Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anybody remember Athy’s An Tostal festival?

I recently came across a rather tattered copy of the souvenir brochure and programme produced for the Castledermot An Tostal Festival of 55 years ago. An Tostal was an initiative of the Tourist Board in which towns and villages throughout Ireland organised cultural events over a three week period in April 1953. I was intrigued because I have never seen a similar publication for Athy, although some years ago I had discovered a somewhat moth eaten An Tostal flag which I under-stood had been used during the festival in the town. Indeed I had never heard or read any local references to Athy’s Tostal Festival of 1953 and so I visited the local history reference room in the County Library headquarters in Newbridge to read back issues of the Nationalistnewspaper for 1953.

Reading newspapers to cull material relating to a particular topic brings its own problems. It’s a pleasant, if somewhat time consuming task, delays being inevitably caused by the many interesting, sometimes quirky references one comes across, none of which are related to the subject in hand. Such was my dilemma when in the few hours available to me I ransacked the newspaper files for the first five months of 1953 in my search for An Tostal material.

The first mention of the impending festival appeared in the Nationalist of 10 January 1953 which noted:- ‘An Tostal was ushered in at Carlow Town Hall on Saturday night last. Courier John Kehoe, cold and numb after his days 170 mile drive handed a Bord Failte greeting to Tostal Council Chairman Mr. Paddy Governey and wished Carlow the success of real achievement in its April projects.’

A week later the Nationalist reported that the Athy Tostal Committee ‘met on Friday night and again on Monday night to arrange the programme.’ The events planned for Athy during the three week festival included a massed parade, field day, drama, concert, football matches, musical review, clay pigeon shooting, industrial exhibition, Irish open air step dancing, ballroom dancing and organised tours of local industries. The Tostal Committee arranging these events was not named but a sub committee elected to decorate the town included JJ Bergin, JJ Usher, PJ Kavanagh, T McCarthy, J Dolan and J Karrigan. The same edition of the Nationalist reported that VEC chairman Fr PJ Doyle, PP Athy claimed that ‘attendances at Athy Technical School is very weak’. On a more cheerful note the award of pre Truce old IRA medals was reported, the recipients, all former members of B Coy 5th Battalion Carlow Brigade, being Patrick Bolton and Joseph Kenny of Dunbrinn and Patrick Maher of Dooley’s Terrace.

Major General Hugo MacNeill who had marched into Baltinglass at the head of Free State soldiers in August 1922, returned to the west Wicklow village in January 1953 as National Director of An Tostal. He explained that the festival was being promoted by the Tourist Board in order to extend the tourist season from 3 to 5 months and to demonstrate that ‘we are proud of our past, our culture and traditions.’

By 24 January the Athy Tostal Committee had added further events to those already planned. Acquatic sports with boat races, a pageant, horse jumping, a play by the Social Club players and a GAA game between a county selection and a London Irish selection were just some of the extra activities expected to form part of Athy’s An Tostal Festival.

Two weeks later local curate Fr. John McLoughlin MC grabbed the headlines with his call to the members of Athy’s Macra na Feirme Club when addressing their annual dinner in the Leinster Arms Hotel ‘to accept the social responsibility of encouraging farmers to marry.’ The senior curate of St Michael’s Parish who was leading the drive for funds for a new parish church for Athy was concerned that ‘here where half the population lives in rural areas, only one fifth of marriages were between persons in rural areas and practically all the bride grooms were farm labourers.’ His passionate appeal would be taken up a few weeks later by Fr P Fitzpatrick of Castledermot who claimed ‘in the past five years not a single farmer in the parish of Castledermot married ..... the only hope now for a healthier marriage rate depends on the enlightened education of young farmers clubs.’

In the first week of February another Catholic curate Fr S O’Sullivan was elected president of the newly appointed Tostal Committee in Castledermot. Secretary of the committee was Tadgh Hayden and both himself and the curate were to carry out research for what was described as a historical brochure to be produced in connection with An Tostal. Frank McDonald, Mr G Hennessy and Seamus Byrne of Ballyhade were part of the Castledermot committee and their responsibility was a collection of traditions ‘still extant amongst the locals’for inclusion in the brochure.

