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The Case of Eliza Davis
Eliza Davis’ case is one of tragedy from her beginning in a Foundling Home in Dublin to a conclusion that has yet to come to light. She was indicted for the murder on the 24th February 1845 of her male child at Cronelea, Mullinacuff, at the Wicklow assizes on 8th July 1845. The verdict of the jury was guilty. The sentence passed by the Chief Justice John Doherty was that she was to be executed. Doherty “appointed a distant day (16th August) for t...
William O’Grady Wicklow Revolutionary Republican by Stan J. O'Reilly
Beginnings of Sinn Fein in Wicklow William O’Grady was at the heart of the Sinn Fein and revolutionary movement which saw Sinn Fein flags flying from sailing vessels in the harbour and openly displayed in Wicklow and district from May of 1917. The local police were active in removing them and they were then replaced. It was the beginning of a very dangerous game of cat and mouse. Nationalism was growing in the country. A proud day for Sinn Fein c...
Wicklow Rowing Club
1950’s Wicklow Town – pre rowing club The racing of skiffs in Wicklow predates the annual Wicklow Regatta Festival, they were introduced to help the local fishermen and sailors in a period of extreme poverty when catches were small and work was scarce. This was the only way in which these proud men would accept the charitable donations, they raced for the cash prizes. The races were later included as a part of the first Regatta in 1878 and have r...
25. Robert Barton Sinn Féin MP
In the interests of balance, today we take a look at an abstentionist Sinn Féin MP, who became the first TD for West Wicklow. Robert Barton was returned for the constituency in the 1918 general election (held on 14 December), and on 4 January the press reported on a meeting in Baltinglass, at which Dunlavin man John J. Cunningham was one of the principal speakers, enthusiastically offering congratulations on the return of Mr. Barton. Cunningham t...
ARKLOW’S 1914-1923 EXPERIENCE- Part 6 | 1921
Wicklow was regarded by the British as being a relatively quiet county during the War of Independence, and it escaped the martial law that was imposed on Wexford, Kilkenny and several Munster counties at that time. 1 Nonetheless, life was far from normal in Arklow and environs as the conflict moved into 1921. Military raids On Thursday morning, 6 January 1921, a lorry load of British military personnel descended on the premises of William Wolohan...
ARKLOW’S 1914-1923 EXPERIENCE- Part 5 | July- December 1920
This is the fifth instalment in a series of articles looking at how the immensely important decade spanning 1914 to 1923 played out in Arklow. Arklow was arguably the most industrialised town in the county, with Kynoch munitions factory being a particularly significant presence. The number of Arklow men who made their living at sea, with the resultant appalling loss of life to German u-boats and seas mines, shows another aspect to that terrible t...
The South Arklow Light Vessel has Disappeared
The Customs House Dublin “The South Arklow Light Vessel has Disappeared” Accurate, but defying an explanation, the announcement as it appears above, was posted in the Custom House, Dublin, on March 31, 1917. Its brevity can be partly explained by war time secrecy, and an importance in preventing the general public and the German navy becoming familiar with British naval matters. The statement did nevertheless indicate an unusual occurrence. Not l...
The Patriotic Traynors & the War of Independence by Maura Murphy Gibson
The year 1920, the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday 21st November 1920, was to be a big year of commemoration in my family. My uncle Joseph Traynor was one of the fourteen victims who were shot that day. Due to the arrival of Covid19 which has changed many aspects of life, the commemorations will now be rather low-key affairs in comparison to the events we had planned. A couple of weeks ago I stood in Croke Park with my first cousin Micheál Nel...
The National Schools in Wicklow Town 1832-1919
Wicklow has had a long association with the National School system stretching back almost to the establishment of the system itself. When the parish priest of Wicklow, Fr. John Grant, applied to the Commissioners of National Education in April 1832 seeking a grant in aid for his parish schools, the National Board had been in existence for only six months(1). The establishment of that board in October 1831 was the latest and, as it turned out, the...
Mining in the Glendalough, Glendassan and Glenmalure Valleys
Introduction These are summary notes from the heritage walk organised on 18th August 2018 as part of National Heritage Week. The walk followed a proposed mining heritage trail through the Glendasan and Glendalough valleys through to Glenmalure using existing walks, trails and forestry roads/tracks. The walk was organised by Glenmalure Pure Mile Committee and included Glens of Lead representatives, interested group members and general public from...
The Irish Language in Co. Wicklow
Evidence from the Census ONE of the issues which still causes some controversy in the writing of Irish history concerns the role played by the national schools in the decline of the Irish language. Although the once popular view that the Government of the time set out deliberately to kill the language through the national schools is rarely encountered today, the extent to which its decline was a by-product of the system is still being debated by...
About a Brick
Old Arklow Technical School and library This article was prompted by a brick! It was discovered by the site manager of the new Wicklow County Council apartment development at St. Mary’s Road, Arklow – formerly the location of the old Technical School and later Arklow library and Maritime Museum. The brick in question was made by the Arklow Terracotta Brick and Tile Works and appropriately, it will be donated to Arklow Maritime Museum! (Sample of...
