices of Abel Wall of Johnstown in the County of Kildare were set on fire and entirely consumed, with a quantity of goods and furniture therein, by some malicious person or persons.

Dublin Gazette 24 – 26 Nov 1768
Married a few days ago Rev. Simon Digby of Osberstown in the County of Kildare to Mrs Buckley an agreeable widow.

Dublin Gazette 13 – 15 Dec 1768
Kilkenny 10 December. On Tuesday last Nicholas Robinson, a poor labourer, was most inhumanely murdered at Athy in the County of Kildare. William Belfield and James Flood both belonging to the 3rd Regiment of Horse, are both charged with having committed same, for the apprehending of same a reward of £10 is offered.

Dublin Gazette 21 – 23 Feb 1769
Married Mr John Walsh of Milerstown in the County of Kildare to Miss Anne Fitzsimons.

Dublin Gazette 7 – 9 Mar 1769
The Governor and Governesses of the County Kildare Infirmary do give notice that the said Infirmary is now ready for the reception of patients and that they will on Saturday 1st April next, at the house of Mr Martin Dunphy at Naas, proceed with the election of a Surgeon and other officers of the said Infirmary.

Dublin Mercury 16 Mar – 18 Mar 1769
Whereas James Eustace Connolly called Capt. Eustace, did on Monday 6th March inst. in the evening; with several other villains enter the lands and house of John Begg at Harristown in the County of Kildare, armed with a blunderbush (sic), pistol and swords and felloniously took possession of said house by presenting a pistol to the breast of Mrs. Plunkett, an elderly woman and housekeeper to the said John Beggs ….. locked the house, fired shots… reward of £20 sterling for apprehending the said Eustace.    JOHN BEGG.

Dublin Gazette 4 – 6 April 1769
Sat 1 April. Mr. Francis Gervais was elected Surgeon to the County Kildare Infirmary.
Dublin Gazette 18 – 20 Apr 1769
Died at Ratchcool (sic) James Hart innkeeper.

Dublin Gazette 27 – 29 Apr 1769
The tolls of the fairs lately granted by patent to Thos Attiwell Esq. to be held at Kilcullen Bridge in the County of Kildare on every 28th March and 8th day of September for the encouragement of the publick, will be remitted free for one year longer.

Dublin Gazette 29 Apr – 2 May 1769
Tuesday 25th. Captain/Lieutenant John Mayne of the 14th Regiment of Dragoons dropped down dead at Manooth (sic) as he was going to stable his horses. He was a gentleman of unblemished honour.

Dublin Gazette 9 – 11 May 1769
Died at Osberstown in the County of Kildare Reverend Mr. Benjamin Digby, Minister of Geshill (sic) in the King’s County.

Dublin Gazette 16 – 18 May 1769
(Notice dated 10 May from County Kildare Infirmary thanking the Bishop of Kildare for recommending clergymen of Kildare to preach sermons for the benefit of the County Kildare Infirmary)… “ subscribers who have not paid their subscriptions do immediately pay them to the Duke of Leinster, Treasurer to the said Charity…..Governors are desired to meet at The Rose and Bottle in Dame Street on 25th inst. to elect a steward and to consider receiving proposals for carrying into execution the plan for building a new Infirmary”.

Dublin Gazette 8 – 11 Jul 1769
Married Mr. James Stone of Georges Lane, coachmaker, to Miss Elizabeth Bermingham of Naas

Dublin Gazette 5 – 7 Sep 1769
Monday 4 Sep.  A young man and a boy were poisoned at Naas County Kildare by eating mushrooms which grew at the roots of trees near that town and the woman who dressed and had tasted of them now lies past all hopes of recovery.

Dublin Gazette 9 – 12 Sep 1769
Last week a cabbin at Newbridge the seat of Colonel Cobbe was accidentally burned to the ground.

Dublin Gazette 31 Oct – 2 Nov 1769
Died. William Rose of Jigginstown Naas in the County of Kildare. His death was occasioned by a fall from a place of pleasure he called Mount Lawler.
*(The following edition of the paper stated “ The death of Mr. Rose proves to be a mistake).

Dublin Gazette 19 – 21 Dec 1769
His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant has been pleased to appoint Francis Vernon Wilson Esq. Barrack Master of Carlow District containing the barracks of Carlow, Athy, Tullow, Maryborough and Dunnymore.

Dublin Gazette 29 – 31 May 1770
A general quarterly meeting of the Governors and Governesses of the County Kildare Infirmary will be held at the Infirmary in the town of Kildare on Friday 8th June next.

Dublin Gazette 31 Jul – 2 Aug 1770
From Kildare we learn that a set of publick spirited and charitable gentlemen in that town, about 12 months ago, did purchase at a considerable expense the tolls and customs of said town and established a fine market there. (more details )

Dublin Gazette 7 – 9 Aug  1770
Dublin Castle 8 August 1770.  A petition of Sovereign, Portrieves, Burgesses, Freemen and Principal inhabitants of Naas in the County of Kildare having been laid before His Excellency The Lord Lieutenant, praying a grant of two additional fairs to be held in the town of Naas, that is to say, one fair to be held on every 17th day of March and one other fair day every 10th August for ever; His Excellency has been pleased to order His Majesty’s writ of Ad Quod Dominum to be issued as in such cases as usual.

Dublin Gazette 25 – 28 Aug 1770
Died. Miss Catherine Rose, daughter of William Rose of Jigginstown
*(See Dublin Gazette 31 Oct – 2 Nov 1769)

Dublin Gazette 22 – 25 Sep 1770
By a letter from Kilcullen Bridge we hear that the franchises of that town will be perambulated on Saturday 29th September inst. in a most superb manner.

Dublin Gazette 4 – 6 Oct 1770
Married – Mr. Matthew White of Naas Sray (sic) maker to Miss Esther Hughes, daughter of William Hughes, sovereign of said town.

Dublin Gazette 5 – 7 Mar 1771
Notice is hereby given to all farmers who graze sheep or any other cattle upon the Curragh of Kildare, if they do have them drove off entirely from any part of the King’s Plate course before ten o’clock every morning during the meeting, they will be impounded and fined one crown each for every beast that is found in or near part of the King’s Plate course.
By Order of Wm Sherlock Esq. Ranger    George Green.

Dublin Gazette 30 Apr – 2 May 1771
A few days ago Mr. John Croke of Naas read his recantation from the errors of the church of Naas and embraced the Protestant religion.

Dublin Gazette 22 – 25 Jun 1771
Married. Theobold Wolfe of Castlewarden  to Miss Frances Lombard.

Dublin Gazette 29 Jun – 2 Jul 1771
Died. Mr. Theobold Wolfe late of the Comb, Iron monger, son of John Wolfe of Forenaughts.

This is to give notice that George Graydon Esq late of Killashee in the County of Kildare deceased and by his will and testament dated 4th March 1762, bequeath the sum of £5 to the poor of the parish of Killashee in the said county and appointed Robert Graydon of  Killashee aforesaid an executor of his will and testament 1st July 1771.

Dublin Gazette 2 – 4 July 1771
Died a few days ago at Naas in the County of Kildare Lawrence Misset Esq. a most eminent farmer in theory and practice.

 Dublin Gazette 28 – 31 Dec 1771
Died. Mrs. Wolfe, wife of Theobold Wolfe Esq of Aungier St.
*(See Dublin Gazette 22 – 25 Jun 1771 and 29 Jun – 2 Jul 1771).

Dublin Gazette 23 – 25 Jan 1772
The woman who was lately wounded by a party of soldiers at Naas, being carried to St. Stephens Hospital, had her arm cut off, being mortified, and after lingering a few days, died in great agony.

Dublin Gazette 6 – 8 Feb 1772
Died. A few days ago at Naas in the County of Kildare, Mr William Eustace of that town, inn-keeper aged 70 years, whose father Mr. Oliver Eustace died four years ago in the 104th year of his age.

Dublin Gazette 25 – 27 Feb 1772
Now we have the pleasure to assure the publick that there is not one debtor in the goal of that great and populous Count of Kildare.

Dublin Gazette 31 Mar – 2 Apr 1772
Naas 28 March. This day the two young men Aldred and Mooney received sentence of death for robbery lately committed at Ballygart  (sic) in the County of Kildare.

Dublin Gazette 4 – 6 July 1772
(Notice of a reward of  £30 from Jane Moilse and John Long, inn-holder, for the capture of Thomas Mitchell.)
Whereas in the evening of the 18th of May last Henry Moilse, late of Jigginstown in the County of Kildare, farmer, went to the house of Thomas Mitchell, who kept a carman’s inn near the Turnpike gate of said Jigginstown……….the said Thomas Mitchell …(gave) the said Henry Moilse two successive blows with a heavy pewter mug upon the head….. and fractured his skull ..(and he) died the next day.

Dublin Gazette 2 – 4 Mar 1773
Carlow February 27th. We hear from Castledermot that on Wednesday evening last an affray happened between the army and some of the people of that town, when a man was stabbed in the temple with a bayonet of which wound he died yesterday.

Dublin Gazette 27 – 30 Mar 1773
Notice. The  Jockey Club dine at  the King’s Arms Kildare on Tuesday 20th April.        Robert Hamilton Esq. President.

Dublin Gazette 15 – 20 May 1773
To be sold the lodge of Benjamin Bunbury Esq. in the town of Kildare, opposite the Coffee House, application to be made to Ambrose Lane Esq. in Peter Street Dublin. A servant attends to show the house.

Dublin Gazette 22 – 25 May 1773
The Jockey Club dine at The King’s Arms Kildare on Wednesday 9th June.
Lord Clanwilliam President.

Dublin Gazette 14 – 16 Oct 1773
Last Thursday William Nicholson labourer was committed to Athy goal, charged with committing a rape on the body of Catherine Fitzgerald, a poor servant maid, who was sent with Nicholson’s dinner to the field where he was at work. It is not many months since a man was executed at Athy for the like crime.

Dublin Gazette 16 –18 Oct 1773
Last week as Mr. Jonathan Woodman of Dunlavin was going to the fair of Kilcullen, he fell from his horse and immediately expired.

Dublin Gazette 15 – 18 Jan 1774
 Patrick McGinley, Andrew Knott and Timothy O’Brien are now in custody charged with several robberies. Said Timothy O’Brien was committed to Naas goal by the name of Timothy Fahy, together with one James McGinley for horse stealing, which goal they had broke and made their escape. They were all apprehended by Owen Donoghue who deserves every encouragement from the publick for his many services in apprehending robbers.

Dublin Gazette 19 – 22 Mar  1774
Last Monday the Leinster Circuit court began at Naas and on Tuesday Robert Power was tried for the murder of John Gilmore, who was killed in a quarrel about the cutting of a maypole near Dublin. When the jury not agreeing, they were locked up from one o’clock at noon to 9 o’clock next morning and the returned their guilty verdict.
James Dunne and James Lawlor were also tried for the murder of John Fitzpatrick near Stradbally in the Queens County and the jury, after sitting for a few minutes, returned a verdict of not guilty.

Dublin Gazette 31 Mar – 2 Apr 1774
At the assizes of County Kildare held at Naas. John Keely and Patrick McGinley were found guilty of breaking the goal of Naas and enlarging (sic) several prisoners charged with felony, for which they received a sentence of death and McGinley is respited to Monday 9th May. Edward Rochfort for a rape and Henry Groves for horse stealing were also capitally convicted and ordered for execution on 9th May.

