We hope this finds you all well,
On behalf of the Clane Local History Group committee we would like to extend seasonal greetings to you and your families,
We hope you have a very Happy Christmas and enjoy good health and happiness in the New Year,
Stay safe and take care,
Brendan, Jim and Larry
Although the group has faded into the sunset the Local History Group Website will remain in place courtesy of Lorcan Harney. As well as pdf copies of all issues of Coiseanna, it contains numerous old photographs of local people and places and other features can be accessed by the following link:
I have back numbers of all issues of Coiseanna except for the years 2012 and 2013 which can be obtained for free by contacting me.
Contact details: Tel Mobile 087 948 0542
Hello everyone, we are writing to update you on the situation with regard to the future of Clane Local History Group. After due consideration and careful thought we have decided that it is time for us to step back from the running of the society.
We did signal this and to that end called a special meeting to discuss the best way forward. We will not dwell on it but the attendance was disappointing and too small to make any meaningful plans for the future. In the absence of new blood coming forward and an organising committee in place we unfortunately have to now wind up the group.
We regret this decision but are hereby giving notice that the Society will be ceasing to operate as Clane Local History Group. The Society can be proud of its record in serving the local community over so many years and particularly the contribution our Journal Coiseanna made in enriching the history and heritage of the area.
We remember at this time our departed friends Pat Given, Una Heffernan, John Noonan and Tom Mc Creery who made such a huge contribution to the society over the years and which will not be forgotten. We plan and hope that we can continue to host the Society Website as a conduit and means for history and heritage communication in the community.
There will be some loose ends to tie up which we will do in due course and keep everyone informed. Who knows, there is nothing to stop the society from renewing itself in the future if there is the will and interest to do so.
It has been a pleasure working with you all over the years and many thanks for all your support.
Jim Heffernan, Brendan Cullen and Larry Breen
It has been decided that in place of our normal talk in October we hold a special meeting of the Clane Local History Group in the GAA Centre Prosperous Road on Thursday 19th October.
We would ask that all members attend if at all possible. The committee, Jim, Brendan and Larry feel that it is time to review where we are with the history group and to make plans for the future. We are not getting any younger. An injection of new blood to take and share responsibility is essential to ensure the future of the group. This will be an open meeting with no fixed agenda and we welcome an input from all in attendance.
Clane Local History Group has made a very important contribution to the local community over many years in promoting its history, heritage and helping preserve the rich stories of its many unique people, places and events. We feel that it is important that this service to the local community should continue.
To this end we look forward to seeing you all on the night.
Jim. Brendan and Larry,
Committee Clane Local History Group
Federation of the Local History Societies visit Scotland
Sunday 14th – Thursday 18th May 2023
Larry Breen and Jim Heffernan of Clane Local History Group joined the Federation of Local History Societies on a memorable trip to Scotland this May. Members from 21 different local history societies across Ireland participated in this enjoyable trip to various historic places across Scotland including its Highlands, Loch Ness, Clachan Bridge, the prehistoric monuments of Kilmartin, Mac Craig's Tower, Inveraray Castle, Luss Castle, Bannockburn battle site and the Robbie Burns Centre.
Please open the link below to read Larry's account of the trip
AGM 2023 – CARLOW CO. CARLOW - 6-8th OCTOBER
The Federation is holding this year’s AGM in Carlow in what promises to be a great weekend. A chance to catch up on what is happening in local history circles around the country.
Enjoy a welcome break in convivial company, meet old friends and make new ones. It is a weekend event but delegates are also welcome to attend daily over the weekend. All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you
In the words of the song - Why not “follow us up to Carlow” – A warm welcome awaits you!!
Wednesday 16th August 2023 8.00 pm Clane GAA Club
Canals were a very important form of transport well before the advent of road or rail and have historically been a feature of the world’s landscape for a very long time. This talk will explore the development of canal life and the impact it had on the local community in Kildare. We are fortunate that this part of the county was served by the Grand Canal since its inception in the 1700s and created a way of life never to be forgotten.
Construction of the main line took fifty years, commencing in 1756 and its commercial life ended with the departure of the last Guinness barge in 1960. The history of canal life is a fascinating story of a unique form of transport from the original horse drawn barges to the modern steel and engine propelled boats of more recent years. The many different types of boats, their unique identification numbering system, the people who worked them and their ports of call presented a way of life now long gone but not to be forgotten.
The talk tells the story of the halcyon days on the canals, their eventual demise and then the rebirth of canal activity with the fabulous work of boat restoration by canal enthusiasts all over the country. The talk includes many great illustrations of boats, people and places which paints a picture of this wonderful period in our local history both commercially and socially. The canals are now a paradise for many boat lovers enjoying the peace and tranquillity they offer in our modern hectic world.
