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March 31, 2012


‘A great crowd had gathered…’ 16 Lives

James Durney

On 29 March 2012 O’Brien Press launched three books from their major new biographical series titled ‘16 Lives’ – James Connolly by Lorcan Collins; Joseph Plunkett by Honor O Brolchain; and Michael Mallin by Brian Hughes. These are the first three books in the series of biographies of the sixteen men executed after the 1916 Easter Rising. The books in the series are written by historians and in some cases by the descendents of the sixteen leaders. The series is edited by Loran Collins – founder of the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour of Dublin – and Ruan O’Donnell, senior lecturer, history department, Limerick University. This groundbreaking and unique series of books will be published over four years, with the full collection of sixteen biographies available in 2016.
 The well-attended launch was fittingly held in the G.P.O. on O’Connell Street. Lorcan Collins, in his speech, said there were more people present at the launch than there were in the G.P.O. in Easter Week. There was a sizeable contingent from Co. Kildare present at the launch. There was also a sizeable contingent of Kildare people present in the G.P.O during Easter Week. James Connolly, the subject of the first book to be launched, had actually greeted a contingent of Kildaremen who had walked from Maynooth. On Tuesday morning of Easter Week the Kildaremen marched in formation down into the city and when they came in sight of the G.P.O. there was a great cheer, as the men there had been expecting them. Padraig Pearse greeted their commander, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, at the door and was delighted to see his old friend. The men were given tea, eggs and cigars and according to Tom Harris, from Prosperous, were addressed by Connolly, who said, “It didn’t matter a damn if we were wiped out now as we had justified ourselves.”
 Patrick Colgan, from Maynooth, recalled: ‘We entered the G.P.O. by the main entrance. Comdt. General Connolly was at the door. As we entered he shook each of us by the hand and smiled his welcome to us. Connolly was one of my heroes. I had never before met him. I felt all excited that he would show such an interest in us.’ The fifteen men who had walked from Maynooth were delighted to see at least six more Kildaremen in the G.P.O. garrison.
 James Connolly was born in Edinburh in 1868 and moved to Dublin in 1896, where he founded the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Workers Republic newspaper. He lectured and campaigned for socialism in the US, where he also organised for the Industrial Workers of the World – the Wobblies. In 1913 he stood side by side with ‘Big’ Jim Larkin in the fight for workers’ rights during the Great Lockout in Dublin. After the death of two workers beaten by police Connolly and Captain Jack White formed the Irish Citizen’s Army to protect workers meetings. As a socialist republican Connolly conspired to overthrow British rule in Ireland and became a member of the Military Council, which planned and implemented the Easter Rising.
 On 20 June 1915 Connolly’s Citizen Army paraded to Wolfe Tone’s grave at Bodenstown, Co. Kildare, on the anniversary of the patriot’s birth. The reports of the event do not mention whether Connolly was there in person, but it is safe to assume that he was. To facilitate the deputations from Dublin a special train was run from Kingsbridge (now Heuston station) to Sallins. The procession formed up at Sallins and led by several pipe bands marched the two miles to Bodenstown graveyard. The St. Laurence O’Toole Pipers headed the line of procession, followed by the Brownstown Pipers, the Citizen Army Pipers and Fianna Pipers. The procession contained 450 Irish Volunteers, 200 Citizen Army, 250 Fianna Eireann, 50 Citizen Army Boy Scouts, 80 Hibernian Rifles and a large contingent of Cumann na mBan. Naas, Maynooth, Kill, Prosperous and Athgarvan companies, Irish Volunteers were no doubt present, as well as the Naas Workingman’s Band, and the Naas Fife and Drum Band. There were also a large contingent of National Volunteers from Naas, Newbridge, Rathangan, Milltown, Ardclough and Allen. The Leinster Leader estimated the crowd to be at least 9,000.
 In the graveyard two guards of honour, consisting of an equal number of Citizen Army and Irish Volunteers, all with rifles and bayonets, were drawn up near the Tone grave. A large concourse thronged about the cemetery and when the ceremonial of the marching past was concluded a number of wreaths were placed on the grave. Tom Clarke, President of the Wolfe Tone Committee, delivered a short address. In May 1916 James Connolly, Tom Clarke and thirteen other leaders were executed by British firing squads.

