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Matthew Cusack in 1798
by Maureen Cusack

Matthew Cusack, of Blackwood, was complained to Dublin Castle for forging an inordinate amount of pikes. He was denounced from the altar in Staplestown. After the battles the British soldiers came to the house and asked a seventeen-year-old lad where were his brothers. His mother told him ‘Die before you tell anything.’ Whereupon they hanged him between the shafts of a cart out in the yard. An artist who heard about it came from Dublin to paint the scene. I can’t remember the Christian name of the seventeen-year-old.
After that all the family went to America except Pat and Mary (probably a nephew and niece, a brother and sister) who lived in the old thatched farmhouse. The outoffices were slated – a man told me who saw them. Pat and Mary died in the early 1900s. The farm is now Kilmurray’s.
About 1909 or 1910, Fr. Keogh, Parish Priest of Clane, came up to Blackwood to ask my father-in-law, J. P. Cusack, did he ever hear why the two Cusacks fought in Kilcullen, but did not fight in Prosperous. He didn’t know because he had only come from Dublin to take over the farm. There must be a list somewhere of the Kilcullen fighters. For some short time there was a hedge school on the farm at Blackwood. A Mrs. Kearney was the teacher. After the milking every morning the children had class in the byre and they could stay there all day as the milking wouldn’t start again until they were well home.


Maureen Cusack recalls the story of Matthew Cusack in the 1798 Rebellion. Our thanks to Maureen and Marie Kane.

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