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February 27, 2010


 Kildare Observer 22nd October 1932
Kildare Observer, October 22nd 1932
Historical Retrospect
(Continued from last Week)
In 1923 the club lost a very keen member, Capt. S.G. Williams, donor of the now well-known Williams Jug, who left Ireland. He was missed in every field of sport in the country. As a tribute to his services to sport he was elected an honorary member of the County Kildare Golf Club. He is the first member on whom this honour has been conferred. In this year also a very substantial sum of money was placed at the disposal of the club by Mr. William Kennedy, Main Street, Naas, and it was decided to apply it in improving the entrance to the links by erecting gate piers and side walks for which the late Mr. Valentine provided a good iron gate.
For the following year Mr. J. Rorke who at present acts as hon. Secretary, was elected captain, and for 1925 Mr. E. S. Dowling, the duties of green steward being taken over by the Rev. Chancellor Clover. In this year members of the community of Clongoweswood College, among whom there were some keen golfers, were admitted to membership for an inclusive fee. In 1926, when Mr. D McGuirke was captain, it was decided that in order to relieve Mr. McCann, whose duties had increased very much since he was appointed 23 years before, the post of hon. secretary and treasurer be divided, and Mr. J. Barry Browne was appointed hon. treasurer, a post which he still holds
Mr. M Quinn was captain for 1927 and Mr. L. Lambe was appointed hon. auditor, vice Mr. J. E. Hollinsworth who left to take up an appointment in Dublin, while Mr. E. Kennedy succeeded Rev. Chancellor Clover as green steward. At this annual meeting it was decided to make application, which was subsequently granted, that the Golf Club be registered under the Registration of Clubs (Ireland) Act, 1904, and Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1922, the intoxicants to be only supplied at the Club House on such days as were authorised by the Executive Committee of the Club. In 1928, when Mr. W. Kennedy was captain, the club lost two of its founders, Mr. Mansfield, its president, and Mr. E.L. Gray. The latter from whose scrap book and notes on every domain of sport in the county, the writer has obtained his material for an account of the C.K.C., was very popular and well known throughout the length and breadth of County Kildare. The death of two such members dealt a serious blow to the fortunes of the club.
Mr. Mansfield’s place as President of the club was taken by Mr. J. Sweetman, D.L., Longtown Sallins, who has worthily upheld the tradition of his predecessor. The prize which he presents annually is one of the big events in the life of the club. For 1929 Mr. J. Cunningham acted as captain, for 1930, Mr. T. Langan; for 1931, Mr. S. Curry, during whose year of office a most successful sweepstake on the Grand National was organised by Mr. M. Quinn. The proceeds, some £176, was devoted partly towards balancing the finances of the club and in part to the erection of a suitable annex to the club house consisting of bar and sitting room.
Ever since the death of Mr. E. I. Gray who always kept local interest in the club alive by reports to the press of every competition played, a certain lack of interest a kind of sleepy sickness, seemed to have descended on the club. The desperate and unaided efforts of the captains to revive some interest among the members did not meet with the success it deserved. The failure was mainly due to the fact that advertisement in the form of press reports was not forthcoming. Be the cause what it may, it was realised by the members at the annual meeting in November, 1931, that the club was in a moribund condition, and that unless they bestirred themselves to its further existence was likely to be brief. The condition of the rough had become so intolerable that it was impossible to round without loosing several golf balls. It was decided to obviate this condition by altering the terms of the lease so as to obtain full power to cut the rough when ever necessary. This had proved to be a most beneficial measure, as the rough is now maintained in such a condition as to penalise a bad shot, yet light enough for finding a ball. There remained, however the question of the lack of interest and spirit de corps, which was plain to everybody. The honour of solving it belongs to the captain for this year of grace, Mr. Wm. O’Brien, of the Munster and Leinster Bank, Naas and we shall conclude our account of the history of the club by describing how he did it for the edification of all future captains. With sociable feeling between all members, male and female, his objective, he has promoted a series of mixed foursomes competitions which have met with a phenomenal success, to such an extent that these have now become an established feature in the club. Some of these competitions were open to other clubs and were just as successful as those confined to members. In open competitions for men the method of personal approach and appeal was adopted, cards of invitation being sent to every golfer within reasonable distance. All club competitions were reported in the press, being warmly welcomed by the local paper, the “Leinster Leader.” The result of such activity is astounding. Entries for competitions organised by the captain and his assistance, excluding the fine entries for club events, have so far amounted to 464 of which 101 came from outside clubs. This is a record unequalled by any club in the country. Finally, considerable local interest has been aroused by the activity of the club, and club competitions and matches are beginning to attract large galleries of non-golfers. After being the Cinderella of the realm of sport, the County Kildare Golf Club once more has regained its former proud position.
(The End.)
Club mixed foursomes – M. Clarson and Miss, Dwyer, 69; W. O’Brien and Miss A. Meagher, 69½; M. Quinn and Miss R. Meagher 71.

The fourth and final article taken from the Kildare Observer October 1932 on the history of the County Kildare Golf Club...Our thanks to Roy O'Brien