On 29 March 2012 O’Brien Press launched three books from their major new biographical series titled ‘16 Lives’

March 30, 2012


The Nationalist and Leinster Times

29 October 1900

A soldier and a man

“A soldier and a man” is the term that may be applied to a great old Kildare veteran, John Robinson, a native of Monasterevan and late of the American army. In the year 1863, June 14th, he fought with an infantry regiment at Fort Hudson for the Union colours. He was wounded, but yet lives to tell the tale, and says “I did not let them pull down the Stars and Stripes.” He returned to his native home in 1893, then weighing over 30 stone, and standing about 6 feet 4 inches in height. Though he is ill at present and in hospital in Athy, still Dr. O’Neill thinks he has many more years to live. He is now 19 stone weight, and is as intelligent, and his brain as active, as a man much his junior. He is in receipt of a pension of 12s weekly from the American Government.

An article from the Nationalist and Leinster Times of 29 October 1900 on American Civil War veteran, John Robinson, from Monasterevin


Leinster Leader 16 September 1939
Land Commission houses at Naas.
Action by Mr. Norton, T.D.
On receiving complaints from local persons regarding the delay by the Land Commission in completing the houses which were to be erected for allotters on the Mansfield estate at Castlekealy, Mr. Norton, T.D. made representations to the Land Commission to expedite the work. He has now received a reply from the Land Commission stating that the delay in having the houses completed was due to the fact that two contractors defaulted on the contract and that the work had been given to a third contractor who was making satisfactory progress and who would be urged to expedite the work as much as possible.

A report from the Leinster Leader of 16 September 1939 on the Land Commission houses at Castlekealy, Caragh


Leinster Leader 26 August 1939
Germans cease buying Irish horses.
Sudden departure of agent

Germany has suddenly ceased to buy Irish army horses. Herr Aherns, who has been here for months, shipping a hundred horses a week to Hamburg, shipped his last consignment on Friday, and left himself that night, a month sooner than he had intended. Herr Aherns told his friends in Ireland that he did not know when he would return.
It is noteworthy that he made the same statement last year before the Munich crises came on. It is understood that Herr Aherns believed his country was going to war.

A week before Germany invaded Poland in 1939 Herr Aherns suddenly left Ireland


Leinster Leader 16 September 1939
Mr. John O’Neill, Naas
Regret will be expressed at the demise last week of a very old and respected resident of Naas in Mr. John O’Neill. Notwithstanding his serious illness, deceased was up and about until the last, and only recently retired from business. The late Mr. O’Neill at one time carried on an extensive coach work and carriage business in New Row, Naas, and subsequently acted as an agent for the Royal Liver Insurance Society. The funeral, which took place to St. Corban’s Cemetery on Sunday, was very largely attended.

The death of John O'Neill, New Row, Naas, from the Leinster Leader of 16 September 1939


