Educational, General Information, History

“A Sense of Our Past.” Essay/Project Competition For 5th & 6th Class Students in the Celbridge/Leixlip Municipal District

Post By: Kildare Libraries Local History Dept.

On behalf of County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee, we would like to welcome all of you to this short briefing about the launch of a History Competition in The Municipal District of Celbridge and Leixlip. The competition will be based on your own local history concerning the Decades of the Centenaries, from 1912-1923.We would like to invite the pupils and teachers of fifth and sixth class students to “Give it a go!”

All entries should be primarily focused on the 1912-1923 period or part of it. The project can be submitted by a whole class, a group of students or an individual student. This year, projects consisting of between 800 and 2000 words are invited under the following general headings, with an emphasis on LOCAL.

  • Revolution in Ireland- a study of a political or revolutionary event from your locality or region.
  • Ireland and the First World War- a study of the Kildare experience of the war. This study could focus; the male or female perspective; a local person; a battle; those left at home.
  • Women during the decades period- a study of a particular individual, or group/organisation/ movement (Nurses, Cuman na mBan,) a local who strived to improve the quality of woman’s lives during this 1912-1923 period.
  • A Local Study- A study of any local person, place or event that was important to that community during the period.

Let loose your artistic talents and don’t be afraid to “GO FOR IT!” Feel free to add some art, poetry or literature of the time if you think it will enrich the project.

The following prizes will be awarded to the winning schools.

1st Prize= ϵ500 Voucher for International Education Services LTD.(IES) in Leixlip, for purchase of books and materials for the school.

2nd Prize=ϵ300 Voucher.

3rd Prize=ϵ200 Voucher.

Template given should be filled in and attached to front of project.

Try your best to use primary sources, when possible, (newspapers, census, records, pictures of the time.)

Make sure you include historical referencing of any sources you use. At the end of the project please include a bibliography (all the books you used, or any material you used in the project.)

Closing date for entries: Friday 20th May 2022

Submission of projects can be to any of the following:

Celbridge Library, Leixlip Library, or online to

Don’t forget template at the front and bibliography at the back.

Will now include some websites you may get help from and some ideas of what you could write about. They are just ideas and we would love to be surprised by your ingenuity and genus! Best of luck to all the budding Historians!

Useful Sources Over 3,100 digital resources linked to history curriculums.

All local libraries provide access to a range of secondary sources and may have a useful archive section. hugely valuable for finding primary source material. lots of interesting local articles to inspire you! Really recommend this. Testimonies of the surviving leaders, veterans and volunteers of the 1916 Rising. the Letters of 1916 project includes letters held in institutions, alongside those in private collections. All to do with Easter Rising, the Great War, Politics Business and ordinary life. This website holds information about the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1911 census and witness statements from 1912-1916. This is a website supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which provides a range of resources to support study of the period 1912-1922.

Some links for exploring the Decades of the Centenary can be found at

Don’t forget to check out your own local historians, local newspapers, and anyone who might be able to help with your chosen project. Best of Luck to you All!

Some Ideas For Topics In Celbridge & Leixlip

The tragic tale of the Wookey Family.

They owned a mill in Leixlip, lived in Weston Lodge. The husband Frederick sacked workers during the lockout. (Essay already done on this aspect).

They lost a baby John Neil in April 1892. (How??)

They lost their son in WW1 at St. Eloi 1915. (How??) he was 27 and in Royal Irish Reg.

The Dad Frederick died July 1918. Mother Fanny sells up and decides to go to her family in England.

She dies on Board “The Leinster” Oct. 1918 which was torpedoed off Howth by Germans. Both are buried in St. Marys Churchyard. (Never been explored).

1915 bomb making material was found in St. Catherine’s in early Feb. Maker of the bombs was James O’Neill of Leixlip, Commander of the Irish Citizens Army, 1918-23.

1916- Baroness de Robeck (who is she?) living in Leixlip Castle want to raise money to send hot water bottles and cigarettes to wounded soldiers in France. (any other women doing fundraising?)

Her husband was Rear Admiral of Patrols in the Royal Navy.  He drowns Jan.12, 1916 when Liffey was in flood. how (Could be articles in Times and local press. How bad was flood? Any other casualties? How did her fundraising go?)

1919- Leixlip RIC Barracks at Mill House, corner of Buckley’s Lane and Main St. probably burnt.

1920- Barracks closed and Sarg. Lane transferred to Maynooth. Four constables transferred to different portions of Kildare.

1922- The Battle of Pikes Bridge. (Essay done concerning Anthony Reilly but loads of other aspects to be explored).

Matt Goff…or Gough. 1901-1956. Leixlip Gaelic Footballer, played full back on the famous Kildare teams of mid 1920 -30s. Bridge called after him- interchange bridge in Leixlip.

1918- Armistice Day,11/11/1918, marking the end of WW1. The town of Celbridge illuminated on Monday night and there was dancing in the street. (Leinster Leader).

1919- A Campagne of strike action began in Celbridge with 60 labourers all members of Co. Kildare Farmers Association. (What is that organisation? Why the strike? Who was involved?).

1921- Bridge in Celbridge badly damaged during War of Independence Jan 8th.

1921- Art O’Connor, TD. Becomes Minister of Agriculture in second Dail. Aug.16th. great amount of history attached to this man.

1921-Kildare Senior Hurling Championship won by Celbridge. Different Sliotars used (much heavier).

Check out some of the lads on the team! George Magan, right forward. All Ireland cross country champ.1920-22. National middle-distance titles between 1918- 22. He was a Garda. Won the Police championships three years in a row. His brother William on the team too.

They lived in “The Roundy House” at the gates of Castletown. (Check did another bro. die in WW1).

Albert O’Neill and his brother both on the famous team. They were born in Union Row, what we would call the Maynooth Rd.

Mick Sammon- Ref. on Bloody Sunday midfielder in 1919. Owned McNamee’s-The Railway Hotel. He was administrator in Celbridge GAA for 1921 hurling Championships.

Owen “Skipper” Murphy, outstanding Celbridge player. Capt of 1921 team. From Kilwogan. Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1981. Could play both hurling and Gaelic.   

1922- Celbridge Workhouse is now a barracks. Reportedly the place where the Free State Army Uniform is worn for the first time. Michael Collins supposed to have come out (according to Mr. Mullaney) to check the lads. Jan 31, 40 men and one officer march to Beggar’s Bush Barracks in town (where?) to take over from British troops.

1923- Closure of the Celbridge Union(workhouse). Hospital closed.

1923-Celbridge Tennis Club founded.

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