Ardclough People in History

Gerald Aylmer (c1500-1559), judge and enforcer for English King Henry VIII in Ireland at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, born at the family home in Lyons. See wikipedia

Philippa Bayliss (1940-) artist, lived in the former school house on Ardclough canal bank between 1978 and 2002. See ref

Saint Bríga (Brigid, Bridget) (fl 6th century) venerated as foundress of the monastery at Oughterard, Bríga is also associated with Brideschurch near Sallins and Kilbride in County Waterford. Her feast day is January 21. See wikipedia

James Butler (1390–1452), fourth earl of Ormond (the White Earl) who was granted Castlewarden and Oughterard in 1412 for his support for the Lancastrian cause. See wikipedia

John Philpot Curran (1750–1817) lawyer, patriot and friend of Valentine Lawless, a regular visitor to Lyons during his lifetime, he had his body deposited temporarily in the mausoleum at Lyons before being removed to a grave at Glasnevin, where it now reposes. See wikipedia

Saint Derchairthinn or Tarcairteann (fl 6th century) venerated as superioress and saint of the monastery of Oughterard. She was said to be “of the race of Colla Uais, Monarch of Érinn”. See wikipedia

Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) founder of the famous brewery is buried in Oughterard cemetery, near the plot of his uncle Mattew Read. He was the son of Elizabeth Read (1698–1742) from Bishopscourt and Richard Guinness, who was agent and receiver of Dr Arthur Price and lived in Celbridge at the time of Arthur’s birth. See wikipedia

Ronan Keating (1977-) lead singer with Boyzone, lived briefly in Tipperstown (1998–2000). See wikipedia

Emily Lawless (1845–1913) writer and granddaughter of Valentine Lawless born in Lyons. Her poems about the wild geese were widely read in the first half of the 20th century and were on the school curriculum. Her books included A Chelsea Householder (published anonymously, 1882), A Millionaire’s Cousin (1885), Hurrish (1886), The Story of Ireland (1887), Major Lawrence, a novel (1887), With Essex in Ireland (1890), Grania: The Story of an Island (1892), Maelcho (1894), Traits and Confidences (1898), A Garden Diary (1901), With the Wild Geese (1902), Maria Edgeworth (1904), The Book of Gilly (1906), The Race of Castlebar (1913), The Inalienable Heritage (1914, published posthumously).  See wikipedia

Valentine Browne Lawless 2nd baron Cloncurry (1773–1853), financier of the 1798 and 1803 rebellions and United Irish organiser in London, he returned from exile in Paris and Rome in 1805 and became active in liberal politics in Ireland. An advocate of Catholic emancipation and Irish economic self-sufficiency, her served as chairman of the Grand Canal Company on five occasions and became a British Peer in September 1831 to add to his Irish title. His memoir, Personal Recollections of the Life and Times of Valentine, Lord Cloncurry was published in 1849 and William Fitzpatrick’s biography of Valentine Lawless, The Life, Times and Contemporaries of Lord Cloncurry followed in 1855.  See wikipedia

Valentine Frederick Lawless 4th baron Cloncurry (1840–1928), Unionist Conservative member of the English House of Lords, High Sheriff of Kildare 1867. A notorious evicting landlord, he owned 6,121 acres (24.77 km2) in County Kildare, 5,137 acres (20.79 km2) in County Limerick, 923 acres (3.74 km2) in County Dublin and 306 acres (1.24 km2) in County Meath. He became chairman of the Property Defence Association, an organisation set up by landlords during the Land War (1880) to oppose the Land League and “uphold the rights of property against organised combination to defraud“. Such was his fear of assassination that he had the straight road known as the Lord’s Road built between Lyons House and Hazlehatch Station in 1880.

Charlie McCreevy (1948-) Politician, born in Sherlockstown, grew up on the Grand Canal in the lock house at 14th lock and played under-age hurling and football for Ardclough. Minister for Social Welfare (1992–93), Minister for Tourism and Trade (1993–94) and Minister for Finance in the Government of Ireland (1997–2004) and European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services (2004-10). See wikipedia

Nora J Murray (1888–1955) Carrick on Shannon born poetess, author of “A Wind Upon the Heath” (1918), school teacher at Ardclough and subject of a notorious “sedition in the classroom” case in November 1917 when local Unionist landlord Bertram Hugh Barton (1858–1927) complained about her teaching of Irish history. See wikipedia

Brabazon Ponsonby (1679–1758) founder of one of the most powerful political dynasties of the 18th century. Ponsonby descendants include Alec Douglas-Home (British Prime Minister from 1963-4) and Harry Windsor, heir to the British throne. See wikipedia

George Ponsonby (1755–1817) opposition leader in the British House of Commons at Westminster and leader of the Whig Party (1808–1817), born in Bishopscourt he lived in Newlands, Clondalkin after 1803 in the house formerly owned by Arthur Wolfe. See wikipedia

John Ponsonby (1713–1789) of Bishopscourt, speaker of the Irish House of Commons between 1756 and 1769 and Ireland’s most powerful native politician over a 15-year period. See wikipedia

Mary Ponsonby (1776-1861), wife of Charles Grey, British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834 and best known nowadays as the Earl Grey of the tea brand. See wikipedia

William Brabazon Ponsonby, (1744–1806) leader of the Irish Whigs (1789–1803). See wikipedia

Major-General William Ponsonby (1772–1815) whose inept charge at the Battle of Waterloo resulted in his death at the hands of the Polish Lancers and was studied as an example of failed battle strategy for generations afterwards. See wikipedia

Mattew Read (1713–1790) brewer and uncle of Arthur Guinness, who may have been born in the family homestead (and his maternal family home) at Oughterard. See ref

Mary Redmond (1863–1930) sculptress responsible for the statue of Father Matthew on O’Connell Street Dublin was born in Ardclough and lived at the Canal Bank where her father was a quarry manager until the age of nine. Her first work was with clay at a sinkhole near her home. See wikipedia

David George Ritchie (1819–1889), sportsman and resident at Oughterard House, who laid out the first golf course in Ireland on the Curragh in 1851. See ref

Tony Ryan (1936–2007), aviator, founder of Ryanair and Guinness Peat Aviation and patron of the arts purchased a home in Lyons some years before his death. He is buried in Clonaghlis. See wikipedia

Lydia Shackleton (1828–1914), botanical artist, lived in Ardclough between April 1853 when she moved to the family’s newly acquired mill at Lyons, where she was housekeeper for her elder brother Joseph, until 1860. See National Botanic Gardens

John Swayne (d. 1439-42), who was clerk of the diocese of Kildare then canon and prebend of Lyons, before becoming Archbishop of Dublin (1417) and then Armagh (1418). See NLI catalogue

Arthur Wolfe (1739–1803) first Viscount Kilwarden, judge and most famous victim of the rebellion of Robert Emmett is buried in the family vault of the Wolfes in Oughterard cemetery. He was born in Forenaghts, and lived at Newlands. A former Solicitor-General for Ireland and Chief Justice of the Kings Bench for Ireland, he had been created Baron Kilwarden on 3 July 1798. See wikipedia


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