Portlaoise broke rather late into the Tostal spirit setting up its committee in early March, while Monasterevin decided to hold its Tostal festival from 17-25 May long after the countrywide festival had concluded. Perhaps the most intriguing local Tostal reference I came across emanated from Abbeyleix where the local committee planned to have a frog derby as the centre-piece of the towns festival. Their spokesperson in announcing the derby claimed ‘we have the fastest and longest jumping frogs in Ireland’.

In the midst of the preparations for An Tostal, Athy hosted it’s largest St. Patricks Day parade for many years. No less than three local bands took part, including St Michael’s Pipe Band and St Josephs Boys Band which had been formed only months previously by the St Josephs Welfare Club under the direction of the legendary band leader Joe O’Neill. Also parading were the local FCA, the Knights of Malta and the National Foresters. Was there, I wonder, a local branch of the Foresters in Athy at that time? Miss Conneran’s dance class joined the girls from the Convent schools and the boys from the CBS as they paraded with an unnamed band, rather strangely described in the newspaper report as ‘Fife and Drum Band from west urban area.’ Does anyone know anything about this band?

The Tostal festival in Athy commenced on Sunday 5 April when the Tostal flag was hoisted at 1.00pm in Emily Square by Fr P Crowe CC who was chairman of the local committee.

Prior to that the three local bands paraded through what was described as ‘the lavishly decorated streets of Athy.’ That afternoon Kildare played Dublin in the final of the Geraldine tournament preceded by a minor match between Kildare and Laois. The Kildare seniors won the match and Fintan Brennan presented the watches won by the players ‘to the County Board.’ That same afternoon Pioneers (Dublin) played a local team in a soccer match and in the evening a dance was held in the Social Club in St John’s Lane while the Town Hall hosted a soccer club dance.

The Golf Club held a local competition on Sunday and Monday, while on Monday afternoon there was an exhibition of Irish dancing ‘along the River Barrow’. The Social Club players put on the play, ‘The Barretts of Wimpole Street’ in the Town Hall on 9, 10 and 12 April. On the second Sunday an industrial and agricultural parade started from the Showgrounds and for the remaining two weeks of the festival the programme included 13-14 April choral and instrumental concert by parish children in the Town Hall, Tostal Ball in St John’s Hall on 14th, Play and Variety Concert in the Town Hall on 15th and 19th, Irish Dancing Exhibition on 16th with Gala on 19th, an exhibition of works in the Technical School on 23 April. An exhibition of historical and local interest was given by O’Rourke Glynns during the festival.

Apart from reporting the opening of the festival little or no coverage was given to the events in Athy over the three weeks. Mention, however, was made of the elaborate decorations in place for An Tostal in St Joseph’s Terrace provided for by the local Welfare Club.

I wonder if any programme of the 1953 Athy An Tostal Festival has survived, or indeed ever existed, or if there are any photographs of the various events which took place that April? It was undoubtedly a major cultural and social event at a time when the country was bedevilled by unemployed and economic stagnation.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has memories of An Tostal of 55 years ago and would welcome the opportunity to copy photographs or mementos of the Tostal Festival.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The man who caused havoc among Athy’s rebels

One of the most infamous characters linked with the 1798 Rebellion is Thomas Reynolds, the one time resident of Kilkea Castle. Reynolds was a distant relation of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the Duke of Leinster’s son and one time Member of Parliament for the Borough of Athy. Colonel Thomas Fitzgerald of Geraldine House, Athy was Reynold’s uncle and both, unusually, for members of the gentry in 18th century Ireland, were members of the Catholic Church. Reynolds’ father Andrew was a silk merchant from Dublin and he married Rose Fitzgerald of Kilmead. Their son Thomas spent the first eight years of his life in the Kilmead home of his maternal grandfather Thomas Fitzgerald. Educated at Chiswick in England and later at Liege in Flanders he returned to Dublin in 1788, just a few weeks before the death of his father.

Thomas Reynolds son, in his father’s biography, published in 1838, claimed that his father was inveigled to become a member of the United Irishmen in January or February 1797 through the efforts of Richard Dillon, a Catholic and Oliver Bond, a Presbyterian. Some time previously Reynolds had agreed to take a lease of Kilkea Castle from the Duke of Leinster following the death of the previous tenant, a Mr. Dixon, an elderly man who passed away at the beginning of 1797.

