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Clondalkin - Famous People

St. Mochua or Crónán . (Died 630AD), Abbot of Clondalkin

The first abbot of Clondalkin was St Mochua, according to one authority he was also a Bishop and Confessor. An ancient tradition seems to have prevailed that he was elected Bishop there.

In Celbridge there was a stone trough, dated 1783, bearing St Mochua's name, at the side of the road beside the mill. Possibly it stood over the 'Tober Mochua' which was used by the Saint to baptize his converts. Rev O'Hanlon in his "Lives of the Irish Saints" states that local tradition has it that people living in or near Clondalkin formerly held a patron at St Mochua's well near Celbridge. The image of St. Mochua above is based on a carving on the font.

Image of St. Mochua or Crónán  .

Lord Kilwarden (1739 - 1803), Lord Chief Justice

Arthur Wolfe, later First Viscount Kilwarden was born 19th January 1793 at Forenaughts, Co. Kildare. He later resided at Newlands House, Clondalkin and served as a Warden of St. John's Church Clondalkin. In 1798 he was appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench and created Baron Kilwarden. He supported the Union with Great Britain in 1800 and received a viscountcy and a peerage. On 23rd July 1803 he set out from Newlands for Dublin City with his nephew. Both Lord Kilwarden and his nephew were dragged from their coach in Thomas Street and murdered.

Image of  Lord Kilwarden

Katherine Tynan (1861 - 1931), Writer

Prolific novelist and poet. Lived at Whitehall, Tallaght. She was a close associate of W.B. Yeats who used to stay at Whitehall for long periods.

Image of  Katherine Tynan

Colonel James Fitzmaurice (1898 - 1965), Aviator

Colonel Fitzmaurice was a member of the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force during the First World War. After the signing of the Treaty, he joined the Irish Army Air Corps as a lieutenant. On the 12th April 1928, the Bremen aircraft left Baldonnel airfield with Captain Koehl, co-pilot Fitzmaurice and Baron Von Huenefeld as crew. Thirty sx and a half hours later they landed on a frozen lake at Greenly Island off Labrador. This was the first successful east to west crossing of the Atlantic by plane. This was an event of international importance. The fliers were feted wherever they went in America and they received a ticker tape reception in New York.

Image of Colonel James Fitzmaurice

Sir John Betjeman (1906 - 1984), Poet Laureate

John Betjeman was a British poet and writer on architecture. He was born in Highgate, London, to a furniture-maker of Dutch ancestry and was educated at Marlborough College before going to Oxford. He left Magdalen College, Oxford, without a degree when he neglected his work. He was employed as a teacher at a preparatory school and later worked as a journalist before joining the civil service.

When the Second World War broke out, Betjeman was rejected for active service and went to work for the Ministry of Information. This led to a posting as press attaché to Sir John Maffey, Britain's High Commissioner in Ireland. The Betjemans lived at Collinstown House, Clondalkin from 1941 to 1943, and their daughter Candida was born there.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Betjeman were registered as eligible for service on the Select Vestry of St. John's Church and John regularly read the Lessons.

After the war, Betjeman resumed his career as poet and architectural critic, dividing his time between London, rural Oxfordshire and the Cornish coast which he had loved as a child.

He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1972. He died in 1984, aged 77, and is buried in Cornwall.

Image of Sir John Betjeman

Dudley Colley (1911 - 1959), Engineer, businessman and motor enthusiast

Dudley Colley was the last of the Finlay/Colley family to own Corkagh House and Demesne. Making use of his engineering background, he established a very succesful milk distribution business at Corkagh. He was a brilliant motor engineer, notable motor racer and author of the book Wheel Patter, Memoirs of Irish Motor Sport. He died in 1959, aged 48 years.

Image of  Dudley Colley

Archbishop Dermot Ryan (1924 - 1985), Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin

In 1913 Dr. Andrew Ryan, the Clondalkin Dispensary Doctor purchased Cappaghmore House. His son Dermot was born there on 24th June 1924. In 1950 Dermot was ordained a priest in the Dublin Diocese. He was appointed Archbishop of Dublin on 29th December 1971 and ordained Bishop on 13th February 1972. In April 1984 he was appointed Pro-Prefect of Evangelization of Peoples in the Roman Curia and resigned as Archbishop of Dublin on 1st September 1984. He died shortly after his transfer to Rome on 21st February 1985.

The public park in Merrion Square is named Archbishop Ryan Park in his honour as is Archbishop Ryan School in Balgaddy.

Image of Archbishop Dermot Ryan