A Kildare thing?
Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments: 5
Introduction. (notes on an ongoing project)
What is a ” A Kildare thing “? The expression is the term I use to explain or argue for a theory, and this is that it is possible to recognize people, not only by their nationally or ethnic background but also the locality of the given area they are from .
This is not an economy research project . It is a ‘wander’ through the less visited and less mentioned areas and observation related to Kildare and its inhabitants. I will however, draw on a variety of sources in order to present the frame work of my argument. Another way to explain, I will try and avoid the historical, political, religious and general social facts. My concentration for the most part on the effects.
A Kildare person has been likened to a child who was slapped in the face for no reason. The effect is a permanent state of guilt, and a life time spent in a semi- confused state . The accent itself is a clue as it gives nothing away. There are many identities in the accent and many, many variations with in the sound. When the Kildare person says “how are you” they are really saying “who are you”. Let me say at this stage I am talking about what I define as the “ordinary” people. Well back to the confused child.The people of Kildare have for century’s been dominated over by extremely rich and powerful people and they have never arrived at a decision as to whether they are the enemy or their friends. A good example occurred in Prosperous during the 1798 rebellion when the rebels sacked the lords manor and shot the lord. One rebel asked ” did you have to kill him he was very good to us ” and his companion answered “well that will save him all that trouble.”
A common suggestion by a Kildare man, regarding conversations in general and especially when drinking “don’t discuss politics or religion”. The roots for this saying has many historical implications and probably the most profound phenomena in shaping the Kildare personally. The divisions around those subjects is almost as old as the name itself (Ceil Dara, Church of the Oak) Two world wars, two major rebellion and a civil war formed deep division between the people from towns, counties, villages, and family’s.
Given in general that history forms us and the lessons learned are part of us, how can we live along side old opposite enemy’s from the past. Well the truth is we need to exist and more importantly we need to co-exist. Well what history causes history often cures and time helps to heal the pain. Still the scars stay and the hurts reoccur and life goes on.
In the next chapter I intend visiting the social implications of a changing world on the ordinary people of Kildare and including the withdraw off the British army from the Curragh camp.
One area of interest in history with regards to the British army withdraw from the Curragh camp was the social and economic impact on the ordinary people of Kildare town, New bridge and Naas indeed the whole area around the camp. The soldiers had been a presence in the Curragh for as long as anyone could remember and suddenly they were gone.
The implications of the withdraw of the troops for the last time has never been to my knowledge, properly assessed. It is easy to say the economy suffered from the loss of revenue circulated with the soldiers wages. Of coarse this is true and many other off shoots such as the blacksmiths, horse dealers, saddlery,tailors, barbers, livestock and vegetable growers and a countless other off shoots, not to mention the requites into the army, on a thriving economy. The towns themselves were more or less built around the military. That was only half of the effect the departure of the military had on the inhabitants of Kildare.
Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, extended family and friends were torn apart and the whole society which had developed over hundreds of years were left, I imagine, in a type of suspended shock. In my opinion this and this alone had the most profound effect on the Kildare people and shaped a lot of the personality we have today.