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November 30, 2010


To Hell or Connaught. The Kildare Transplanted

James Durney

When Oliver Cromwell’s son-in-law, Charles Fleetwood, took over the civil and military command of Ireland in 1652, he arrived in a country devastated by pestilence, famine and eleven years of vicious warfare. Both the English merchants, who had financed the Commonwealth Army in Ireland, and the soldiers themselves, now demanded the land they had been promised as payment for their services. In August 1652 an act of the Commonwealth Parliament, entitled An Act for the Settling of Ireland, declared that a position had been reached when a settlement of the Irish nation might be effected. The preamble intimated that the settlement did not contemplate the ‘extirpation’ of the whole nation. A series of ‘Qualifications’ distinguished various punitive circumstances – degrees of guilt in the ‘rebellion’ begun in 1641 – and defined the penalties and forfeitures attaching to the respective persons comprehended. Penalties were banishment, proportionate forfeitures of estates and removal to such places in Ireland as the Parliament might direct. That ‘place’ was announced on behalf of the Parliament in additional instructions to Charles Fleetwood, Commander-in-Chief, and other Commissioners of the Parliament for the Government of Ireland on 2 July 1653 – the Province of Connaught and the County of Clare. They were by this order to proclaim that ‘for the better security of all those parts of Ireland which are intended to be planted with English and Protestants’, all persons who had right to articles or to any favour and mercy by the Qualifications of the Act of 1652 should before 1 May 1654 remove and transplant themselves into the province and county already specified.
There followed a relentless persecution of the Catholics in Ireland, with mass transportations to the West Indies, and a ruthless elimination by trial, imprisonment and execution of all those who had taken part in the bloody insurrection of 1641. The transplantation may be said to have begun with the appointment of Commissioners to the town of Loughrea, County Galway, 112 miles from Dublin, the seat of government. Their instructions dated 6 January 1654 communicated the purpose of their appointment, namely the setting out and distributing of lands to persons to be removed into Connaught and Clare. Heads of families liable to transplant were to proceed to the Commissioners of Revenue in the precinct where they lived. The fifteen precincts into which Ireland was divided were Dublin, Trim, Athy, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, Clonmel, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Athlone, Galway, Belturbet, Belfast and Derry. They were to give the names of their families, particulars of tenants and others who were prepared to accompany them voluntarily. Ages, colour of hair, height and distinguishing marks were to be listed by the Commissioners plus an account of cattle and tillage. After satisfying themselves as to the accuracy of the information the Commissioners of Revenue were to issue Transplantation Certificates which, when presented to the authorities in the reserved area, would entitle the holder to land proportioned under the Act of Settlement. The heads of families were then to travel to Connaught or Clare, claim their allocated land, and there build huts to house their families and tenants who were to follow them before 1 May 1954.
Some landowners protested while others resignedly obeyed. The first two recorded transplanters were Mrs. Alison Aylmer, of Co. Kildare, and Mrs. Mary Bermingham, of Bermingham Castle, Tuam, both of whom were widows. Their decrees were dated respectively 12 January and 4 September, though their ‘First Settlements’ did not materialize until 1656.
The project for the redistribution of the population evidently had far-reaching economic and social effects on the Irish landowners, turned adrift in the comparatively unproductive counties of Connaught and Clare after their fields, farms and estates had been confiscated, and while the transplantation was ultimately – for many reasons – only a partial success, nevertheless, a recorded sixteen Kildare families were transplanted, in whole or in part, to baronies in Counties Roscommon, Galway, Mayo and Clare. Of the six baronies of County Roscommon, Cork and Wexford were assigned two, and Kildare, Meath, Queen’s and Dublin, four.

Barony of Athlone
                                            Irish acres (profitable decreed)
Alison Aylmer, widow. Co. Kildare.                                                                           716
Lady Mary Dongan, alias Talbot, widow. Castletown.                                              1,569

Barony of Ballintober
Pierce Fitzgerald, alias McThomas, and his mother Sissly.                                        1,055
Thomas Fitzgerald, Co. Kildare, decreed                         
100 acres. For the same name from Limerick
500 acres and from Westmeath 300 acres.
Ann Sherlock, Co. Kildare.                                                                                        123

Barony of Boyle
Garrett Sutton, Richardstown.                                                                                     100

Barony of Roscommon
Pierce Fitzgerald, alias McThomas, and his mother                                                    

Barony of Athenry
Philip Fitzgerald, Allen.                                                                                            4,200

