- Native Priests of The Parish of Killeshin
- Fr. Patrick Hickey.
- On your way from the road gate to St. Diarmuid's well you see
the native place of a remarkable priest. He is Fr. Patrick Hickey,
P.P., Aries who died 26th November, 1857. From 31st March 1800 to 31 May
1805 he was a student of Carlow College. He was a 149 day-scholar to
31 August 1801. For part of his time there he has the title "Rev."
which suggests he may have been a priest. He became P.P. Hacketstown
in February, 1814, and in January 1821 P.P. Aries. In the Knockbeg
Centenary Boo/ewe read: "Fr. Hickey was born at the back of the old
chapel in Killeshin on land now owned by Mr. Fennell of Stanney.' He
lived in Cloneybacon. The ruins of his house are still there. Mr.
John Brennan owns the land. The priests lived there till Mrs. Butler
left the house and seven acres of land at Raheen, now the C.C.'s
residence, for the priests. Fr. Hickey was an uncle of Pat Cahill of
Castletown, founder of the "Leinster Leader" and nephew of Dr. D. N.
Cahill. Mr. Michael Deegan of Ballinagall to whom we are indebted
for these particulars, remembers Pat Cahill.
Dr. Doyle's manner, generally austere especially at visitation-time,
was not proof against Fr. Hickey's wit. "Who preached to-day, my Lord"
he asked the bishop after confirmation in a Co. Kildare parish. "I
preached myself was the reply. "That is more than St. Paul did, my
Lord," rejoined the loquacious priest, "He preached Christ crucified,
but you have preached yourself." The bishop restrained a smile. A knock
at the door announced the arrival of other priests. "Who comes so late"
asked Dr. Doyle. Fr. Hickey ran to the window pulled aside the blind and
said: "It is the Prosperous parish priest and the Clane curate!" Dr.
Doyle could no longer restrain laughter and a pleasant evening followed.
Like Fr. James Maher, he pleaded with the bishop on behalf of brother
priests with whom the bishop was not for the moment fully pleased.
From an obituary notice we learn that Fr. Hickey was born 13th October
1773.3 He was ordained at Tullow by Dr. Delany on Holy Thursday 1805. He
was appointed on Easter Sunday to Hacketstown where he remained as C.C.
and P.P., with five years at Baltinglass until 1821, when Dr. Doyle
transferred him to Aries. He erected and beautified his chapels. Before
the national schools were in existence he provided his people with a
suitable education, and at his death left in his parish eight schools
which could hardly be equalled in any parish in Ireland ... on the tithe
question he co-operated with his great bishop, Dr. Doyle ... He was the
friend and confidant of O'Connell . . . But a memorable service of Fr.
Hickey's life was ... to suppress the secret society of the Whitefeet
and to restore peace and order to the community .. . Never was a priest
so endeared to his flock."4
Fr. Hickey is buried at Aries. Part of his former dwelling at
Killeshin is slated. The neat haggard still provides a welcome shelter
for livestock. 150
- Fr. Peter Kavanagh.
- We read in the Knockbeg Centenary Book:s "Peter Kavanagh, Graig,
student of Carlow College 4th March 1802 to 1st July 1812. Day scholar
to 1st July 1809. 31st March 1807 by salt and _ candle-wick £1.12.7. 28
September 1810, by hay £23.11.3. He was born in Sleaty where Mr.
Patrick Fennell now lives and there also he died. C.C. Aries
1817-20." No further record till he began duty as chaplain to
Presentation Convent, Bagenalstown 30 May, 1847 and "by his
fidelity, piety and amiability of manner gave promise of universal
satisfaction." Having been chaplain for many years he died 27th May,
1863 - Catholic Registry 1864. His grave in Killeshin is due west of
the church tower and centre walk. It is surrounded by a granite kerb
and surmounted by a granite headstone, with biretta cut in limestone
in marble inset and commemorating Fr. Kavanagh's "labours in the
vineyard, which for over half a century have borne abundant fruit.
Combining the simplicity of the child with a full knowledge of human
nature, he was beloved and respected by all as a sincere friend and
an experienced spiritual director."
- Rev. Simon McWey.
- He was baptised 28 December, 1837, son of James and Ellen nee
McDarby, Slaty (now Sletty). Sponsors Rev. Michael Rafter P.P. and
Biddy Byrne. Student of Carlow College 1859-1862 and 1865-69.
Ordained 1869, P.P. Kilcock.
Thomas McWey and his wife nee Coffey lived originally where the City
Tailors came later, one door from Cox's Lane. They had six sons and four
daughters. They went to Sletty in 1782; Montgomerys had previously been
there; so said old Dr. T. O'Meara. Tom born in 1723 died in 1800,
according to his tombstone in the Graves; his wife died in 1827 aged 76.