Great Expectations – Even Greater Impressions: A Visit to Naas

As an academic, I have learnt that meticulous research is the basis of any historical writing. As a reader, I was mesmerized by the adventurous story of John Devoy’s life. As a historian, I was given the chance to come to Ireland on a research trip relating to John Devoy’s life and work.
The fact that, being a Hungarian myself, I would be interested in John Devoy and the Fenians, may seem strange. Yet what got me captivated in Devoy’s story was his unyielding work for Irish independence. His methods may have varied from recruiting Fenians within the British army to Irish-American nationalistic journalism, from fundraising activities, all the way to organizing gun running operations, but throughout his long life, he kept working with one goal in mind: an independent Ireland. The appreciation and respect for such commitment to the fight for a republic transcends borders and ages. It also serves an academic purpose: with Devoy I most certainly found ample and exciting research material, making my work all the more easier.
On March 10, 2012 I met with local historians and relentless supporters of John Devoy’s legacy, Seamus Curran, James Durney and Brian McCabe for a fascinating trip visiting some of the key locations connected to Devoy’s life in and around Naas. Why fascinating? Because I felt places that I’d only read about suddenly become alive and stories that I’d heard before be fleshed out with the feel of the original environment. I was also deeply impressed by the dedication of the ‘John Devoy fan club’ to keep this great Fenians memory alive, especially in the immediate area where Devoy grew up. Although the tree of liberty at the Devoy memorial may have been cut down by vandals, the sprout is still there, and as long as there are people committed to the life and work of this local hero, the tree of liberty, I believe, will be just fine.

I am grateful for the support and warm welcome I was given in Naas.
Livia Szedmina
For any questions, suggestions, or comments, feel free to contact me:

Hungarian academic and John Devoy 'fan' Livia Szedima made a recent visit to Naas

March 23, 2012


Leinster Leader March 14 1908

Terrible Occurrence At Maynooth

Mail Train Wrecked

Guard Loses His life

On yesterday (Friday) morning the police at Naas were apprised by wire, of a sensational and tragic occurrence at Maynooth. It would appear from the meagre particulars contained in the telegraphic message that a night-up mail train was wrecked at or near Maynooth Station as a result of which the guard, whose name is not mentioned, was killed. The disaster, the telegram further states, is believed to have been the result of an accident.

Leinster Leader March 21 1908

A Night Mail Wrecked

Midland Line Smash

Train Dashes Into A Cattle Waggon At Maynooth

Story Told At The Inquest

As briefly announced in our last issue, in the darkness of the early hours of Friday morning, the time of the accident being given at 4.27 o’clock, the night mail train from Galway for Dublin on the Midland Great Western line dashed into a cattle wagon standing on the line at Maynooth station. The impact was terrific. The five end carriages of the train were thrown off the line, and smashed into an inextricable heap. The guard’s van was completely squashed, and Guard Edward Murphy, belonging to Dublin and living at 5, Great Western Square, who has been in the Company’s Service for well over a quarter of a century was killed. He was aged about 50 years, and leaves a wife and family. Fortunately “all the passengers escaped” without injury. Driver James Wilson, of the mail train, states that at the time of the collision it was perfectly dark, and that the shock was awful. The engine held on to the rails, and by a speedy application of the brakes he was able to bring it to a standstill, thus averting what must otherwise have proved a sickening calamity.

Story at the Inquest

The story of the occurrence was vividly told at the inquest which was held in the afternoon by Dr. Cosgrave of Kilcock, on the remains of Guard Murphy.
Mr. R. Blair White, solicitor, appeared for the Midland Railway Co. Mr. Joseph Gleeson, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the A.S.R.S. and also for Engine Driver Wilson and Signalman Madden. Head Constable Smiths, Naas, represented the police.
Sergeant Finnerty examined the witnesses.
Mr. White stated that he had been directed to attend the inquest, and facilitate the inquiry by the production of witnesses and the giving of any assistance that lay in his power. He had also been directed on behalf of the directors, to express their sympathy for the relatives of the deceased guard, and their sense of the loss they had sustained by the death of a worthy servant.
Thos. Griffiths goods guard 3, Royal Canal Bank, Dublin, said he travelled by the night mail from Athlone to Maynooth. He was in charge of the rear (or Mayo) portion of the train, which consisted of two passenger carriages and a guard’s brake van. On approaching Maynooth platform he heard a crash, and then he was knocked down. He was stunned by the fall, and was unconscious for a short time. When he recovered his position the train was at a stand, and he got out of the van. He heard a moan, and recognised it as the voice of Guard Murphy. He found Murphy lying between the up and down line mixed up with the wreckage. He tried to extricate him , but did not succeed until some of the passengers and post office officials came to his aid. He then released the deceased. Murphy was alive, and witness asked him how he felt, and if his legs were broken. He replied, “No, they are not.” Murphy said he could not breathe. Dr. Moore arrived in a few minutes, and attended to the injured man, but he died about twenty minutes after.

