I go there and they go here
Photo: St. Brigid’s cathedral and round towel by ireland.com
Photo: Oliver Murphy
Recently the Kildare Archeological Society made a field trip south to North Kerry for a few days. Hugh Crawford and Oliver Murphy documented the trip in text and photographs. You can read about what they did and how they enjoyed their trip if you click on the link below:
While they were in Kerry I was in Kildare, exploring in their home turf.
I was taken to the military cemetery on The Curragh Plains. This is located in an absolutely beautiful setting in open grassland. I could imagine the military funerals with buglers and volleys of gunfire as officers and men were buried alongside casualties of the two world wars. As well as soldiers, families of soldiers are also buried here and the beautifully kept resting place is still in use today.
There is a Kildare hero called Dan Donnelly. His star burned brightly but briefly from 1788 to 1820 . He is now commemorated by this memorial in a place named after him, Donnelly’s Hollow.
Dan Donnelly was a naturally gifted boxer in the days when there were few health and safety rules and boxers just battered one another senseless. Dan was very good at this battering. Unfortunately he was also fond of carousing. His boxing talent first came to light when an early promoter spotted him taking on all comers in a bar room brawl. This promoter, Kelly, persuaded Donnelly to become a professional boxer and he brought him to Kilcullen. Donnelly’s first professional fight was in 1814.
The memorial commemorates Donnelly’s second and most famous fight. He fought a man called Cooper in a natural amphitheatre on The Curragh. This fight attracted much attention and huge crowds. His opponent was a skilled fighter and much more disciplined than Donnelly. The bold Dan relied heavily on brute force. The fight went eleven rounds and Donnelly eventually ended it by landing a mighty blow that floored his opponent senseless and broke his jaw bone.
If you look to the left of my photo you will see a track from the monument to the top of the hill. Apparently as Donnelly walked away from his victory, his admirers dug up the sods where his feet had walked and took them away as souvenirs.
Donnelly was the best boxer in The British Isles and this was recognized by George iv who gave him a knighthood. Fame went to Dan’s head and he became more famous for his extravagant and riotous living than for his exploits in the ring. He did, however, win another big fight but this one took him 34 rounds!
He eventually died a pauper at age 32. His funeral was attended by thousands and his gloves were carried ceremonially on a silk cushion.
In a strange addendum to this man’s tragic story, his grave was robbed and his body stolen. It was eventually acquired by a Dublin surgeon who cut off the mighty right arm to study the muscle development. He buried the body again but the right arm went on to be part of a circus peep show and eventually was brought back to be exhibited in a pub in Kilcullen.
Sounds like something from Ripley’s, doesn’t it?
Weather vane in Newbridge
This lightening conductor thingy has recently been erected on this old building in Newbridge. Local opinion is divided on its suitability in style and colour for this old edifice which was once a church.
I could still smell smoke as I stopped in the village to see for myself the damage caused by the recent fire.
It is so sad to see the destruction.
Right beside the destroyed cottages are some lovely intact ones with colorful floral displays everywhere.
This monument is across the road.
The beautiful Adare church, very popular for weddings.
I took these below two photos last year at the same spot.
On the Street
Marcella Holly and Peggy Hilliard were on Market Street with their young friend on July 2 2015.
Date for the Diary
Community Gathering and Past Pupils’ Re-Union
the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the closing of
Clounmacon(Listowel) National School(1878-1975) and the opening of Clounmacon
Community Centre(1975-2015) a Community Gathering and Past Pupils’ Re-Union
will be held in the local Community Centre on Friday, Saturday, 11th
and 12th September, 2015:
Jnr 0874550373 D.Carmody 086