February 26, 2010


Kildare Observer 25/08/1906
Children’s Fete at Moore Abbey
On Saturday afternoon the Earl and Countess of Drogheda entertained the children and parents of St. John’s Parish, Monasterevan, to a tea party, and a very enjoyable evening’s amusement. On the lawn in front of the court were laid many and lengthy tables, beautifully decorated and provided with every good thing to please the taste of the youngsters and their parents, all of whom were most generously provided for. A number of varied coloured flags, joined with the dresses of the ladies and children, served to beautify the lawn, the scene being a very animated one when all were assembled to do justice to the good things provided. The guests were looked after by the Countess of Drogheda, Lady B. Moore, Mrs. Smithwick, Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Borrowes, and the Rev. Canon and the Rev. Fritz Smithwick, Mr. Borrowes, Mr. Brooks etc. To add to the enjoyment of the evening, the weather was gloriously fine, and everything helped to make the fete the entire success it was. After the tea was partaken of the rest of the evening was given over to all sorts of amusements, nothing being left undone to please the visitors. Swings, Aunt Sallys, see-saws, and boating on the river were part of the games enjoyed by the guests, while sporting events were provided for those wishing to take part in them, and for which liberal prizes were given by Lord Drogheda. All the events were run in heats owing to the number of contestants taking part. Football matches were also indulged in. In connection with the fete was the distribution of prizes to the successful children of the Scriptural Bible classes, the examinations of which were held in June last. The following were the successful competitors in the sporting events:-
Potato Race (for boys over 11 years)-1st B. Edghill; 2nd Allen Edghill.
Under 11 years- Wm. Sunderland, 2nd A. Edghill
Girls over 11 years-1st L. Pilgrim; 2nd E. Lark
Girls under 11 years-1st Lillie Wright, 2nd, Adaline Clare.
100 Yards Boy’s Race (under 11 years)- 1st Thos. Hall, 2nd, H. Whiting
100 Yards (boys over 11 years)-1st A.Wright, 2nd. H. White
100 Yards (girls under 11 years)- 1st Ethel Warren, 2nd, Dolly Switzer.
100 Yards (girls over 11 years)-1st M. Jameson, 2nd, Emily Lark
Three-legged Race (boys)-1st, M. Tyrell and John James; 2nd C. Switzer and B. White.
Three-legged Race (girls)-1st D. Switzer and A. Clare; 2nd E. Lark and N. Switzer
100 yards (open)-1st, Timothy Sheehan; 2nd, Harry Storey.
Wheelbarrow Race (boys)-1st. A. Edghill and Mat. Tyrell; 2nd, B. Wright and B. White.
Thread Needle Race (juniors)-1st, Wm. Fitzpatrick and May Sunderland
Thread Needle Race (seniors)-1st Richd. Dowling and Rachel Worrell.
Egg and Spoon Race (boys)-1st, Allen Edghill (only one competitor finished).
Egg and Spoon Race (girls)-1st, Ethel Warren; 2nd, E. Wright.
On conclusion of the ports the Rev. Canon Smithwick invited all present to witness the distribution of the prizes. He said they had a very happy day, and they should all be very thankful to the Earl and Countess for providing them with such a treat. They would first distribute the prizes won by the children in June last, and the Countess of Drogheda had graciously consented to present the children with their gifts. The children had done very well. Out of 62 children who had stood the examination, they had received 24 first prizes, 13 seconds, and 17 certificates of merit, leaving only 8 failures. He (Rev. Canon Smithwick) thought this very creditable, especially in the infants’ class, as they brought off 17 first prizes. The infants did very well, and it was very encouraging, as they were the rising generation, and he hoped they would prove a credit to their king and country in the future (cheers).
The Countess then distributed the prizes to the children, saying a kindly word to each. Lord Drogheda then presented the prizes to the winners in the sporting events, and on conclusion the Rev. Canon Smithwick, in a few well-chosen words, thanked the Earl and Countess for their kindness, also Lady B. Moore; their only regret being the absence of Lord Moore. In conclusion, he called for three hearty cheers for the Earl, Countess, Lady B. and Lord Moore, which were responded to with enthusiasm. The Earl of Drogheda thanked all present for their hearty cheers, and dwelt on the very creditable performance of the children at the recent examinations, saying it should be very satisfactory to Canon Smithwick, their teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Borrowes, and the children’s parents. In conclusion he (the Earl) would ask for cheers for the Rev. Canon and Rev. Fritz Smithwick, who had worked so hard that day to make their sports and party such a decided success. The invitation was heartily responded to, and a most enjoyable day was brought to a close. In the evening the senior members enjoyed themselves dancing up to 10 p.m. when all left for their respective homes.

The Kildare Observer of August 1906 reports on a children's fete held at Moore Abbey which was hosted by the Earl and Countess of Drogheda.

February 20, 2010


On the 17 November 2009 two key resources were launched by Mayor of Co. Kildare, Cllr. Colm Purcell.



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It is indeed a pleasure to be with you this evening for the launch of two key resources:
 The County Kildare Archaeological Society Journal - Volumes I to XIX on a fully-searchable DVD

and the

 Directory of Archaeological Sources Relating to County Kildare.

The county council is delighted to be associated with both publications –  the DVD is the result of collaboration between the County Kildare Archaeological Society and Kildare Library and Arts Services. The Directory is a County Kildare Heritage Forum publication.

The DVD and the directory will bring the history and heritage of the county in to the public eye in a new way; and those who have worked on them deserve our thanks and appreciation.

These two unique resources will be of immense value to researchers and people with an in Kildare’s rich past.
The Directory, compiled by Jason Bolton, lists all the key archaeological resources relating to the county. It brings the list of resources right up to date, but, it is also a wonderful publication in its own right. It is beautifully illustrated and presented.
It will be a much sought-after addition to personal and public collections, and it will direct people to relevant source material for years to come. Through the efforts of the Heritage Forum it is offered free of charge. It is important at this stage to recognise the importance of the work of the County Heritage Officer, Bridget Loughlin and the County Heritage Forum. The forum represents a broad range of interests, and I would like to thank wholeheartedly the individual members who give their time and energy in the service of the county.

The publication of the archaeological society’s journal on DVD brings the single most valuable resource relating to the county’s history into the twenty-first century. It will appeal to the journal’s old friends, and also to a whole new generation of researchers. The journal first appeared in 1891, and complete sets are very difficult to acquire.
The DVD will be a chance for people to enhance their collection and their knowledge at the click of a mouse. It will allow the user to search the complete run of the first 19 volumes which were published between 1891 and 2007.

I thank the Kildare Archaeological Society for its pivotal role in the promotion of the history, archaeology and heritage of County Kildare for almost 120 years. Their service to the county has been very considerable. They have helped to preserve the collective memory of Kildare, and in doing so they have made a valuable contribution to shaping its sense of identity. This is a particularly important in a county where a highly-mobile population has grown so quickly over the past fifteen years.
It has been a long road to tonight’s launch – work on the directory and the DVD began in 2007; but the wait has been worthwhile. It is intended to provide copies of both resources to the libraries and secondary schools within the county, to help a new young generation of Kildare men and women, for it is the children of today  who will preserve our past in their future.

Whether you have an interest in the history, archaeology and heritage of Kildare or are simply interested in the county in general; or dare I say it on the 17th of November, you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift, we urge you to pick up a copy of both of these unique resources. Their contents and subject matter are well worth treasuring. The archaeology and history of County Kildare are part of the essence of what is the ‘Short Grass’ and the ‘Lily-White.’
Our development as a county must always be a priority, and this development must be managed with care and wisdom. Information remains the key. The continued work of the local authorities, of energetic individuals, of local history groups, the archaeological society, working archaeologists and historians will continue to add to our knowledge and understanding.

The DVD and directory allow us access to a wealth of knowledge, but they are also produced in an effort to promote and encourage research and inquiry. The work is never done, it is ongoing. The archaeological society has already published the first part of Volume 20 of its journal, and no doubt in time this will make its way to DVD. I urge people to take part, to join the society or their local history group and to continue the work we see so expertly presented here tonight.
I would like to extend my personal thanks and the gratitude of the county council to all involved in bringing these projects to fruition. In particular, I want to thank Bridget Loughlin and Mario Corrigan for their work in making tonight possible.

