Naas Local History Group AGM Report 2013

Naas Local History Group held their 28th Annual General Meeting in Monaghans Harbour Hotel, Naas  (by kind permission of  Mrs Mary Monghan) on Tuesday 19th  February. The main business of the meeting  consisted of  the  officers reports and treasurer Tom Keegan gave a detailed statement of  the healthy state of the groups finances. Paddy Behan PRO gave review of the group’s many activities and events in 2012.  He thanked the Local Press and Naas Parish News letter and for the publicity of our group during the year Naas Community Library was not available due to renovations but will be ready again soon. The group are very fortunate to be facilitated for all our indoor events in Naas Community Library and for this we are most grateful to Naas Librarian Geraldine Whelan, John Breen and Co Kildare Library Service.

The next business was when Group Auditor Brian Mullaney took the chair for the election of a committee for 2013. The following were elected:

President: Paddy Behan
Chairperson: James Durney
Vice Chairperson: Ronnie Kinnane
Secretary: Rose McCabe
Treasurer: Aoife O’Malley
PRO:Paddy Behan
Webmaster: Seán Sourke
Committee members: Anne O’Byrne, Ger McCarthy, Joe O’Sullivan, Stan Hickey.

Tributes were paid to the outgoing chairman Ger McCarthy and treasurer Tom Keegan for their hard work and dedication to the group over a long number of years.  Bishop Roy Warke  thanked the group for their involvement and help in the recent 800th anniversary celebrations of St David’s Church.  Paddy Behan thanked the group for electing him president and said he was very honoured to follow in the footsteps of the late Ger Kinchella RIP as the second president of Naas Local History Group. The evening concluded with a fun quiz set by Stan Hickey which left the attendance doing more guessing, than answering, example “What bird was on the old Irish farthing?” we had snipe, wren, cuckoo, but none got the woodcock.  However everyone got tea and biscuits to munch while they racked their brain. A great year ended and began with a most enjoyable evening.

Paddy Behan PRO


Review of Naas Local History Group’s activities and events in 2012.

St Brigids Day 1th February We had the annual St Brigid making demonstration by Ronnie Kinnane and Lily Whelan on St Brigids Day in the Library,

On Tuesday 7th February we heard about “The tragic killing of Naas born Lt. John Wogan-Brown in 1922” in the annual Ger Kinchella Memorial Lecture which was delivered by our own local writer and historian James Durney.

Saturday 25th February: St David’s Day “Welsh Flag Unfurling” Commemorating the Naas Welsh Connection. The Norman Fitzgeralds from the Pembrokeshire area of St Davids were granted the lands around Naas following the Norman invasion in 1170.
The annual Group Dinner Sunday 26th February was a great social occasion in Lawlor’s thanks organisers Rose, Anne and Niamh.

Tuesday 6th March: Cathi Fleming came in March and told us all about the “Transportation of Women from Kildare to Van Diemen’s Land 1849”, including some girls from Naas. Cathi’s talk has now come out in book form in Maynooth Studiesin Local History series under the title “The Transportation of women from Kildare Van Dieman’s Land in 1849” .

In April former Naas Curate and keen photographer and botanist Fr Jackie O’Connell delivered a delightful illustrated talk on “The History of Irish Botany” with some rare wild orchids and plants.

We celebrated many anniversaries in 2012 and on Saturday 14th April: We commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a Centenary Day Seminar entitled “Titanic Disaster, The Local Connection”. A talk, display of papers, pictures, film from Ireland, United Kingdom and the U.S.A. by James Durney and Group MeWalking Sunday”mbers.

“Punchestown Walking Sunday” We all met at 3pm, at the Parade Ring for a session of nostalgia and stories Stan had a delightful display of photos and memorabilia to add considerably to the day. This event has now become an annual event in the calendar of the group.

