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October 24, 2012


Celbridge Historical Society

Dr. David Hume
The Ulster Scots Connection

Monday 5 November 2012 at 8 p.m. in Celbridge Library
All welcome

The next meeting for Celbridge Historical Society - 5 November 2012 'The Ulster Scots Connection' by Dr. David Hume


Online Research Facility

Those wishing to trace their Irish ancestry can now access a central website dedicated to providing access to all the available Irish genealogical records on the island of Ireland.
Each county genealogy centre has created a local computer database comprised of various church records of baptisms, marriages and deaths, civil records of births, deaths and marriages; Griffith’s Valuation; Tithe Applotment Books; the 1901 and 1911 census records; gravestone inscriptions, and many other sources.
Our County Genealogy Centres will carry out commissioned research and offer an advisory service. Our researchers have twenty five years experience using the genealogical sources of their counties, which, coupled with their unique local knowledge can offer you the best possible guidance and assistance in locating your Irish ancestry.

Co. Kildare: Kildare Genealogy, Riverbank, Main Street, Newbridge, Co. Kildare (045 448350)

Those wishing to trace their Irish ancestry can now access a central website dedicated to providing access to all the available Irish genealogical records on the island of Ireland.


Terror on the short-grass – Kildare’s violent history highlighted in new book

Terror. Look at that word again. Terror. Even reading it sends a chill down the spine. It is a word which signifies fear, worry and disruption. It’s also a word which has found a new significance in the modern lexicon. “Terrorism” is a preoccupation of society today.  The catastrophe of 9/11 in New York carried all the hallmarks of terrorism writ large … an assault of great violence bringing death to a civilian population well removed from any frontline in the conventional sense.
Terrorism is nothing new to Ireland and the story of the country is blighted with periods when guns and bombs drowned out pleas for calm and peace. One such blighted period is known euphemistically as “the Troubles”, the years from 1916-23.  Beginning with the Easter Rising in 1916, continuing through the War of Independence 1919-23 and concluding with the Civil War 1922-23, the narrative of killing, burnings, fear and intimidation triggers controversy into modern times.  A number of stand-out events – the Bloody Sunday killings of British intelligence personnel (and others) in Dublin in November 1920, the Kilmichael ambush in Co. Cork the same month, and the killings of civilians in west Cork, remain sharply contested subjects among professional historians .
A new book published by Lilliput press entitled “Terror in Ireland 1916-23” will add to the perspectives in this debate. Edited by Dr. David Fitzpatrick of the Trinity College History Workshop – noted for its ground-breaking study some years back of Irish men in the First World War – the book comprises meticulously researched chapters by an array of well-regarded historians who draw on new sources of information.
It is perhaps a surprise to find Co. Kildare featuring in a book on terror in Ireland – the short-grass county is generally regarded as having been by-passed by the more aggressive phases of the War of Independence and of the Civil War. However as contributor Anne Dolan points out such an analysis is to ignore the reality of terror and it’s impact on peoples’ lives.  The fear of violence, albeit taking place in another part of the country, is enough to enforce change in peoples’ behaviour and attitudes. And what might be referred to as low-level terrorism – the kind of activity seen in Co. Kildare such as  trenching roads, burning country houses, and robbing post offices – is sufficiently alarming to make people recoil with fear. 
The essay on “Revolution and Terror in Kildare 1916-23” has been written by Michael Murphy who is from Laragh, between Maynooth and Kilcock, and who as a young TCD graduate takes his place in the new publication in the company of eminent scholars of the period.
He sets the context for his study on Kildare during “the Troubles” by looking at contradictory phenomena in the county’s social and military history. Kildare had been in the van of the 1798 rising while in 1803 many Kildare rebels joined in Robert Emmett’s futile uprising in Dublin. He writes that “In the later nineteenth century the IRB developed strongly throughout the country. John Devoy from Kill was the chief Kildare conspirator, subsequently dominating a sister organisation in the United States (Clan na Gael)”.
As the 19th century progressed revolutionary ideals receded and were overtaken by a practical politics in which the considerable advantages of being part of the United Kingdom and its Empire were to the fore. This was particularly evident in Kildare where between barracks in the Curragh, Naas, Newbridge and Kildare there was a huge concentration of British Army personnel in the county. This brought an economic trade-off to the mid-Kildare towns which had the effect of normalising the British presence in the area.
When trouble erupted in early 1919 violence returned to County Kildare on a scale which might surprise those who assume that everything happened in west Cork – as Michael Murphy writes: “Despite the constraint imposed by economic self-interest, Kildare’s Sinn Féiners Volunteers contributed … sometimes violently to the campaign for independence after 1919.” As in other parts the brunt of the violence was borne by the constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary – most of whom were Irish and Catholic. One of the first Kildare atrocities was the killing of Sergeant John Hughes, in February 1920, while on patrol in Maynooth town. The RIC remained a target in the following months and Michael Murphy’s research has identified attacks on RIC stations in Leixlip, Sallins, Athy, Castledermot and Ballymore Eustace. In August of that year two RIC men were killed in an IRA ambush near Kill; this triggered a rampage by the “Black and Tans” who swept into Naas shooting and setting fire to Boushell’s shoe shop. The author quotes the Leinster Leader editorial printed some days after which epitomised the concept of terror: “But who can adequately picture the agonised hours of terror passed by families while … bullets flew in every direction, amid the sound of breaking glass …?”
Michael Murphy goes on to trace the legacy of violence in Kildare in the Civil War where the county –although again relatively quiet – experienced the single deadliest incident when in November 1922 seven Anti-Treaty men were found by Free State forces in a dug-out near Moore’s Bridge on the Curragh, west of the racecourse and were subsequently executed.
However there was only so much that the public could bear in terms of the fear of violence and in the elections held in 1922 and 1923 the Kildare electorate largely shunned the Anti-Treaty side. As Michael Murphy concludes: “Having sustained a bloody and costly struggle against British Rule, ordinary citizens craved a lasting peace and demanded an end to terrorism when directed against an Irish State.” 
For a thought-provoking read on some of the most controversial happenings in the story of modern Ireland “Terrorism in Ireland” published by Lilliput Press and edited by Dr. David Fitzpatrick is worth seeking out. Series no: 279.

