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Michael Meagher represented the constituency of North Kilkenny from 1906-1918. On 6 February 1908 he put a question to Augustine Birrell, who was Chief Secretary of Ireland at the time. Meager enquired as to why police were sent to a grass letting at Viewmount on the previous January.

He questioned, “I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that forces of police were sent from Paulstown, Gowran, and Gores-bridge to assist at a grass-letting at 1103 Viewmount, County Kilkenny, on 22nd January; will he state by whose authority such action was taken; was a breach of the peace apprehended; if so, on what grounds; and, seeing that Kilkenny is one of the most peaceable and law-abiding counties in the United Kingdom, and with a view to prevent a breach of the peace and feelings of bitterness between the authorities and the people, will he see that conduct such as this will not be allowed in future.”[1]

Birrell replied: “A letting by auction of grazing lands at Viewmount was announced for 22nd January. The police authorities had reason to apprehend that the auction might be interfered with, and consequently four policemen were sent to the place for the preservation of the peace. It is the fact that the county of Kilkenny generally is in a most peaceful condition, but in this particular instance precautionary measures were called for. In reply to a further Question the right hon. Gentleman said the police would not have been sent to the auction had not threatening notices been posted.”[2]

To read more about Viewmount House click here.

To read House of Commons Debates 1803-2005 I click here.


[1] Millbank Systems, compilers. Hansard 1803-2005. House of Commons Debate 6 February 1908 vol 183 cc1102-3 http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1908/feb/06/viewmount-grass-letting#S4V0183P0_19080206_HOC_272 : accessed 9 December 2011.

[2]Ibid.

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Over the last 160 years Paulstown has been mentioned in debates at the House of Commons in London. This is the first of a few posts that will outline when it was discussed.

In 1843 discussions took place in relation to the Arms (Ireland) Bill of the time. Sir Fredrick Stovin, participating in the debate noted how a number of areas in Ireland had sent in petitions to disband yeomanry in the 1830s. He outlined how “on the 27th of August, 1831, Mr. Blackney presented a petition from the inhabitants of Paulstown, for disarming the yeomanry in Ireland.”[1]

To see the minutes of the 1831 petition click here.


[1]Millbank Systems, compilers. Hansard 1803-2005. House of Commons Debate 27 April 1843 volume 68 cc1010-2 http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1843/may/29/arms-ireland-bill#S3V0069P0_18430529_HOC_44: accessed 9 December 2011.

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A recent article in the Irish Times highlighted one Kilkenny man’s quest to photograph all parochial houses in Ireland. The parochial house in Paulstown is included and can be viewed on this page. The house was the residence of the parish priest up to the late 1990s when it was purchased by the Barrett family. The parish priest now lives in a residence in Goresbridge village.

Currently, I am unaware of when the house was built. An aerial photo of the village, from the beginning of the 1900s, shows that it was built by this stage.[1] Likewise it appears on the OSI maps from the late 19th century and early 20th century.


[1] Paulstown Education and Historical Society (2007) Paulstown School Past and Present Paulstown, Kilkenny: Grange Silvia Publications. p.15

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The following story appeared in an 1833 edition of The Morning Post newspaper, which had copied an article from the Kilkenny Moderator.[1]

About one o’clock on Monday morning an armed party of men attacked the dwelling house of a farmer named Carroll, residing in the parish of Paulstown, and barony of Gowran, and after smashing his windows, forced an entrance onto the house, gave him a severe beating, and carried off his daughter. A fellow named Buckley, suspected of having been concerned in the above gross outrage, was subsequently arrested by some of the police stationed at Baurnafea, and brought before Walter Molony, Esq., C.M., for examination. He has since been committed to our county gaol, on suspicion of having been concerned in the burglary, and abduction.


[1] Author Unknown, County Kilkenny in The Morning Post, 14 September 1833, p.4; 19th Century British Library Newspapers http://newspapers.bl.uk : accessed 4 November 2011

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Many Irish people who came to the U.S. ended up in poor houses, almshouses and asylums. Some, for a short time, until they had the well being, contacts and resources to survive. For others, they stayed there until they died.  One entry in the registers for Westchester County (the county just above Bronx county, New York City) has information about a Mary O’Connor/Gorman who was born in Paulstown.[1]

If further outlines:

Name: Mary O’Connor or Gorman

Record Number: 3/1340

Date of Admission: 9 February 1880

Age: 60 / Single / Birthplace: Paulstown, Kilkenny, Ireland / How long in the US: 20 years / How long in the State: 20 years / At what port landed: N York / Birth Place of Father: Paulstown, Kilkenny, Ireland / Birthplace of Mother: Gordon (possibly the neighboring village of Gowran?), Kilkenny, Ireland / Education: None / Occupation of Father: Land Steward / Existing Cause of Dependence: Sickness and Destitution / What kind of labor is the person able to pursue, and to what extent: Light Housework / Has the person been an inmate of any other charitable institution: In Lunatic Asylum bd? 6 months.

A number of other questions are asked but answers are not provided.


[1] “New York Census of Inmates in Almshouse and Poorhouses 1830-1920”, database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011), entry for Mary O’Connor, 9 February 1880; citing: New York State Archives, Albany, New York; Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1875-1921; Series A1978, Reel A1978:88, Record Number: 3/1340

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I have come across a very interesting publication that forms an appendix to the Report of the Commissioners, that was part of the House of Commons Papers for the year 1836. It was published in London by Clowes and Sons. The publication contains answers to a series of questions on the “earnings of labourers, cottier tenants, employment of women and children” in different parts of Ireland. One of those areas covered is the Union of Paulstown. It gives a fascinating insight into the social and economic conditions which contributed to the harsh realities of life in the mid 1830s.

The answers for Kilmocahill are provided by Rev. James M. Stubbs and the answers for the Union of Paulstown are provided by Rev. Michael Brenan P.P. The first graphic shows the twelve questions that were asked. The answers are in the second and third graphics and read downwards. The twelve boxes correspond to the twelve questions.

Each graphic can be clicked to enlarge.

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