Heritage Week 12th – 18th August 2023
Venue: Clane Public Library
Hidden Gems & Forgotten people was a very successful project developed initially by the History Federations of Ireland to help promote and encourage the study of local history in communities.
The purpose is to draw attention to and celebrate some of the lesser known but interesting places and buildings in our island: those often overlooked in the tourist brochures or guided tours, and of the many interesting and often inspiring individuals not known outside their own locality whose stories are untold or forgotten.
Most communities have a hidden Gem, a place of local interest, marking an event or person of local significance. This might be an old toll-house, ford, haunted house or hungry field or some important pre-industrial site.
We have many such examples in our own area; the Browne Mausoleum Mainham, the Bird Bath Clane Church, the Baullaun Stone at the Butterstream, the Fitzgerald Effigy Franciscan Friary, Jimmy Reddy Postman, Mick Sammon referee and the Wogan Tomb Abbey Graveyard Clane.
Often local familiarity prevents many of these becoming more widely recognised and consequently they remain hidden to the rest of us. However, each one has a story to tell and that story is part of our wider local history. In a similar way there have been many people who have contributed significantly to their local area and in some cases to the wider world, yet remain unrecognised and forgotten by most. They need not have been famous in the celebrity sense but nevertheless they may have an interesting story.
This exhibition provides the opportunity for you to rescue such forgotten personalities and hidden treasures from obscurity and allow them to take their rightful place in the story of our local history.
Clane Local History Group launched their Coiseanna 2023 in the GAA Club in Clane on Wed 26th April 2023. A large crowd gathered to witness the event which was the 12th edition of the Annual Journal. The History group are very proud of this achievement, being able to publish it every year for the past twelve years and also all through the whole Covid pandemic period as well. Chairman, Larry Breen, welcomed everyone and introduced editorial committee member Jim Heffernan, who presented a summary of the Journal contents for the audience which included fourteen articles and some miscellany as well.
Then Des Marron, Mayor of Clane, officially launched the Journal, something he has done for many years. Des reflected on articles in the journal and in particular mentioned some articles of special local interest, namely Tony McEvoy’, Place Names, Pat Lynch’s reflections on Clane at the Dawn of the GAA and the Ancient Game of Hurling by Noel Hynes. The Mayor complimented the History Group on their publications which has helped promote and keep alive the local history in the community.
With that Des declared Coiseanna 2023 officially Launched.
The Journal is for sale in the following shops in Clane, Des Marron Chemist, Kieran Hughes Chemist, Londis, Clane Parish Office, Supervalu, Bob & Kate’s and Given’s Opticians. It is also on sale in Barker & Jones of Naas. Cost €5.
A visit organised by Clane Local History Group and led by group member, Brendan Cullen, proved a most interesting and enjoyable experience for a group of retired teachers from Maynooth when they recently toured the College. The guided tour included both the interior and exterior of the building including some of the grounds as well.
Brendan outlined the chequered history of the building since its earliest times including the Castle itself which was originally part of the Pale and destroyed by Cromwell’s forces under the command of General Monk. He outlined details of its various owners over the years and how and why it changed hands until it eventually was taken over by the Jesuits and became a prestigious college providing a classical education for students. Brendan also recalled some of the famous students who had attended the college including Thomas Francis Meagher later to become a union soldier and Deputy Governor of Montana. He shared many stories associated with the writer James Joyce who spent his early school days there. The early part of Joyce’s book, Portrait of the Artist as Young Man”, is based on Joyce’s years at Clongowes. Inside the building the visitors were privileged to see many parts of the impressive interior including the Round Room, the Drawing Room, the Dining Room, the beautiful Landing with its impressive view down the driveway and the Serpentine Gallery with its portraits of the many illustrious past pupils.
Of particular interest to the visitors was the story of “Gravel Football”, a game that was unique to Clongowes. Played on the gravel surface at the back of the college building it neither resembled soccer or rugby and eventually died out as no other establishment played the game except Clongowes.
The visit concluded with visits to the Boys Chapel and the Peoples Church and the story of Blessed John Sullivan, the Jesuit Priest renowned for his holiness and curing powers. Before leaving the College, the visitors were presented with a copy of the Journal of the Clane Local History Group, Coiseanna, together with a copy of the Journal of the Federation of Local History Societies. Brendan Cullen, who conducted the tour, was assisted by fellow Clane History Group Members, Jim Heffernan and Larry Breen.
The Group at the rear of the castle - this was the area where the game of 'gravel football' was once played.
The group assembled at the front of Clongowes College
The Round Room - Clongowes College
The Ceiling of the Round Room