National award for Kildare local history book

A publication which charts the social history of Kildare town and the surrounding areas has been named as the top local history publication at Listowel Writers Week.

 Joseph Connelly, Mario Corrigan and James Durney who were announced as winners of the 2013 Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Award for their publication Hearth and Home. The award was announced as part of the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival and the Kildare authors are pictured with the award sponsors Michael and Sue Nilsson

Joseph Connelly, Mario Corrigan and James Durney who were announced as winners of the 2013 Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Award for their publication Hearth and Home. The award was announced as part of the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival and the Kildare authors are pictured with the award sponsors Michael and Sue Nilsson

Hearth and Home, which was written by Cill Dara Historical Society members James Durney, Mario Corrigan and Joseph Connelly, was named as the inaugural winner of the Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Award.

The three men travelled to Listowel to pick up the award in person and Mario Corrigan explained the significance of the award for both the town and the county of Kildare.

“Each county was asked to nominate a couple of books and the Kildare County Library and Arts Service chose two books, one of which was Hearth and Home . The book is a social history of Kildare compiled from interviews with 35 people in the local area around Kildare and it’s these people telling their stories in their own words. The book was printed and published in Naas and winning the award is a coup for both the town and the county which has a very strong network of 20 local history organisations which operate under the umbrella of the County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups.”

Mr Corrigan said that the award sponsors, American couple Michael and Sue Nilsson had first hand knowledge of the book when they met them at the award ceremony. “Michael and Sue Nilsson were very familiar with the book and they told us it was exactly what they were looking for when they decided to sponsor the award. They hope that it will serve as a template for others who can learn from what we did. The book very much ties in with what Kildare Co Council Library and Arts Service are trying to do as well. They have been placing a lot of emphasis on oral and written history and emphasising the value of those histories to current and future generations.”

Noel O’Driscoll
THE NATIONALIST

Thanks to Noel O’Driscoll and The Nationalist for the use of this article.