Friday, February 12, 2010

Page 4

The X Factor wouldn’t have filled the function room in Poulaphouca as much as the recent launch of “Ballymore Eustace - Portrait of a Village”. It was great to see a full attendance and feel the anticipation as people waited to buy their copy. I’m leaving it to the expert, Ger McCarthy to give a full review on the book but if you haven’t already got a copy, then you should. This publication should be on every local kitchen dresser and taken down every now and then as a reference or simply, to see if you can identify any “AN Others” featured within.

When I arrived home with the book, my daughter Sharon and I ‘dived’ into it, dying to see which of the family, if any, was included. Well, initially we were disappointed – but as we went through it, and again the following morning, and after the X Factor Saturday night, we spotted my late mother, Ivy, in an ICA photo; Uncle Gerry with the handballers; Auntie Marie in a school photo and Paul in a GAA photo.

The only one of us no longer living in Ballymore and he gets a half page photo… My sister in law, Frances Kavanagh, nee O’Donoghue, is in two photos with the accordion band and I am in one of them… spot the shine of glasses and Ivy-Butchered Fringe…just a glimpse, I think I could be Margaret Cowley (P 85). And look at Biddy Sammon (Meade) in the same photo on the right, so cute – isn’t Cian a ringer for her!

We spotted Ken in a First Holy Communion Photo (dated 1981, he would have been 19!); then Nanny Frances as a child in a school photo taken in the 1930s (P 109). Every time I go through the book, I recognise someone else, Kathleen O’Rourke and Mary Edgeworth, the Marshall sisters in the Irish dancing photos and a very young Tommy Dwyer, no wonder he went on to be a cobbler.

As for some of the handball and sporting photos from Chapter 8 – definitely the ‘hairy era’, dig those sideburns and heavy mops of hair. (Jedward, all is forgiven). As for the picture of F-Troop on page 91, isn’t Jimmy Pearse a ‘babe’ and what about John Kelly and Eamonn Deegan, hot stuff…

I think Clare Doyle and Marie Marshall will have to fight it out as for the female babe title – weren’t they gorgeous? Wasn’t the late Paddy Monaghan handsome? No comment, Tom O’Rourke, on your matching vest and shorts, p 138…

Readers, on a serious note, this is a first-class publication. I keep picking it up again and again, with something new to find or learn every time. Margaret Pearse asked me to note that some date and name changes were missed in the second proofing of the book. If you haven’t bought the book yet, do so before Christmas. When all the film repeats are on, you can escape to a quiet corner and enjoy ‘people spotting’or reading the excellent editorials.

If you didn’t make this edition, don’t worry, you’re just too young – you’ll make the next one!

Rose B O’Donoghue.

“I feel honoured to be asked here tonight to launch your book and I thank Margaret and the committee for extending me the honour. The title of the book “Portrait of a Village” is most appropriate because the book is an historical canvas of your village, in pictures, historical articles and stories.
When I got home after collecting a copy from Margaret, my brother Damian called in and thumbed through the book while I was making tea. He commented this was a smashing book and a credit to all involved. And that, it surely is. Photographs such as Mona Nugent with children, p 31; back of Byrnes Hotel, c 1880,s p 40; Jimmy Gregory’s waste disposal transport system, 1940s-50s, p 45 and Poulaphuca Bridge and Waterfall, p 60 are excellent.
When driving in the area some years ago, I spotted a Bench Mark cut into the parapet of the bridge. I had intended to return with my camera to photograph same but I never got the chance to - a week later, a truck crashed into the bridge and the Bench Mark finished up in the Liffey river below!”