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The Mayor then declared the two resources officially launched and the evening concluded with refreshments in the coffee dock.


Ger Liam etc small.jpg DSCF1205small.jpg Girls small.jpg DSCF1209small.jpg DSCF1211small.jpg DSCF1214small.jpg DSCF1215small.jpg General small.jpg Jason, Con and Brendan small.jpg

Should people experience any difficulties in loading the DVD then send me an email at localhistory@kildarecoco.ie - or go to step 3 of the instructions - Adding an Index. Invariably the software program ZySearch loads onto the PC but you have to manually add an index for the DVD to work properly

On the 17 November 2009 two key resources were launched by Mayor of Co. Kildare, Cllr. Colm Purcell, The County Kildare Archaeological Society's Journal (Vols. I-XIX) on DVD and a Directory of Archaeological Resources by Jason Bolton which had been commissioned by the Co. Heritage Forum. Photos are attached



Just a quick note to let people know that we have added a fully searchable version of Slater's Trade Directory for Co. Kildare in 1846 online at our Kildare Collections and Research Services Website


The original articles on the towns on the right hand side of the page are also on EHistory but have been updated

Slaters 1846 Title Page small.jpg

There is an option to search by location but this is not by any means comprehensive as most of the original entires did not list a location - search by person or occupation or simply Browse the whole database of almost 1,000 names

Check out all our online local history resources at the bottom of our resource page


NB: Keep an eye on EHistory and the general library page as we will hopefully be adding quite a lot of digitised material to the Kildare Library & Arts Services website over the coming couple of months

Slater's 1846 - fully searchable database for Co. Kildare now online on Kildare Library & Arts Services website 

February 19, 2010


The Kildare Observer January 28th 1928
Great Admiral Passes Away
 Admiral of the Fleet Sir John de Robeck died of heart failure at his London residence at 8.15 on Friday night last, at the age of 65. He had a serious motoring accident in Aug., 1923, and had been in indifferent health for some little time, but he was able to be out almost daily, and, in fact, had been out on Friday. He had been preparing to go out to dinner when he was sized with the heart attack, which proved fatal.
His Career
Sir John Michael de Robeck was born on the 10th June, 1862. He was the second son of John, fourth Baron de Robeck, of Gowran Grange, Naas, Co. Kildare. He was educated on H.M.S. Britannia, and entered the Royal Navy in 1875, becoming Sub-Lieutenant in 1882, Lieutenant in 1885, Commander in 1887, Captain in 1902, Rear-Admiral in 1911, Vice-Admiral in 1917 and Admiral in 1920. He commanded the naval force in the Dardanelles during the landing of the Expeditionary Force in 1915, and was mentioned in despatches, and in the same year was made Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. For these services he received the K.C.B in 1916, and G.C.M.G. in 1919, and he was a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour. For his services in the Great War Admiral de Robeck was created a Baronet and received the thanks of Parliament and a grant of £10,000.
The de Robecks trace their descent from John Henry Foch, a Swedish nobleman, son of the first Baron, who was created by Frederick l of Sweden, in 1750. This nobleman married the daughter and sole heiress of the Honourable Richard Fitzpatrick, son of the Earl of Ossory. The late Admiral’s father was the fourth Baron and was Ranger of the Curragh, and a Deputy-Lieutenant for Co. Kildare. The holders of titles of foreign nobility derive no position or precedence from them in this country. It requires, however, a royal licence to use them, and there are not many of them altogether, among the best known being the de Robecks, de Reuter and de Stacpoole.
A Daring Sailor
Admiral de Robeck was one of the most daring and successful Admirals of modern times. His name constantly was mentioned in the Press when he was giving chase to the Goeben, The German warship that did such damage to shipping in the Mediterranean. The landing at Gallipoli could not have been attempted at all but for the assistance given by the Fleet under Admiral de Robeck. Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton, in his dispatches, made this clear. Sir Ian compared the bravery shown by the British soldiers on that occasion with the bravery of their ancestors at the capture of Quebec, under Wolfe. In General Sir Ian Hamilton’s despatches Admiral de Robeck is frequently mentioned with admiration. Admiral de Robeck served with distinction as High Commissioner at Constantinople at the close of the war. He married in 1922, Hilda, widow of Colonel Sir Simon MacDonald Lockhart, Bart.
The Funeral – The King Represented
A large number of distinguished naval and military officers attended the funeral of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John M. de Robeck, at Bembridge, Isle of Wight, on Tuesday. The body was taken from London by motor hearse to the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, where an imposing procession followed the coffin, which was draped in the Union Jack, and bore the late Admiral’s sword and cocked hat. The coffin was taken on a gun carriage to the Marlborough Pier of the Vernon Establishment for conveyance on the mine-sweeper Caterham to Ryde.
The King was represented by Admiral Sir Arthur Leveson, and the pall-bearers were Admirals of the Fleet Lord Jellicoe, Sir Charles Madden, and Sir Arthur Gough-Calthorpe; Admirals Sir Montague Browning and Sir Osmond Brock; Generals Sir George Milne and Sir Walter Braithwaite, and Lieutenant General Lewis Halliday.
Amongst those in the procession were Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton, who was in command at the Dardanelles, where Admiral de Robeck conducted his naval attacks during the Great War, and representatives of the Admiralty and Italian Navy. Admiral H. Jehenne represented the French navy. The late Admiral’s orders and decorations were carried on a cushion by his former Flag Lieutenant, Lieut. Commander M.O.D. Ellwood, and a large party of naval men carried the wreaths. Troops from the garrison and men from the Vernon, with arms reversed, lined the route.
During the crossing from Portsmouth 19 minute-guns were fired by the naval saluting battery, and two destroyers acted as escorts.
From Ryde the body was conveyed by motor hearse to Bembridge Church, where the funeral party were met by the Rev. Knight Adkin, chaplain of the Royal Naval Barracks, who assisted in the Burial Service by the Rev. C.E. Gwennap Moore, Vicar.
The private mourners included the late Admiral’s widow, Lady Lockhart de Robeck, Baron de Robeck (brother), Capt. H. de Burgh, D.S.O., and Captain Charles de Burgh, R.N. (nephews); Col. T.J. de Burgh (brother-in-law) Final honours at the graveside were rendered by a firing party and six buglers, who sounded the “Last Post.”
The internment took place in the family vault.
Memorial Service at the Abbey
A Memorial Service was held at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday while the funeral was proceeding at Bembridge, Isle of Wight.
The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Connaught and Princess Beatrice were represented, as were the Admiralty, the Air Force, the Army Council and many other organisations. The Dean of Westminster conducted the Service, and was assisted by Canon C. Woodward and the Precentor. It began with the opening sentences of the Burial Service, sung in procession to Dr. Croft’s music, and included the psalm “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and the hymn, “O God our help is ages past,” and it concluded with Chopin’s funeral March played on the organ.
Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey represented the Prince of Wales, Colonel Sir Malcolm Murray the Duke of Connaught, and Col. Pack the Princess Beatrice.
The First Lord of the Admiralty was represented by Rear-Admiral A.L.P.R. Pound, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff. The Third Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Sir Alfred E. M. Chatfield, was present on behalf of the Board of Admiralty, and the Army Council and the Air Council were represented by Lieut.-General Sir Hastings Anderson and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Graeme respectively.
Others present were – Mr. John Burton, Mr. Alfred H. Burton, and Mrs Frank Pickerton, cousins; Miss MacDonald Morton, representing Lady de Robeck; Sir Simon Stuart, representing the Army and Naval Club; Lady Goodenough. Admiral Sir George Hope, Mr. Frederick Mead, representing the Marine Society and the training ship, Warspite; Lady Alexander Sinclair, Lady Cowan, Major-General Sir Thos. Yarr, Lady Hamilton, Vice-Admiral Percy Royds, Admiral Sir Sidney Fremantle, the Marquess and Marchioness of Ormonde, the Swedish Naval Attache, Lady Chatfield, Mr. A. J. Webb, representing the M.C.C; Lady Milne and Miss Milne, Lady Chichester, Sir Thomas Holter, the Earl of Malmesbury, Rear-Admiral Basil Brooke and Mrs Brooke, Vice-Admiral Sir Algernon Boyle, Admiral Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholson, the French Military Attache; Sir Francis Eden Lacey, representing I. Zingari; Lieutenant Vaisseau Bos and Lieut.-Commander Le Gagnuer, representing the French Embassy; General Sir Henry Mackinnon, Major-General Sir John Hanbury-Williams, Marshel of the Diplomatic Corps; Sir Oswyn A.R. Murray, Sec. of the Admiralty; Captain C.J.C. Little, Director of the Royal Naval College, and Colonel B.S. Millard, representing the British Motor Boat Club.

The Kildare Observer of January 1928 reports on the career, death and funeral service of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John de Robeck.

February 18, 2010


Kildare Observer, October 15th 1932
Co. Kildare Golf Club, Historical Retrospect
(Continued from last Week.)
Mr. Gorry was succeeded by Mr. J.E. Hollingsworth a captain for 1921, the latter by Mr. J Barry-Browne for 1922, when the Knocks was relinquished and the present course, part of the farm now owned by Mr. J. Kennedy, Monread, taken over. During these years the Co. Kildare Golf Club found a place in the golfing notes of every sports journal in both islands. In the Irish Amateur Close Championship J. Gorry reached the 4th round, when Major C.L. Crawford by the extraordinary return of 12 and 11. In the Irish Amateur Open Championship of the same year at Portmarnock he had the bad luck to lose all his favourite clubs in the burning of the Skerries Pavilion, and was defeated in the 1st round by the Delgany player, Mr. J.L. Morgan. In May, 1921, we find the C.K.C. representative, Captain E. C. Carter, and two others the only amateurs to win their matches against the professionals at Portmarnock. In the same year also he figures prominently at Portmarnock (Irish Amateur Close Championship), at Hoylake (Amateur Championship of Great Britain), and at Newcastle (Irish Amateur Open Championship). Here he reached the final to be beaten 2 up by D. Wilson Smyth, the local skipper. Although the club was denied the pleasure and pride of seeing its representative proclaimed the national champion, it can be stated without fear of contradiction that no other inland nine hole course in the two islands has produced a player with such a fine record. In the course of the competition he had accounted for the following players:- E. Munn (North-West), Captain J.C. McClean (Hollywood), A.J. Marriott (Athlone), N. Manly (Royal Dublin), and A. Lowe (Malone). With Captain Carter of Royal Portrush, holder of the Amateur Welsh Championship for 1922, he has the distinction of driving a ball into Harlech Castle from the Royal St. David’s golf course. The Castle stands on a rock overlooking the course and is nearly 200 yards away from the nearest point on the links. Its battlement are 200 feet above the level of the course. While Carter’s feat was at the time entered in a historic book and was signed by witnesses, the writer has in his possession a signed statement by the late E.I. Gray that the feat was also accomplished by J. Gorry in his seventh attempt, and that seven other scratch men, one of whom was John Ball, failed on the same occasion.
                                        We now enter the last phase of the history of the County Kildare Golf Club. As the lease of the Knocks was due to expire on May 21st, 1992, a new links was acquired on February 1st, on a 21 years’ lease, all arrangements for their construction being delegated to an executive committee (Mr. Mansfield, D.L. president: Mr. Barry Browne, captain; Mr. McCann, hon. Secretary; Messrs. Gorry, Gibson and E. Kennedy). The lands on which it was proposed to construct the links were then owned by the late Mr. Valentine, Monread a very accommodating landlord. The links were laid out by Mr. Cecil Bancroft, and by December, 1922, the bunkering of the course, which on his suggestion had been postponed, was completed. The club house was removed, newly timbered and given a solid concrete foundation. The first captain of the new links was Mr. D.J. Lambe, of the Hibernian Bank, Naas, who at present acts as honourary auditor to the club. In the “Irish Times” (30/11/1922) J. P. Rooney (“Traveller”) describes the bunkers of the new course as “an improvement on anything I have seen attempted on an inland course in this country, being capitally constructed in every detail, while their artistic and solid appearance adds considerably to the attractions of what are sure to become in due course attractive holes.” “What appealed to me most”, he continues, “was the dryness and firmness of the turf; indeed the sandy nature of the soil-sand was found at almost every site for a bunker at a low depth-makes for dryness even in the worst of weather. Mr. Bancroft, in laying out the course, did his work after the fashion of an accomplished golfer; he seems to have excelled himself at a few holes. In fact it would be difficult to find on any inland course a better short hole than the 4th-a dead pitch of 110 yards on to a green almost encircled with substantial bunkers. Only a perfectly pitched-up shot will suffice at this very excellent hole. Another good short hole is the second (190 yards), which against the wind calls for a fine cleek shot-most novices would have to go all out with the driver-on to a small green, heavily bunkered at the sides and in front.” It may be added that Mr. Bancroft considered this hole the finest of its type and range in his experience. It has since been reduced in length by about 30 yards.
       Electric Competition: R.J. Coonan 28, M. Clarson and J. Fanning 29 ½ each.
       Tom Langan’s Sweepstake on the Williams’ Jug. The following are the starters, the names of those who drew them being given in paranthesis:-
         W. O’Brien (Miss L. McGuirke), R. Coonan (M. Clarson), S. Curry (H. Farrell), A. Fletcher (W. Martin), D. MacGiobuin (M. Wheeler), L. Malone (Mrs. Crowley), T.J. Gibson (W. Coffey), T.R. Gibson (Miss D. Langan), D. O’Connor (W. Browne), P. Doran (Miss O’Donnell), J. MacSparron (J. Burke), R. Morrison (R. Morrison), J. Barnwall (D. MacAodha), J. Lawlor (Miss M. Quinn), J. Dowling (Mrs. O’Hara), E. Trefolium (T. Kerrigan)
(To be continued.)

