Putting on a Show! 

There’s no place like home Carlow County Museum!

Janice De Bróithe, Director and Producer behind Slapdash Theatre Co. visited us to see a poster for her 2015 show the ‘Wizard of Oz’ on display in our Performing Arts section. All cast and crew are welcome to the museum to see how their hard work has been turned into an exhibit for all of Carlow to see.

Janice de Bróithe stands in front of the poster for her 2015 show.

Janice de Bróithe stands in front of the poster for her 2015 show.

Visit from the Belgian Ambassador

Four men in suits standing beside one another surrounded by objects in Carlow County Museum

His Excellency, Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw being brought around the museum by our curator Dermot Mulligan.

On Friday August 31st 2018 we were delighted to welcome His Excellency, Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw, Ambassador of Belgium to Ireland, to visit Carlow County Museum and Carlow Cathedral. Ambassador de Bauw visited both locations to hear about St. Willibrord’s connection to the county, as Belgium is one of the countries his 7th century mission visited and still has devotion to him to this day. Continue reading

Help!

Help! Historic An Post Letter Box Stolen From Killoughternane, Co Carlow.
An Post, Carlow County Museum and local historians are upset by the recent theft of an out-of-service post box from a wall at Killoughternane in south County Carlow.

green decayed letter box built into a stone wall

The An Post letterbox, stolen from Killoughternane, Co Carlow.

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Primary School Artists celebrate St Willibrord’s life

In celebration of the Feast of St Willibrord, Patron Saint of Luxembourg and his Co Carlow connection the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, Bishop of Ossory, Cashel, Ferns, Lismore, Waterford and Leighlin along with the Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin invited 5th and 6th class pupils in primary schools in Co. Carlow to take part in an art competition.

Tuesday last, the winners of the competition gathered in Carlow County Museum, with their proud parents to accept their plaques and a class arts supply voucher from Bishop Burrows, Bishop Nulty and Cllr. Fergal Browne, Chair of Carlow County Museum.

First place went to Hannah Kehoe 6th Class Borris N.S., second place to Zach Cassells 6th Class, Carlow N. S. and joint third place to Kacper Gniedziejko 6th Class, Scoil Molaise and Catelyn James Gibbons 6th Class, St Mary’s N. S. Continue reading

Gallery dedication in honour of the O’Hanrahan Family from Tullow Street

On Saturday 11th March 2017 the Carlow County Museum temporary exhibition gallery has been dedicated in honour of the O’Hanrahan Family/ Uí Annracháin for their contribution to Irish independence. They lived at 90 and 91 Tullow Street in the late 19th and early 20th century. The dedication and plaque unveiling was performed by Pearse O’Hanrahan, great grand nephew of the Richard and Mary O’Hanrahan, and grandnephew of their children Harry, Micheál, Edward, Áine (Ciss), Máire and Eily. Richard was a member of the Fenian’s and 2017 marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of their rebellion in 1867. Pearse was accompanied by his brother Harry and several other O’Hanrahan relations were present including Deirdre Lawlor a grand and great grandniece of the O’Hanrahan’s being honoured.

Present at the unveiling were Cllr. John Murphy, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council; Cllr. Fintan Phelan, Chairperson of the Carlow Ireland 2016 Committee and Cllr. Fergal Browne, Chairperson of the Board of Carlow County Museum.

Image of Pearse O'Hanrahan and Dermot Mulligan, Curator of Carlow County Museum

Pearse O’Hanrahan and Dermot Mulligan, Curator of Carlow County Museum

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St Brigid of Kildare 451-524

A wooden carving of St Brigid holding a bible in her hands

St Brigid as carved in the 20 foot high pulpit on display in Carlow County Museum

 

 

 

Debate over realty

There is debate over whether St Brigid is a real person or not, since St Brigid shares the name of the Pagan Irish goddess associated with Spring, healing and blacksmithing.

The goddess Brigid[i] is celebrated on February 1st [ii} which is the same as St Brigid’s feast day.

