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Kinvara 1902

Ballybranigan, Kinvara Photo: Norma Scheibe
Ballybranigan, Kinvara
Photo: Norma Scheibe



From E.P. STANTON  Donahoe’s Magazine (abridged)

Kinvara was, and probably is yet, an Irish-speaking district, for, although the national school has been an institution there ever since the planting of that intellectual exotic in Irish soil, the old ways and the old ideals have, nevertheless, held their own.  The Celtic spirit breathes in “ould Kinvara” still, and why should it not?  Within sight of what have been aptly called “The Last Fortress of the Celt”  – the Islands of Arran – and almost within sound of the league long breakers that encircle them with a belt of foam, it is not to be wondered at that the principles that made those islands saintly and storied should linger in the vicinity of Kinvara.  Therefore, it is safe to assume that it is as Celtic and Catholic today as it ever was.

There are two fairs held there yearly, and there is the weekly market.  At these the business used to be conducted principally in the old tongue.  This is possibly the case to this day.  The religion of the community being what it is, “God save you, kindly sir” of the ballad is the well-known and universal salutation, turned into English for the purpose of the rhythm.

The braedheen cloak and the plaid shawl, former for matrons and the latter for young women, are yet characteristic articles of female attire, and a picturesque garb they make in that quaint town and neighbourhood.

Note; The ballad is “The Auld Plaid Shawl” by Francis A. Fahy (1854-1935)



B.A., M.A.(Archaeology); Regional Tour Guide; Dip. Radio Media Tech; H.Dip. Computer Science.

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