Barony of Clare
Lady Mary Dongan, alias Talbot, widow. Castletown.                                            
Walter Hussey, Cappabeg.                                                                                        400
Matthew Nangle, Ballysax.                                                                                        600

Barony of Dunkellin
Philip Fitzgerald, Allen.                                                                                           
Sir Walter Dongan. Castletown.                                                                              1,500

Barony of Kilconnell
Sir Walter Dongan. Castletown.                                                                           

Barony of Killian
Katherine Dillon, alias Wogan. Barbarstown.                                                             364

Barony of Kiltartan
Katherine Dillon, alias Wogan. Barbarstown.                    
Pierce Fitzgerald, alias McThomas, and his mother                                           
Thomas Fitzgerald, Co. Kildare, decreed 100 acres.

Barony of Longford
Philip Fitzgerald, Allen.                                                     

Barony of Loughrea
Philip Fitzgerald, Allen.                                                     

Barony of Tiaquin
Katherine Dillon, alias Wogan. Ballydowd.                       

Barony of Gallen
Matthew Nangle (or Neagle), Co. Kildare

Barony of Tirawley
William, Robert, Michael and Thomas, sons of
Sir John Dongan, Bt., deceased. Co. Kildare                                                               550
James Sherlock, Naas.                                                                                                381

Barony of Moyarta
Ann & Martha Eustace, daughters to Eustace of Confy.                                               222
Bridget, Francis & Clare Eustace, Confy.                                                                    166

Barony of Tulla
Matthew Nangle, Ballysax.                                               
Philip Nangle, Co. Kildare.


In September 1653, Cromwell's plan for colonization of Ireland became law. Sixteen Co. Kildare families were given the choice - to Hell or Connaught!


From printing at Naas to service in Vietnam

Leinster Leader 29 June 1968

On a three-weeks holiday in his native Naas is Petty Officer John O’Mahony, United States Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. O’Mahony, New Row, now living in Dublin. Having served his apprenticeship to the printing trade in the “Leinster leader, Ltd.”, Mr. O’Mahony worked at his craft in printing houses and newspaper offices in Cork, Tralee and Dublin before emigrating to the United States in 1958. There he worked at his trade in New York and other cities until 1961 when he decided to make America the land of his adoption and enlisted in the Navy, since then he has had a life packed with variety and experiences.
 At the completion of his training at Great Lakes Training Centre, Illinois, he passed out as Honoursman of the Company and performed the first task assigned him so efficiently that he received a testimonial from the Commander of his squadron Amphibious Squadron Five. Of the four years served in the Navy, he spent three on service at Viet Nam in the course of which he had some thrilling experiences. Here again, in 1965, he received another recommendation for efficiency and in March 1966 he was again recommended.
 But all his work was not confined to naval routine and his service as a printer was called upon more than once and on each occasion received appreciation for excellence of quality and efficiency. The credit for this, he says, goes to “Leinster Leader, Ltd.”, because of the training he got there during his apprenticeship and the spirit of co-operation which existed.
 One of the recommendations refers to his “enduring efforts, co-operation and professional attitude in lending assistance in producing finished products of high quality when printing the operation orders …” while another stated: “On numerous occasions you were called upon by Commander Amphibious Squadron Five for the printing of priority operation orders. On each occasion you responded in an extremely competent manner, at times working round the clock to meet established datelines …”
 It states that as a direct result of his professional ability, co-operation and enthusiasm he contributed significantly to three code-named operations. After a number of difficult tests, Mr. O’Mahony gained promotion and after two years’ service reached the rank of Petty Officer, Second Class. Before he decided to apply for his discharge in 1965 he had been recommended for further promotion. On his discharge he was appointed to the Navy Department, Federal Civil Service, and is stationed at the Naval Air Base, North Island, San Diego, California. Six months ago he was elected Chairman of the Employees Council of the Navy Air Staff, a Federal Civil Servants organisation.
 He is holder of three medals – the National Defence Service medal; the Republic of Viet Nam Campaign medal and the Viet Nam medal, with three bronze bars. Mr. O’Mahony is grandson of Mrs. and the late Mr. J. Boyne, Basin Street, Naas.

An article from the Leinster Leader of 29 June 1968 on Naas man John O'Mahony, serving in the US Navy, on a hoilday trip home.

