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Archive for March, 2011

One of the main employers in the Paulstown area today is the limestone quarry in the townland of Kellymount, about one mile west of the village up the ‘Kellymount road’. It is one of the most technologically advanced limestone quarrying sites in Ireland and is owned and operated by Feelystone. Limestone from Paulstown has been used all over the world, including the Irish Famine Memorial in Toronto, Canada and The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City. The Feely family purchased the quarry in the mid 1970s.[1] They have a long history in the quarrying industry going back to the 1790s in Roscommon. Limestone quarrying in Paulstown has an equally long history going back almost 200 years.

As early as 1802 the limestone at Paulstown is mentioned. Tighe’s Statistical Observations of Kilkenny notes that “there is a cave in the limestone rock of Paulstown, in the parish of Shankill.”[2] In 1833 the area is mentioned in a brief discussion of the “calcerous districts” of Kilkenny. The author notes that “there are many such in the limestone region of Kilkenny, of which those of Dunmore and Paulstown are the most spacious.”[3] The first detailed description comes from Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of 1837:

“At Kellymount and Shankill are some of the principal flagstone quarries in the county, the produce of which is chiefly sent by the Barrow navigation to Dublin, Waterford and other places, and generally sold under the name of Carlow flags: limestone is also quarried, and a considerable quantity of stone, coal and culm are obtained at Bornafea”[4]

The Ordnance Survey maps of the 1830s and 1840s show that there were three or four openings (blue dots on map below) in the ground where quarrying was taking place. They are in the same place as the modern day quarry. An 1852 publication also outlines the type of stone quarried in Paulstown, noting the presence of “flag and limestone quarries, coal etc.”[5]

At this time, the immediate leaser of the land (section 9 in map below) that contained some of the quarry openings was Edmund Staunton, Esq . It was being rented by John and Abraham Wynne with the land and buildings valued at £69.[6] The area of land rented by the Wynne’s covered 115 acres, 3 roods and 15 perches. Another portion of the quarry (section 13) was being leased by John Dawson from Edward Wynne. He was leasing 4 acres, 3 roods and 22 perches of land, a house and some other buildings which had a value of £6.[7]

The Ordnance Survey maps for the 1890 to 1910 period give a clearer picture of the mining activities. It shows two lime kilns and the main ground opening. This map seems to indicate that the opening shown in the map from the 1840s has been filled in with some trees growing on top. A newer quarry is located beside the previous one.

The 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland give some examples of people who have quarry related occupations living in the civil parish of Shankill. John Scanlon, 38, and Martin Scanlon, 35, are listed as ‘Flag Miners’.[8] They are unmarried and live with their father and sister in Shankill townland. John Walsh is listed as living in the townland of Coorleagh with the occupation ‘labourer in flag quarry’. He was 56 years of age at the time and living with his son Robert.[9]The Walsh family continued to be involved in the quarry into the years of the Second World War as it was operated by a Peter Walsh.[10]


[1] Byrne, Liam. 2010. Roscommon History. Online at http://www.roscommonhistory.ie/Misc/business/feelystone/feely.htm : accessed 9 December 2010

[2] Tighe, William. 1802. Statistical Observations Relative to the County of Kilkenny Made in the Years 1800 and 1801. Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell.

[3] Gorton, John. 1833 A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland Vol II. London: Chapman and Hall. p.424

[4] Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. London: Lewis, 1837. Print. p.551

[5] Sharp, James A. A New Gazetteer; or Topographical Dictionary of the British islands and Narrow Seas Vol II. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. 1851. Print. p.557

[6] The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.118, Number and Letter Reference 9b, Abraham Wynne. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.

[7] The Library Council of Ireland. Primary Valuation of Tenements in Ireland or Griffith’s Valuation. Kilkenny County, Gowran Barony, Shankill Parish, Kellymount Townland. P.119, Number and Letter Reference 13, John Dawson. Digital image askaboutirealnd.ie http://www.askaboutireland.ie : accessed: 22 March 2011. Dublin Ireland: OMS Services Ltd, Eneclann Ltd and the National Library of Ireland, 2003.

