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Lucan - Famous People

Paul Noonan (unknown years), Musician with group Bell XI

Paul Noonan is the son of Noel Noonan, ex-principal of St. Mary's School in Lucan. He played in a band called “Juniper” with Damien Rice who left the band to pursue a successful solo career.

Paul is vocalist and drummer with Bell X1 and has collaborated with Lisa Hannigan, Cathy Davey and Gemma Hayes. He was a producer on the “Cake Sale” charity album, compiled by various artists for Oxfam. He co-wrote the song “Some Surprise”, sung by Lisa Hannigan and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and featured on the Cake Sale album. The song went international when it was featured on an episode of ABC’s medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy”.

Image of  Paul Noonan

Patrick Sarsfield (1650 - 1693), Irish Patriot, Earl of Lucan.

Patrick Sarsfield came from an Anglo-Norman family. His father Patrick Sarsfield married Anne, daughter of Rory (Roger) O'Moore, who organized the 1641 Rebellion. The family possessed an estate of £2000 a year. Patrick, who was a younger son, entered Dongan's Regiment of Foot in 1678. During the final years of the reign of King Charles II he served in the English regiments but he returned to Ireland after the accession of King James II.

When King James disbanded his army and fled to France, Sarsfield accompanied him. In 1689 he returned to Ireland with the king. During the earlier part of the Williamite war in Ireland he captured Sligo and secured all of Connaught for the Jacobites. The king, who is said to have described him as a brave fellow who had no head, reluctantly promoted him to the rank of brigadier, and then major-general. It was not until after the Battle of the Boyne (July 1690) and during the Seige of Limerick, that Sarsfield came to prominence. His capture of a convoy of military stores at Ballyneety delayed the siege of the town until the winter rains forced the English to retire. This achievement made him a popular hero of the war with the Irish. His generosity, his courage and his commanding height, had already commended him to the affection of the Irish. When the cause of King James was lost  in Ireland, Sarsfield was forced to arrange the disadvantageous Treaty of Limerick and sailed to France on December 22nd 1691 with many of his countrymen who entered the French service in what is known as the Flight of the Wild Geese. He received a commission as lieutenant-general (maréchal-de-camp) from King Louis XIV and fought with distinction in Flanders until he was mortally wounded at the battle of Neerwinden, on August 19th 1693. He died two or three days after the battle, at Huy in Belgium, where he is buried in the grounds of St Martin's Church. A plaque on the wall of this Church marks the approximate location of his grave.

In 1691 he was created Earl of Lucan by King James. He married Lady Honora Burke, by whom he had one son James, who died childless in 1718. They also had one daughter.

To take this biography up to relatively modern times and clear up the connection between the eponymous “disappeared” Earl and the name of the Parish, we can follow the family tree forward thus:

1691 Patrick Sarsfield is created First Earl of Lucan.

1719 James Sarsfield, Second Earl of Lucan and son of Patrick, dies without           an heir rendering the title extinct.

1795 A Great Nephew of Patrick Sarsfield, Charles Bingham has the title         recreated and he becomes the Third Earl of Lucan. He is (at least partially) responsible for the failure of the disastrous “Charge of the Light Brigade” in the Crimean War.

1839 Charles George Bingham, is the Fourth Earl of Lucan

1888 Colonel George Charles Bingham, becomes the Fifth Earl of Lucan GCVO, KBE, CB, PC, TD, DL is the last Earl of Lucan to actually own property in the Lucan area.

1914 George Charles Patrick Bingham, is the Sixth Earl of Lucan MC

1964 Richard John Bingham, is dubbed the Seventh Earl of Lucan.

The last-mentioned earl is missing, presumed dead, since 1974 when a nanny (Sandra Eleanor Rivett) employed by himself and his wife, was found murdered in the basement of their house. There followed another assault on his wife.

His bloodstained car was found days later. Five days after the murder, a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the killing. He disappeared and was never seen again. The disappearance prompted many subsequent “sightings” and fuelled several conspiracy theories.

The 7th Earl of Lucan was presumed deceased in December 1992, enabling Lucan's son, George Bingham, Lord Bingham, to become the beneficiary of the Lucan Settled Estates and become the 8th Lord Lucan.