November 27, 2010


What it said in the papers

25 January 1941
Leinster Leader

Gift to Naas Council
Free Manure

At the meeting of the Naas Urban Council on Tuesday, a letter was read from Miss Mollie Brown, Ard Caein, Naas, intimating  that she would be glad to give two lorry loads of farm manure or six large cart loads for their allotments.
Mrs. Higgins - That is very generous on Miss Brown's part. We should formally thank her.
Mr. O'Donoghue - It is certainly most thoughful.
Chairman - Send her a very nice reply, Mr. Boyle.
Town Clerk - It would be well there were some other people like Miss Brown.
Chairman - Manure is gold now.

Escaped prisoners re-captured

Four of the British airmen interned at the Curragh Camp made a "get-away" on Monday night, their escape being discovered about 10 p.m. Their names are Mayhew, Coddington, Proctor and Newman.
Calls were sent out by the authorities at the Curragh to Military, Garda and L.S.F. over a wide area, and by 1 p.m. on Tuesday, all four had been gathered in.
The four had evidently scattered after leaving the Curragh, as one was picked up at Naas and the others in the Rathcoole area.

Priest's Jubilee

Native of Naas

Mr. Lacey proposed at the meeting of the Naas Urban Council on Tuesday night the following resolution:-

"That we the members of the Naas Urban District Council, wish and hereby offer our sincere congratulations to the Rev. James Foynes on the attainment of his silver jubilee as a Priest of God, in which high office he has shown himself to be a true teacher of the Gospel of Charity.
"As one born and brought up in Naas we feel proud of him, and we trust the Almighty may grant him long life to the attainment of even greater service in his new sphere as Administrator to the important parish of Tullow."
Mr. Fitzsimons - I beg to second the resolution. I know Father Foynes since he was a child, and I was present at his ordination at Carlow. We are all delighted to hear of his appointment to Tullow. The people of Naas are justly proud of, I might say, our own priest, whom we watched grow up from childhood.
Chairman - I wish to endorse all that has been said.
Mr. Murphy - We all hope that Father Foynes may have many long and fruitful years in the sacred ministry.
Mr. O'Donoghue - That is the unanimous wish of the Council.
The resolution was passed unanimously.

New Commissioner of Oaths

Mr. P. O'Connor, of the Co. Registers Office, Naas, has been appointed the Commissioner of Oaths.

Naas Market

There were no supplies at Naas market on Thursday.

Politicians were not just talking manure in the lean 1940s. What it said in the Leinster Leader on 25 January 1941.

November 23, 2010


Launch of Acorn to Oak. Presentation Convent and Schools. Kildare Town 1830-2010.

The Presentation Sisters in Kildare Town must have left the Infant de Praque statue out the night before because on Presentation Day, Sunday 21 November 2010, in glorious sunshine, hundreds of people - some travelling long distances - responded to the 'all are welcome' invitation by turning up for the launch of Acorn to Oak. Presentation Convent and Schools. Kildare Town 1830-2010. The book, compiled and edited by Joseph Connelly and published by Cill Dara Historical Society, was officially launched by the Provincial of the Presentation Sisters of Ireland (Northern Province), Sister Elizabeth Maxwell. The celebrations began with mass at 11 o'clock in St. Brigid's Parish Church, beautifully celebrated by Father Adrian Carbery and accompanied by the Parish Choir, with the Choirs of Scoil Bhride Naofa and the Presentation Secondary School Choir. Former Presentation pupil, Mary Sheridan de Bruin, sang Panis Angelicus and nine year old Ellen Heffernan, a Scoil Bhride Naofa pupil, sang liam Lawton's Hiding Place.

The joyful athmosphere at the launch in the Assembly Hall of Scoil Bhride Naofa made this a most memorable occasion, with contributions from Cill Dara Society members Mary D'Arcy (President), Mario Corrigan and Joseph Connelly, Paula Watters (Principal, Scoil Bhride Naofa); Herbie Wilkins (Principal, Presentation Secondary School, Kildare), and Sr. Cecilia, (Presentation Sisters, Kildare). Hundreds of past and present pupils, teachers and staff attended the very successful event and an excellant hot and cold buffet was provided for all by the Presentation Sisters and served by the Silken Thomas staff.

An ideal Christmas present Acorn to Oak is on sale at 26.99 in Malone's, Southwells, Rowanville Stores, The Heritage Centre and Aras Bhride (Parish Centre) in Kildare Town; Farrell and Nephew in Newbridge; and Barker and Jones in Naas.