Soon after Reynolds took up residence in Kilkea Castle he accepted Lord Edward’s invitation to take over from him as Colonel of the United Irishmen in the local barony of Kilkea and Moone. At the same time Reynolds was appointed as County Treasurer which entitled him to attend the Provincial Council meetings of the United Irishmen. Reynolds is believed to have passed on information to Dublin Castle regarding a planned meeting of the Provincial Council in Oliver Bond’s house in Bridge Street, Dublin. As a result members of the Leinster Directory including Peter Ivers from Carlow, Laurence Kelly from Laois, George Cummins from Kildare and Peter Bannan from Portarlington were arrested on 12th March.

Two days later Thomas Reynolds met Lord Edward Fitzgerald at the home of Dr. Kennedy in Aungier Street, Dublin when Lord Edward gave him a letter for the County Kildare rebels. On 17th March Reynolds left Dublin for Kilkea and stopped overnight in Naas. There he was met, to Reynolds’ surprise, by Matthew Kenna who told Reynolds of a meeting of the County Committee arranged for March 18th at the house of Reilly, a publican, near the Curragh of Kildare. Reynolds attended the meeting, although he must have been somewhat concerned that his colleagues would suspect his involvement in the Dublin arrests six days previously. However, nothing untoward happened to Reynolds and he afterwards arranged a meeting of local rebel captains in Athy for 20th March. The meeting, held in the back room of Peter Kelly’s shop in the main street of Athy, was arranged to coincide with the town’s monthly fair. Having read Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s letter to the meeting Reynolds then pressed the south Kildare captains to allow him to step down from the organisation, citing the earlier arrest in Oliver Bond’s house as his reason for wanting to do so. However, his unsuspecting colleagues decided that he should continue, but allowed him to share his position as Colonel of the United Irishmen with Dan Caulfield of Levitstown.

On 3rd April 1798 the Commander of the Government troops in Ireland issued a decree requiring all weapons to be handed up within ten days. At the same time Colonel Campbell of the 9th Dragoons stationed in the local barracks in Athy had notices distributed throughout the town, informing all and sundry of the military ultimatum. However, little or no attempt was made to comply with the military directive and so on 20th April soldiers were sent out from Athy’s military barracks to live at free quarters amongst the local people.

Rather surprisingly Colonel Campbell sent a troop of the 9th Dragoons and a company of the Cork Militia to Kilkea Castle, the home of Thomas Reynolds. Commanded by Captain Erskine they arrived on 20th April and used the famous Norman Castle as their base for the next eight days. Reynolds’ biographer was later to recount that ‘the friends and acquaintances of the officers, their wives and children and those of the soldiers came daily from Athy to see the Castle and feast at my father’s expense.’ As well as the free quartering of troops, searches for arms continued and no restrictions appeared to have been imposed on the soldiers. Contemporary accounts graphically recount the military’s plundering of goods which were brought to the Army Barracks in Athy. Erskine and his troops finally left Kilkea Castle on 28th April and moved into the Geraldine residence of Thomas Fitzgerald at Geraldine where they remained for the next thirty days.

On 3rd May Thomas Reynolds set off for Dublin to lodge a claim with the Dublin Castle authorities arising from the military occupation of Kilkea Castle. On the road out of Athy he met up with Wheeler Barrington from Fortbarrington House. Wheeler was the brother of Jonah Barrington who was later to be a judge of the Admiralty in Ireland and whose colourful career is recounted in his book ‘Personal Sketches of his Own Times’.

Just beyond Naas Barrington and Wheeler met Mr. Taylor, an attorney from Athy, who like Reynolds was a member of the Athy Yeomanry Cavalry. Taylor informed them of rumours circulating in Dublin concerning Reynolds’ arrest in Athy. As a consequence Reynolds changed his plans and stayed overnight in McDonnells Inn in Naas. Subsequently the Athy Yeomanry Cavalry of which Reynolds was a member were disbanded for suspected disloyalty to the Crown at a time when their captain Thomas Fitzgerald of Geraldine House was under arrest.

Quite a number of local men were arrested around this time and lodged in Whites Castle jail. Reynolds’ son claimed that the arrested men implicated his father in rebel activities and as a result Colonel Campbell sent a party of Dragoons to Kilkea Castle on Saturday, 5th May to arrest him. Marched back to Athy under escort early that Saturday morning, Reynolds informed on Peter Kelly and pointed out his shop as the place where local United Irishmen held meetings. Kelly was immediately arrested and his shop premises was burnt to the ground but not before the stock and furniture in it had been removed and taken to the local barracks.