Image of  Patrick  Sarsfield

James Gandon (1743 - 1823), Architect

James Gandon was born in 1742 in London, to a Huguenot family. From 1749 he was educated at Shipley's Drawing Academy. On leaving the drawing academy he studied architecture under Sir Willam Chambers. In 1765, after seven years, Gandon left William Chambers to begin practice on his own. In 1768 he entered an architectural competition to design the new Royal Exchange in Dublin. Thomas Cooley won that competition with Gandon's design being awarded second place and the competition Lord Beresford invited Gandon to Ireland to supervise the construction of the new Custom House. The original architect had died, and Gandon was chosen to assume complete control for building and revising the plans. History has it that Gandon had to be smuggled into Dublin because of the widespread opposition to the Custom House. This proved to be a great turning point in Gandon's life and Dublin was to become his home. In the 1780s he was consultant to the Wide Streets Commissioners. Their task was the standardisation and tidying up of Dublin’s medieval street networks.

Gandon's other works in the city included The Four Courts, the Law Society building at King's Inn designed in 1795, the Rotunda Assembly rooms, and many other buildings in College Green and Trinity College. One of his most prestigious commissions, which came in 1785, was to extend Pearce's monumental Houses of Parliament. He also built the curved screen wall which links his extension to Pearce's original building. This building is now the Bank of Ireland. In 1823, having spent 42 years in Dublin, James Gandon died at his home in Lucan, 'Cannon Brook'. He was buried in Drumcondra.

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Liam Lawlor (1944 - 2005), Politician

Liam Lawlor was TD for Dublin West  from 1977 to 1981, 1982, and from 1987 to 2002. He died in a car accident in Moscow on October 22, 2005, aged 60.

Born in Drimnagh, Liam Lawlor was a hurler in his younger days and played in the Dublin minor and the Leinster Railway Cup teams.

He set up a refrigeration business in Rathcoole, and subsequently entered politics. He entered the Dail as a member of  Fianna Fáil in their landslide victory of 1977. He served in several roles in government over the years, including chairman of  the Semi-State Bodies Committee, Fianna Fáil Election Organiser.

The influential Trilateral Commission, set up in 1973 “to bring together experienced leaders within the private sector to discuss issues of global concern”accepted him as a member.

Liam Lawlor had a rocky relationship with Charles Haughey, calling for Haughey’s resignation as early as 1990. His lifestyle had elements of Haughey’s lifestyle, employing a uniformed chauffeur, residing in Lucan's historic Somerton House, a five-bay early 19th Century residence. He also shared Haughey’s reputation as a raconteur, and “larger than life” personality.

He was regarded as a “fixer” in the field of rezoning for housing, soon falling foul of the 1997 “Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters and Payments” also known as the Mahon Tribunal. He explained away large payments connected with rezoning of land in Lucan as being political donations and/or consultancy payments.  He was a colourful figure during the Tribunal proceedings, soon dispensing his legal team and subsequently representing himself with some skill and indeed humour.

In 2000 he was expelled from Fianna Fail who took a dim view of his presence in the tribunal, and its revelations. His failure to produce certain documents to the tribunal subsequently earned him three spells in prison for contempt of court.

He did not contest his seat at the 2002 general election, and began seeking business opportunities in Eastern Europe. In 2005, while being driven to a meeting in Moscow as part of one of his new ventures he was killed in a car accident.

Liam Lawlor is survived by his wife Hazel and children Niall, Ciara, Shane and Gerald.

Image of  Liam Lawlor

John and Edward Grimes (Born 1991), Pop Duo/Personalities

Identical twins John Paul Henry Daniel Richard Grimes and Edward Peter Anthony Kevin Patrick Grimes shot to fame in the TV show “X Factor” when they ranked sixth in the sixth series of the show. Their performances and over-the-top antics divided the program’s judges, but since the X-Factor appearances, they have gone from strength to strength with their debut single "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" being released on 1 February 2010. They subsequently took part in the UK X Factor tour (Photo shows them performing live on the 20th March, 2010 as part of the UK X Factor 2010 tour Photo: Jonathan L. Gardner)

Their short-term contract with Sony records expired shortly afterwards and they were offered a three album deal with Universal records. Their first album for Universal, “Planet Jedward” reached No. 1 in their home country, and number 7 in the UK.

In February 2011 they won the Irish selection competition for Eurovision (due to be held in Dusseldorf that year) with their song “Lipstick”. They came 8th in the competition, and “Lipsick” was included on their next album “Victory”, released on the 5th of August 2011.

They continue to have huge media coverage advertising fast food chain Abrakebabra, Carpet cleaner Shake 'n' Vac, Rowntree's Randoms, Travelsupermarket and Three Mobile.

They have also helped the Jack and Jill foundation’s used mobile phone appeal using school guest appearances, and have partaken in an ISPCC anti-bullying poster campaign.

Image of  John and Edward Grimes