Dublin Gazette 2 – 5 Apr 1774
Extract from a letter from Naas March 29th. Yesterday John Keely was brought to the gallows and there hanged for the usual time, after he was cut down there appearing some symptoms of life, he was carried away a distance from the town and let blood and had breast milk and other nourishment put down his throat; he continues speechless and in strong convulsions but there are hopes of his recovery.
*(See previous entry)

Dublin Gazette 6 – 8 Dec 1774
Kilkenny December 3rd. On the 25th ult. Departed this life at Athy, in the 80th year of his age (thirty five whereof he had been seated in the President’s chair of the Antient Society of Porter Drinkers in the above town) James Purcell, commonly known by the name of Baron Purcell of Loakman. His death was occasioned (as his last breath declared) by the opposition given him by a young foreigner (whom he had introduced into the above society) who had for some time past been endeavouring to supplant him in the chair. But so anxious was the poor man to disappoint the ungrateful attempts of the foreigner, that in his last moments he had most of the members summoned in order to chuse (sic) a successor, and to render the poor creature’s departure as easy as possible they rejected the foreigner, and chose a person of his recommendation; and he shortly expired in great composure.
On opening his will the following humorous bequest was found in it. “And I do hereby direct that my body shall be preceded to the grave by twelve of the best performers on the small pipes which can be conveniently had, to whom I will one crown each for their trouble in playing my favourite tune Granuiwail (sic). And I do solemnly exclude Stephen the Tinker out of the number, as a base musician.” He also bequeathed a Butt of Porter to be drunk on his grave (or if the clergyman would not permit that) or the Market Cross.
The greatest concourse of people that ever was known at any funeral in those parts appeared at his. The pipers attended in pursuance of his will, but would not accept the crown bequeathed them as above, as the Baron in his life-time had been a capital performer in their way. And forty five members of the Porter Society, with the Chairman at their head, marched in the uniforms of their body before the cortege and the whole of the melancholy ceremony was concluded with that decency and propriety for which this Antient Society was ever remarkable.

Dublin Gazette 13 – 15  Dec 1774
The death of James Purcell of Athy, with the Burlesque ceremonies attending his funeral …… we are authorized to contradict; as it appears that the paragraph was intended for a Christmas laugh, by some of the wits of the town, at the  expence of an honest industrious inhabitant, who is alive and well.

Dublin Gazette 7 – 9 Mar 1775
A few days ago, two men both of Clane in the County of Kildare were lodged in Naas goal, by some gentlemen of the Anna Liffey club; one for highway robbery and the other for rescuing the other from the High Constable into whose custody he had been committed by Simon Digby Esq. but being pursued, they were apprehended on the road to Dublin.

Dublin Gazette 28 – 30 Mar  1775
We learn from Ballysax of the Co. of Kildare that on 14th inst. James Beahan (a tenant of Mrs. Annesley’s) died there in consequence of a bite he had got about three weeks ago from a mad dog.

Dublin Gazette 25 – 27 May 1775
Died at Fournous (sic) County Kildare Theobold Wolfe Esq J.P. for said county.

Dublin Gazette 20 – 22 Jun 1775
Friday June 16th there was the greatest fall of rain ever known at the Curragh of Kildare and on Saturday the greatest hail, by which many lambs, crows, pigeons etc. were destroyed. The stones measuring more than one inch in diameter, lodged many acres of the finest wheat and corn near Mulhuddart in the County of Dublin.
Dublin Evening Post 7 Feb 1778
Last week died in the town of Kilcullen in the County of Kildare William Deevy aged 110 years. He served King James in all of his wars in this Kingdom, being 20 years of age at the time of the Revolution. He had a minute and circumstantial knowledge of most of what was memorable in them (sic) interesting times.

Dublin Evening Post 20 Jun 1778
Thursday. Six bailiffs who went to execute a writ on a person at Old Kilcullen in the Count Kildare were attacked by a number of country people who took six cases of pistols and six hangars from them, cut off their hair, abused them in a shocking manner and were going to throw them in a deep turn-hole near that place called Halfpenny’s Hole, but for the interposition of some of the neighbouring gentlemen, who with much difficulty saved them from their rage.

Dublin Evening Post 23 Jun 1778
Whereas Crosbie Morgell Gent. And his servant were about half past ten o’clock on the night of 19th of June inst. attacked by four fellows on foot, armed with pistols opposite the Gallow’s Hill near Naas, who robbed him to the amount of TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE POUNDS and upwards in specie… and then ran off towards Oldtown…. Two of them wore bonnets and wigs and were dressed in worn-out brown clothes; were about five feet six inches high; the third was a young man, wore his hair, his hat slouched and a jockey coat, which seemed tight about his neck -… Reward of £50.

Faulkner’s Dublin Journal 2 Jan 1783
Notice of an intended review on the Curragh of Kildare on 2nd Monday after the June meeting, of the several Corps of County Kildare.

Faulkner’s Dublin Journal 19 – 21 Feb 1784
A Granary, Custom House and a prison are shortly to be erected at Naas in the County of Kildare as a consequence of the communication now making between that town and the Grand Canal.

Faulkner’s Dublin Journal 16 – 18 Mar 1784
County Kildare. The gentlemen of the Anna Liffey Club are requested to meet at Dunphy’s in Naas on Monday 22nd inst., being the next day of the Assizes.
      March 15th   John Wolfe . Treasurer

Faulkner’s Dublin Journal 20 – 23 Mar 1784
On Saturday 20th inst. was committed to Naas goal by Major Brady, one of His majesty’s Justices of the Peace, four brothers of the name of Flood, who stand charged with a number of others, being concerned in sheep stealing in that neighbourhood. They were escorted by a party of the Castletown Union under Lieutenant Guinness.

Faulkner’s Dublin Journal 20 – 23 April 1784
On Friday night 9th April four villains, with their faces blackened, entered the house of Matthew White Esq. of Mullacash in the County of Kildare, while the family were asleep, broke into the room where Mr. White was in bed and, with dreadful imprecations, demanded his monry; he gave them the key of his desk out of which they took £600 in cash and £300 in bank notes; they then locked the room door and went to the stable to wipe the black and take away the horses; while they were doing this one of the stable boys who lay in the hay loft got out of bed and saw the robbers and knew them; they rode the horses about two miles and then turned them loose. Information being given, three of the villains viz. Brophy, Doyle and Cullen were taken on Sunday morning last, at a wake at Coghlanstown, near Ballymore Eustace by a party of the Kilcullen Rangers and lodged in Naas goal.
*(Note. In 1790 Matthew White “piously donated £200” for the building o St. Peter’s Church at Two – Mile – House on an acre of ground that was donated by Archibald Hamilton Rowan, a leader of the United Irishmen).