[8] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Shankill, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 45, Family of Ann Scanlon; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923834 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[9] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Shankill, Townland/Street Coorleagh, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 2, Family of John Walsh; digitial image, The National Archives of Ireland, http://census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000923701 : accessed 22 March 2011; original manuscript not cited.

[10] Dunleavy, John. 2007. A Short History of Paulstown. John Dunleavy.

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One of the most well known and tragic attacks during World War I was the sinking of the Lusitana in 1915. Torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork, it sank quickly and claimed over one thousand lives with about seven hundred people surviving. One of those survivors, Michael G. Byrne, gave many details about the sinking in a letter to his wife. Extracts from the letter were published in the New York Times on 25 May 1915. The article outlines that after Mr. Byrne was rescued he eventually made his way to Paulstown, where he stayed with relatives.[1]

Michael Byrne was born in the late 1860s in Ireland. He came to New York around 1887 and married a German woman named Herminie in the 1890s.[2] The newspaper article notes that he was living at 444 West 50th St in Manhattan and it is at this address that the 1910 and 1920 US censuses show him living with his wife. [3] By 1920 they had been married 26 years and did not have any children.[4]

Section of 1920 US Federal Census population schedule


[1] Author Unknown, Submarine man observed wreck New York man writes. New York Times, 25 May 1915, p.4

[2] 1910 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, part of 22nd Ward, p.13b (stamped); dwelling 444, family 287, Michael G. Byrne; digital image, Ancesty.com, http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 December 2010; NARA microfilm T624 roll 1027

[3] Ibid.

[4] 1920 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule 5th Ward, p.12b (stamped); dwelling 444, family 334, Michael G. Byrne; digital image, Ancesty.com, http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 December 2010; NARA microfilm T624 roll 1047

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During the 19th and 20th centuries the parish priest was a dominant personality and the enforcer of morality in the parishes, villages and towns of Ireland. The list below gives the names of all those who have served as the priest in the parish of Paulstown. The parish of Paulstown and Goresbridge was created circa 1822 with an entry in the Graiguenamanagh parish registers stating that “1822 – About this time Goresbridge was taken from this parish and with Paulstown, made a separate parish.[1] Today, according to the website of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, the parish is called Paulstown.[2]

The list of priests from Michael Brennan (1833-1851) to the current priest, Fr. Laurence Malone, is to be found in chapter fourteen of Paulstown Schools Past and Present.[3] To supplement this list, I have added examples from other sources where their names were also found. I have also found some examples of priests who served in Paulstown from before the time of Michael Brennan.

1618                        Sir Edmund Seix, listed as someone who says mass and sometime stays with Sir Richard Butler of Pawlestown[4]

1704                       Anthony Forstall, listed as PP of Graiguenamanagh and Paulstown[5]

1704                       William Walsh[6]

1731                       William Walshe,listed as PP of St. Kill and Kilmacahill[7]

1733                       William Walshe[8]

1741                       Dr. Walter Jacob[9]

1766-1783           Paul Cullen, listed as PP of Leighlin, Wells, Shankill and Kilmacahill.[10] He could have served as priest before 1766 as this year is the first time he is mentioned in documents as the priest of this area

1796                       William Cullen[11]

1824-1829            Daniel Nolan[12]

1830-1833            James Maher[13]

1833-1851            Michael Brennan[14]

1851-1870            Bernard Kinsella[15]

1870-1901            Patrick Joseph Mulhall[16][17][18]

1901-1934            Richard O’Brien[19] (See footnote)

1934-1948            Mark Walshe

1948-1950            James Breen

1950-1962            Cornelius Brennan

1962-1977            James Kavanagh[20]

1977-1978            Pierce Kavanagh

1978-1996            Sean O’Laoghaire

1996-2000            James O’Connell

2000-2004            Tom McDonnell

2004-2011            Laurence Malone

2011-Current        John McEvoy


[1] Comerford, Michael. 1886. Collections Relating to the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin Vol 3. Dublin:J Duffy and Sons. p.336.