Driver Wilson’s Story

Jas. Wilson, driver of the ill-fated train said they reached Maynooth about six minutes behind scheduled time. At the siding at the cattle bank close to the platform the engine struck something, and there was a flash of fire. He did not know what it was at the time. Immediately the engine struck the object he applied the brake, and he stopped the train about 250 yards from the middle of the platform. He got his lamp and went back to see what was wrong, and found his train had parted. On going back to the platform he saw that the rear end of the Galway portion of the train was derailed. Rear Guard Griffiths was then attending to Guard Murphy. Witness could give no opinion as to the cause of the accident.
Sergeant Finnerty. Could you have seen the object you struck if you had been looking out? Both the fireman and I were looking out, and the foreman had a better chance of seeing anything than I had, as it was on his side. And you could see nothing? No. Mr. White: Where the signals right for you to go through the station? They were. What speed was your train running at? The usual speed about 30 miles an hour. Patrick Henihan, the fireman, gave corroborative evidence.

The Fatal Obstruction

Signalman John Madden, Maynooth, stated that he was at the station when the accident occurred. When he received the signal from Kilcock that the train was on he replied that the road was clear and then lowered the signals, but he could not see the place where the waggon was. Witness then described the scene, and said he at once went to the assistance of the guard. At the time it was very dark, and one could only see a few yards in advance.
To Mr. Gleeson: Witness said he could not at the time account for the accident, and his first impression was that the train had jumped the rails. There was a fog or haze at the time.
In reply to Sergeant Finnerty, the witness said wagons should be left inside the catch: points for safety. A luggage train arrived the previous night at 3.35 a.m. and five wagons were put off. Four of these were put in the goods siding and one in the cattle siding. There were several other wagons in the cattle siding at the time. The guard of the luggage train, first took a wagon from the cattle siding to the main line, and then he put on the goods wagons from his train and shoved the other wagons in front of it. After that the guard told witness to shut off the points. The guard of the goods train was responsible for the safe position of the waggons on the side line, the witness proceeded, and he had no doubt at the time that all was right. The siding would hold 39 waggons, and there were only 10 or 12 in it that morning, but, if one of them were not sufficiently in it would impede the up train. There were no lights about the station at the time, except head lamps, and there was no staff in attendance except witness. The guard has to superintend all the shunting, and the practice was going on for years.
In the opinion of witness, the guard in question was an experienced and capable man, and the catch points were in order. The catch points were worked from the signal cabins, and once they were closed no waggon could get out, but if a waggon were not inside the points it might get outside the main line of its own accord.
Pressed further, the witness could not say if one of the waggons was left outside the points.
A Guard’s Theory

Guard Patrick Lennon, who was in charge of the goods train, then hold his story. He said he had 5 waggons on the train for Maynooth, and when he arrived he found he could put four in the store siding. He told the signal man this, and was directed to put one in the cattle siding. He did this, and declared he saw the waggon in clear of the catch points, at the same time directing the signal man to shut up the points. The witness then said he resumed his journey and heard no more until he reached Mullingar at 7.30
In further evidence Lennon said he had been ten years in the service of the Company, and for eight years he had been guard. He reiterated his statement as to his satisfaction that all was right before he left Maynooth with his train.
Asked for a theory, witness said he could only account for the disaster by believing that the last waggon ran down the small incline to the other waggons which were there, and rebounded backwards to the points before the signalman could close them. Witness in conclusion said he had been working the train in question for about a year, and had always done all the shunting except at Liffey Junction.
Dr. Stanley Moore, Maynooth, stated that death was due to shock caused by laceration of the abdominal region and consequent hemorrhage. There was no wounds of any account on the body.