This is the third of four articles taken from the Kildare Observer of September/October 1932, on the history of the County Kildare Golf Club.  The fourth and last article will appear in the coming weeks. Our thanks to Roy O'Brien

February 17, 2010


Leinster Leader 15/01/1938
Kildare Hounds

        Friday, 7th January – Colbinstown

Ballintaggart was blank, found in Hatfield, ran through Kilgowan, left-handed, over Brewel Hill, and leaving Ballintaggart on the right, back to Hatfield, where he was left. Dixon’s was blank, and a lame fox in the Hangman’s Rock was killed; found in Gailey’s and going through Griffenstown on to Glenduff bottoms, where he was lost. Grange Con was blank. Then came a good hunt from the Black Bog, going over Tinoran hill to the old covert he came back and leaving the bog on his left, went down to Fenton’s bog, left-handed, over the road near Grange Con, through Knockrigg, on close to Ballinure, swung left-handed and leaving Thomastown on the right, through Barronstown, where hounds were stopped in failing light, after a good fifty minutes.
Saturday, 8th – Celbridge.
This was the worst day this season, and nothing of note was done.
Monday, 10th – The Curragh Stand House.
There was a lot of snow on the ground when horses moved off to draw the Curragh gorse, which held a brace of foxes, one was killed and the other was hunted down to the railway, which he ran nearly to the Curragh Siding, left-handed through the Pollardstown Stud Farm, on to Rathbride, where he got to ground. The snow was very bad on the hills, so hounds were sent home.
Tuesday, 11th – Bishopscourt.
Mrs. Kennedy entertained a large field at Bishopscourt before hounds moved off to draw Cullen’s wood. A fox went away at once towards Pigeon Hill, right-handed to the old covert in Bishopscourt, going through the new covert, past the house, crossed the road at the Blue Door going through Alasty; it looked as if he was going to Turnings, but swinging right-handed by Baronrath and leaving Boston on his left, through Mr. O’Connor’s farm, on over Oughterard, back to Bishopscourt, through the old covert, crossed the Naas-Dublin road near Kill and was lost a little further on, after one hour and ten minutes. Miss G. Kennedy took a bad fall in this hunt. Everyone wishes her a speedy recovery and hopes she will soon be out again. Arthurstown was blank. Found in Newtown bog - we went away towards Eadestown, right-handed, just up to the wall at Forenaughts, down by the old mill at Woolpack, through Mr. Traynor’s, back to Newtown, going straight through by Dassy Lodge, nearly up to Rathmore, over the road. Hounds were brought to their noses, but hunting slowly and well through Arthurstown on past Foddens, up close to Kilteel, where they pulled their fox down in the open, after a capital fox hunt of one hour and fifty minutes.

The Leinster Leader of January 1938 reports on the Kildare Hounds .

February 13, 2010


Leinster Express April 23 1881
After being long and anxiously awaited, we may be said to have at last reached the eve of our great National carnival of steeplechasing, the fame of which, it is no exaggeration to say, has extended to every portion of the civilized world. Wherever the love of sport has penetrated, there also has Punchestown been heard of, while in this country it is the one grand institution of which all classes of Irishmen, from peer to peasant, are justly proud. No other meeting of its kind in existence can equal it; the course is the most perfect for cross-country sport to be found; the management of the gathering is such that most competent judges pronounced it beyond further improvement. Tuesday and Wednesday next will be devoted to the celebration, and already visitors from various parts of the United Kingdom are flocking Kildarewards, the Dublin hotels filling rapidly. In addition to this, we hear that the country mansions in the vicinity of the course are opening their portals for the reception of guests, attracted by the re-union which it is only common justice to mention owes its unparalleled grandeur to the exertions of Lord Drogheda, its founder and warmest friend. The prevalence of harsh winds for the past eight or ten days has had the effect of rendering the ground in a very adamantine state, and those who observed the condition of the sod at the Curragh during the week, naturally enough arrived at the conclusion that should some rain not fall before Tuesday, the going must be very hard. However, those who are, or pretend to be, versed in matters meteorological assert with apparent confidence that a visitation from Jupiter Pluvius may be looked for within the next twenty-four hours, and if the rainy divinity banishes Eurus and Boreas for the remainder of the season, he will have conferred a benefit on mankind in general, and asthmatic people in particular. A fine Punchestown is, however, devoutly to be hoped for. We have experienced it in many kinds of weather, and always, and under all circumstances, with pleasure; but unless the sky is cloudless, the sun warm, and the ground dry, its magnificence is, as a matter of course, veiled. We learn that Mr. Waters paid one of his final visits of inspection on Friday (yesterday), and saw the finishing touches put on all the arrangements, and when he is satisfied that all things are in apple-pie order, he should be a bold critic who could find fault. The entries are numerous, and quality amongst the animals engaged compares most favourably with former years. Seldom, indeed, in recent times has a steeplechase handicap fared so well in the way of nominations as the Prince of Wales’s Plate, for which the adjuster of the weights allotted imposts to eight-and-twenty. The acceptances, naturally enough, number much less, but, all the same, it is reasonable to anticipate a very exciting contest.
Taking the programme in regular order, the most important event on the opening day will be the Conyngham Cup, to which the substantial sum of ₤400 in the shape of added money is given. For this there are two and twenty subscribers, and to sift the wheat from the chaff, we may say that the pick of the basket are Rhea, Sir Garnet, Foreman, Seaman and Attainment. The first named of those is a mare for whom we have more than ordinary respect, as she not only goes a good pace, but is a most accomplished fencer. However, when “class” comes to be considered, she cannot be said to rank as highly as Seaman or Sir Garnet, animals that are deemed capable of performing creditably in much higher arenas. If we could make sure that Sir Gartnet was fit and well we should hesitate before passing him, and as it is we shall not discard the son of Victor. Before the Liverpool meeting he met with an accident which necessitated his being scratched for the Grand National, and since then he declined a valuable engagement at Fairy House. In giving 10lbs. to Seaman at Longford last year he showed that he was a downright good animal, but it may be that Seaman was not then the horse that he now is. Mr Linde will no doubt send Seaman to do battle, as he certainly cannot win with Beaumorris after what we saw of him in the Dunboyne Cup at the Ward Hunt meeting last Monday. Foreman is a useful but slow horse, who keeps on the even tenor of his way, and over a course like the Conyngham might easily win, as he once did before. Of Attainment we know little at present, but she promised to make a good chaser. We are warned that danger is to be apprehended from Munster, who would, however, to our thinking be better suited over a short course, and in fine, providing for wins, we shall look for success of
And in the absence of either, FOREMAN may be a good substitute.
In the Bishopscourt Plate are several of whom little can be known, but good accounts are to hand, or there is form to guide to us regarding Perambulator, Beware, Pictus, and Rosemary, of whom the last-names cleared the decks at a military meeting at Cork not long since. Menasha is another that will trouble the best of those engaged, and for the winner I shall depend on
Expecting to find ROSEMARY in the first three.
The race for the Drogheda Stakes is by no means an easy event to deal with, but in suggesting that SWANGROVE and PIRATE will take some beating, we may have a pair that will acquit themselves creditably.
For the Handicap Selling Plate, the pair that please us most are ULYSSES and BLUE BELL, and it will not surprise us if the latter makes amends for her defeat in the Hurdle Race at the Curragh on Thursday.
For the second day only four events can now be dealt with, as the weights for the Railway Place will not be fixed until the night before running. Should BEWARE miss fire in the Bishopscourt Plate she may credit Mr Blake with this event, and to her and ATHLACCA, having a preference for the latter, we shall leave the issue.
The Irish Grand Military reads best for SCORN and BLUE BELL.
Only nine have taken advantage of the cheap terms of getting out of the Prince of Wales’ Plate, and of the twenty standing in we are sure to find fifteen at the post. Neither time nor space will admit or any lengthened analysis of the chances of the probable starters, and we shall simply record our opinion that
will win. If these two are defeated, it will probably be by LADY NEWMAN.
The Farmers’ Challenge Cup will probably be won by CASCADE or THEODORE, and the Kildare Hunt Cup by THE BIRD or ROYAL MEATH.
Research by Mario Corrigan
Typed by Carl Dodd