Liam Kenny reviews “Terror in Ireland 1916-23” edited by Dr. David Fitzpatrick of the Trinity College History Workshop, which includes an essay  “Revolution and Terror in Kildare 1916-23”  written by Michael Murphy, from Laragh.


A last hurrah for the Titanic at Punchestown

The ripples from the sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of 15 April 1912 spread to the Punchestown Festival national hunt meeting just ten days later in the same month. The Kildare Observer’s social columnist at the races recorded that “Rumour was current at Punchestown that the Honourable C. Alexander had his passage booked for trip on the ill-fated Titanic but was persuaded stay in Ireland and win the Kildare Hunt Cup. He did and scored a rare double event.” It is a comment which reads somewhat flippantly in the face of the Titanic catastrophe – there was more importance placed on the fact that the Hon. Alexander had ridden two winners at Punchestown rather than any reflection on the gravity of the disaster. 
Certainly there was no evidence that the shipping catastrophe cast any pall over the Punchestown meeting of 1912. In fact the opposite held – the Kildare Observer reported that there was a “Record attendance and Grand racing” in two days of brilliant sunshine. Punchestown veterans accustomed to dodging April hailstones at the track will have been relieved by the fact that the weather was brilliantly fine for “Princely Punchestown” on the first day of the two-day meeting with the sun shining from a cloudless sky. And thus there was a record crowd attracted to the east Kildare track.
However the Kildare Observer picked up on a slight shift in travel patterns of the racegoers of that year – a shift which was to become the dominant through to modern times. The paper noted that Kingsbridge railway station in Dublin, normally bulging with Punchestown-bound passengers, had lost something of its brilliancy on a race-day morning. And why? Because of the advent of the motor war which saw a small but trend-setting elite of Dublin society now taking to the newfangled motor carriage to travel from the metropolis to Punchestown.
Setting the trend for the new mode of travel to Punchestown were the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Abercorn and his wife the Duchess. The vice-regal party having motored from Dublin were met at Punchestown by the top hats of the Kildare Hunt Club committee accompanied by an escort of huntsmen “all mounted and dressed in the regulation hunting garb and escorted to the Hunt enclosure.”
The purple prose which described the glittering social scene at the opening day of the festival meeting continued into day two. According to the Kildare Observer reporter who seemed to double as a meteorological correspondent the “the Punchestown meeting was continued on Wednesday under the same brilliant conditions as it commenced. Large as the crowd had been in the public enclosure and out on the course on Tuesday, it was half as large again on the second day”. And on this occasion the emphasis seemed to be on male rather than the female fashion scene which usually dominates Punchestown social coverage: “The hunt stands presented the same animated scene as on the opening afternoon, but as usual the silk hat and morning coat was relinquished by the men on the second day.”  The 1912 meeting was also free of the scourge of petty theft and intemperance which had blighted previous meetings . The Kildare Observer summed up the good mood of Punchestown 1912 in reporting that: “ Never has there been less drunkenness or of the common peccadilloes begotten of inebriation … and as evidence of this we might point to the fact that there was not a single offence requiring investigation by the Resident Magistrate on the course.”  However the event was not completely crime free. On the Wednesday evening a book-maker named Condon reported that he had been robbed of a sum of £60. He alleged that a man who was standing near his bookmaker’s stand had plunged his hand into the bag which Condon carried suspended around his neck and decamped with a handful of his money.
Such snippets regarding petty crime at the festival, and more eloquently written pieces about the social scene at the races, occupied pages in the newspaper of the last week in April. The latest casualty lists released in connection with the Titanic sinking just a fortnight previously merited just a paragraph at the bottom of a page. This taken together with the rather frivolous way in which the Hon. Alexander’s luck in missing the Titanic was reported suggest that even one of the world’s greatest maritime disasters ranked in second place to the annual phenomenon known as Punchestown. Series no: 277