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : September 5 1786
Foundations of new goal for Kildare laid out at Naas.

Belfast Newsletter 10 Apr 1789
Quarters of the Infantry for the year 1789:-  40th Regiment – 9 Companies in Dublin, 1 Company in Naas.

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : September 14 1795 (3,d)
O’Connor execution at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : November 1798 (2,d)
Murder of Patrick Neal near Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : May 11 1799 (2,d)
Execution of 21 persons at Naas and 12 at Kilcock

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : October 28 1799 (4,a)
Attack on Limerick mail coach near Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : January 7 1800 (3,b)
Capture of gang of armed robbers by the North Naas Yeomanry Cavalry

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : July 9 1801 (3,c)
Execution of Logan and O’Hegarty at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : April 24 1819 (3,a)
Fever among students at College near Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : December 6 1831 (4,a)
Sale of a live child by its mother to a doctor for dissection at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : April 1 1834 (3,e)
Murder of Rev. Mr. Houston (Naas)

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : April 3 1834 (3,c)
Executions of Edward McDaniel and George Leonard at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : July 18  1842 (7,e)
Accidents, extraordinary proceedings and riot at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : June 30 1857 (5,d)
Wreck of “Naas” off Cornwall

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : July 12 1860 (12, f)
Bees swarming at Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : November 7 1860 (4, f)
Colling, (Capt). Accidentally shot at Curragh...during rifle practice. Memorial stone placed in Harworth-on-Tees church by brother officers.

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : May 1861
Many articles re Prince of Wales at Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : July 13 1863 (6,f)
Lord Naas on English policy in China

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : August 7 1863 (8, Leading article)
Lord Naas on English policy in China

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : June 12 1866 (10, c)
Curragh of Kildare Bill

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Sep 17 1866 (8, b)
Curragh of Kildare, Public and Private Rights

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Sep 27 1866 (10, c)
Curragh of Kildare, Public and Private Rights

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jun 4 1867 (8, d)
Curragh camp – Parliamentary proceedings

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Sep 7 1867 (8, b)
Curragh Camp horrid state of

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Nov 26 1867 (4, c)
Curragh Camp – Parliamentary Inquiry

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Nov 27 1867 (12, d)
Curragh camp – state of

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 1 1868 (5, f)
The wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 2 1868 (..)
The wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 6 1868 (10, e)
*John La Touche on the Wren of the Curragh
* Wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 7 1868 (11, a)
Wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 8 1868 (9, b)
Alex Henderson on the Wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jan 10 1868 (7, c)
*John La Touche on the Wren of the Curragh
*Wren of the Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Jun 12, 13, 16, 19 30; Jul 1, 10, 15 1868 (...)
Parliamentary debate- Curragh of Kildare Bill

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : April 20 1882 (6,c)
Naas gaol, meeting in

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : August 28 1883 (10,c)
Rev. P. Clonry thrown from his horse near Naas and killed

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Sep 1883 (4, e)
Curragh camp - accident at Polo

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : June 1 1888 (7,e)
Riot at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Aug 11 1884 (6, e)
Curragh camp - Explosion at Carteen (Canteen?) Theatre

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : December 14 1888 (10,b)
Case of the Naas rioters

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : January 10 1889 (6,a)
*National League convention at
*Wm. O’Brien at Naas

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : Aug 14 1889 (12, c)
Curragh camp-Cricket- Incogniti v Curragh

Palmer’s Index of The Times  : December 8 1900 (14,e)
Naas rural district Council meeting.

Part Two of Bill Gibson's research on 18TH CENTURY NEWSPAPERS AND MUNIMENTS. We thank him for his generosity.

Death of Jim Collins, 'the miller' - Kilcullen, 1983



 Death of

 Jim Collins

One of Kilcullen’s strongest links with the past was severed with the recent death of Jim Collins (84), the popular figure known locally as ‘the miller’.  Jim ran the corn mill at the bridge in Kilcullen for many years, retiring only in 1972.

Like many of his generation, he had a chequered history born out of turbulent times.  He was a member of the Old IRA and remained staunchly anti-partitionist throughout the Civil War, undergoing imprisonment in a grand total of seven prisons including Kilmainham, Dundalk, the Curragh and Mountjoy.

One of his own favourite stories was of his escape from Dundalk prison in the company of Frank Aiken during the Civil War.  Jim was recaptured in Meath and, after serving his final term of imprisonment (in Newbridge), was released on Christmas Eve, 1924.

Walking from Newbridge to Kilcullen that night and seeing no lights in the town on his arrival was an experience often described by Jim as one of the darkest and most lonely of his life.  He had not been home for a number of years and he discovered, after his time ‘on the run’, that many of his friends had left the area, some to go to America.  Jim’s family had kept the corn mill at Kilcullen since 1880 and his father had earned most of his living through providing feed for British Army horses on the Curragh.  Hence the surprise that Jim, an only child, should grow to be so proud of being a member of the 6th Battalion of the Carlow Brigade, Old IRA.

Jim took over the mill on his father’s death.  Throughout the 30’s and 40’s he continued to participate in the anti-partition movement as strongly as ever.  He took on other issues, too.  In 1945 he successfully sued the ESB, after flood waters originating from Poulaphouca caused his weir o burst.  The result was that the ESB, not only paid him £1,000 compensation, but the board also converted his mill to electricity, a development which enabled it to run well up to 1972.

Jim’s wife, Mary Ellen (Helen) who died in 1959, tended to have many similar idea to her husband.  Acting as a messenger during the 1916 Rising caused her to lose her job in Dublin but she came to Naas, met Jim and eventually settled in Kilcullen.  They are survived by their only sons John and Jim and their families.