[2] Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. 2011. Parishes. Available at: http://www.kandle.ie/parishes/paulstown/ : accessed 28 February 2011.

[3] Paulstown History and Education Society. 2007. Paulstown Schools Past and Present. Kilkenny: Grange Silvia Publications. p.101

[4] Comerford, Michael. 1886. p.335.

[5] Carraigan, Canon William . 1905. History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory Vol 3. Dublin: Sealey, Bryers and Walker p.412

[6] Ibid. p.281. Walsh could have taken over from Forstall in this year or it could be a mistake on the part of Carrigan to list two different priests in the same year.

[7] Comerford, Michael. 1886. p.335

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid. p.336

[11] His name is on a tablet in the current Roman Catholic Church as the serving priest when the church was built in 1796.

[12] Catholic Record Society of Ireland. 1984. Archivium Hibernicum. Unknown vol but between 39-44

[13] Boase, Fredrick. 1897. Modern English Biography. Truro: Netherton and Worth. p.1622.

[14] House of Commons. 1836. House of Commons Papers: Report from Commissioners, Poor Law Ireland Col XXXI.  p.72

[15] Kavanagh, James. 1865. Catholic Directory, Almanac and Registry for Ireland, England and Scotland. Dublin: John Mullany. p.189

[16] Keogh, Canon. 1872. The Irish Catholic Directory, Almanac and Registry. Dublin: John Mullany.

[17] Bassett, George Henry. 1884. Kilkenny City and County Guide and Directory. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. p.318

[18] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Paulstown, Townland/Street Kellymount, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 1, Patrick Mulhall; digitial image, The National Archives http://census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Kilkenny/Shankill/Kellymount/1449156/ : accessed 21 February 2011: original manuscript not cited.

[19] In the 1911 Census of Ireland Richard O’Brien is listed as a curate and living in Goresbridge. Peter Kavanagh is listed as a priest and living in Paulstown.

The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Kilkenny, DED Paulstown, Townland/Street Paulstown, Form A, Number on Form B 1 (stamped), house 12, Peter Kavanagh; digitial image, The National Archives  http://census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Kilkenny/Paulstown/Paulstown_Town__part_of_/567547/ : accessed 21 February 2011: original manuscript not cited.

[20] Duffy, J. 1968. The Irish Catholic Directory. p.164

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This map comes from the publication A Statistical Account or Parochial Survey of Ireland, Drawn up from the Communication of the Clergy Vol 2 and was written by William Shawn Mason. It was printed by the Hibernia Press Office in Dublin in 1816. In this publication a series of parishes from around Ireland are surveyed in detail. One of the parishes selected is Kilmacahill with information supplied by the Rev. William Latta who was the vicar of the area.

What makes this publication stand out from other surveys and topographical dictionaries is the inclusion of a map for each parish. The map below is on pages 332 and 333 with the legend of the map, also below, on page 347. The village of Paulstown is where ‘K. Chapel of Paulstown’ is marked. The map comes from before the standardization of townlands by the Ordnance Survey in the 1830s and as a result some of the names and boundaries will be different to today’s townlands.

The map can be clicked to enlarge.

Townlands

1. Castlekelly    2. Woodville and Redbog   3.  Butlersgrove   4. Paulstown   5. Garryduff    6. Kilmacahill

7. Jordanstown  8. Ballinvally    9. Knockadeen    10. Kilure (part of Wells civil parish in Carlow)

Features

A. Mount Rothe, William Barton, Esq.     B. Mr. Robert Burroughs     C. Castle of Paulstown, Henry Flood, Esq.

D. Mr. Perse Healy    E. Mr. Thomas Butler    F. Mr. John Anderson, at present uninhabited    G. Farm Houses

H. John Flood Esq.    I. Rev. William Latta    K. Chapel at Paulstown

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