Federation Seminar 2009

Co. Kildare Federation Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Local historians from all over County Kildare gathered in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre for their AGM/Seminar and took a walk down memory lane on this the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Co. Kildare Federation of Local History Groups. Chairman of the Federation, Ger McCarthy welcomed everyone and spoke of the tremendous progress made in local history over the last decade within the County. What started as a small group of interested and enthusiastic people, with modest expectations, had developed in those ten years into a vibrant organisation encompassing nineteen distinct history groups within the county and in fact beyond. The federation prides itself in having their very near neighbours from Blessington, Co. Wicklow as a member.

The seminar was officially opened by Colm Purcell, Mayor of Kildare. Colm spoke highly of the important contribution the federation was making to history and tourism in Kildare. He complimented them on their excellent annual newsletter which was rich in articles about the County’s heritage and full of news and activities on what was happening around the various communities.

Federation members, Larry Breen, Ger McCarthy, Barry Walsh and Adrian Mullowney then took their audience through the life and times of the organisation starting with the very first seminar in Newbridge in 1999 and finishing with this year’s event in 2009.

After the business of the AGM was concluded Brendan Cullen, MC for the day, led the floor in the now ever popular “Society Speake”. This allowed all the history groups to share with each other what was happening in their various societies, what they had achieved and what hopes and aspirations they had for the future. As always many old friendships were renewed and new ones established. A particular warm word of welcome was given to Frank Gavin and Anne Burke who had travelled all the way from Fohenagh in Co. Galway to attend the meeting.

The group then broke for lunch and headed for the “Riverside” for a well earned “repast” in its beautiful surroundings on the banks of the Liffey.

The day concluded with a fascinating field trip to Castledermot. Here the historians were treated to two most interesting guided tours lead by well known local historians, Brendan Cullen and Adrian Mullowney. Brendan talked about the two impressive High Crosses located in the graveyard of St. James’s COI Church and elucidated on the many fascinating stories depicted on their faces. Adrian then took the group on a tour of the Franciscan Friary just across the road. Although now in a somewhat ruined state, Adrian was able to bring to life what it must have been like to live in the enclosure so many years ago.

10th Anniversary Seminar Kilcullen Heritage Centre, Sat 10th Oct 2009


9.30 am – Assembly & Registration. Tea/Coffee.

10.15 am – Welcome. Ger McCarthy, Chairman, Kildare Federation.

10.30 am“Looking Back, 10 Years of the County Federation” (Mary Carroll Memorial Talk)

11.15 am – Official Opening, Colm Purcell, Mayor of Kildare.

11.30 am – Comfort Break

11.45 am – AGM. Official Business

12.15 am – Society Speake. Open forum sharing from members.

1.30 pm – Lunch. “Across the Road”

2.45 pm – Field Trip. Conducted tour of High Crosses and Friary of Castledermot. Brendan Cullen & Adrian Mullowney

Field trip will be between 3.15 pm and 4.45 pm. Finish by 5 pm at the latest.

Cost: €20 per person which includes seminar and lunch.

To book: contact Larry Breen, 8 The Paddocks, Naas. You can ring him at 045-897445 or e-mail at larrybreen8@eircom.net. No remittance required, fee can be paid on the day of the Seminar.

Booking by Thur 8th Sept. if possible, please