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Images of Edenderry

On Friday August 14th last, Edenderry Historical Society launched their latest publication, ‘Images of Edenderry’ in Edenderry G.A.A. Centre, in front of a large crowd. This is the result of an appeal to the public in April and May 2008 for photographs. Over 600 images were scanned by Ciaran Reilly and Aisling O’Kelly over a six week period. They were assisted in this work by Mairead Evans, Catherine Watson, Patience Pollard, Eileen Hickey and Therese Abbott. One hundred years of Edenderry’s history is unfolded through the medium of Events, Personalities, Places, Sporting activities and the daily lives of Edenderry people in the twentieth century. The collection includes photos of the town before 1960 and towards the present day. Some newspaper articles detailing historic events are also quoted. Mr. Sean FitzGerald, who was M.C. for the night, recalled some of the characters who evoked particular memories for him and he said he had no doubt that every person reading the book would have their own favourite personality or event, which was special to them. He then introduced Mrs. Cherry Carter, Chairperson of the Historical Society, who welcomed all those present on this historic occasion. She then thanked the members of the historical society who helped to gather and collate the material, especially Ciaran Reilly, without whom there would be no book. She thanked Edenderry Library staff for their help, Edenderry G.A.A. for the use of their hall and facilities, and the representatives of Nonsuch Publication who were of great assistance at all times.
Cathaoirleach of Offaly Co. Co. Cllr. Noel Burke, praised the Society for their good work down through the years in preserving the history of their town through this and previous publications. He also hoped that other organisations would follow their example.
Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Town Council, Cllr. Finian O’Neill, also praised the society and their book noting that some of his own relations featured in some of the images.
Sean FitzGerald then introduced Dr. Philip Brady, who proceeded to launch the book. Dr. Brady said that “launching a book is an important event in any community, especially when that book is about the community and has been compiled by members of the community”. Because it is a history in pictures, people have the freedom to provide their own commentary and each person will have a different view. He made special reference to the uniqueness of the cover picture, which featured cyclist Alo Donegan, who was “the first man in the world ever to have ridden a 25 mile time trial in under one hour”. Identifying the other people in the picture will no doubt feature in many discussions in the future. Dr. Brady then listed previous publication about the town and he praised the late Edenderry Librarian, Noel Whelan, who played a vital role in each and every one of them. He also referred to Hugh Farrell who was master of the Workhouse from 1870 to 1893 and who was a prolific writer of verse. He spoke of exciting times in the past when the talents of the people were nurtured by the various societies and said there was great hope for the future of the town in its vibrant community. Dr. Brady concluded by paying tribute to the Historical Society, “who envisaged, researched, assembled and produced this book”. He said it was a “privilege to declare Images of Ireland – Edenderry, officially launched”.
Refreshments were provided and the night ended as people reminisced on a past recalled by the photos they had seen.

The Book is now on sale locally and through the society and copies are fast becoming scarce. If you would like a copy contact the society at


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