Our First Project – Celbridge’s Military Story

Our First Project – Celbridge’s Military Story
Church/Tay Lane Cemetery in Celbridge. A beautifully preserved heritage site with graves spanning several centuries with unique military history.

Our First Project – Celbridge’s Military Story

The Irish Military Heritage Foundation CLG has been awarded a grant under the Kildare County Council Heritage Grant Scheme 2019. The grant has been awarded towards the Foundation’s inaugural project – Celbridge’s Military Story. Our aim is to bring to life some of the hidden stories in the Celbridge area. Celbridge is the home of our editor/producer Wesley Bourke, over the last few years the History Squad in the local primary school, Scoil na Mainistreach, have highlighted the lost stories of the Celbridge area; and showed just how quickly history can be forgotten. They inspired us and we decided to find out more. We will be producing this project through film and articles.

Celbridge’s Victoria Cross – John Augustus Conolly. (Photo graph from the Berkshires Regimental Museum)

Every community has a hidden voice that opens a window into the past and every community has a unique story; Celbridge, in County Kildare is no different. The area is home to many Óglaigh na hÉireann / Irish Defence Forces serving personnel and veterans; family members of persons who have served in both World Wars; historians with detailed knowledge of stories such as the moving plight of the Belgium refugees who came to Celbridge in 1914, or the events in the local area during the War of Independence and Civil War. Adding to this historiography Celbridge has several landscapes connecting it to its military past such as Castletown House & Parklands whose owner Thomas Conolly in 1865 toured the battlefields of the American Civil War; or Tay/Tea Lane cemetery which after a wonderful restoration has unearthed the stories of Henry Grattan Jr. MP and Gerald Dease

Over the coming months we will be interviewing local historians, veterans, and members of the community whose relatives have since passed away. This project aims to unearth stories lost to time and preserve Celbridge’s Military Story for future generations.
We would love to hear your story. If you have a story to tell please get in touch.

The grave of Sir Colonel Gerald Dease in Church/Tay Lane Cemetery. (Photograph by Wesley Bourke)
Colourtrend in Celbridge on the site of the former workhouse. During the Great War it was home to Belgium refugees, and in 1922 it became the site of the first barracks for the new army of the Provisional Government of Ireland.

Posted in: British Army, Celbridge, County Kildare, FCÁ, Heritage Site, Irish Defence Forces, Irish Veterans

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