The sinking of the Titanic did not infringe on the Punchestown festival in April 1912 so writes Liam Kenny in no. 277 of his Looking Back series. Our thanks to Liam

October 18, 2012


Kildare Archaeological Society

Dear Members,
This is a reminder that the Society's final event of the year, except for the AGM, will take place on SATURDAY 20th October. This will be an illustrated talk by Dr Kieran O'Conor (NUI Galway) entitled "Anglo Norman Castles in Medieval County Kildare".
The venue is The John Hume Building at NUI Maynooth's North Campus, Room JH L5, and the talk starts at 2.30pm.
We do hope you can join us.
Best regards,
Greg Connelly
Honorary Membership Secretary

Kildare Archaeological Society talk by Dr Kieran O'Conor (NUI Galway) "Anglo Norman Castles in Medieval County Kildare" 20 October, NUIM


Save our Stories – Oral History Project

An ambitious project to record and preserve the voices, stories and histories of Kildare residents by Kildare residents is being launched on Saturday 20th October 2012 in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre,  Kilcullen, Co. Kildare.  
There is a growing interest in recording oral histories among local heritage groups and local history enthusiasts in Kildare. The project invites participants to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to record the oral history of County Kildare and in doing so allow Kildare to develop an archive of local oral recordings, said Bridget Loughlin,  County Kildare Heritage Officer.
The inaugural seminar on 20th October is open to all members of the public and will present an overview of Oral Histories in Ireland and an introduction to the National Folklore Collection in Dublin.  Those interested are then invited to join in a training programme which will equip particpants with the skills to record the oral history of Kildare.   The training programme will be based in the Naas Community Centre, Sallins Rd, Naas, County Kildare for approximately eight weeks and will include visits to the National Folklore Collection at UCD and the recording studio in Leixlip Library.
‘The course will be a practical course with participants learning through doing’, says Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, one  of the project trainers.  ‘Oral histories seek to capture and preserve first hand information of life stories or events that would otherwise be lost.  This is a real opportunity for Kildare residents to contribute to the preservation of unique memories and stories for present and future generations.’  A final output from the course will be a CD containing  oral recordings from the course participants.  The project is an action in the Kildare Heritage Plan and is funded by Kildare Leader Partnership.

Time: 10.00am - 12.30pm Saturday 20th October 2012 Venue: Kilcullen Heritage Centre, Main St. Kilcullen, County Kildare. Admission: free
For more information see:  www.kildare.ie/saveourstories 

A project to record and preserve the voices, stories and histories of Kildare residents is being launched on Saturday 20th October 2012 in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre,  Kilcullen


Athy Heritage Centre-Museum


The Twelfth Ernest Shackleton
Autumn School
26th-29th October 2012

Lectures - Exhibitions - Film - Music - Excursion

Official Opening & Exhibition Launch
by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins

7.45 pm in Athy Heritage Centre-Museum

Launch of the 12th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (26th-29th October 2012) by President Michael D. Higgins in Athy Heritage Centre-Museum


Maynooth Presentation Sisters Convent Cemetery, Grave’s Details

(Inscriptions read as of September 2012 by Henry Flynn)

Plot No.                                                Gravestone Details

1. M. Margaret M. Fitzgerald. Died 13th Mar. A.D. 1948 R.I.P.

2. M.M. Augustine Drumgoole. Died 26th Dec. A.D. 1828 R.I.P.

3. M.M. Berchmans O’Connor. Died 3rd Oct. A.D. 1929 R.I.P. 

4. M.M. Peter Fitzharris. Died 13th May A.D.1832. R.I.P. (Note Sept. 2012 the cross has broken away from the bottom cement plinth. Left standing in front)