Other photos Ger noted were John Kelly & the Texas Showband, p 89; Art Doran’s pub (Paddy Murphy’s) with the windows shot out by the Black & Tans, 1922, champion handballers, Mick Leahy and Tom O’Rourke, p137; GS & W railway poster re 8th&14th Hussars Regimental Steeplechase over Mullaboden Course - the Train leaves Kingsbridge at 11.15am and arrives at Harristown Station at 12.20pm, p144.
Of further interest were: Shake Hands with the Devil, p 93, with James Cagney and our own Noel Purcell; Race Cards for Ballymore Eustace Gymkhana, p143; Tug of War Team c. 1915 – look at the size of the rope - p149; Rev. Boulter, Rector of Ballymore Eustace & Hollywood, p171; history of Wolfe Tone Brass & Reed Band founded 1875; heritage objects from the area including the Old Forge at Tipperkevin – “Thank God, they have survived the Celtic Tiger” noted Ger.
“The Roll of Honour of locals who fell in the Great War including members of the Deegan family, is an important chapter; Sir John De Robeck commanded the ill-fated Dardannells fiasco in WWI; Sir Brian Mahon who led the relief of Mafeking during the Boer War and the wonderful McGee collection of photographs.

The directory of Ballymore Eustace under the headings of House, Present and Previous Occupiers is important, as is the front cover sketch by Gabriel Beranger of Ballymore Castle, although no evidence remains of its existence

Your book, “Portrait of a Village” is a record of the social and photographic history of Ballymore Eustace from the closing years of 19th century through the 20th century. It is so timely in this, the opening decade of the 21st century, as so many of the names of people in the book are still in living memory. Their names and faces are now recorded for future generations. I congratulate all involved; I’m sure every house in Ballymore Eustace and indeed, far beyond will have one”.

- Ger McCarthy

The local History Society had a very successful launch of its book on November 27. Professor Jim Lydon was to perform the official launch but could not do so due to illness (not too serious, we were assured) so Ger McCarthy from Naas ably took his place. Our own Mick Kelly, Briencan, did an excellent job on opening the launch.

Those I recall being present were: Eamonn Deegan; Noel, Kay and Lynda Headon; Anthony and Mary Campbell; the Doyles (formerly of Ivy House); Margaret McDonald and her daughter Cheryl; Anne and Paul Dennison; John Queally; Tim Grace; Billy Hillis; Jack Wall, TD; Rose B. O’Donoghue; Tim Ryan and Colette Hempenstall; Michael Ward; Bernie and Fergal Toomey and John and Simon Murphy. Peter Kavanagh, his wife Marie and brother Michael all came from Wexford to attend the launch while Patsy Feeney and her brother, Tommy Conway travelled from Dublin.

Denis Doyle kindly helped me to bring my copies to my car. Denis previously lived at Barrack Street but now resides on Truce Road where Mrs Loughnane used to live.
I met Fr John Wilson, our new P.P. and spoke with former P.P., Fr McGowan and Fr Prenderville of Hollywood, who were also present. Rita Malone, proprietor, was there to ensure everything ran smoothly.

A lovely photo of Patsy and Mai (Mary) Murphy and their surviving family at the time of Patsy and Mai’s Golden Wedding Anniversary appears on p 44 of the book.

Aidan Cruise, his wife Tina and relatives attended. The night before Aidan had launched his book: “The Dublin and Blessington Steam Tram” at the Tallaght Civic Offices Library. In 1895, that line was extended to Poulaphouca before the line was discontinued at the end of 1932. In one of Aidan’s chapters, the views of our own late Monsignor Maurice Browne, on the tram are set forth. Monsignor Browne had previously served as a curate in Valleymount. © Matt Purcell

The Committee of the Society would like to thank all who attended the launch of our publication "Ballymore Eustace - Portrait of a Village" in Poulaphuca House Hotel.We were delighted with the turnout and the interest shown in our historical collection. Sales to date have exceeded our expectations, and makes all the work producing the book worthwhile. We would like to thank The Malone Family for facilitating the event and their attentive service on the night. Our thanks also to Ger McCarthy for performing the official launch and to Kildare County Council KTK Community Fund for helping with sponsorship.
Thank you all again and may we wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.While the interest is still to the fore we would be delighted, if over the Christmas period, you could look up old photos as we plan to have another photographic and artefacts exhibition in the future. We will scan these photos and return them immediately as we appreciate the value to people of their treasured photographs. Everybody must have lots of photos in the "Shoebox on the Dresser".- Margaret Pearse, Secretary

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