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Local snippets: vol 2 Edenderry

In 1915 outgoing Edenderry Town Commissioners John Pelin, Arthur Williams and Michael Delaney were opposed and issued handbills to the people of Edenderry stating that
“Fellow Townspeople, After twelve years since out town was incorporated under the Towns Improvement Act, we are about to have a contest. During that time with your consent, we have represented you as commissioners. We think we can claim that we have not abused your confidence, as during our tenure of office we have lighted our town and suburbs as far as the chapel. Although we were not allowed to borrow money to do so, we, in conjunction with our fellow commissioners, gave our own personal security amounting to £1,200, which we are happy to state has now al been paid off, and the town now possesses what few towns, if any in Ireland can boast, a Gas Plant the sole property of the Edenderry Ratepayers. We then undertook to lay down new concrete footpaths, which we think you must admit, are second to none in Ireland. If you think that we have done our duty in the past, we now confidently ask the favour of your votes to enable us to continue the improvement of the town. If you again elect us as Town Commissioners we shall continue the good work we have begun until we can claim to have made Edenderry one of the most up- to- date Towns in Ireland"

The Leinster Leader newspaper paid tribute to the commissioners stating that “there is possibly no body in Ireland which possess as peculiar a record, from a journalistic point of view as do the Edenderry Town commissioners, and for this reason, their deliberations have been reported in any paper. Constituted for the purpose of bettering the town, a purpose which they unquestionably have carried out, the members never sought publicity for their doings, and the good that they have achieved was never trumpeted beforehand, but ‘grew’ practically without anyone knowing it until the work was in progress. The limited taxation imposed has been well utilised, and if Edenderry boasts today of being up to date in its appearance and progress a goodly portion of the credit must be given to the little body which guides its administration”


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From earliest times to the 13th Century.

About 120 AD Cathair Mór. King of Leinster, became powerful enough to be designated Ard-Rí Éireann by the four masters in the annals.He had ten sons, the eldest Ros Fáilghe (“of the rings”) was given the territory of North Offaly which became known as Uí Fáilighe in later times and from which the name Offaly derives.

The O’Connor sept is descended from Ros, they ruled all or part of Offaly up until the late 16th century.Offaly was divided into 7 “tríocha céad” or districts.Each district had it’s own sub-chief, the area that includes modern day Edenderry was called Tuatha-dá-Muighe, the territory of the two plains, which was the patrimonial inheritance of the O’Mulkenes.The name of the area gradually became corrupted until it was known as Tetmoy Ballykilleen Fort
This is the oldest structure extant in the Edenderry area. (To get to it head out of Edenderry on Tullamore road and turn left at Ballyfore crossroads towards the power station).

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Blundell Castle, Edenderry

BLUNDELL CASTLE: A BRIEF HISTORY The area around Edenderry is littered with castles, most of which were built in the Anglo- Norman period, such as Carrick, Kinnefad, Ballyleakin and Brackagh amongst others. Overlooking the town of Edenderry, BlundellCastle is located on a hill from which the town gets its name; Eadon Doire, meaning brow or hill-top of the oak trees. Today, the oak trees are long since gone, but the ruins of the castle remain, a testament to the days of De Bermingham and O’Connor feuding, and later Cooley (or Cowley) power, the family who were granted the lands of Edenderry after the Laois/Offaly Plantation in 1556. In their book, Edenderry through the ages[1], Evans and Whelan make no mention of a date of the building of BlundellCastle. The earliest mention they make of the castle is when referring to the 1550 survey taken prior to the plantation, which mentions “a path to the castell of Eadandyrre”[2]. The remains of the present castle, or tower house, can be traced t…

When Edenderry was Ireland’s ‘Detroit’

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The first motor car manufacturer was William Corrigan.His gravestone at CastroPetreCemetery records that he died on the 3rd January 1946 aged 83 years. 42 years earlier, in 1902, and at the age of 41 or so, he manufactured a 4 ½ hp car. Apparently there is a photograph of this car in the museum of the Royal Irish Automobile Club which has its headquarters in Kildare Street, Dublin. William Corrigan ran a very successful garage business. According to details recorded in one of the late Joe Reilly’s books, over 40 people were employed there and some of the principal customers were O’Brien’s which had 15 Lorries and 8 Vans and Williams’ Bakery.The garage business was located at the rear of William Corrigan’s house on Main Street Edenderry. Joe D…