A reminder that the Cill Dara Historical Society's December Talk '1910 and 1960. What it said in the papers,' with Mario and Joe, which was postponed due to the weather takes place in the Education Centre on this Wednesday 15th December at 8pm. All are welcome.

On Sunday 21 November 2010 hundreds of local people turned up for the launch of Acorn to Oak. Presentation Convent and Schools. Kildare Town 1830-2010.

November 20, 2010


Kathleen Lonsdale. An early Newbridge childhood.
James Durney

On the corner of Charlotte Street and Henry Street stands Charlotte House, built around 1850. It was a former post office building and the birthplace of Kathleen Lonsdale, the famous physician. Kathleen was born on 28 January 1903 to Harry and Jessie Yardley. She was the youngest of ten children, four girls and six boys. Her family were quite poor and four of her five brothers died in infancy. She once wrote: 'Perhaps, for my sake, it was as well that there was no testimony against a high birth rate in those days.'
English-born Harry Yardley married Jessie Cameron in 1889. He joined the British army through the City of London Volunteers and fought in the South African war, finally becoming regimental sergeant major. There is a family story that Harry received special commendation on his discharge for improvements he had introduced in firing techniques. He returned from the wars to Ireland to be postmaster in charge of a staff of six at Newbridge post office, then situated in Charlotte House. Here Kathleen was born and her earliest ‘and very faint’ memories were of attending the Church of Ireland service on Sunday mornings in Newbridge and the Methodist Sunday School on Sunday afternoons – which had the great advantage that the children had a very wide circle of friends. Because of the British army barracks in the town Newbridge once had a thriving Protestant community and packed services were held at St. Patrick’s Church, at Chapel Lane and Moorefield Road. Kathleen also remembered being very happy at her first school, learning to count with yellow balls.
Harry Yardley was an intelligent and very well read man and Kathleen later wrote: ‘I think that it was from him that I inherited my passion for facts.’ However, he drank at times and kept his wife chronically short of money. All the Yardley children were persuaded by their mother at an early age to ‘sign the pledge’. It was Jessie Yardley, who worried about the political state of Ireland, decided to bring the children back to England in 1908, when Kathleen was five. They settled in Seven Kings, Essex, and Kathleen attended Downshall Elementary School from 1908 to 1914, and then won a County minor scholarship which took her to the County High School for Girls at Ilford from 1914 to 1919.
Kathleen’s eldest brother, Fred, won a scholarship from school, but money was then so short in the family, his parents could not allow him to take it up. Fred had to start earning money to help keep the family going – as, indeed, did all the other four children, until Kathleen, the youngest, was reached. Fred, nevertheless, had a very successful career as one of the first wireless operators in 1910. He received the last signals from the ill-fated Titanic in 1912. He later established one of the first schools of wireless telegraphy in the north of England.
At the age of sixteen Kathleen entered Cambridge University and at the end of her first year gained a University scholarship. Against all advice she decided to change from mathematics to physics – her old headmistress warned Kathleen that she had little chance of distinguishing herself in that subject. It was a wise choice. She excelled in physics and later became a crystallographer, who corroborated the suspected planar hexagonal structure of benzene by X-ray and neutron diffraction methods.
Kathleen married a fellow research student Thomas Jackson Lonsdale in 1927. They had three children – Jane, Nancy and Stephen. Thomas and Kathleen – brought up as a strict fundamentalist Baptist – joined the Society of Friends, or Quakers. As a conscientious objector to war she failed to register both for employment and civil defence duties in 1939 and was fined £2. She refused to pay the fine on principle and was jailed in Halloway Prison for a month in February 1943. On her release she was invited to Ireland to the Institute of Advanced Studies Summer School in Dublin. The main subject was the thermal vibrations of atoms and molecules in crystals. The lectures were held under the chairmanship of Erwin Schrődinger and were attended throughout by the Taoiseach, Eamonn de Valera. It was her first visit to Ireland since she had left twenty five years before, in 1908. After the meeting Kathleen paid a brief visit to her birthplace in Newbridge.
Kathleen Yardley died of cancer on 1 April 1971. She left very beautiful and characteristic notes of her life in her Personal Record for the Royal Society of Friends. A meeting to remember her life was held at Friends’ House, Euston Road, on 20 May 1971. It was, as her life was, very enjoyable.