The burial, after Requiem Mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Brigid, was with full military honours.  Members of the local Fianna Fail Cumann, of which Jim was the founder, formed the guard of honour.  Among those at the funeral were Fianna Fail Deputies Charlie McCreevy and Paddy Power

Leinster Leader report on the passing of Jim Collins, Kilcullen who had been active during the Civil War.

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

Priests, politicians and ESB unite to bring light to the darkness over the Bog of Allen

Leinster Leader 24 April 2008

Priests, politicians and ESB unite

to bring light to the darkness over the Bog of Allen



A life without electricity would be unthinkable in our modern era. From plugging in the kettle first thing in the morning to viewing television last thing at night every facet of daily life is dependent on the constant supply of electric power. But it was not always so and indeed well into the 1950s there were parts of the country which had not yet been connected to this life-changing source of power. Thus it is not surprising that the Leinster Leader of 19 April 1958 devoted two full columns under the heading of ‘Countryside Switch on From Edenderry Farmhouse’ which reported on the formalities centred around the switch on of some 250 farms and households along the Kildare-Offaly boundary from Esker (near Daingean) to Lullymore.  The article speaks volumes about the social influences which were central to Irish rural life for decades in the twentieth century. The leadership roles of the clergy and of Muintir na Tire – a community-based self-help group – were clearly motivating forces in conjunction with the ingenuity of the ESB in bringing the benefit of electricity to the most rural of localities such as those deep in the Bog of Allen.

The switch-on ceremony was performed by Monsignor Brenan, PP, who was president of the local Muintir Guild. Also present at the ceremony which took place in the farmhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Evans, Ballinakill, Carbury were: Mr. P. J Dowling, ESB engineer in charge of rural electrification; Rev. M. May, Church of Ireland rector of Edenderry; Fr. Donohoe, CC Carbury; Fr. D. Byrne, St. Patrick’s College, Ballinasloe; Fr. P J McWey, Chairman, Edenderry Muintir na Tire; and Rev. T. Tuohy, vice-chairman.  As well as the line up of clergy present were two local TDs – Mr. Oliver Flanagan and Mr. Nicholas Egan. Other ESB officials in attendance were: Mr. T. Grieve, District Engineer; Mr. J. Barrett, Area Engineer; J. Miley, Area Supervisor; Leo Poole, Area Sales Representative; L. Horgan and J.Coughlan, local ESB representatives.  The Muintir na Tire volunteers in attendance included George Kane, A.G.Bowman, John Byrne, John Crosbie and P O’Connor, NT.

The report relates that Monsignor Brenan blessed the electricity apparatus and then proceeded to give an address in which he reminded members of the ‘younger generation’ (and bear in mind this was 1958) that when the Irish Free State was established in 1922 there was very little electricity in the country except in the cities and even that was dependent on imported fuel. He went on to say that thanks to the first Irish government which with great courage had tackled the Shannon scheme and to successive governments which had extended the system, the country was now being covered with a network of electrical power-stations generating from native resources (a reference, no doubt, to the turf-powered stations which since the early 1950s had towered over the Bog of Allen at nearby Rhode, Allenwood and Portarlington).

Monsignor Brenan stressed that the electrification project had been grounded on home-grown skill and talent. He said he took his hat off to the ESB for the progress it had made with Irish brains and Irish native resources. Striking a somewhat patriotic note he said it was necessary to pay a public tribute of that kind because the young people of the time were being subjected to a constant propaganda vilifying and belittling everything Irish as “ if this young State had nothing to be proud of’.

His Church of Ireland counterpart Rev. May also lauded the coming of electricity to the homes of west Kildare and east Offaly and his remarks were no doubt influenced by the international situation at the time (the Cold War tensions) when he drew a parallel between the light dispelling the dark of rural Ireland and the darkness and suspicion among the nations of the world and he hoped that some day this would be dispelled by the light in the hearts of the people.   Oliver Flanagan TD returned closer to home with his encomium on the arrival of the electricity to rural Ireland. He said it marked an end to drudgery and slavery on the farm. He advised farmers to take full advantage of the Government grants for installing a water supply to their homes and he hoped that every succeeding government would go ‘full steam ahead’ with rural electrification until every home in the country was electrified.

In the modern era when over-consumption of electricity and fuel is the burning issue of the day with calls to restrain usage of power it is hard to imagine that just five decades ago the lack of electricity was one of the biggest challenges faced by church, political and community leaders in the Ireland of the 1950s.  Series No. 64


Liam Kenny, on the arrival of electrification to rural areas along the Kildare/Offfaly border, from his regular feature in the Leinster Leader, 'Nothing New Under the Sun,' of 24 April 2008.

Leader tipster sets Kildare punters on track for Punchestown of fifty years ago …

Leinster Leader 17 April 2008

Leader tipster sets Kildare punters on track

for Punchestown of fifty years ago …



‘All is in readiness for the great National Hunt Festival at Punchestown on Tuesday and Wednesday’ proclaimed an article in the Leinster Leader in April 1958. Not content with proclaiming the annual pilgrimage to that equine amphitheatre in the east Kildare hills the opening paragraph went on to give some potentially profitable advice to racegoers by adding ‘ two local horses, Venetian Glass and Sandboy are prime fancies to win the Maiden Stakes and Conyngham.’

And indeed the racing columnist who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Shauneen’ took the opportunity to give every chance to local students of the turf by previewing a meeting at Naas on the Saturday prior to Punchestown week by suggesting that ‘ The Naas meeting on Saturday offers the chance of winning the Punchestown expenses, Toledo and Moo Perry are a likely pair at the popular local venue.

It has always been an intriguing aspect of the Leinster Leader that although published in the most prominent bloodstock county in the country its coverage of the racing game has been relatively modest in terms of column inches. One explanation for this may be that the deadline demands of racing were more suited to a daily paper than a weekly. Another may lie in the ‘Irish Ireland’ roots of the paper which was founded in 1880 with a strong mandate to cover politics, culture and sports – most notably the GAA – with a nationalist interest. Thus the ‘sport of kings’ which was governed by those of an Anglo-Irish class was perhaps not a priority in its editorial tradition.

