CARLOVIAN was described as an expression of the county’s identity at the launch of its latest publication.
The 2018 edition of the journal of the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society (CHAS) was launched in the Seven Oaks Hotel on Thursday 23 November. This year’s publication marks the 66th edition.
Historian, author and vice-president for academic affairs and registrar at Carlow College, Dr Thomas McGrath, launched the volume. He described CHAS as “a voluntary society inspired by its members’ love for the history of your county, Co Carlow”.
Dr McGrath also said that the publication was an expression of the county’s identity and civic pride.
The 200-page publication contains over 30 articles from 25 contributors.
Among the features this year is Dermot Mulligan’s piece on Re-discovering St Willibrord, patron saint of Luxembourg and the County Carlow connection.
Indeed, the Carlow window in the basilica of St Willibrord in Echternach, Luxembourg is on the front cover of the journal.
Seán O’Shea contributes extracts from Finn’s Leinster Journal of 1792-1793. The endeavours of the Barrow Navigation Company to make a trackway along the Barrow receive a number of references.
Dr Ann Power has an authoritative article on the trial of Col Walter Bagenal of Dunleckney for “pretended murder”.
John Kelly’s piece covers the Crocan na Reilge graveyard and the legend of St Mary’s Abbey.
Pat O’Neill explores the history of Carlow courthouse, one the finest neo-classical buildings in the country from when it was built in the late 1820s and early 1830s.
Dr Norman McMillan and Martin Nevin write a review of the first volume of the correspondence of Carlow’s great scientist John Tyndall between 1840-1843. The correspondence gives a local view on the bitter electoral politics of the 1841 general election, which swept the Tories back into power. The Tyndalls were unionists and there was plenty of trouble on the streets of Leighlinbridge, which Tyndall attributed not to the locals but to ‘Kilkenny savages’.
John O’Donovan examines John Rupert Lecky, owner of Ballykealy House, an aviation pioneer who died in World War I.
Mgr Brendan Byrne’s article St Mary’s Knockbeg College (1913-1923), a decade with a difference looks at how, under rector Fr PJ Doyle, the college was a home for Republican activists during the years leading up to the War of Independence. In 1909, Pádraig Pearse visited with a team from his school, St Enda’s, to play a hurling match and he gave a lecture in Knockbeg ‘as Gaeilge’. On the Knockbeg staff was Gearoid Ó Sulleabháin who, as the youngest officer in the GPO on Easter Monday 1916, was given the honour of raising the tricolour over the GPO as Pearse read the Proclamation from its front steps.
Dr Shay Kinsella pens an enlightening piece on Thomas McDonagh, one of the seven leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916 and a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Dr Kinsella’s article is titled A county I could love: Thomas McDonagh in Carlow 1915. The Tipperary native spent eight days in Carlow from Tuesday to Wednesday 15-23 June in his capacity as a central superintendent under the Independent Education Board.
The editor of Carloviana, James P Shannon, writes on Hacketstown in the 1930s. The big issues in Hacketstown were much-needed infrastructural improvements. However, enterprises like Duffy Meats demonstrated that rather than waiting for the state, the locals could do it for themselves.
Also on the editorial team with Mr Shannon are Martin Nevin, Pat O’Neill and John Kelly. The journal is printed to a high standard by Carlow Advertiser and Printing and costs just €12. It’s available from all the usual outlets in the county.