Pulling cabbage and ducking for soap: Halloween celebrations in County Wicklow
The following excerpts were recorded by the school children of County Wicklow between 1937 and 1938. They are taken from the Dúchas Schools’ Collection and highlight the diversity of superstitions, traditions and lore associated with Halloween in County Wicklow. Of particular note are the different beliefs and traditions linked to the barm brack, as well as, the importance music singing and dancing played in the celebrations. Baltinglass: Sheila...
Wicklow through the Troubles by John Finlay
An insight into Wicklow and its environs as seen through the eyes of the local newspapers of the time, namely the Wicklow People and the Wicklow News-Letter with additional information from the records of Wicklow Urban Council and Wicklow Harbour Board. Sinn Féin’s election victory 1918 There were three candidates for the East Wicklow constituency in the General Election of 1918 – D.J. Cogan, Home Rule Party, Alexander Parker Keane, Unionist and...
Assassination of Coollattin Land Agent, Frank Brooke, July 30, 1920 by Kevin Lee
In 1887 Francis Theophilius Brooke became the eleventh of the fifteen consecutive land agents who guided the Coollattin estate through 282 years of smooth operation from 1695 to 1977. During the dark hours of the mid-nineteenth century none were more adroit stewards of lands, resources and tenant farms than Robert Chaloner Sr. and his son Robert Chaloner Jr. In their combined 26 years of administration, they served the population of the estate in...
From Tacit Loyalism to Active Nationalism: Change effected by Carnew Emmets GAA club 1888-1919
William Spencer Wentworth, acceded to the title 6th Earl Fitzwilliam in 1857. He was the longest serving Earl and held the title for 45 years until his death in 1902. During his tenure expenditure on the Coollattin estate was not spared. Notable buildings such as Ardeen House and the Town Hall in Shillelagh date form this period. Many more humble edifices were constructed as homes for estate workers and tenants on the sprawling property. The Wood...
Ottawa's first Chief of Police: Thomas Langrell of Aughrim, County Wicklow
Thomas Langrell – Chief of Police Ottawa Thomas was born in 1808. He was the son Richard Langrell, Cappagh, Aughrim and his wife, Elizabeth. I know nothing about his early life in Ireland until he arrived in Canada in 1835. He was followed in 1836 by his newly wed brother Joseph with his wife Mary Fitzgerald and their sister Mary Langrell who married (Red) Humphrey Hughes from Arklow. Later the siblings were joined in Canada by their brothers Joh...
The Hearth Money Rolls for the County of Wicklow, 1668
The Hearth tax was first introduced in England in 1660 and was operational in Ireland soon after. It lasted almost thirty years in England but was still in operation in Ireland until 1793 when it was discontinued by the Irish Government, through the hard work of Henry Gratten. The Hearth tax was an added burden to be borne by the already hard pressed Irish householder. The very poor of the period lived in a home with mud walls, straw lay on the ?...
COVID 19 - A Record in Rhyme (August 2020)
As these are unprecedented times, I decided to record a record in rhyme for future reference. Although it is quite lengthy, I thought you might like to have a copy. In December no one seemed to know what was going on ‘Tho there were reports of people dying in China’s Wuhuan. In January and February here everything was fine We could go out to the pub and enjoy a glass of wine. Then in early March things started to go queer There was much talk...
Spirit of the River Book- Watch our talk with Declan Murphy
*** UPDATE** * The Heritage office hosted a lunchtime zoom talk with Declan on Wed 7th July 1-2 pm. Watch a recording of the talk above Declan Murphy’s first encounter with a kingfisher as a young boy was unforgettable. Returning to the rivers years later, he embarks on a quest to study this most brightly-coloured bird during its nesting season, a seemingly straightforward challenge. But the river is slow to reveal the habits and secrets of its...
Nurse Mary Hayden: An unsung Wicklow heroine
...Rosemary Raughter CORRECTION: Mary Hayden was not in fact the eldest, but came somewhere in the middle of Joseph and Lucy Hayden's large family. As mentioned above, Joseph was a seaman, and the Haydens of Wicklow were part of the Wicklow seafaring community over several generations. I am grateful to Breda Duggan, Mary Hayden's great-niece, for her interest and for this information....
Wicklow Case Study: The Shorts of Killoughter, County Wicklow
The previous articles have described the various genealogical sources available for County Wicklow. This case study of a Wicklow family will demonstrate how to use these sources. Bernard Short of Killoughter Our starting point is Bernard Short, who according to family knowledge, was born to Daniel Short in Killoughter before 1900. He died in Dublin in the 1950s. The first step was to check the 1911 Census for Bernard. 1911 Census As you can see...
History of the Coolkenno District: Coolkenno Hall by Colum O'Rourke
Known simply as ‘The Hall’, this unique old country house sits on the highest point of Coolkenno, overlooking the once vast lands that was associated with it. Its grand granite walls that stretch across the grounds are testimony to what was once a particularly grand house, containing considerable wealth. Hodson family The original owner of Coolkenno Hall was Lorenzo Hodson, scion of the Hodson family of Roscommon, and born into considerable wealt...
Joseph Langrell - Gamekeeper.
...Maggie Harding Absolutely brilliant piece of work Maura...
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