Be that as it may the big annual fixture at Punchestown transcended all such political nuances and nothing was spared in terms of the social and sporting dimensions of the great steeplechasing festival. ‘Shauneen’ was confident in his tip for the opening day of what was then just a two-day meeting by noting ‘ In the feature Maiden Stakes on the first day I am standing by Venetian Glass which should credit the Osborne stable with another victory in this coveted event.’ The stable referred to was that of Paddy Osborne who trained at Craddockstown just half a mile from Punchestown. Indeed another entry from the Osborne stable ‘Alice Greenthorn’ was described as being ‘Punchestown bred’ to coin a phrase but ‘Shauneen’ advised that despite such  local credentials the horse needed a bit more maturity.

Another established local trainer Mr. Ned Cash of Clane had a ‘useful trio’ of in the Blessington Challenge Cup on the Tuesday with ‘Sweet Auburn’ being the pick according to the Leader pundit although he added ‘ Hazel Twig’ can run well and ‘ Sweet Auburn’ should be good enough to score.

The field for the Kildare Hunt cup was predicted to be small and included a newcomer, ‘Plucky Prince’, a six year old which had been bought by Major Beamount (of Brannockstown) with the Hunt cup in mind. Shauneen recalled that ‘Plucky Prince’ had shown disappointing form on the point-to-point circuit over the previous winter and that last year’s winner in the same race ‘Forougara’ would be a safer bet.

The big event on the second day of the meeting was to be the Conyngham cup over four miles. A horse called ‘Sandboy II’ owned by Major de Burgh of Oldtown Naas was reported to be well fancied. Narrowly beaten by Vanessa’s Pet at Fairyhouse, he went one better when odds-on at Mullacurry beating Shannon Flame and Shower of Silver. ‘Shauneen’ conceded that this form might not be enough to win the Conyngham Cup it at least indicated that ‘Sandbody II’ was fully fit.

The longest race at the meeting was the La Touche memorial over four and a quarter miles which was the objective of ‘Belsize II’ in preference to the Conyngham Cup. The gelding was second last year to Bruno’s cottage, beaten a head only in a photo finish and since he is even better this year he must go very close.

With punting advice such as this the Leinster Leader previewed the Punchestown fixture of 1958. Few at the time could have predicted that in a very short few years a greater commercialisation and modernisation would come to Punchestown with sponsorships, a shift from the banks course to bush-fence steeplechasing, marketing and by the mid 1960s, TV coverage. However Punchestown has seen many fashions come and go but its core attraction of quality bloodstock taking on the big fences in the hallowed track against the background of the Wicklow hills remains as it was in the less flamboyant years of the late 1950s.

Liam kenny in his regular feature in the Leinster Leader, 'Nothing New Under the Sun,'  of 17 April 2008, examines the newspapers tips for the forthcoming Punchestown festival of 1958.

Chewing the cud on the sweet pastures of South Kildare

Leinster Leader 10 April 2008

Chewing the cud on the sweet pastures of South Kildare



A first impression of county Kildare is one of motorways, roundabouts, business parks and housing estates which in the northern part of the county have created a suburban type of settlement pattern.  But driving recently towards the south of the county the biggest impression was that of a pastoral landscape. South of Kilcullen the big rolling fields – many of them ploughed – fill the windscreen and the strength of the agricultural sector in the county becomes apparent.   The role of farming as a mainstay of the Kildare economy is a constant theme in the back issues of the local press when farming repor were considered part of the general news material and not relegated to a separate section as happened in later years.

In the first week of April 1958 the Leinster Leader carried a report of a meeting in Athy which was devoted to encouraging cattle farmers to adopt a scheme to eradicate TB – a perennial scourge of Irish farming – and get their herds to a standard that would be acceptable to the all important English market.

More than 300 farmers packed Athy Town Hall for the meeting which was chaired by Mr. John Farrell, chairman of the Athy branch of the National Farmers Association (forerunner name of the modern IFA). Among the speakers were Mr. Joseph Daly, Veterinary Inspector who used a slide show (quaintly termed in the report as ‘lantern slides’) to illustrate the effect of TB on cattle. Also on the  panel was Mr. P. Kavanagh, agricultural instructor for South Kildare who made a strong appeal to the farmers present to act as organisers in their own districts to promote the anti-TB drive.  Local vet Mr. M. T. Byrne told the audience that earlier that day he had made three first- tests on cattle on three small holdings in the locality and that the results were very encouraging.  And Mr. Michael Cunningham, chairman of Kildare County Council, said that the scheme had the full backing of the Co. Kildare Committee of Agriculture.

The principal speaker was Senator John D. Sheridan, Chairman of the Irish Liverstock Exporters and Traders Association who stressed the importance of TB eradication by pointing to the standards expected by English buyers. He was reported as saying: ‘ If in each county men sufficiently enthusiastic can be got to come together to support the scheme, the drive for TB eradication can be got under way quickly. I read that at Ganly’s sale last week 1,180 of the 1700 cattle on offer had passed the first test.’ He went on to explain that there was a two-test procedure for testing the animals for TB and this had a bearing on the price paid by the cattle buyers: “ First-tested cattle are more valuable than untested ones and fully tested ones are more valuable still. In England they make something like £10 a head more than untested animals.’  Of course a meeting of farmers inevitably touched on the question of subsidies and grants. Senator Sheridan pointed out that in Britain a farmer whose cattle had been tested was paid a subsidy of £2 per head. The Irish Government of the day when challenged to give a similar subsidy said it did not have the money.  Senator Sheridan was not impressed and made a provocative comparison with the grants then available for new industries setting up in Ireland: ‘ I take a poor view of the Government’s failing to subsidise farmers. Any foreigner can come into this country and start a factory to make shoddy goods and get a grant of £50,000 for the erection of a new factory. For agriculture which is the mainstay of our economy and the only export industry we have, the Government gives no money.’   Notwithstanding the lack of grant-aid the Kildare farmers present endorsed the scheme unanimously by a show of hands. One of their number Mr. J. Clarke of Maynooth was particularly positive saying that the drive for eradication of bovine TB was receiving the support of all the farmers in his area.