 On the corner of Charlotte Street and Henry Street in Newbridge stands Charlotte House. It was a former post office building and the birthplace of Kathleen Lonsdale, the famous crystallographer.


November 18, 2010


Formation of Newbridge Local History Group

In recent years there has been a great resurgence in local history, heritage and genealogy in County Kildare. A meeting was convened to form a history group in the town in Newbridge Library by the County Kildare Library Services and notified to the public through the local news media. Upwards of 30 people attended an inaugural meeting on 21 October and they provided their names and contact particulars for future communications. It was decided to have the first meeting on the third Tuesday of November, 2010, at 7pm.

On 16 November the group held its first offical meeting, which was attended by twenty persons. It was acknowledged that Newbridge had a history group some years ago and it is hoped the new group will continue for many years to come. Mario Corrigan, of the Library’s Resource and Archives Centre offered the support of Newbridge Library and the use of the seminar room on the Tuesday evening when the Library is open until 8pm for meetings.

At this first meeting a committee was formed. It was decided to name the group 'Newbridge Local History Group,' and to have its meetings on the third Tuesday of every month. Historian and author, James Durney, gave the new group its first official talk with a slide show on the Newbridge Heritage trail. The Newbridge Heritage Trail was devised by James through the Local Resource and Library Services in conjunction with the County Heritage Officer, Brigid Loughlin.

The next meeting of Newbridge Local History Group is scheduled for 14 December 2010 in the Library seminar room at 7 pm, at which the committee will organise events and functions for the new year. A programme for January-June will be suggested. All are welcome.

On 16 November 2010 Newbridge Local History Group held its first offical meeting at which a committee was formed to organise events and functions for the new year.

November 12, 2010


Brothers in Arms

James Durney

On 26 March 1916 Private William Wilmot, Athgarvan, was killed in action while serving with the Irish Guards on the Western Front. Back home in Co. Kildare William’s death was received with shock and sorrow. However, his younger brother, Thomas, had only recently being seriously wounded in revolver practice with the Athgarvan Company, Irish Volunteers. The story of the Wilmot brothers is not unique. Many families in Co. Kildare, and throughout Ireland, had fathers, brothers, and sons serving in both, or either, the British forces and the Irish Republican movement.
William and Thomas Wilmot were born four years apart – William in 1892 and Thomas in 1896 – the sons of George Wilmot, a Devonshire-born stoker, and Catherine, or Kate, Wilmot, nee Dillon, a native of Co. Tipperary. The Wilmot’s lived at Linden House, Athgarvan, and had six children, all born in Co. Kildare. William was employed as a groom when he joined the Irish Guards on October 2 1914, at a recruiting office in Naas, at the age of twenty-three. There was a height restriction for the Guards regiment and William was recorded as being five foot eight inches; 135 lbs; with fresh complexion, hazel eyes and black hair. A day after signing up for three years with the colours, or the duration of the war, William was shipped over to England to join No. 5 Company (training company) at the Irish Guards training depot in Warley, Brentwood, Essex, England. He proved to be good at musketry and field work; was well turned out on parade and average at gymnastics. Passing out of the Depot as a private soldier William was posted to No. 2 Company, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and shipped out from Southampton to France on active service with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on March 11 1915.
The 1st Irish Guards had been in France since August 13, nine days after Britain had declared war on Germany. They had fought in the retreat from Mons, and in battles at the Marne and Aisne river, and at First Ypres. The front had since stabilised into trench warfare where they received drafts of replacements to bring the battalion back up to strength. Intended to discourage the Germans from reinforcing their armies opposing a massive French attack towards Lens, the 1st Irish Guards were to suffer the true futility of the war they were now fighting. At the battle of Festubert, between Laventie and Richbourg, near Arras in Artois, they were caught by enfilading machine-guns on what had once been flat and open fields. The battalion was cut to ribbons and Private William Wilmot was wounded by gunshots to his right eye and left buttock. He was one of nearly 400 casualties the 1,100-strong battalion suffered.
William was sent back to a field hospital in Wimereux, a French seaside town between Boulonge-Sur-Mer and Calais. On May 25 he was sent to Boulonge for transport back to England and two days later he crossed the Channel. William spent almost two months recuperating in hospital and at the Guards Depot at Warley, in Essex. On July 20 1915 he returned to the front line in France. They were joined by another Irish Guards battalion, the 2nd, which along with the 1st, became part of a newly formed Guards Division. After a period of training the Guards Division were involved in the Battle of Loos, where again the Irish troops suffered heavy casualties. The fighting dragged on into 1916 and a period of bitter, tedious trench warfare followed. The 1st Irish Guards moved into billets at Brandhoek near Vlamertingheon on March 16 where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a huge dinner and inter-company football competitions.
On March 23 the 1st Irish Guards moved into the front line trenches on the Ypres canal bank in Belgium. It was there on March 26 1916, that Pte. William Wilmot was killed instantly by a direct hit on his dug-out by a single ‘Whizz-Bang’ shell. (The German 77mm artillery shell was commonly known as a ‘Whizz-Bang’ because the noise the shell made as it travelled faster than the speed of sound – the soldiers heard the ‘whizz’ sound, before the ‘bang’ from the gun itself.) He is buried in Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery, north-east of Ypres, Belgium. In 1929 the Kildare Board of Health erected a memorial in the Newbridge Parish Cemetery, St. Conleth’s, on which William Wilmot’s name – and that of forty-eight other natives of the area – are inscribed. William was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal 1914-18, and the Allied Victory Medal – which are still in the family’s possession.