Thursday 17th May: Local historian Seamus Cullen led us on evening visit to Carbury Castle and Church of Ireland to learn about the “ The Castle, the Colley Family and the Queen Elizabeth Connection” He was most informative and lived up to high standard with which he approaches his subject. I regret I was not there for this lovely evening as I was elsewhere and could not attend.

Tuesday 5th June: We went for a walk around Jigginstown, Limerick Rd, Aras Chill Dara, Old Gaol area. A good sized crowd attended and many joined in the proceedings.

Saturday 23rd June: We went on our annual Summer history bus outing down the M9 to Waterford City. Stopping off at Jerpoint Abbey and Mount Juliet on the way. The people at Mount Juliet were most welcoming serving some lovely tea and scones with a history of the house and estate thrown in for good measure. In Waterford we visited Reginalds Tower, The Bishops Palace and Waterford Crystal factory and display centre where we were given a display of the ancient Waterford art of glass blowing and engraving. A great days outing thanks to Ger and Tom.

At our committee meeting in July Naas Local History Group planned a very comprehensive programme of walks and talks to take place over the Autumn/Winter period beginning with Heritage Week (August 18th to 25th ). The Programme included Naas Town hall being opened to the public (by kind permission of Naas Town Council) for guided tours by Paddy Behan and other history group Members.

On Tuesday 21st the venue is Naas Community Library was the venue for an illustrated talk on the 1932 Eucharistic Congress which incorporated a the Radharc Film “The Year of the Congress” (By Kind permission of the Radharc Trust) with a very informative eye witness account voice over by people who attended the event in 1932.

On Thursday August 18th We will assembled at Naas Harbour at 7.15pm for a history walk down the canal led by Ger McCarthy and history group members. With all the usual input by Jackie Bracken and others to entertain the large attendance.

On Saturday August 25th we meet at the Presbyterian Church in the centre of the town at 3pm for a guided history walk visiting the three churches of Naas entitled “The Churches of Naas” led by our Church expert Stan Hickey and Ger McCarthy and group members. All heritage week events were open to the public and free of charge.

The history group programme continued with our second centenary event on Tuesday 4th September when we assembled at the 1912 house near Ballycane Church at 7pm and walked via Lawlor’s Ballroom to McCormacks Pub which celebrated 100 years in businesss in 2012. for a special walk-n-talk entitled “100 Years Ago; Naas in 1912” led by Liam Kenny and Group Members.

Sunday 16th September Group Members visit the Curragh Military Museum by special invitation of the our host and guide was group member Brian O’Connor and Military Museum and Curragh History Group members.

On Tuesday 2nd October we assemble at Arus Chill Dara (by kind permission of Kildare Co Council) where under the title “Welcome for the Big Gun” history group members Seamie Moore John Miley Liam Kenny filled us in on the history and background of the “25 Pounder QF Mark Artillery Field Gun” recently unveiled beneath the Clock Tower Arch in the Devoy Park Complex.

We have two events in November. On Saturday 3rd of November we visited the Famine Workhouse Cemetery at 3pm to pray and remember the victims of the Great Famine in Naas and district. Then on Tuesday 6th November we met in Naas Community Library for Brian McCabes annual Winters tale and this year he unveiled “ The Watchhouse” and why they were needed. We were delighted to have the Malone family present for the occasion.

On Tuesday December 4th well known historian and vintage enthusiast Bob Webster shared his vast knowledge of vintage machines when he told us the history of “Irish Fire and Police Public Vehicles”

As it turned out this was the last event of the year due to renovation work at the Community Library we had to postpone our AGM thanks to Mrs Monaghan and staff we are facilitated here in the hotel.

I want to thank every who helped to make our year so successful Ger, Rose, Tom James Sean and all the committee and of course The Leinster Leader, Liam Kenny Paul O’Meara the Kildare Nationalist and the Parish Newsletter, KFM Radio Naas Community Library Naas Librarian Geraldine Whelan, John Breen and Co Kildare Library Service. and last but by no means least, you the members who came to our events and contributed and participated in any way to our year so successful.

Paddy Behan PRO.