5. M.M. Conception Canavan. Died 21st April A.D.1933 R.I.P.

6. M.M. Stanislaus Nugent. Died 17th Mar. A.D. 1838 R.I.P.

7. Sr. M. Brigid O’Callaghan. Died 1st May A.D.1936 R.I.P.

8. M.M. Andrew McKeever. Died 27th Mar. A.D. 1855 R.I.P.

9. Sr. M. Francis O’Connor. Died 26th Jan. A.D. 1962 R.I.P.

10. M.M. John Kelly. Died 4th Nov. A.D. 1951 R.I.P.

11. M.M. Borgia Meade. Died 20th Feb. A.D. 1879 R.I.P.

12. Sr. M. Aloysius Doyle. Died 10th Dec. A.D. 1940 R.I.P.

13. M.M. Joseph Nugent. Died 24th Jan A.D. 1868 R.I.P. (Note Black cross in a different style to the other’s R.I.P. is part of the upright)

14. Sr. M. Joseph Callaghan. Died 11th Jan. A.D. 1944 R.I.P. (Note Black cross in a different style to the other’s R.I.P. ias part of the upright)

15. M.M. Alphons Carrigan. Died 22nd June A.D. 1864 R.I.P.

16. Sr. M. Columba Aherne. Died 5th June A.D. 1947 R.I.P.

17. M.M. John Kelly. Died 10th Mar. A.D. 1861 R.I.P.

18. Sr. M. de Pazzi Cagney. Died 7th April A.D. 1962 R.I.P.

19. M.M. Philomena Mooney. Died 31st Jan. A.D. 1958 R.I.P.

20. Sr. M. Baptist McCarthy. Died 25th Feb. A.D. 1896 R.I.P.

21. M.M. Regis Doyle. Died 14th Aug. A.D. 1961 R.I.P.

22. M.M. Francis Murtha. Died 10th Feb. A.D.1895 R.I.P.

23. Sr. M. Dolorosa McLoughlin. Died 1st April A.D. 1968 R.I.P.(Note The black cross is a different style to the other cross’s , flat front and a little larger)

24. Sr. M. Patrick Power. Died 10th Oct A.D. 1891 R.I.P.

25. M.M. Bernard Murphy. Died 4th June A.D. 1966 R.I.P. 

26. Sr. M. Augustine Petit. Died 26th Jan A.D. 1878 R.I.P.

27. M.M. Antonia Diggins. Died 14th April A.D.1969 R.I.P.

28. M.M. Joseph Dalton. Died 28th May A.D. 1879 R.I.P.

29. Sr. M. Macdalen McCarthy. Died 18th Oct. A.D. 1964 R.I.P.

30. Sr. M. Ignatius O’Connor. Died 25th May A.D. 1960 R.I.P.

31. M.M. Bernard McNamara. Died 2nd Mar. A.D. 1913 R.I.P.

32. Green Plot.

33. Sr. M. Alphonsus Leahy. Died 11th May A.D. 1905 R.I.P.
34. Sr. M. Agnes O’Connor. Died 30th Jan. A.D. 1980 R.I.P. (Note The black cross is a different style to the other cross’s , flat front and a little larger)

35. Sr. M. Peter McDonald. Died 8th Mar. A.D. 1899 R.I.P.

36. M.M. Borgia O’Riordan. Died 28th Dec. A.D.1972 R.I.P. (Note The black cross is a different style to the other cross’s , flat front and a little larger)

37. Sr. M. Joseph Millwood. Died 19th Feb. A.D. 1898 R.I.P.

38. Sr. M. Gerard Dillon. Died 5th June A.D. 1983 R.I.P.

39. M.M. Aloysius Dalton. Died 3rd Aug. A.D. 1897 R.I.P.

40. Sr. F. Therese Fitzgerald. Died 2nd May A.D. 1965 R.I.P. 

41. Sr. M. Carmel Healy. Died 26th Feb. A.D. 1961 R.I.P.

42. Sr. M. Teresa Kavanagh. Died 30th Oct. A.D. 1927 R.I.P.

43. Green Plot.

44. M.M. Vincent Kavanagh. Died 30th Mar. A.D. 1921 R.I.P.

45. Green Plot.

46. Sr. M. De Sales O’Brien. Died 16th Mar A.D. 1917 R.I.P.

47. Sr. M. Annette Kennedy. Died 17th July A.D. 1978 R.I.P. (Note The black cross is a different style to the other crosses, flat front and a little larger)