Wilmot Medals WWIsmall.jpg
William Wilmot's medals

While William Wilmot joined the British army, his brother, Tom, a bookkeeper, joined the Irish Volunteers. When George Redmond, the political leader of the Home Rule movement, pledged that the Volunteers would join the British army in support of the European war, he initiated a split in the Volunteer movement. Athgarvan Company voted 3-1 to reject Redmond’s offer and Michael Smith continued as Company commander with William Jones, an ex-corporal in the British army, as drill instructor. Bill Jones later married Tom Wilmot’s sister, Annie, or Nan. A keen nationalist Tom Wilmot played hurling and football for Lord Edward Hurling and Football Club (Eyrefield), as did his brother George, who had returned home in July 1914 after being several years resident in England where he had served his apprenticeship in the horse-racing industry. George and his youngest sister, Kitty, were also active in Eyrefield Dramatic Class. As a young man Tom was a very good footballer and also played for Athgarvan GFC. As Athgarvan Company, Irish Volunteers was nearest the Curragh military camp it was giving the task of procuring arms and ammunition from sympathetic soldiers there. In January 1916 at revolver practice, Tom Wilmot was accidentally severely wounded. He was brought as a patient to Drogheda Memorial Hospital, near the Curragh Camp, but the whole incident was hushed up as he was attended by Dr. Laurence Rowan, who was a medical officer with the republican movement. Tom was well enough to attend the Kildare GAA annual County Convention in the Town Hall, in Naas, in March 1916. In early 1921 the British authorities opened a new internment camp for republicans at the Curragh, known as the Rath Camp. One of the first internees from the county was Tom Wilmot. He remained there until the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in December 1921, when all the internees were released under the terms of the treaty. When the National Army was set up in 1922 Tom was offered a commission, which he refused.

Tom Wilmotsmall.jpg
Tom Wilmot c.1950s
Tom Wilmot was appointed assistant-librarian in 1927 with Kildare Co. Council, with who he remained for thirty years until his retirement. He moved to the newly-built Crescent housing estate, on the Curragh road, in 1939, where he cared for his widowed mother for the last ten years of her life, which she spent, confined to her bed. He never took a penny from the State for this. (Kate Wilmot died in 1957, aged ninety-five – her husband, George, preceded her having died in 1928, aged sixty.) Tom refused an IRA pension and an old-age pension and after he left the Co. Council worked for P. J. Cox as a book-keeper and as manager of the greyhound track when it was located in the GAA grounds. He was an accomplished musician and played the piano, violin, banjo, drums, and accordion. Tom formed his own céilí band and some of the famous Gallowglass Band cut their teeth with his Tom Wilmot Céilí Band.  In a 2008 interview Christy Moore cited Tom Wilmot as one of his musical influences. Tom was a founder member of the Ryston Pitch and Putt Club; a member of the Newbridge branch of Gael Linn; a member of the Gaelic League and a keen photographer. Tom Wilmot died on Christmas Eve 1974, aged seventy-nine. He is buried in St. Conleth’s Cemetery, Newbridge. Nearby is the WWI memorial where his brother, William’s name is inscribed.
WWI Death Penny Wilmotsmall.jpg
William Wilmot's - 'Death Penny'

My thanks to Deirdre Twomey, Kathleen Hewitt, Phil Tompkins, Mary Hogan and Marie Healy.