This makes some people believe that she is a Christianisation of the god. Continue reading

Thompsons Engineering

The original company was established in 1878 by Thomas Thompson[i].  The business now has over 120 years of experience and has traded through many economic cycles producing engineering products which have been specified by their customers.  Those have included farm machinery, turbines, haulage wagons, hydroelectric installations, ammunitions, aeroplane parts, peat processing machinery and much more.  First under its founder and afterwards under the late Fred Thompson, the firm expanded to acquire premises and business in Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Wexford, Carrick-on-Suir and Ballyellen[ii].

A wooden frame hanging from the ceiling in Carlow County Museum

A portion of the wing from the Bristol F.2 Fighter

 

  Continue reading

Celebrating The Feast Of St Willibrord, Patron Saint Of Luxembourg & His Carlow Connection

stwillibrord_feastday2016_poster-page-001

On Monday the 7th of November at 7.00pm in St Laserian’s Cathedral, Old Leighlin the Feast of St Willibrord, Patron Saint of Luxembourg and his Co Carlow connection will be celebrated with an ecumenical service led by the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, Bishop of Ossory, Cashel, Ferns, Lismore, Waterford and Leighlin along with the Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. This will be followed by a lecture by Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Department Of History, NUI Galway on Clonmelsh, Willibrord, and Carlow’s Contribution to the Anglo-Saxon mission on the continent in the 8th century. All are welcome to attend.

St Willibrord was born near York in England and he is the Patron Saint of Luxembourg. He was trained and ordained at a religious site located in the townland of Garryhundon, Co Carlow commonly referred to as Killogan, Rath Melsigi (Rathmelsh) or Clonmelsh Graveyard. During the seventh and eighth centuries this site was the most important Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical settlement in Ireland. It was here from 678AD to c. 720AD that Willibrord and many other Englishmen were trained for the continental mission. He is buried in the Basilica of Echternach, Luxembourg which is the centre of his monastery.

The evening in St. Laserian’s Cathedral will begin at 7.00pm with ‘Vespers of Saint Willibrord’ an ecumenical service led by the Bishop Michael Burrows, and Bishop Denis Nulty. This will be followed (7.45pm) by a lecture by Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Department of History, NUI Galway on the history and importance of Clonmelsh, Willibrord, and Carlow’s Contribution to the Anglo-Saxon mission on the continent in the 8th century. Since the early 1980s Prof Ó Cróinín has been researching and publishing articles on the connection with Carlow and the continental missions. In 690AD Willibrord led a successful mission from Carlow, made up of Irishmen and Englishmen. As part of his abbey in Echternach he established a very important scriptorium and for a considerable period of time the Abbey produced many of the bibles, psalms and prayerbooks that are to be found today in the great libraries of Europe. It is likely that the first generation of these scribes were from Co. Carlow or had trained here. Many of the earliest Anglo-Saxon manuscripts were written in Irish script either by Irish monks based in Britain or by Anglo-Saxons who were trained by the Irish. From Echternach he continued to co-ordinate missions to the surrounding countries until 739AD, when he died aged 81.

Great devotion and religious festivals are still held to this day in his honour and in particular a hopping procession, a dance that dates back to, if not predates St. Willibrord’s life time. The hopping procession which takes place annually on the Tuesday after Pentecost Sunday sees thousands of people from across Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and Germany descending on Echternach to partake This unique procession coupled with the European importance of the Abbey saw the procession granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2010.

In June 2017 both Bishop Burrows and Nulty will lead a joint Diocesan Pilgrimage to Echternach, the town in Luxembourg where St Willibrord is buried in the vault of the monastery he established there. This is one of the highlights of a programme devised for 2017 to celebrate the historical connection between the two areas. The pilgrimage bookings are being coordinated through Tully’s Travel Agents, Carlow Town.

The RIC in Carlow

Glass display case behind it is a big red banner and beside it is a radiator

Law & Order display in Carlow County Museum.

