Colonel Dan Bryan – Ireland’s Great Intelligence Chief

Written and read by Eamonn Kiely (2018) Military intelligence is often put forward as an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. That is to misunderstand the study. In the military context “intelligence” means processed information. If one were to see ten soldiers going across country, it would be reasonable to assume that was a section. […]

Captain James Arnold Smithwick

Captain James Arnold Smithwick of Kilkenny Ken Kinsella Very few families in Kilkenny remained unaffected by the Great War and the parallel struggle for Irish independence in the period 1914 to 1922. Captain James Arnold Smithwick, born in 1881, was the elder surviving son of Francis and Marion Smithwick, a highly respected Kilkenny merchant family. […]

Grace’s Card

Grace’s Card Eamonn Kiely Kilkenny has produced a number of distinguished military families such as the Rothes, Butlers and Shortalls. However, none are more celebrated than the Graces. They came from a place called Courtown modern day Tullaroan – in those days known as Grace’s country. They were Old English by the time of the […]

Inistioge Barracks Attack

Failed Attack On The Auxiliary HQ At Inistioge, December 1920 Ken Kinsella When the Government of Ireland Bill passed through Parliament in December 1920, effectively creating two states, the IRA campaign intensified. The plan was to create a situation that would compel the government to employ more of its forces in Kilkenny, reducing the concentration […]

The Kavanaghs

The Kavanaghs: A Martial Family Patrick Neary My story begins in September 1876 when my great grandparents Martin Kavanagh of Knockbaun, County Carlow and Catherine Corcoran of Skehana, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, were married. They lived in Knockbaun for a time where the first of six children, Alice was born in 1880, subsequently they moved to […]

Lebanon 1978

Lebanon 1978 Eamonn Kiely The crowds were descending on Dublin Airport to see the C-5 Galaxy, then the World’s largest transporter. Irish soldiers had been through intensive training in the Glen of Imaal and Kilworth for our impending trip to Lebanon with the first battalion deployed there – the 43rd. Jack Lynch, the then Taoiseach, […]

Take-over of Kilkenny Barracks 1922

Takeover Kilkenny Military barracks – 7th Feb 1922 Eamonn Kiely It is said that the old Dublin City could be reconstructed by a reading of Ulysses. If so, Kilkenny is quite safe from being forgotten by the detail available in Jim – Judge Comerford’s book on the takeover of Kilkenny barracks. The Kilkenny People gave […]