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Archive for June, 2011

Charles Topham Bowden embarked on a tour through Ireland in 1791 and like so many of his contemporaries he visited the county of Kilkenny. One small paragraph is devoted to a stop he made while travelling from Carlow to Gowran and on to Kilkenny. The passage reads[1]:

A gibbet was a gallow that an executed criminal was displayed from to deter further criminal activity. You can read more on caves in Kellymount and the Kellymount gang.


[1] Topham Bowden, Charles. 1791. A tour through Ireland. Dublin: W.Corbett

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The Irish World Newspaper was published from 1890-1905 and served the Irish community in New York City and beyond. Below are one marriage and five death notices that were published in the paper.

Married – 1890                                                                                                                                                                                                              Patrick Maher and Margaret, only daughter of the late Nicholas Comerford, Killen were married at St. John’s Church on April 15th by Rev. J.P. Mulhall, Paulstown.[1]

Died – 1896                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mrs. Patrick Rowan of Paulstown, died 26 April, widely respected. Requiem services were held in Paulstown.[2]

Died – 1898                                                                                                                                                                                                                      James Healy Brennan – 6 January at Paulstown Co. Kilkenny. Internment at Paulstown. Office and High Mass were held in the chapel. Funeral largely attended.[3]

Died – 1902                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr. Thomas Hanlon of Ennis-Court (probably Fennis Court?), Pugnalstown (probably Bagenalstown?), passed away on 13 April, at the age of 61 years. The Office and high Mass in Paulstown Church and the funeral to Old Leighlin cemetery was very numerously attended.[4]

Died – 1904                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr. John Hanlon of Greenwood, Shankill died 11 December to the great sorrow of his family and friends. The funeral took place in Paulstown and was largely attended by all classes. Office and High Mass took place in Paulstown Church. Celebrant Rev E. Hipwell, Goresbridge. The other clergy present were Rev. R. O’Brien, Paulstown; Rev. J. Coyle, Leighlinbridge; Rev. J. Foley, Leighlinbridge; Rev. P. Murphy, Bagenalstown; The chief mourners were: John, Richard, Michael, Patrick and Joseph Maher, sons; Martin Meaney and Simon Meaney, grandsons; Philip Murphy, E. Wynne and J. Wynne, nephews; James, Michael, Thomas and Denis Hoynes, Jeremiah, Philip and Martin Maher, cousins.[5]

Died – 1904                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The death of Mr. Walter Walsh, Courtnabohilla, 23 June occurred. The funeral was one of the largest witnessed for a long time. Rev. Father Lalor of St. Paul’s, Paulstown officiated. Chief mourners: Laurence, Patrick and James Walsh, brothers; Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Mulrooney, sisters; Thomas and Patrick Walsh, Patrick Ryan, John and Thomas Murphy and C.W. Mulrooney, nephews; Kate, Ellen and Mary T Walsh, Kate and Ellen Ryan, nieces;  Martin Murphy, Edward Mulrooney and Pierce Ryan, brothers-in-law.[6]


[1] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 15 May 1890, p.2; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[2] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 23 May 1896, p.3; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[3] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The New Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 29 January 1898, p.3; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[4] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Carlow section), 10 May 1902, p.7; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[5] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 30 January 1904, p.9; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[6] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 23 July 1904, p.9; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

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Anyone who studies local history is never really surprised by the unusual guides and information they come across. One such publication I recently found out about is Devia Hibernia: The Road and Route Guide for Ireland of the Royal Irish Constabulary.[1] It was published in 1893 and was complied to “provide a road book of reliable and comprehensive character, for the use of cyclists and tourists, of Irish travellers, and others of the public who may desire to travel through our beautiful island”.[2]Paulstown had an RIC station or ‘barracks’ at the time of publication and the following information was provided.

Paulstown (Rural Location)

Barony: Gowran

Parliamentary Electoral District: North Kilkenny

County: Kilkenny

Provence: Leinster

Telegraph Office: No

Fairs: No

Markets: No

Nearest Railway Station : Bagenalstown 4 miles away

Service by railway company : Great Southern and Western Railway

Time at which letters arrive at local post office : 8am

Hours at which boxes are cleared for dispatch mail : 6pm

Nature of the postal business:  PO (Post Office) – Yes, MOO (Money Order Office) – Yes, SB (Savings Bank) – No

Post Cars or Vehicles for Hire: No

Interesting Places in the Locality : No

RIC Officer  who supplied information: Patrick Walsh, Sergeant

Nearest RIC stations: Bagenalstown 3 miles / Baurnafea 5 miles / Goresbridge 5.5 miles / Gowran 4 miles


[1] Dagg, Edwin and George A de M. 1893. Devia Hibernia: The Road and Route Guide for Ireland of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis and Co.

[2] Ibid., p.i

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On 4 July 1898 Ellen Lawlor, about 70 years of age, was found dead in her home near Paulstown. She had been murdered.[1] While murder has always occurred, no doubt the news of an elderly woman being killed sent shockwaves throughout the area. Patrick Holmes, a farm labourer, and a man by the name of Brophy were caught within a couple of weeks. They were charged with Mrs. Lawlor’s murder and remanded in custody.[2] Lawlor lived alone in a secluded house “from where she ran a huckster’s business and the local people thought her to be a wealthy woman”.[3]

At the Leinster Winter Assizes in Waterford the jury failed to reach a verdict so a second trial was ordered. [4] The evidence presented showed how Holmes robbed her then battered her to death to prevent her identifying him.[5] Before the end of the year Holmes was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged in Kilkenny in January 1899. [6] Kilkenny had long been considered one of the more peaceful counties in Ireland, with the Tithe Wars of the 1830s providing the last serious violence in the county. The authorities had to erect a new scaffold as it was over fifty years since the last execution in the county. Before his execution Holmes left a statement with the governor of the gaol.[7] A man by the name of Scott was the hangman and Holmes “walked firmly to the scaffold and betrayed no emotion”.[8] He was executed on Saturday 7 January 1899.[9]

No mention is made in any of the sources as to what happened Brophy.

[1] Fielding, Steven. 1994. The Hangman’s Record Volume 1. London: Chancery House.

[2] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 20 August 1898, p.3; America’s Historical Newspapers http://www.newsbank.com: accessed 24 May 2011

[3] Fielding, Steven. 1994.

[4] Author Unknown, Execution in Ireland in Western Mail, 9 January 1899, p.5; 19th Century British Newspapers http://www.newspapers.bl.uk :accessed 26 May 2011

[5] Ibid.

[6] Author Unknown, News from Ireland in The Irish World (Leinster – Kilkenny section), 31 December 1898, p.3

[7] Author Unknown, Execution in Ireland in Western Mail, 9 January 1899, p.5

[8] Ibid.

[9] Fielding, Steven. 1994.

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