Monday, May 23, 2011

Reconstruction of the Valley Wall 2011

To prepare for the visit of HM Queen Elizabeth last week, the damaged section of the Valley wall was finished just in time, writes Jim Collins. The local County Council work team did an excellent job, the result of which is a reinforced section of wall completed to high standard. Well done to all involved.

There is an interesting link in Irish history with this section of wall. In May 1921, exactly 90 years ago when our relationship with the British government was not good, an engagment took place involving the local RIC barracks. This account was written in The Bridge in 1976.

The Valley's role in the fight for Irish freedom

One such sniper engagement was on the Kilcullen RIC Barracks. The Barracks was situated between Brennan's hardware and The White Horse Inn. The attack took place in May 1921 at 11.30pm. The snipers were positioned on the roadway between Nolan's hayshed and the Jockey Stile. The sniping party used rifles, one of which was lent by Tom Doran — then owner of (now) Markey's pub, Milemill. In charge that night were Cmdt Willie Byrne, Ballysax; Paddy Brennan, Brownstown; Jim Collins, Kilcullen; Bill Clifford, Grangemore and Jim Byrne, Naas Rd, Kilcullen. During the lowering of the valley wall in 1976 a number of spent cartridges were found inside the wall at the point where the attack took place.

ED NOTE: Before the capping was poured last week, a local had written a message in the cement underneath noting how the occasion of the visit had prompted the reconstruction of the wall. No doubt in many decades to come, it will be of interest to archaeologists as they reconstruct it from whatever condition it will have arrivd at by then.