The Jury’s Verdict

Mr. Glesson having addressed the jury, a verdict was returned to the effect:
“That death was in accordance with the medical testimony; that the injuries were accidentally received; that they exonerated from blame all the officials who were on the train, and also the Signalman Madden; and they further added the opinion that there should be more help and more light at the station, while shunting operations were being carried out. They also expressed their sympathy with the relatives of the deceased.

Guard Murray’s Funeral

The funeral of the late Mr. Edward Murphy, the victim of the railway smash at Maynooth Station on Friday morning, was strikingly eloquent of the widespread sympathy which has been aroused by the sad occurence.

We learn that a brother of Guard Murphy who was also employed on the Midland line, met his death a few years ago in a railway accident near Athenry Station, while a second brother met his death by drowning near Mulhuddart, their native place. Guard Murphy leaves two children, aged about ten and twelve years respectively.

Two articles from the Leinster Leader of March 1908 on the story of the crash of the Maynooth mail train which left one man dead


Leinster Leader October 27 1956

Kildare Man’s New Cycling Record

The slightly built thirty-seven-year-old Monasterevan speed man - Con Carr of the Midland Cycling Club, and present holder of the Cork-Dublin, and Galway-Dublin records, set the cycling world ablaze on Sunday when he set up new figures for the Limerick-Dublin trip, having covered the 120 miles in 5 hours 11 minutes.

Since the previous record was established in October, 1935 by Alo Donegan of Portartlington, former world record holder, at 5 hours 24 minutes-his average speed was just over 22 miles per hour-the record has been one of the greatest ambitions of distance cyclists.

Carr, whose average speed was 23.8 miles per hour, covered the final 21 miles in 55 minutes.The start was made from Limerick city and a glance at his progress during the race will show the remarkable consistency he displayed in riding the gruelling journey.

He covered the first 24 miles to Nenagh in 1 hr 1 min. Roscrea (44 miles) 1 hr 54 min, Borris-in-Ossary (51 miles) 2 hr. 9 min. Mountrath (60 miles) 2 hr 38 min. Kildare (97 miles) 3 hr 51 min. Dublin (120 miles) 5 hr. 11 min

For Olympic Games

A truly wonderful performance for a truly great cyclist. In his twelve years in the cycling limelight he scored hard and frequently, but the 1956 season has dawned a brilliant age indeed for Con. Next month he travels to Melbourne . He has been chosen by the National Cycling Association with other riders to represent at the Olympic Games.





An article from the Leinster Leader of 27 October 1956 on the new cycling record set by Con Carr


Leinster Leader, October 17th 1970

Spacemen Greeted

Kildare town gave American astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swiggert and Fred W. Haise a rousing welcome when their south-bound trains stopped briefly at Kildare railway station on Wednesday.
The train carrying the astronauts stopped at the station shortly before 11.30 a.m. and the Americans were greeted by members of the Chamber of Commerce and by hundreds of townspeople and children from all the local schools who lined the platform and waved American flags as the train pulled slowly into the station. In the two-minute stop, the astronauts stood at the open train-door and chatted and shook hands with the crowd, thanked them for their welcome and commented on the colour party (from the Vocational School) and the placards bearing the traditional Irish greeting, Cead Mile Failte


An article from the Leinster Leader of 17 October 1970 on the stopover of three American astronauts in Kildare Town


Leinster Leader October 28th 1939

Bad News For Kildare Family

Mr. Donnelly Swift, Dublin St. Kildare, who carries on the business of photography at Kildare and the Curragh Camp, has been notified that, following the sinking of the British ship, Yorkshire, by a German submarine, his son, Patrick Donnelly Swift, is among the missing. The young man, who was very popular in Kildare, was a brilliant pupil of St. Joseph’s Academy, Kildare, and subsequently of the Irish National College, Dublin. Twelve months ago, Mr. Swift obtained his Master’s Ticket (foreign going) after a nautical career of only ten years.
The sympathy of a large number of friends is with the popular Kildare family in the suspense occasioned by this ill news.