Following his arrest Reynolds wrote to William Cope, a Dublin merchant and procurer of informers, informing him that he had been arrested and thrown into what he described as ‘the common jail’ in Athy. He asked Cope to send down an order for his release and in another letter Reynolds indicated that he had revealed to Colonel Campbell, the local army commander, ‘the situation I stand in with regard to our business’ and demanded that the Lord Lieutenant order his immediate release ‘for having done the great and essential services to the government’. Subsequently transferred to Dublin by the order of the Chief Secretary, Thomas Reynolds passed out of the life of Athy and its townspeople where his short-lived presence had created havoc amongst the United Irishmen of the locality.

The part played by Thomas Reynolds during the 1798 period must be contrasted with that of the many locals who, as members of the United Irishmen paid, in some cases, the ultimate penalty for their involvement in the planned Rebellion. Reynolds, despite the defence put up by his son 40 years later, is acknowledged to have been an informer. He was however not the only informer in the south Kildare area but undoubtedly he was the highest ranking member of the United Irishmen from this locality to cooperate with Dublin Castle.

As a community we have never commemorated in any permanent way the spirited bravery of our predecessors of ’98 or acknowledged their suffering in a cause which was intended to benefit the Irish people. I know that Athy Urban District Council ten years ago set about to remedy that omission, but unfortunately the current Council is unable to find amongst its €5.4 million annual budget a few thousand euro to erect in the centre of the town an already commissioned memorial to the people of ’98.

The tragedy of ’98 lives on!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Carrolls of Van Diemen’s Land Part Two

When Catherine Carroll and her three young daughters, Letitia, Mary and Ellen, left their home in Forest, Athy for the last time in 1857, they could not imagine what the future might hold for them in far away Tasmania. There, they were to join Catherine’s broth-er-in-law Denis Carroll, whose brother and Catherine’s husband John had disappeared, never again to be heard of, after he emigrated to America nine years previously. Denis himself had left Athy in January 1842 with his wife Ann and three children, but sadly on the long sea trip, which in those days took upwards of six months, Ann had died. The widower, Denis Carroll, would marry Ann Martin, a widow, the year before his sister-inlaw Catherine arrived in Tasmania. He was 58 years of age and his second wife was 43 years’ old when they married on 21 May 1856.

Catherine Carroll and her three daughters arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on board the Sir WF Williams on 18 August 1857. The eldest daughter Letitia was 17 years’ old, while Mary was three years younger and Ellen was the youngest at 11 years of age. Kate White in her biography of Joseph Lyons, prime minister of Australia in 1932-1939, wrote that “from Hobart, the Carroll women took a coach to Lauceston where they boarded a coasting ship for Stanley”. Stanley was then a relatively new settlement chosen by the Van Diemen’s Land Company as the site for the first European settlement in the north west of the island. Later developed as the principal fishing village in that part of Tasmania, Stanley was the centre of the Van Diemen’s Land Company operation, a company which incidentally still operates today in Tasmania.

Little is known of Catherine Carroll’s family during their years in Stanley, where they probably found accommodation with the help of Denis Carroll, who by 1857 was a well-established farmer in that part of the island. For how long Catherine Carroll lived in Stanley I have not yet discovered but, as she was just 43 years’ old when she arrived in Tasmania, it is quite possible that she had many more decades to live in that part of the world.

Of her three daughters, the first to marry was the youngest Ellen, who married Michael Lyons, son of Galway parents, on 7 September 1870. Michael Lyons senior had built the Shamrock Inn in Stanley and had it licensed as an inn in 1849. A successful businessman, Lyons transferred the premises to a brother-in-law whom he sponsored to come from Ireland and then proceeded to take over the licence of another local establishment, the Emily Hotel, which rather strangely for someone with an Irish Catholic background he promptly renamed the Freemasons Hotel.