In 1916 William Wilmot, from Athgarvan, was serving with the British Army in Flanders, while back home in Kildare his younger brother, Tom, was preparing for the Easter Rising with the Irish Volunteers.

November 09, 2010


Congo bound

James Durney

In July 1960 Ireland began its first United Nations peace-keeping mission when the 32nd Infantry Battalion left Dublin for six months service in the former Belgian Congo. A month later another Irish battalion, the 33rd, left Baldonnel airdrome for the Congo as the security situation further deteriorated. The Leinster Leader of 3 September 1960 published a list of men based in the Curragh Camp who were serving with the 32nd and 33rd Battalions in the Congo. (Men serving in Naas and Kildare Barracks are not included.)

On Peace Mission in Congo

Officers, N.C.O.’s and men of the Curragh Camp who are in the Congo with the 33rd Battalion include the following:
Lt. Kevin Daly, Dublin Road, Naas; S.S. Ned Burke, 1446 Carna, Suncroft; S.S. James Byrne, Old Road, Kildare; S.S. James Morgan, James St., Newbridge; Cpl. John Allen, Grangemore, Kilcullen; Pte. Brian Deegan, 17 Pacelli Road, Naas; S.S. Patrick O’Brien, 837 Rathfield, Newbridge; B.S.M. Daniel Douglas, Main St., Portarlington; S.S. James Connolly, Castlesize, Sallins, Naas.
 Cpl. John Ging, Narraghmore, South Kildare; Pte. Robert Hall, 882 Rathfield, Droichead Nua; Pte. Nicholas McGlynn, 3 St. Patrick’s Terrace, Naas; Pte. Thomas Kelly, 633 St. Patrick’s Park, Celbridge; Cpl. Joseph O’Neill, 1434 Carna, Suncroft; Pte. Donal Conway, 1435 Carna, Suncroft; Pte. Micahel Ryan, 844 Piercetown, Droichead Nua; Cpl. Seamus Graham, 786 Rowanville, Kildare.
 Pte. Patrick Creighton, 62 St. Corban’s Place, Naas; Cpl. Michael J. Sparrow, 1761 Pairc Mhuire, Droichead Nua; Cpl. Thomas Sweeney, 834 Piercetown, Droichead Nua; Sean Caffrey, Branganstown, Kilcock; Pte. Michael Caffrey, do.; Pte. Joseph Leigh, Belan, Moone; Sgmn. Thomas J. Bevan, 13 B Block, Pearse Bks., Curragh; Sgmn Peter Foley, 37 Pacelli Road, Naas; Sgmn. James O’Neill, 31 St. David’s Terrace, Naas; Pte. Michael Walsh, 3 A Block, Clarke Bks., Curragh Camp.
 S.S. Thomas Talbot, Carna, Suncroft; Cpl. Timothy Durney, 1651 Pairc Mhuire, Droichead Nua; S.S. Stephen Dempsey, Iron Hills, Suncroft; S.S. Denis Reid, 1757 Pairc Mhuire, Droichead Nua; S.S. Eamonn Donohue, 811 Station Road, Droichead Nua; S.S. Patrick Cahill, Cowpasture, Monasterevan; S.S. William Canning, 1427 Carna, Suncroft.
 Cpl. Jas. Ging, Broomfield, Moone; Cpl. John Loughman, 751 Rowanville, Kildare; Sgt. Thomas Wilson, Hospital St., Kildare; S.S. Sean Cogan, Athgarvan; S.S. Christopher Ennis, Donaney, Co. Kildare; S.S. Michael Canning, 1427 Carna, Suncroft; Cre. Richard Hall, St. Patrick’s Terrace, Droichead Nua; Cpl. Edward Whitely, 893 Station Road, Droichead Nua.
 Cpl. Martin Thompson, Athgarvan, Curragh; Pte. William Brow, 1257 Campion Cottages, Kildare; Pte. James Caulfield, Knockroe, Maganey, Co. Kildare; Pte. Patrick Rooney, Kilmurry South, Kildare; Cpl. Peter Kavanagh, Ballantine, Kilmeague, Naas; Pte. Daniel Finn, 1470 Assumpta Villas, Kildare; Pte. Arthur Costello, 40 Pairc Brighde, Athy; Cpl. Patrick O’Sullivan, 548 Ballymanny, Droichead Nua.

