History in the making:
Lost plaque from 1729 returns to its old home
The Nationalist. Tuesday, June 04, 2013
A LITTLE bit of history
was made in Leighlinbridge on Saturday 25 May when an old plaque,
missing for generations, was returned to its original home.
The old Boys’ NS on School Lane,
Leighlinbridge was originally built as a chapel way back in 1729 but
was transformed into a boys’ school in 1826. To remind people of its
origins, it proudly bore a plaque that stated “this house was built
in the year of Our Lord 1729 by its inhabitants”.
- Martin Nevin with the plaque from the Old
Schoolhouse in Leighlinbridge dated 1729
- Pic: Michael O'Rourke
However, according to historian Martin
Nevin, the plaque was later removed from the building and placed on
a nearby house “for some unknown reason”.
It was demolished in the 1950s and the
historic stone ended up in another house, which belonged to Jack
Jack subsequently built a new house, and it
was eventually bought by Frank Mulvey in the 1980s.
Martin knew about the existence of the
plaque and had been searching for it for years but it somehow
remained elusive until fate intervened.
The Mulvey bungalow had to be demolished in
the ’90s because the land was needed for a new road. Before they
vacated the house, though, Frank’s wife asked him to dig up one of
her favourite rose bushes so she could bring it to their new home.
Frank subsequently got busy with a shovel to
uproot the plant but, suddenly, he hit something hard and
He had, in fact, unearthed the elusive
plaque with his shovel after years of it being hidden away from the
Frank met Martin two years ago on a trip to
Scotland with the Carlow Historical Society and told him about his
Calls were made and before you could say
“the rest is history”, it was agreed that the rightful place for the
plaque was back where it started.
And so, on Saturday 25 May at 5pm, it was
reinstated on the former Boy’s NS by its last school principal,
Michael Somers, while Martin also gave a brief talk.
“It’s a really old building that’s been
there for centuries and it will still be there for generations to
come,” he concluded.