48. Sr. M. Xavier Kavanagh. Died 15th Feb A.D.1915 R.I.P.

49. Green Plot.

50. M.M. Stanislaus McKeever. Died 6th Feb. A.D. 1915 R.I.P.

51. Sr. M. Joseph Fleming. 27th Aug. 1827 Interred in College Cemetery R.I.P.  (This cross is placed up again the stone boundary wall far end.) (Note The black cross is a different style to the other cross’s, flat front and a little larger)

52. Sr. M. Ignatius Dalton.  5th Nov. 1873 Interred in Bruges R.I.P. (This cross is placed up against the stone boundary wall entrance end). (Note The black cross is a different style to the other cross’s , flat front and a little larger)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Note! January 2005 the Presentation Sisters Maynooth purchased graves (Grave plots 105 to 108 new section) in Laraghbryan cemetery Maynooth. The cemetery is located  about 1km out on the Maynooth toKilcock road.

The following Sisters are buried in Laraghbryan. (New section.)

Sr. M. Kathleen White Died 9th January 2005.

Sr. Julie Miller Abbeyfield, Kilcock Died 13th March 2009.

The inscriptions of Maynooth Presentation Sisters Convent Cemetery. Our thanks to Henry Flynn

October 12, 2012



Newbridge Library

Sunday 14 October

12 - 4 p.m.


The Kildare History Book Sale will take place on Sunday afternoon, the 14 October in Newbridge Library. This will be an opportunity for those interested in history and heritage as well as the general population who are interested in books and reading to snap up some great deals.

It is being organised by Kildare County Library and Arts Services in conjunction with the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups. According to Local Studies Librarian, Mario Corrigan, "There is an enormous interest in Dublin and other areas in this sort of event and after the success of the first six County Kildare Book Fairs 2006 - 2011 we in County Kildare are looking forward to the event."

It is free and open to all and there will be ample opportunity for people to browse the books on offer. "The idea is to give people an opportunity to buy good quality history books on a range of subjects at bargain prices. The material will go to people who appreciate it,” said Federation Secretary, James Durney.

"It will be an immensely pleasurable experience, whereby people can browse the tables at their leisure and hopefully they will find a little treasure or a copy of that elusive title they have been searching for," said President of the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups, Barry Walsh.

So why not take an afternoon break on Sunday 14 October and come to Newbridge Library to the County Book Sale - maybe in search of a unique gift or just to enjoy the experience.

The Sale is being run in tandem with the Kildare Reader's Festival - please drop in.

Sunday 14th October   
"A man innocently dabbles in words and finds that it is his Life" Dermot Bolger in conversation with Paul Duncan and Aidan Murphy 11.00-12.30 Riverbank Arts Centre Free
Fringe Event: Presentation of Cecil Day Lewis Literary Bursary Award 12.30 Riverbank Arts Centre Free



COUNTY KILDARE BOOK SALE! Newbridge Library, Sunday 14 October 12 - 4 p.m.



Kildare Reader's Festival this weekend - great line up, topped off by the fabulous Joe O'Connor - includes our very own Mae Leonard, Philip Scott, John Martin, Ann Egan and Niamh Boyce

And who could omit James Durney and Eamon Dillon


Kildare Readers Festival Author Panel
Adrian Millar, Martina Reilly and Colm Liddy with Roisin Meaney-14.00 - 15.00-The Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge-Free
Fringe Event:
Gangsters and Goodfellas
Sunday World crime journalist Eamon Dillon talks to author James Durney on his soon-to-be released book 'The Quiet Man. NYPD Detective Peter Daly' -15.30 - 16.30-The Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge-Free


Kildare Reader's Festival this weekend - great line up, topped off by the fabulous Joe O'Connor - includes our very own Mae Leonard, Philip Scott, John Martin, Ann Egan and Niamh Boyce, James Durney and Eamon Dillon.



The next meeting of the Newbridge Local History Group will take place on Wednesday 17 October in Sarsfield GAA Clubhouse at 8.30pm. James Durney will talk about 'Titanic: the Kildare Connections'. Being the centenary year of the famous (or infamous) sinking, it will be interesting to hear about the Kildare people caught up in the tragedy.
We look forward to seeing you there on the night.

Do continue to browse the website: http://www.newbridgehistory.org/, and we would love to have your own contributions to the site in the form of memories (school, area, pastimes, social and leisure pursuits, etc) or histories of local associations and clubs. The website is a 'work in progress', rather like a book that can always be added to.
Raphael Ryan.

Newbridge Local History Group's next meeting is Wednesday 17 October - 'Titanic: the Kildare Connections,' by James Durney

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