An article from the Leinster Leader of 28 October 1939 on the death of  Patrick Donnelly Swift following the sinking of his ship

March 15, 2012


Newbridge Local History Group

Next meeting on Wednesday 21 March at 8.30pm in Sarsfield GAA Clubhouse

'The Clongorey Evictions,' by Mary Ryan

All welcome

Newbridge Local History Group's next meeting


Clane Local History Group Spring 2012

Programme of Meetings

Meetings will be held in the GAA Centre,
Prosperous Road, Clane at 8:00pm unless
otherwise stated.


Spring programme

Weds. 18 January 2012. Dr. Ciaran Reilly, ‘Tommy Conneff –a Clane legend’

Weds. 15 February 2012. Sgt. Paul Maher, ‘The history of the Gardaí Siochana in Clane’

Weds. 21 March 2012. Larry Breen. ‘Dan Donnelly’.

Weds. 18 April 2012. Launch of Coiseanna- Clane Local History Group’s new journal followed by a short talk by Pat Given on a forgotten Clane link with the Titanic.

Weds. 16 May 2012. Carita O’Leary, ‘Church of St. Michael and All Angels’

June, July, August 2012. No meeting.

Clane Local History Group Spring 2012 Programme of Meetings

March 13, 2012


Captain Oates – Kildare racing and Polar exploring

By Kevin Kenny

One hundred years ago, in January 1912, Robert Falcon Scott  reached the South Pole. With him were four others – Dr. Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans and Capt. Laurence Oates.

Since starting the previous November, the  work of hauling tons of supplies on their sledges while enduring temperatures so cold that boiling water thrown into the air would instantly freeze was backbreaking. But this was more than exploring new lands. Somewhere out there in the frozen vastness, a Norwegian team under Raold Amundsen was vying for the honours of being first to the South Pole.

Laurence Oates was 31 years old. He was every bit the cavalry officer, schooled at Eton and with a natural love of the horse and all that went with it – hunting, polo and racing. In 1900 he was commissioned into the Inniskilling Dragoons and despatched to regimental headquarters on the Curragh. Months later he was on the way to the Boer war. Soon after arriving in South Africa, Oates found himself in action. With a detachment of men, he was pinned down in a gulley by opposing forces. The enemy retreated, but not before a sniper shot shattered Oates’ thigh.  His injury meant emergency surgery and a ship back to England.

As Scott’s party approached their destination, they saw a dark object in the distance. With each slogging footstep, it became clearer – it was a Norwegian flag. The footsteps around it and a message told them what they feared most; Amundsen had reached the Pole six weeks earlier. Scott and his party were dejected, something plainly visible in their blistered faces as they posed for a pathetic photograph. Scott scribbled in his diary: “Great God, this is an awful place...” And now, they faced a return journey of 800 miles.

Why Scott selected Oates for his polar party remains a mystery. Picking a man with one leg shorter than the other to haul a sledge to the South Pole and  back would appear an error of judgement. On the other hand, Oates was brave and tough, and Scott may have felt it politically advantageous to have an Army officer in his team, to join the other Naval members. Either way, it was a fatal decision.

Oates’ expertise with horses had been hugely important to the Scott’s expedition. He had ensured the animals were in peak condition in the frozen South and had nursed them along the Polar route until they could go no further. Oates had honed his equine ability in a recognised home of the horse – the Curragh of Kildare.

In November 1902, having recuperated from his thigh wound, Oates arrived back to Ponsonby Barracks on the Curragh. For the next three and a half years he indulged his passion for equine pursuits, building a reputation as an accomplished horseman. In 1904 he attended the spring Punchestown festival, where he rode his horse ‘Titus’ to third in the Grand Military Cup. Edward VII and Queen Alexandra stirred the cream of local and national society by attending the meeting. Oates wrote of the experience, “I do not think I have enjoyed two days better for a long time than I did in Punchestown.”