Still on a farming theme a note headed ‘ Famous Herd Sold’ related how ninety animals from the Fruitfield Dairy Shorthorn Herd of Messrs. Lamb Bros farm near Fontstown had been sold for over £9,000. However not all of the Lamb Bros herd was let go. Among the six matrons retained to spend their remaining days as houses cows at the Barley Hill farm was the supreme show champion cow, Fruitfield Royal Dafney the 2nd.

No doubt Fruitfield Royal Dafney chewed the cud for many years after on the sweet pastures of South Kildare.   Series no. 62

Liam Kenny in 'Nothing New Under the Sun', in the Leinster Leader of 10 April 2008, explores the challenges of farming in Kildare in 1958.

Priest disguised as cattle-dealer led his monks to war-time tranquility

Leinster Leader 3 April 2008

Priest disguised as cattle-dealer

led his monks to war-time tranquility



The late Pope, John Paul II, was notable for the number of holy people who he elevated to the ranks of beatification or canonisation. Among them was an Irish born priest, monk and theologian who had Meath and Kildare connections. Joseph Marmion, known in religion as Dom Columba, was born 150 years ago this month in Dublin. His father’s people hailed from Enfield, Co.Meath. According to the Leinster Leader of 5 April 1958 which featured a special article on the 100th anniversary of his birth, his paternal grandmother was from Clane – her name was O’Rourke and her family had lived in the old Garda barracks in Clane.  Indeed the article relates how his grandfather married into the O’Rourke family in Clane and that a field behind the house (on the south side of the main street in Clane) was known as Marmion’s field.

In the next generation Joseph Marmion’s mother was French and as well as bringing him up with strong religious values, also no doubt imbued him with an affinity for the French language which was to prove useful in later life. Joseph Marmion studied at the Dublin diocesan seminary of Clonliffe for the priesthood and was ordained in 1881. He studied for some time in Rome and on his return was appointed as curate in Dundrum, Co. Dublin. It was here that he was to get the kind of pastoral experience which was to ensure that his great gifts of intellect were grounded in the realities of human experience. One of his duties in Dundurm was as chaplain to the central mental hospital. After a short time he was appointed professor at his former seminary in Clonliffe. This appointment also brought extra duties – as one biographer explained: ‘ He was chaplain to a convent of enclosed Redemptoristine sisters and to the equally enclosed if rather different residents of Mountjoy jail.’

There is no doubt that he would have had a long career in the diocesan church but felt a calling to a more contemplative live and received permission from Archbishop McCabe of Dublin to enter the great Benedictine monastery of Maredsous in Belgium. Over the following 35 years he developed a deep understanding of spirituality and gained repute as a theologian, writer, preacher and confessor. Cardinal Mercier of Belgium, a noted ecumenist, and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium were among those who sought his counsel. For a number of years he was prior of a monastery in the university city of Louvain but returned to Maredsous as Abbot where he had charge of the guidance and welfare of 100 monks as well as a humanities college. And in keeping with the earthier traditions of Belgian monasteries Maredsous was also famous for its cheeses and beers!. Over the following fourteen years Dom Columba gave weekly addresses to the monks and students which became landmarks in the field of spiritual studies. He published a number of books which became classics in the genre. Although a man of refined theological thought he also had to face the most practical of challenges not least when World War One broke out in 1914 and the monastic community was in the path of the German advance.  Disguised as a cattle dealer Dom Columba made his way through parts of occupied Belgium and eventually to Ireland where he found a peaceable haven for his monks at Edermine near Enniscorthy where they passed the war years.

He led them back to Belgium after the war and attempted to rebuild the fractured community. He is said to have maintained a continuing  interest in his native Ireland and felt deeply the sufferings which Ireland endured during the period from 1916 to 1923. According to the Leader account ‘when Ireland was racked with the Black and Tan terror, he offered solemn Pontifical Mass for his suffering country-men at home. It was later learned that as that Mass ended the Truce was signed – it was the forenoon of July 11, 1921.’  Dom Columba died in 1923 and while recollection of his priestly career may have diminished in Ireland it was kept alive by many scholars on the continent who mined his contemplative writings for new insights into faith and spirituality. Indeed reflecting the spirit of the times the Leader article noted that his writings had achieved converts to the Catholic church including ‘ some who were avowed communists who have declared that until they read him they had not dreamed of the riches of Christianity.’

The 100th anniversary of his birth drew high praise from Pius XII, the Pope of the time, who said: ‘ We cherish the ardent hope that the celebration of the Marmion centenary may be instrumental in making the writings of this noteworthy author better known and more widely read.’

This eulogy was echoed by Pope John Paul II  in 2000 when he conferred the honour of Blessed on the Benedictine monk. If the campaign t to promote Fr. John Sullivan, the Jesuit of Clongowes Wood College, to the ranks of the blessed is successful it will mean that Clane will be associated with two beatified members of the Catholic church.

Series no. 61

Liam Kenny in his regular feature, 'Nothing New Under the Sun,' in the Leinster Leader of 3 April 2008, explores the life of the Irish born priest, monk and theologian who had Meath and Kildare connections, Joseph Marmion, 1858-1923.  Our thanks as always to Liam.

Farrell's Shop, Newbridge wins Regional Title


Leinster Leader, Saturday, June 19, 1976.

Shop front wins
 regional title

FARRELL’S, the main St., Newbridge, shop won the regional title in the recent Junior Chamber sponsored National Shopfront Competition.

Mr. Michael Farrell and his wife, Kitty, were recently presented with a magnificent trophy and cheque at a function at Confederation House, Kildare St., Dublin.  The competition, part of the “Keep Ireland Beautiful” campaign was judged on general cleanliness, picturesque frontage, interior and standard of window presentation.  Mr. and Mrs. Farrell have been in business in Newbridge for over a decade and have consistently maintained a policy of specialising in the sale of the higher quality Irish made products. 