The Leinster Express of April 1881 reports on the anxiously awaited National carnival of steeplechasing.   Our thanks to Carl Dodd

February 12, 2010


Leinster Leader 14th Jan 2010

Spooky reminder of the Cold War
A spooky Kildare period house which was once at the centre of Ireland’s nuclear disaster plan has been put up for sale by the Dept. of Defence. Few now remember the place which Firmount House, south of Clane, had at the centre of the nation’s emergency planning when the Cold War posturing between the nuclear powers of NATO and the Soviet Pact was at its most threatening in the late 1960s.
Firmount House, built in an austere Victorian style in the 1870s, was converted from its early twentieth century use as a sanatorium to become the Civil Defence Regional Control Centre and the County Control headquarters for counties Kildare and Dublin. The fear among Irish government planners was that in the event of an exchange of nuclear missiles, atomic weapons might impact on Britain and trigger plumes of radioactivity borne on easterly winds across the Irish Sea. A Civil Defence network was set up and trained by the Dept. of Defence but organised at local level by the county councils. The Kildare Civil Defence comprised volunteers who formed a network of wardens. Their duty was to measure radiation in their localities and phone the readings into the control centre at Firmount where the County Manager and his team of advisers would plot the track of the radiation and, so the plan went, would activate warning and evacuation arrangements for the population.
As a warden in the Kildare Civil Defence, this writer recalls visiting Firmount during the National Fallout exercises and observing the County Control teams assimilating the information being phoned in by warden volunteers throughout Co. Kildare. Normally tranquil locations such as Carbury or Staplestown became hotspots on the map in the simulated fight against nuclear disaster. Local Civil Defence wardens phoned in messages in a coded patter indicating the intensity of radiation in their districts. However unlikely the scenario, the volunteer input was impressive as was the commitment of the County Council and Dept. of Defence staff who brought as much realism as possible to the exercise.
 Any impression that Firmount was some kind of high-tech command centre with arrays of radar screens and warning illuminations was quickly dispelled for the visitor– a few blocked-up windows, an old style-telephone exchange, and a kitchen equipped to feed a small army, were about the only concessions to its intended role at the heart of the nuclear alert system for the capital and adjoining counties.
Indeed there had been political sensitivity to media claims that Firmount amounted to a bolt-hole for the top brass in the event of a nuclear strike. The Minister for Defence, Mr. Michael Hilliard TD,  was on the defensive when he rebutted criticism in a statement to the Dáil in April 1967: ‘Considerable publicity by way of Dáil question and otherwise was given to County Control centres some months ago. I would like therefore to take this opportunity of saying that these controls represent a vital link in the Civil Defence system. Under operational conditions the county organization would be directed from them by the County Controller, usually the county or city manager, and his staff.’  Referring to Firmount he reported: ‘Work is in progress on the establishment of a Regional Control, which will be used as the Dublin City and County Control, at Firmount House, Co. Kildare. As a result of further work there during 1967-68 the centre will be operational.’ 
This Cold War role was not the first time that Firmount had a military connection. In 1917, at the height of the First World War carnage, forty beds were pressed into service at Firmount to tend military wounded – some 400 soldiers in all were treated. From 1908 until the early 1960s Firmount had served County Kildare as a fever hospital, named appropriately as St. Conleth’s sanatorium.  Perhaps the most notable name connected with Firmount, albeit to an earlier dwelling on the site, was that of Ellen Dease, from an Old Catholic family with north Leinster roots. Ellen was born there in 1820; after a young life of some privilege she felt a vocation to religious service and was professed as a Loreto sister in 1847. Within days she and four colleagues embarked ship on a hazardous voyage to Toronto where they ministered to a population ravaged by typhus and swelled by starving refugees from Ireland’s famine. She survived many hardships and presided over the foundation of fourteen Loreto convents in North America.
Tenders for Firmount House closed on 15th January marking the end of its ownership by the Dept. of Defence and the severing of a link with Ireland’s Cold War mobilisation in the 1960s. * My thanks to Mr. Pat Given, Clane History Society, for his help with this article. Series: 162.