February 1905 saw him as best man when his friend, and fellow Inniskilling, Richard Morton-Wood married Miss Marguerite Mansfield of Morristown-Lattin. Snowdrops from the estate added the finishing touches to a scene which could have been lifted from Downton Abbey.

The 1905 Punchestown meeting again saw Oates in action. On the opening day he rode ‘Titus’ in the Irish Military Steeplechase, finishing down the field. ‘Blucher,’ also owned by Oates and ridden by Morton-Wood, was placed. The weather improved for the second day and the running of the Grand Military Cup. Oates’ entry ‘Angel Gabriel’ had already chalked up some notable victories and started at 8/1 with Morton-Wood aboard. The Kildare Observer reported that, ‘Gabriel was always in the leading division and fenced flippantly’ to win by four lengths. The onlooking Oates was so overcome that “my eyes got so full of tears I could not see the horses and had to keep asking the man next to me how my horse was going”.

(Kildare County Local Studies Department have within their holdings in the Local Studies Department, Newbridge Library, a Punchestown racecard listing Oates and ‘Angel Gabriel.’)

Seven years later, Oates, already suffering from frostbite and the beginnings of gangerine, faced an 800 mile slog for his life. Insufficient food and the effort of man-hauling the sledge (Amundsen had used dogs) began to take their toll on Scott and his four companions. Evans began to fall behind. On 18th February, they found him on his hands and knees, unable to walk. Later, he died.

By early March, still with 300 miles to go, Oates was spent. His legs were black and raw from gangerene. His old thigh wound had resurfaced.  His physical problems were obvious, his moral one hidden as he knew he was slowing down progress and reducing the other’s chance of survival.

On 17th March, his 32nd birthday, he did the only thing he could do. It was blowing a blizzard with temperatures around -40F. Oates painfully rose to his feet, said, “I am just going outside and I may be some time,” before stumbling out of the tent  and into oblivion. His body was never found.

Days later, Scott, Bowers and Wilson were pinned down by atrocious weather. They died in that spot, eleven miles from the next food depot.

This Saint Patrick’s day marks the centenary of Oates’ death, and that of an unlikely link between the short-grass county and the frozen wastes of Antarctica.

Polar hero Captain Oates and his connections with Kildare racing. An article by Kevin Kenny. Our thanks to Kevin

March 10, 2012


Fans of " Upstairs Downstairs "  and " Downton Abbey " see a dramatised account of life " Downstairs" in the 'big' English houses. Maynooth Local History Group present a talk by Dr. Colette Jordan of NUI Maynooth History Department on....Wednesday..21st..March..at..8 pm ( admission..euro 5.)  in the magnificent Morrison Room at..Carton House..Maynooth


List of German internees attending Curragh Races 5 & 28 July 1945

by James Durney

List of German internees attending Curragh Races on Thursday 5 July 1945:

Kaupt Lt. Quedenfeldt
Hauptmann Berndt
Ob. Lt. Becker
Ob. Lt. Nagel
Ob. Lt. Scherrtt
Ob. Lt. Heinzl
Lt. Solton
Lt. Dreschel
Lt. Bielecke
Lt. Kuntz
Sdf. Fleischmann

List of German internees attending Curragh Races on 28 July 1945:

Kaupt Lt. Quedenfeldt
Hauptmann Berndt
Ob. Lt. Becker
Ob. Lt. Nagel
Ob. Lt. Scherrtt
Ob. Lt. Heinzl
Lt. Solton
Lt. Dreschel
Lt. Bielecke
Lt. Kuntz

List of German internees attending Curragh Races 5 & 28 July 1945


The National Guard
Branch formed in Naas

Leinster Leader 19 July 1933
A meeting was held in Naas on Tuesday night to form a branch of the National Guard. Over two hundred people attended and the whole proceedings were very enthusiastic.
Commandant Cronin addressed the assembly on the aims of the Association and received a great ovation. At the conclusion of his speech it was decided to form a branch and a large number of those present enrolled as members.
We understand that a parade has been arranged for next Sunday.

