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Mary Duffy Edenderry born 'Catholic Daughter of America'

Famous Daughter of Edenderry recalled at Historical Society
Few in Edenderry would have known about or heard of the exploits of Mary Duffy, who perhaps can be justly given the title of Edenderry’s most famous person. Born in 1874 Mary Duffy, along with her parents, Joseph Duffy and Anne Dempsey and her brothers Patrick and John emigrated to America and a new life. She was later a Superior Regent of the Catholic Daughters of America, an organisation which ‘through justice, equality enhanced the advancement of human rights for all’. In 1932 Mary Duffy was awarded a pontifical medal from the Pope for her work with the Catholic Daughters. She is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetry in Hanover, New Jersey.

Those gathered on the 21 May recently were treated to a fantastic lecture by Dr. Carol Clement about the life and times of Mary Duffy. Dr. Clement who has written a history of the Catholic Daughters and the role of Mary Duffy was visiting Ireland during the month of May and kindly offered to speak to the society. Afterwards Chairperson of Edenderry Historical Society, Cherry Carter accepted a copy of Carol’s book, Catholic Daughters of America which includes a chapter on the role of Mary Duffy in the organisation. On behalf of the society and to facilitate further work that Carol is undertaking, Cherry as a token of gratitude presented Carol with four local history books which have been recently published.

Edenderry Historical Society were delighted to welcome Carol to speak to the members. Her talk now joins a long list of varied and interesting lectures which the society has had over the past number of years. Already in 2010 talks have included those on Castles in Offaly by Caimin O’Brien and Rogue priests in 19th century Kildare by Cormac Begadon. Another exciting autumn/ winter series is currently being planned while National Heritage Week in August will culminate in the celebration of the achievements of Thomas Frye, an Edenderry born artist and porcelain maker who will celebrate his 300th birthday this year!!

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