Michael Lyons Junior, who married Ellen Carroll, was less successful in business than his father. Initially, he managed his father’s produce store during the first nine years of his married life when, with four children in hand, the young couple moved to Ulverstone, near Devonport, where Michael Lyons opened a butcher’s shop and a bakery. The youngest child born that same year was Joseph Aloysius, the man who would later become prime minister of Australia. The butcher cum baker, Michael Lyons, prospered but with an extraordinary lapse of common sense he lost his business and the family fortune on a horse race and plunged his young family into penury. Nine-year-old Joseph Lyons was forced to go out to work to help the family’s finances, a situation which caused his Irish aunts Letitia and Mary grave concerns. The still-young Ellen Carroll from Forest, Athy, who had married the luckless Michael Lyons, would thereafter have a difficult life which was eased somewhat when her sisters Letitia and Mary, still living in Stanley, took her son Joseph into their care. The little cottage in which the two Irish women lived is just a few houses south of where Michael Lyons and Catherine Carroll lived before they left for Ulverstone. The house is now a museum dedicated to Joseph Aloysius Lyons, the Australian prime minister, whose mother Ellen emigrated from Athy in 1857.

Earlier this year, I visited the Lyons cottage and found a magnificent collection of photographs and other material relating to Joseph Lyons and his wife Enid, who was the first woman elected to the Australian House of Representatives and Australia’s first woman cabinet minister. 12 months ago I had never heard of Joseph Lyons, but the chance finding of a note given to me many years ago by the late Jack Meany of St Patrick’s Avenue prompted my enquiries and a subsequent visit to Stanley and other locations associated with the Lyons family.

Another place linked with Catherine Lyons’s son was ‘Home Hill’, a beautiful detached residence on the outskirts of Devonport where Joseph Lyons and his wife Enid lived from 1916 and where Enid continued to live after his sudden death in 1939. The house, which is a single-storey timber structure on a blue stone base, is now owned by Devonport City Council, while the National Trust owns the house contents. It contains many interesting historic mementos of the life and times of Joseph Lyons, the prime minister, and his wife and family. The house, like the cottage museum in Stanley, is staffed by volunteers and on my visit I was fortunate to be given a very comprehensive guided tour of the house and its contents.

Joseph Lyons travelled to London in 1935 for the King of England’s Jubilee and again two years later for the coronation of the new king. He received the freedom of the cities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh during his visits, as well as the freedom of the city of London. My guide at Devonport claimed that the prime minister also visited Ireland and spoke to the Dáil, following which he was presented with a miniature of the Ardagh chalice made from Irish silver.

There was also a claim that he had received a presentation from Dublin Corporation. Whether these claims are correct or not, I cannot say, but it strikes me that a visit to Ireland by Joseph Lyons was likely in 1935 or 1937. Did the Australian prime minister by any chance make a quick visit to the area from where his mother had emigrated? These are the questions that might be answered on my next visit to the National Library to check out its newspaper collection.

I met one of Ellen Carroll’s grandsons when I was in Tasmania. He had visited Ireland some years ago but at a time and an age when he had little or no knowledge of his grand-mother’s Irish background and so did not visit Athy. The story of the Carroll family in Australia is now reasonably well documented, due largely to the successful political career of Ellen Carroll’s son, Joseph Lyons. Many more families from this part of South Kildare made the long journey overseas to Australia and Tasmania in the 19th century and later. Their stories remain undocumented, but hopefully at some time in the future it might be possible to record the lives and family backgrounds of some of the Irish emigrants who made a new beginning in the former convict colony of Australia.

Finally, on 16 June 1904, James Joyce and Nora Barnacle went out together for the first time. Years later, Joyce set his novel Ulysses, which records the events of a single day in the life of Leopold Bloom, on that same day. 16 June is now celebrated all over the world as ‘Bloomsday’ and this year even greater significance is given to the annual celebration as the day on which a free travel pass is given to my oldest friend and eminent Greek scholar, Teddy Kelly. Long may he enjoy Haughey’s largesse.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Passing of two who made Athy their home

Bessie Casey and Denis O’Donovan died during the week. Like so many others now living in Athy neither of them were natives of the town on the River Barrow. Bessie was from Spiddal in County Galway and arrived here to work in St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1953. Denis was from County Limerick and came to Athy to work as an electrical engineer in the Asbestos Factory in 1959. Their lives thereafter were inextricably linked with the South Kildare town, which over the centuries has hosted as diverse a community as French speaking Anglo Normans, Scottish settlers and more often than not the descendants of Anglo Saxons, extending an empire into what was once the Marches of Kildare.