Liam Kenny in his regular feature article 'Nothing New Under the Sun' in the Leinster Leader reminds us of a  Co. Kildare period house which was once at the centre of Ireland’s nuclear disaster plan.  The house has now been put up for sale by the Dept. of Defence. Our thanks to Liam.

February 11, 2010


Kildare Observer 01/10/1898
Successful Sale of House Property in Newbridge
        On Wednesday last, in the Town Hall, Newbridge, Mr. Robert J. Goff offered for sale the house property situate in Eyre street and Edward street belonging to Mr. Richard Keenan. The holding comprised four lots; and Lot 1, containing cottage and premises, situate in Eyre street, Newbridge, held under lease for 99 years from 1st November, 1861, subject to the annual rent of £5 10s 3d, was knocked down to the bid of Mr. F. Harrigan at £255. Lot 2, comprising cottage and premises situate in Eyre street, Newbridge, held under lease for 99 years from 1st November, 1861, subject, in conjunction with premises mentioned in Lot 1, to the annual rent of £5 10s 3d. but to be sold indemnified from all liability to payment thereof by said premises mentioned on Lot 1, went to the bid of Mr. E. Wallace at £340. Lot 3, which comprises large two-storeyed house and premises situate in Eyre street, Newbridge, held under lease for 99 years from 1st May, 1859, at the annual rent of £8 10s fell to Mr. Thomas Copeland for £420. Lot 4, containing the interest in lease of all that part of the lands of Moorefield on which the Crown Hotel and Crown Lodge are situate, held under indenture of lease dated the 30th day of December, 1867, for the term of 99 years from 29th September, 1867, subject to the annual rent of £6 6s, payable half-yearly on every 25th day of March and 29th September in each year, together with a plot at rear of Mr. John Rheady’s premises, held free of rent for residue or lease for term of 90 years from 29th September, 1864. Bidding for this lot was very spirited, and eventually fell to Mr. Henry Gee for the sum of £1,250. There was a large attendance and bidding throughout was very spirited. Mr. Weldon O’Moloney, solicitor, Dublin, had carriage of sale.

The Kildare Observer of 1898 reports on the sale of property in Eyre Street Newbridge.

February 06, 2010


Leinster Leader January 14th 2010
On the icy plains of Kildare
The cold spell of bone-chilling severity over the past three weeks will go down in the weather history of Ireland as being one of the most prolonged freezes experienced in modern times. But County Kildare is no stranger to weather records. The lowest temperature recorded any where in Ireland in the 20th century was at Lullymore in west Kildare when on 2nd January 1979 the mercury plunged to a low of minus 18.8 Celsius. This was only marginally short of the lowest ever officially recorded temperature of minus 19.1 Celsius at Markree Castle, Co. Sligo in January 1881.
But in terms of severity the number of days below zero matters as well as the value of the coldest temperatures. Already Met Eireann have rated December 2009 as the coldest December for almost thirty years for many parts of the country. Indeed for the Met Eireann station at Mullingar, one of the closest fully equipped stations to Co. Kildare, last December was the coldest on record since the blizzard conditions of January 1982.
 The blizzard of 1982 has generated its own body of folklore. The snow fell deep in a swathe west of the Wicklow hills on a Friday evening, 7th January. Kildare bound commuters leaving work found themselves stranded on the dual-carriageway south of Newlands Cross. Quick thinking on the part of the Roadstone management who were then owners of the corporate premises near Baldonnel came to the rescue. As the snow began to freeze around stranded motorists a message was broadcast on radio that the Roadstone premises would stay open through the night. In a scene reminiscent of a story from polar exploration, drivers and passengers struggled through wind-driven snow to reach the shelter of the premises.
A mixed bag of dual-carriageway users found themselves spending the night under the same roof. They included truck drivers from Northern Ireland who were vocally impatient at having their journey interrupted; a benign bread-van driver who relieved hungry ‘refugees’ by dispersing supplies from his stranded van; and, incongruously, the armed soldiers from an Army cash escort, all thrown together in Roadstone that night. A similar scene was unfolding in snow-bound Naas where cinema manager Paddy Melia kept the Dara cinema open through the night. His generosity was appreciated by long distance drivers who in those pre by-pass years travelled through the Main Street of Naas on their route south.
The Saturday morning brought no respite. The Irish Times newspaper published a spectacular aerial photograph showing trucks jack-knifed across the centre median near Rathcoole and cars covered to their roofs in snow. Some Naas bound travellers walked the carriageway to Kill where they got a lift on a tractor the rest of the way.
A key component of the national emergency response - the Air Corps crews at Baldonnel – were snowed in but the airmen worked round the clock with their small fleet of helicopters to ferry supplies to isolated communities. Kildare’s highest village, Kilteel, was one of the grateful recipients of the Air Corps supply mission.
Prior to the 1982 blizzard one of the most severe weather events was the winter of 1962/63, reckoned by met historians as the coldest since 1740. The freeze set in over Christmas and on New Year’s Eve 1962 some 45 centimetres of snow (almost two inches) blanketed of Ireland. January 1963 brought little relief with continued sub zero temperatures making it the coldest January ever recorded.
However the winter which chilled itself into the memory of a generation was the ‘Big Snow’ of 1947. In this case it was the duration of snow fall which caused great disruption. From late January 1947 to March there were between 20 and 30 days of snowfall. The impacts in the Kildare/West Wicklow area were severe. A bus to Dunlavin had to be dug out of snow drifts. The canals froze throughout Kildare stopping the shipping of badly-needed turf from the Bog of Allen to the capital. People skated on the canal at Kilcock and there are photographs of towns-people sliding on the canal branch to Naas. There were more long term impacts of the 1947 freeze. The rationing restrictions of the Emergency era (second world war) was extended; coal supplies dwindled and there was no fuel for the steam-engines hauling trains on local branch railways such as the Sallins-Naas-Tullow line which was effectively closed, never to be fully reinstated.
The foreboding expressed  by James Joyce at the conclusion of his short story ‘The Dead’ set in a severe winter of 1904 comes to mind: ‘Snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves.’ 
More than a century later Ireland has experienced ‘mutinous Shannon waves’ in terms of the widespread flooding in November 2009. And in years to come, the memory of the snow and ice lodging on the plains of Kildare in January 2010 will no doubt be recalled along with its polar predecessors of 1947, ’63 and ’82.
 Series No: 161.