An article from the Leinster Leader of 19 July 1933 on the formation of a National Guard branch in Naas


Kildare has reverted to Whiggery

By James Durney

In the 1895 General Election Co. Kildare returned two anti-Parnellite MPs prompting the Leinster Leader to declare: ‘Kildare has reverted to Whiggery, not through the free unfettered choice of the electors, but owing to the ceaseless covert and insidious intimidation of the clergy.’ With only 5,007 people legally qualified to vote in the North Kildare constituency Charles John Engletow, Irish National Federation, or Federationist (F), received 1,944 votes, while his rival James Laurence Carew (Irish Party) got 1,712 votes. However, 27 per cent of the electorate had stayed away from the polls, possibly sick of the internecine strife or generally apathetic. In the South Kildare constituency Matthew Minch had also been victorious for the Federationists. A week after the election the Leinster Leader, of 3 August 1895, mourned the loss of Kildare:

The record of Kildare, one of the brightest in the history of Ireland, has been blotted by the name of Engledow. Kildare, the land of Lord Edward and Wolfe Tone, the Saviour of the National cause in the days of danger and distress; Kildare that has always and ever disdained the policy of crawl; Kildare the pioneer of National freedom, has been betrayed and dishonoured by her enemies from within. Her birthright has been stolen from her by those who should be the guardians of her honour and integrity. Quis custodiet eustoeds? They have betrayed their trust. They have foisted on the constituency whom? Oh, name him not – an unknown, an adventurer, a political tramp, here to-day and away to-morrow, a tool, who, when he has served the purpose of his employers, will be set aside without ceremony.

In the 1895 General Election Co. Kildare returned two anti-Parnellite MPs

March 06, 2012


Saturday 23rd January

Capt. S. B. Minch, who has been selected as Government candidate for Kildare, is a member of the Kildare Co. Council, and also of the Athy Urban Council.
He was educated in his early youth at the Christian Brother’s schools, Athy, and later went to Clongowes where he was made captain of the College in 1911. As a young Nationalist Volunteer he responded to the appeal of Mr. John Redmond, and fought with the 16th Irish Division in France. In 1917 he was sent to America as Staff Captain to instruct America’s new armies in bayonet fighting, and returned to France with the 45th American Division and remained there until the Armistice. His father was a member of Parliament for Kildare at Westminster for some years, and helped in the struggle for Home Rule.

An article from the Nationalist on Capt. S. B. Minch, who was selected as Government candidate for Kildare

March 02, 2012


1 March was World Book Day and Mario Corrigan and David Butler picked up their first major literary award at Scoil Mhuire, Newbridge - the prestigious 'Fish-car' which rivals the Oscars of Hollywood was specially commissioned for the occasion to mark the visit to the school of author Mario Corrigan to discuss his book, Do Fish Wear Pyjamas? The Quest for the Great Book of Kildare, which was illustrated by Kildare born artist, David Butler.

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A wonderfully cratfed adventure story for boys and girls of 6-14 (but really of all ages) introduces the readers to the rich history and heritage of Kildare in a positive way. The author, teachers and children of Scoil Mhuire had a blast and we thank Brian and all his team for the great welcome. Hopefully we will see them follow suit with a publication of their own and indeed other schools through the county. The book was published by Kildare Library & Arts Services with the aid of 3rd class Scoil Bhride Naofa and Scoil na Mainistreach in Kildare Town.

The Fish-car Award
Mario with Mary Linehan and staff of Scoil Mhuire, Newbridge

March 01, 2012


Important Notice

Local Studies & Genealogy Department, Newbridge Library, is closed for refurbishment from Thursday 1 March to Tuesday 6 March 2012

Important Notice: Local Studies & Genealogy Department

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