In 1955 Bessie married Kerryman Paddy Casey who was manager of the Bord na Mona works in Kilberry. He was a brother of Molly McMahon whose husband was the legendary Johnny McMahon, a well known and respected member of the Garda Siochana who retired in the mid-1960’s. Johnny, like all his peers, was of the old school of policing, an authoritative figure who never seemed to be out of uniform. Traffic duty at Carolan’s Corner, as it was then called and now probably, but not so often, called Winkles Corner, was Johnny McMahon’s favourite duty. Better than any synchronised traffic light, he kept the traffic moving with rapid sweeps of his hands, never once appearing to pause as he pirouetted in the centre of the crossroads, calling on, stopping and sometimes sidestepping oncoming traffic. He was, as I said, a legend in his lifetime and his wife Molly, a Kerry woman, was famous for her unflinching support for the Kerry footballers who in those days almost always seemed to contest every All Ireland Final, much as they do today.

Bessie lived in Church Road and when I returned to Athy I went to live in the quiet cul-de-sac directly opposite the Caseys. Long before that she had lost her husband, whose premature death in the week before Christmas 1971 left Bessie a young widow with six young children, the youngest of whom were three year old twins. At her funeral mass in St. Michael’s Church prior to her removal to Waterville, Co. Kerry to be buried alongside her husband, Bessie’s children, all now in adulthood, mourned the passing of a courageous and loving mother who gave so much of herself and helped them achieve the success which has marked all their careers. Bessie will be sadly missed.

Denis O’Donovan was a man of many talents, many of which I came to know when we worked together on a project for Athy Golf Club throughout 2006. A first class electrical engineer whose work first brought him to Athy nearly 50 years ago, he was actively involved over many years with Athy Golf Club and in the early years of KARE here in Athy. I was unaware of his involvement in KARE, but it was confirmed for me when I met Maurice Shortt at the removal of Denis’s remains from his house to the Parish Church. Maurice, or Sergeant Shortt as he was known when stationed in Athy in the early 1960s, was one of the founders of KARE and the continuing success of that organisation in Athy and elsewhere in the county is a lasting tribute to the voluntary work of Maurice Shortt and Denis O’Donovan and many others over the years. Denis, who was an avid golf player, was happy to combine his sporting interests with serving the administrative needs of the local golf club and so for many years he was a club committee member. The two highest offices in the local golf club, Club Captain and Club President, were held by Denis, the captaincy in 1993 and the presidency for two years from 1991. He was very proud when his son Derek took on the mantle of Club Captain seven years after he had held the same position, an unusual, if not unique honour for a father and son.

Denis’s enduring legacy to the local Golf Club was the result of five years spent by him researching local newspaper archives in the County Library in Newbridge. He undertook this task while he was Chairman of the Club Centenary Committee because the club records dating back to 1906 were inexplicably lost or destroyed. His research committee decided that the somewhat meagre accounts in the local newspapers of club happenings over the years were the only source of information on the club’s past and so each week over four years or so Denis, with the help of some others, spent many long hours going through the newspaper files, copying, writing out and sometimes photographing the newspaper accounts relating to Athy Golf Club. It has to be acknowledged that the vast majority of this work was done by Denis himself and his note taking and compiling of news extracts allowed him to build up a veritable library of material which he carefully coordinated, indexed and had ready for the writing of the club centenary history.

I was approached by Denis to write the club’s history and was mortified to find that the club’s records, including minute books, had disappeared. A similar experience confronted me some years ago when approached by the Eastern Health Board to write a history of Athy Workhouse, only to be told that all the workhouse records had been destroyed a few years previously. To write a history of any organisation or institution is a daunting task, but to attempt to do so in the absence of records is virtually impossible. The golf club story was however retrievable only because of the meticulous research carried out by Denis O’Donovan and his team in the local newspaper archives. As I said in the preface of the book, ‘the stories gleaned mostly from the pages of the Leinster Leader and the Nationalist give us a somewhat imperfect view of times past but have the merit of preserving forever the names of those club members who have contributed to the success of Athy Golf Club.’

Denis was responsible for the layout and printing of the book and his work in that regard was superb. It was an honour to be involved with him in preparing the Golf Club’s centenary history and that publication will remain a fitting monument to a generous hearted man, who during his years in Athy became more an Athy man than most of those born and reared in the town.

Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a nanamacha.