The icy conditions of times past in County Kildare are recalled by Liam Kenny in his 'Nothing New Under The Sun' series in the Leinster Leader.

February 05, 2010


Leinster Leader, January 7th 2010
Anniversaries a-plenty in the Old Year
Before 2009 disappears from our rear view mirrors it’s worthwhile to pause and recall some of the historical highlights of the Old Year. While it brought plenty of bad news in terms of current affairs it at least offered some modicum of interest for history enthusiasts. There was a whole array of anniversaries – many of them with a strong Co. Kildare connection.
The year was just nine days old when the first significant anniversary was marked, albeit in a low key manner. January 9th marked the centenary of the astounding achievement of perhaps Kildare’s most under-rated son, Ernest Shackleton, who on that date in 1909 reached a point further south on planet earth than any other human being had reached. After a punishing trek of 730 miles into the lacerating winds of the Antarctic continent Shackleton chose survival before glory by making the agonizing decision to turn his famished team of four explorers back in the direction of safety. It was a hard call to make -- being first to reach the South Pole had become the holy grail of the exploration world and they had come within a hundred miles. On an appropriately chilly night on 9th January 2009 a small party of Shackleton enthusiasts from the Athy Shackleton committee gathered in the haggard at Kilkea House, birthplace of the great explorer, and, illuminated only by Tilley lamps, recalled in spirit his achievement of reaching the furthest point south.
Another low-key anniversary was marked in April in Aras Cill Dara in Naas when the 110th anniversary of Kildare’s first democratic local elections was marked. In April of 1899 the general public of the county was given the right to vote for their local representatives. Although local elections have been held at irregular intervals since then it was a happy coincidence that local elections took place in June of 2009 – the 23rd occasion on which the voters of Kildare had elected their councillors since that first tumultuous local poll in 1899.
A contrast with such worthwhile but low-profile anniversaries was the big-ticket anniversary of 125 years of the GAA. The occasion was celebrated at national level by the GAA with special commemorative events on and off the playing field while Kildare GAA historian Eoghan Corry authored a book and contributed to a series of television documentaries on the anniversary. Here the Leinster Leader must disclose a certain interest as the second ever editor of the paper, John Wyse-Power, was among the now iconic seven founders who met at Hayes’ Hotel on the 1st November 1884 little knowing that they were mobilising passions which would evolve into what has been described as the greatest amateur sporting organisation in the world.
Another anniversary of global proportions yet with a strong Kildare connection was the 250th anniversary of the enterprise known as Arthur Guinness & Sons of James’ Street Dublin. The original Arthur Guinness first tasted roast hops in Celbridge and Leixlip before moving to take the lease at James’ Street in 1759. The modern Guinness company (or Diageo to give it the correct corporate name) chose a date in September as ‘Arthur’s Day’ and the hilltop cemetery at Oughterard, just east of Ardclough, saw a steady stream of history-conscious (but sober) locals paying homage at the founding uncle Arthur’s burial place.
Some of the porter from the brewery was transported on the Naas branch of the Grand Canal. The 220th anniversary of this engineering feat was marked in October 2009 with a rally of restored old barges to the harbour in the county town.
Other County Kildare anniversaries noted in 2009 included the 50th anniversary of St. Brigid’s Garrison Church on the Curragh and the 125th anniversary of the completion of St. Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s church in Clane – the latter marked by a lovely televised Mass on RTE at the beginning of Advent.
Thus 2009 brought more than its share of anniversaries and commemorations to Kildare. And while the current affairs record of 2009 will be remembered for its grim procession of bad news involving everything from falling banks to rising floods but, for better or for worse, it too will become part of our history.
And so we look to twenty-ten (or is it two thousand and ten?) to add another chapter, hopefully a brighter one, to the record of our lived experience.
Series No.160.

In his regular Leinster Leader feature 'Nothing New Under The Sun', Liam Kenny recalls the many anniversaries that were commemorated in Kildare in 2009.

February 02, 2010


St Mochua Historical Society
meeting in Kelly’s Lounge,
Wednesday 3 February 2010
at 8.30 pm
        Espionage in County Kildare during the War of Independence 1919-21
                                                     by Seamus Cullen
The period of conflict in Ireland between 1916 and 1923 has often been referred to as the Irish Revolution. It consisted of three separate encounters; the Easter Rising; the War of Independence and the Civil War. There was an important Timahoe involvement in all three phases of the conflict.
The War of Independence from a nationalist point of view was probably the most successful military encounter in Irish History as it resulted in achieving the self determination that we now enjoy. Although there were five counties principally involved namely; Dublin; Cork; Tipperary; Kerry and Limerick, nevertheless every county in Ireland played an important part. County Kildare despite having a substantial concentration of British Army stationed in various barracks across the centre of the county played an effective part in the struggle.
The story of the ‘War of Independence’ in Kildare can be divided into many chapters with one of the most interesting been the ‘area of intelligence gathering’. Throughout the ages in Irish history, the secrets of various rebel movements and nationalist societies were continually passed on to the authorities who enjoyed total intelligence superiority. That all changed during the war of independence due to the effectiveness of Michael Collins’s intelligence unit which was centred in Dublin. However, successful espionage wasn’t confined to the capital as the story of intelligence in county Kildare played a vital part in the national movement gaining superiority in this area.
The ‘Timahoe talk’ on espionage in the county during the War of Independence will detail the role of double agents and the passing of top secret intelligence to the militants engaged in the national struggle between 1919 and 1921. Accounts detailing the effective use of this intelligence will also be given. The talk will be fully illustrated with contemporary photographs of all the principal personnel involved.

A very interesting talk, 'Espionage in County Kildare during the War of Independence 1919-21,' by well-known author and local historian, Seamus Cullen, will take place in Kelly's Lounge in Timahoe, tommorw night, Wed. 3 Feb. at 8.30 p.m. The event is hosted by the St. Mochua Historical Society. All welcome


 Kill History Group
Spring & Summer 2010
Monday 22nd February:    The Kill ‘File’
(Paddy Behan)
Monday 22nd March: Early Kildare Motoring
 (Bob Webster)
Monday 26th April:     The Curragh Plain
(Hugh Crawford)
Monday 24th May:   ‘From the Civil War to the Emergency’
                                      Newsreels 1922-1941
                                      (Adrian Mullowney)
Monday 28th June:     The Old House
                                      (Kevin Lawlor)
All meetings take place in the Parish Meeting Room at 8.30 p.m.
(unless otherwise indicated)

A note from Brian McCabe to announce the impressive schedule of talks for the first part of 2010 by the Kill Local History Group  

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