In 1825, a bill was introduced to reorganise the police system in Ireland. Its purpose was to create one force for the country – outside of Dublin, and replace the Peace Preservation Force established in 1814.  In 1836, on the 20th of May the bill became law and was known as the Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1936.1

The strength of the constabulary was fixed by the Act at 10,500 men. However this strength was subject to change. In the 1850’s it was almost 13,000 and in the early 1880’s it reached an all time high of 14,000. It was spread over the country in about 1500 police barracks and established on semi military lines. The strength of Dublin Metropolitan Police stood at around 1,200 being divide into seven districts.  Its first recruit, back in 1837 was Constable Delaney, a native of Durrow, Co. Laois. 2

The first police barracks in Carlow town was in Burrin St, opened in 1840 and formerly the Yellow Line Inn. At Forge Cross, Graiguecullen, another police barracks was situated, serving Graiguecullen and the adjoining area. The police moved to the barracks in Tullow St., now occupied by the Gardaí, in 1870. County Carlow was divided into two police districts, that of Carlow and Muinebeag, Carlow town being county and district headquarters combined. 3

In the period 1903-05 the County Inspector in Carlow town was D.I. Samuel Carter who resided at Otterholt, Kilkenny Road and also had residence at the Monavea, Cettyyard, Co. Laois. At the same time the District Inspector in Muinebeag was D.I. Roberts, later Assistant Inspector-General of the R.U.C, in Belfast. 4

The last Head Constable was H.C. James McGlinchey. The Head Constable was actually the member in charge of the Barracks or station. Other Head Constables to serve in Carlow town in the early 1900’s were Head Constables John Reynolds and John McCoy.

A new contingent of the newly formed Gardaí arrived in Carlow in September 1922. The breakdown was three Sergeants and twenty-eight Gardaí. Those were the men charged with policing the county into the future. They were housed in an old R.I.C. Barracks in mid Tullow Street until arrangements were made to deploy them to other stations in the county.5 The military police force of the fledgling free state Army took over the Barracks on the withdrawal of the R.I.C and they now in turn control to the new presence as did also the judge of the Republican Court, Mr. John Foley. The members of the new force was very well received by the people of Carlow and the force were heartened by their welcome.6

On the day of their arrival the Republican Peace Commissioners, Nicholas Roche, Tullow Street and Patrick Donohue of Dublin Street also tendered their resignations. Everybody respected the neutrality of the Gardaí. A tribute must be paid to all those men who served all of us with great charity, common sense, and impartiality down through the years and still do to this day.  7

The last of the R.I.C departed from Carlow in February 1922 and on the 28th September, 1922, the first members of the Garda Force, then known as the Civic Guards arrived in Carlow. This force consisted of a party of three Sergeants and twenty eight Gardaí. The Sergeants were Sergeants Martin Walsh, John McGloin and Patrick Duffy. The Gardaí were:  Gardaí Denis Flynn, Peter Flanagan, John Rodgers, Martin Walsh, Martin Fennessy, and others whose names are unknown. 8

Sergeants in charge in Carlow town. 

1925 Sgt. Phelan

1928 Sgt. Carney

1932 Sgt. M Farrell

1937 Sgt. J Hudson

Ex R.I.C members who enlisted in the Gardaí. 

627- O’Farrell, John

884- Doyle, John

1988- Murphy, Patrick

This piece has been researched and written by Akhimoni Uddin, Transition Year Student, St. Leo’s College, Carlow as part of her work experience in Carlow County Museum. The Transition Year ‘Be Involved Volunteer Programme’ is organised by the Carlow Volunteer Centre.

 

 

References:

1 – ‘The Police in Carlow’, Jim Westman, Carloviana 1978/79 p.7

2 – ‘The Police in Carlow’, Jim Westman, Carloviana 1978/79 p.7

3 – ‘The Police in Carlow’, Jim Westman, Carloviana 1978/79 p.7

4 – ‘The Police in Carlow’, Jim Westman, Carloviana 1978/79 p.7

5 – ‘A New Law and Order We Bring to You’, Des Nolan, Carloviana 1998 p.62-64

6 – ‘A New Law and Order We Bring to You’, Des Nolan, Carloviana 1998 p.62-64

7 – ‘A New Law and Order We Bring to You’, Des Nolan, Carloviana 1998 p.62-64

8 – ‘The Police in Carlow’, Jim Westman, Carloviana 1978/79 p.7

Printing Press Research

A large black Albion printing press in front of a framed copy of the Nationalist & Leinster times newspaper

An Albion Printing Press, 1856, currently on display in Carlow County Museum. It was used for decades by local newspapers The Nationalist and the Leinster Times.