32nd Battalion
N.C.O.’s and men from Eastern Command with the 32nd Battalion include:
Cpl. John Finlay, Main St., Celbridge; Pte. John Kelly, Maynooth; Pte. Edward Connolly, 350 Greenfield Cottage, Maynooth; Cpl. John McNair, 12 Davitt St., Tullamore; Pte. Joseph Sullivan, 30 Clontarf Road, Tullamore; Tpr. John Birchall, 20 Newtown Park, Tallaght; Cpl. James Ward, Woodlands, Castledermot; Gnr. Patrick Rock, Main St., Maynooth.

Curragh Camp
The following soldiers  from Curragh Camp are with the 32nd Battalion:
Sgt. Patrick Sludds, 3 James St., Droichead Nua; Sgt. Patrick O’Neill, 680 Ballymanny, Droichead Nua; Pte. Joseph Mallon, 215 Ballysax, Curragh; Cpl. Thomas Keogh, 802 Piercetown, Droichead Nua; Cpl. Patrick Durney, 1651 Pairc Mhuire, Droichead Nua; Pte. Edward McGahey, Maddenstown, Curragh; Pte. Michael Brown, 835 Piercetown, Droichead Nua.
 Pte. Patrick Hayes, 863 Rathfield, Droichead Nua; Cpl. Christopher Healy, 265 Demesne Terrace, Rathangan; Pte. Alfred Johnson, 4 Melitta Road, Kildare; Cpl. Thomas Sheehan, 27 O’Higgins Road, Curragh; Pte. Allan France, Roseberry Cottages, Droichead Nua; Pte. Maurice Gannon, Ballyshannon, Kilcullen; Cpl. Thomas O’Connor, 11 Fair View, Kildare.
 Tpr. Michael Creevy, 1 Dublin Road, Kildare; Tpr. Daniel Halloran, 10 C Block, Pearse Bks., Curragh Camp; Sgt. Noel Brick, 20 O’Higgins Road, Curragh; Cpl. William Bevan, 13 B Block, Md. Qrs., Pearse Bks., Curragh; Cpl. Patrick Gannon, Ballyshannon, Kilcullen.
 Cpl. Michael O’Sullivan, 3 Market Square, Droichead Nua; Pte. William Redmond, 1028 Nicholastown, Kilcullen; Cpl. Frank Fagan, The Barracks, Droichead Nua; Pte. John Hanlon, 1443 Carna, Suncroft; Pte. Michl. J. McLoughlin, 6 A Block, Md. Qrs., Pearse Bks., Curragh Camp; Pte. Patrick J. O’Neill, Cut Bush, Curragh; Pte. Christopher O’Rourke, Inchaquire, Ballitore.

A list of local men who left the Curragh Camp with the 32nd & 33rd Infantry Battalions  for six months service in the former Belgian Congo.

November 03, 2010


Benbo Productions with Kíla and the Glens Centre Presents


Live Music Theatre

With Carrie Crowley, Sorcha Fox & Jaimie Carswell
Live music by Kíla
Written and Directed by Donal O’Kelly

Friday 19th November 8 pm

Tickets €18 / €16

Book online www.riverbank.ie
045 448327

Pre-screening Documentary on Donal O’Kelly FREE for first 30 bookings

Based on the Experiences of Spanish Armada survivor Francisco De Cuellar in Ireland

Spanish captain Francisco De Cuellar, washed ashore on Streedagh Beach in Sligo in 1588, faced a desperate struggle for survival. His odyssey from Ben Bulben to the Giant’s Causeway is Ireland’s great untold epic adventure story. Francisco’s Irish baptism of fire propels him from soldier of fortune to “gypsy among savages,” and gives this born survivor a glimpse of something more precious than Conquistadors’ gold.
Combining the live music passion of Kíla, the storytelling skills of Donal O’Kelly (Catalpa, The Cambria) and high octane performances from Carrie Crowley, Jaimie Carswell and Sorcha Fox, this show breaks exciting new ground in Live Music Theatre. Electrifying music, stunning visuals, superb physical performances and a rollicking story – the perfect night out.

The adventures of the wet senor. With Carrie Crowley, Sorcha Fox & Jaimie Carswell. Live music by Kíla. Written and Directed by Donal O’Kelly. Electrifying music, stunning visuals, superb physical performances and a rollicking story – the perfect night out.

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