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Archive for the ‘21st Century’ Category

A moment from the present, but one that will be a part of Paulstown history for years to come. Colm Dunne, who is a student at Paulstown (Scoil Bhride) National School, was selected as one of three children to meet President Barack Obama on his visit to Ireland on 23 May 2011.

After meeting with the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, President Obama was brought to plant a tree and see the ringing of the peace bell in the garden of Áras an Uachtaráin. The bell was installed in 2008 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast agreement. There President Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the three children, including Colm.

Later in the day President Obama made his way to Moneygall, Co. Offaly, the home of his ancestor Falmouth Kearney who left Ireland for America in 1850.

Congratulations to Colm, his family and Paulstown National School. You can read more about the occasion and see a picture in an Irish Independent newspaper article here.

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The 2011 Census of Ireland will be carried out on 10 April. The most previous census, in 2006, showed that the population of Paulstown increased by over 100%, from 292 to 598.[1] This is a tremendous change for any area in such a short amount of time.

To give some idea of the changing population of the village in the 20th and 21st centuries, I have included some demographic statistics from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland. It is important to remember that these figures cannot be compared against each other when two different area definitions are used.

Currently, I am unaware of what townlands are included in the Paulstown Electoral District. Ancedotal evidence would suggest that it might be just the three townlands where the village is located, namely Shankill, Paulstown and Kellymount.

YEAR POPULATION AREA DEFINITION
2006 598 Electoral District
2002 292 Electoral District
1996 221[2] Electoral District
1991 234[3] Unknown
1971 459[4] District Electoral Division
1961 239[5] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1951 83[6] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1946 89[7] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1926 70[8] Cluster of 20 houses or more
1911 493[9] District Electoral Division
1901 349[10] District Electoral Division

[1] Central Statistics Office. 2006. Alphabetical List of Towns with their population 2002-2006. http://census.cso.ie/Census/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=75478 : accessed 16 March 2011

[2] Central Statistics Office. 2002. Population of Towns ordered by County and size, 1996 and 2002 http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/vol1_t5.pdf: accessed 3 March 2011

[3] Central Statistics Office. 1991. Alphabetical list of towns tith their population in 1991 http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1991_results/Volume1/C1991_V1_T20.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[4] Central Statistics Office. 1971. Population, area and valuation of each district electoral division, urban district, rural district and county. http://cso.ie/census/census_1971_results/Volume1/C%201971%20V1%20T11.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[5] Central Statistics Office. 1961.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1961. http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1961_results/Volume1/C%201961%20VOL%201%20T15.pdf : accessed 3 March 2011

[6] Central Statistics Office. 1951.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1951.  http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1951_results/Volume1/C%201951%20V1%20T14.pdf : accessed 03 march 2011

[7] Central Statistics Office. 1946.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1946.  http://cso.ie/census/census_1946_results/Volume1/C%201946%20V1%20T13.pdf : accessed 03 march 2011

[8] Central Statistics Office. 1926.  Alphabetical List of towns with population 1926. http://www.cso.ie/census/census_1926_results/Volume10/C%201926%20V10%20Chapter%20Appendix%20D.pdf :accessed 03 March 2011

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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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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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