How printing started

Printing was not invented by Johannes Gensfleisch Alias Gutenberg instead, it was actually in China that, about 600 years after Christ, the first one sided prints were made. By about 150 years after Christ, the Chinese had also invented paper, the most important medium for printing.

The power of knowledge was, as result of Johannes Gutenberg’s idea, no longer the privilege of only a few. From now on information was not passed as a result of human communication alone. It developed into an asset which was available when needed, could be carried around and was easy to come by. Gutenberg’s idea was to widen the horizons of printing, to become flexible, versatile, and independent. Gutenberg’s “system” was an ideal combination of multiple individual well-thought out inventions, completely equal with modern technical complexes. Letters which could be varied as required, a metal mould, a manual casting device, a special alloy, a press, printing ink with particular properties and a certain kind of paper- only with this combination was success possible.

Printing was called the “black art” in the beginning as people could not understand how someone could produce books so quickly or how they could all be exactly alike, people feared printing and thought it derived from Satan yet despite this the use of printing became very popular and quickly spread all throughout Europe.1

Different types of printing

  1. Letterpress printing- With Letterpress printing, the printing parts are raised. The flat type form is inked with small rollers, then the impression cylinder, which carries the sheet of paper, rolls over the printing surface.
  2. Rotary relief printing- This process is mainly used by daily newspapers. Here, too, the printing parts are raised but the type form is round. The impression cylinder presses the paper against it.
  3. Offset printing- Offset printing is based on the physical law that water and oil repel one another. The printing surface is treated photographically and chemically so that the printing parts absorb ink and all the other parts repel it. In offset printing a zinc aluminium plate bearing the type form is wrapped round a cylinder and first prints onto a rubber cylinder, which then prints onto paper. Because the type form does not come into contact with the paper (hence “off set”) it is possible to produce large numbers of copies.
  4. Rotogravure printing- This is used mainly for producing coloured magazines with a high circulation. The printing parts are carved into the surface of a copper cylinder. After the whole cylinder has been inked, a scraper, or doctor blade, moves across the surface, and only the ink on the engraved parts of the cylinder remains and is taken up by the paper.2

Printing in Ireland

Printing did not arrive in Ireland until 1551 when Humphrey Powell printed The Boke of Common Praier. This first book in Irish type was paid for by Elizabeth I and was probably manufactured in London.

In 1571 an unidentified printer printed Aibidil Gaoidheilge Agus Caiticiosma, the first book using the Irish character.3

In the 1800’s, the newspapers cost sixpence each- quite a lot of money in those days- one penny of which was a special “tax on knowledge” put there to inflate the price so that lower orders would not be able to purchase papers and be influenced by their ideas into anti-government activity. Published weekly, and very rarely bi-weekly, their circulation normally varied from 3,000 upwards.4

Local printing

It is not known exactly when the printing press was established in Carlow… it was early in 1770, when the “Carlow Journal” was founded by William Kinnier, Kinneir or Kinnear, as it was variously spelled.5

The founders of the Nationalist and Leinster Times, Patrick Conlan and his brother John extended the circulation of the newspaper through counties Carlow, Kildare and Laoighs. On the death of Patrick Conlan at an early age of 46 his brother John continued for some time to direct and edit the Nationalist.6

References:

  1. ‘A History of Irish Printing’, National Print Museum, https://www.nationalprintmuseum.ie/
  2. ‘How the job is done’, Hans-Werner Klien, The Nationalist and Leinster Times 1883-1983 p.13
  3. ‘A History of Irish Printing’, National Print Museum, https://www.nationalprintmuseum.ie/
  4. ‘Carlow Newspapers 1828-1841’, Brother P.J. Kavanagh, M.A., Carloviana 1975 p.26-28.
  5. ‘Printing In Carlow’, Brian W. Keogh, Carloviana 1994/1995 p.12.
  6. ‘How, where and when they founded: The Nationalist’, William Ellis, The Nationalist and Leinster Times 1883-1983 p.2

 

This piece has been researched and written by Andrea Istrati, Transition Year Student, St. Leo’s College, Carlow as part of her work experience in Carlow County Museum. The Transition Year ‘Be Involved Volunteer Programme’ is organised by the Carlow Volunteer Centre.