Leinster Leader report of 19 June 1976#

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

Death of Legendary footballer, Larry Stanley


Adieu to Kildare giant of sport

The legendary figure of Kildare football and Olympic athlete, Larry Stanley died on Saturday in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, after a short illness.

In his eighties he was a giant in every sense of the word:  Standing at over 6 feet, he ranked with all time GAA greats like Christy Ring and Mick Mackey.

He captained Kildare (represented by Caragh) to win the 1919 All-Ireland, the team having won the All-Ireland the previous year under the Captaincy of Mick Buckley.  Stanley was known as a centre-half forward and was again in Croke Park for the All-Ireland of 1926 when Kildare lost to Kerry.  He just missed the team’s All-Ireland wins in the two following years, his career having then come to an end, along indeed with Kildare’s All-Ireland winning career.

In recent years he was recipient of the Kildare GAA hall of Fame award.  He was also a famous high jumper and defeated the Olympic gold medal winner, Harold Osborne in the Tailteann Games.  In 1924 he was on the Irish team which first took part in the Olympic Games.  He was also an outstanding long jumper.

Although he had been living with his family in Rathmines for many years, Larry loved to return to his native Kildare where the years did not diminish the adulation of his fans at any function he attended.  Always affable and approachable, he loved to recount the memories of his glittering career.  He once described to this writer how he would regularly walk from the Caragh area to athletic meetings in Dublin on the day of the meeting, and go on to acquit himself well.

Amongst Kildare GAA representatives at the interment in Bohernabreena, on Tuesday were Co. Board Chairman, Pat Dunny; Secretary-Treasurer, Seamus Aldridge; and Jim Clarke, Naas (nephew).  Paddy Heavy, PRO, represented Clongorey GFC which had a long and happy association with Larry Stanley.

Also there was Larry’s friend of many years, Mr. Patsy Campbell (95) of Caragh.  During the Requiem Mass, Rev. Colm Stanley recalled anecdotes from the past.

Leinster Leader report in 1987 on the death of legendary footballer and Olympian, Larry Stanley. 

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

Grehan's, Naas - in business since 1876



ONE HUNDRED years in business – particularly in the same premises – is a proud record for any family.  It was achieved this week by Grehans of Naas.  The end of May marked their 100th year trading under the motto ‘Everything for the Home’ at South Main Street, and to celebrate it J. & G. Grehan Ltd. are holding a special sale in their house furnishing and fitting concern.

The Grehan business story goes back in fact more than a century.  Mr. John Grehan, who founded the business in 1876 at South Main Street., had already been trading in drapery and hardware in the North main St.shop which is now Rooney’s

Leinster Leader article in 1976 on the celebration of 100 years in business by Grehans of Naas

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

Collapse of the ruins of Mylerstown Castle in 1963


Leinster Leader 28/12/1963

Kildare landmark disappears with a great crash

During a stormy night recently, the ruins of Mylerstown Castle collapsed with a great rumble and shudder.

Thus vanished one of the main landmarks in North Kildare on a clear day it was visible in Trim, 20 miles away.

No one saw it fall, and only the Bourke family, Mylerstown, owners of the land on which it stood, heard the crash.  Over 60 feet high, the ruins consisted of a west corner of a great castle, home of Myles Birmingham from whom the parish takes its name.

Like a strong, stubby finger pointing skyward, the old ruin seemed to symbolise the very spirit of the sturdy Celts who built it.

Its exact age has never been determined, but a reference to it in the Annals of the Four Masters indicates that it was “a noble stronghold in” in 1457.  In that year, writes Dr. Comerford (“Collection of the Doicese of Kildare and Leighlin). “O’Donnell, i.e. Hue Roe, son of Niall Gaw (Barbh)…remained for some time in Offaly, plundering and ravaging Meath on each side of him.  He demolished and burned Castle Carbury and Ballymeyler (Mylerstown)”.

The Birminghams probably came to Ireland with the Norman Invasion in 1169.  Powerful rulers and warlike men, they (writes Sir William Wilde) “became in the process of time more Irish than the Irish themselves.” 

Pierce Birmingham received a large tract of land in Leinster.  His surname was dropped by the Irish-speaking people and his Christian name became Feorais.  The Clan-Feorais applied the Irish appellation to their territory, which was co-extensive with the Barony of Carbury and extended along the Boyne in Kildare and Offaly, as far as the borders of Meath.

Leinster Leader report in 1963 on the disappaerance of a well-known Kildare landmark - the ruins of Mylerstown Castle.

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

Kildaremans grave in South Africa

Leinster Leader 21/8/1976

He discovered a Kildare grave in S. Africa

Those almost forgotten graves reminders of another people, another time, that lie in Russell Road Cemetery, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, have aroused the interest of Galway man Kevin Murphy. 

Kevin has been living in Port Elizabeth for many years and was just retired from the City Engineer’s Department when he noticed that in one particular corner of the cemetery many of the tombstones bore Irish names.

And so he took his camera and notebook and began unearthing the past, sorting out the inscriptions on the various tombstones carpeted in the moss and mildew of a century or more.

He photographed the inscriptions and set sail for Ireland to trace the family origins.

One tombstone bears the name of a Kildare man, Andrew Weldon, native of the parish of Cloncurry, Co. Kildare, who died on February 12, 1858, aged 49 years. 

Members or descendants of the Weldon family, if there are any still in this part of the country, may be interested in a colour slide of the tombstone which Kevin Murphy has left with the ‘Leinster Leader’.

Kevin Murphy is enlisting the help of parish records, telephone books and newspaper offices in an effort to build up a background picture of those figures from the past.

It may be a long way to the hillside cemetery in Port Elizabeth but Kevin is steadily forging a link

Discovery of a Kildaremans grave in South Africa - Leinster Leader 1976

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

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