He was great grandfather of Tom, Wellington Square and the late James
McWey, Sletty. Possibly they kept on Dublin Street after going to
Mat the eldest son married in Ballyking, Ballyroan. James the
youngest got the place, Sletty. Simon, one of the six sons died in
Straboe in 1842. Born in Sletty, he was buried in the Graves. Murtha had
Grange Mill. Born 1783 and died 1854, a bachelor aged 51 (or was it
71?). Thomas was three months old when the family moved to Sletty in
1782. He married Anne Gaskin, daughter of Pat Gaskin, at the Shop,
Wellington Square. The grandfather of Tom, Wellington Sq., who gave
these notes, heard Mass in the old parish chapel which preceded the
John McWey, another son, had mailings in Green Lane, in the big house
facing Carlow where later Boland's man lived. Mathias lived where the
postmaster Mr. O'Neill lived later. He had the land now owned by the
College. McWey's house and farmyard were burned by accident in 1849. A
lot of cattle were burned. James was urged to have the loss put on the
rates but of course he refused. The house was re-built then.
James and Miss Ellen McDarby had three sons. Tom. Mathias and James.
Tom built Grange about 1862. He was married to Miss Kelly, Coolanoule
and had no family. He left the place to his wife and after her death it
reverted to his brother Mathias who died there in 1926. Mathias was
married to Miss Mullally of Tipperary by her uncle who was president of
All Hallows and by Fr. Simon McWey.
The second Mrs. McWey in Sletty was Miss McDarby. Springhill, an only
daughter. The third was Miss Johanna Carey of Curragh, niece of Fr.
Carey P.P. Borris. The fourth was Miss Johanna Holohan of Lower Grange.
To return to Fr. Simon His first curacy was Graignamanagh. Without
following his career, however, we find that he was C.C. Kildare from
November 1883 till August 1886 when he was transferred as C.C. to
Rathangan in the same parish. In both places he left the memory of a
devoted, zealous priest. In January 1889 he became P.P. Kilcock
succeeding Dr. Thomas Geoghegan, P.P. V.G. He died 27 June, 1 898.
- Fr. Patrick Carey P.P.
- Fr. Patrick Carey P.P. Borris was a native of Curragh, Killeshin
parish. He was a relative of Cardinal Cullen and helped the Cardinal
in 1861 when he was giving his memorable evidence concerning the
Poor Law System. In June he became P.P. Borris. He died 15 December
1890. He wished to be buried where the people would walk over his
grave. The church was extended over his grave so that his wish is
- Frs. Sean and Liam McWey
- Two grand-nephews of Fr. Simon became priests. Fr. Sean was
ordained 1st June 1947 for Kildare and Leighlin. His twin brother, Fr.
Liam, of St. Patrick's Missionary Society, Kiltegan was ordained on
Easter Sunday 17th April 1949 at Killamoat. Both were born at Sletty.
Fr. Sean is C.C. Eadon Doire, Ua bhFailghe. Both were educated at
- Fr. Thomas Fennell, P.P.
- Fr Thomas Fennell also of Sletty was ordained 7th June, 1942 at
Carlow College. He is P.P. in Sydney diocese, at St. Bonaventure's, Leura, N.S.W.
The three Fr. Creede brothers:
Mrs. Creede nee Gaskin began work as a typist in William M. Byrne,
solicitorís office, Carlow in 1911. There she met William Creede who had
been working in the office since 1904. He was born in Caragh (or Carogh)
on 6 June 1888 shortly after his father Peter Creede had been
transferred to Kildare, working on the G.S.W. Railways. William lived in
Caragh till he was three; then his father was transferred to Rathvilly.
At the age of 15 he attended the Christian Brothersí School in Carlow
where he became proficient in shorthand and typing. William and Mary
Gaskin were married at Killeshin on 16th June 1915 with nuptial Mass by
Fr. James Dunny C.C. The wedding breakfast was at Cappalug, on tables
placed on the grass outside the house. Fr. Dunny rode out on horseback
to be present.
Their first home was in Carlow near St. Patrickís College. In 1917
William Creede who was an insurance agent was changed to Kilkenny; then
in 1922 to Dublin. In 1927 he left for Australia to prepare a home for
his wife and children. Mrs. Creede returned to Cappalug where Fr.
William D. was born 11th April 1927. The family left for Australia in
1928. Mrs. Creede died in Sydney on 16th July 1943, William her husband
died 30 June 1955. Their grave in Rockwood cemetery is marked by an
- Fr. Thomas Creede C.S.S.R. was ordained 14th March 1943 at Ballarat, Australia.
- Fr. Peter Creede C.M. ordained 7th December 1944 at Sydney.
- Fr. William Creede C.S.S.R. ordained 16th March 1952 at Ballarat,
- Fr. Denis Haughney
- Sletty St., son of James Haughney and Mrs. Haughney, nee Essie Walsh. Educated at
Graigue N.S. and Carlow C.B.S. Paterson Diocese, U.S.A.
Source: P.MacSuibhne book 'The Parish of KILLESHIN, Graiguecullen'.
- The information contained
in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others
researching their ancestors in County Laois.
- © 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects,