Albert Cashier - Clogherhead's Union Soldier

Not all soldiers who fought in the American Civil War were men. There are over 400 documented cases of women disguising themselves as men and fighting on both sides of the War. The case of Albert D. J. Cashier (born Jennie Irene Hodgers) is one the most famous because he continued to live as a man after the war and was not discovered until a few years before his death.

Hodgers was born on Dec 25th 1843 in Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland. Not much is known about how he moved to the United States or why he enlisted in the army as the only account available was given by Hodgers in 1913 when he was suffering from dementia. According to later investigation by the administrator of his estate, he was the child of Sallie and Patrick Hodgers.

This much is certain - on August 6th 1862, Hodgers, a resident of Belvidere, Illinois, enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry under the name Albert Cashier and was assigned to Company G. The regiment was part of the Army of Tennessee under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and fought in approximately forty engagements, including the siege at Vicksburg, the Red River Campaign, the Battle of Nashville and the battles at Kennesaw Mountain and Jonesborough, Georgia. Described by a fellow soldier as 'the smallest man in the company', Cashier resembled many Irishmen of the time. During his enrollment he was described as having a light complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair. He preferred to be alone and no-one thought anything of a quiet soldier seeking privacy for bathing and dressing. This was common, so he continued to go unnoticed.

By all accounts, Cashier was a good soldier and he gained distinction during his army career. Even well after the war his comrades remembered the slight soldier as a brave fighter, admired for heroic actions and undertaking dangerous assignments yet never receiving a scratch. There is an account that in May 1853 Private Cashier participated in the Siege of Vicksburg, during which time he was captured whilst performing a reconnaissance mission. He escaped by wrestling a gun away from a Confederate and was chased on foot, narrowly making it back to Union lines. Cashier served a full three-year enlistment with the regiment until they were disbanded in August 1865, and he was awarded a full soldier's pension.

After the war, Cashier returned to Belvidere and worked as a labourer for a while, before eventually settling in Saunemin Illinois. He continued his life as man, and held many different jobs, including farmhand, church janitor, cemetery worker and street lamplighter. Cashier voted in elections (something which women were forbidden to do at the time) and continued to collect his state pension. His choice to remain living as a man allowed him a life of freedom that he never would have had, had he returned to living as Jennie Hodgers. As Albert he was respected as a Civil War veteran, and could receive a pension, earn twice as much money as a woman, be free to work and live as he chose rather than be dependent on a husband, have a bank account and even vote. His decision meant his freedom.

In November of 1910 Cashier was hit by a car and broke his leg, and it was then his secret was discovered. A doctor realized Cashier's true identity in the hospital, and moved by Albert's pleas decided to maintain his confidence. On May 5th 1911 Albert was moved to the Soldier and Sailors Home in Quincy, Illinois. While the staff were aware of Cashier's double life, they never broke his confidence. His leg never recovered however and he remained a resident of the Home until March of 1913. His mental and physical state had begun to deteriorate by then and due to the onset of dementia he was transferred to a state hospital for the insane. It was there that staff discovered his sex and the story was leaked to the newspapers, and soon everyone knew that Private Albert Cashier had been a woman in disguise.  

The government then decided to charge Cashier with defrauding the government in order to receive a pension. An investigation was launched but luckily Cashier's former comrades, though initially suprised by the revelation, rallied round and testified that this was not Jennie Hodgers, but Albert Cashier, a small but brave soldier. Man or woman, this soldier had indeed shown bravery on numerous dangerous missions. In the end Albert did receive veteran status but unfortunately his treatment in the state hospital was much less befitting a veteran. The staff, after discovering Cashier's secret, forced him to wear female clothing, greatly affecting his mental state. At 67 years old, frail and unaccustomed to walking in women's clothing, he tripped and fell and broke his hip. Unfortunately, he never recovered from the injury and passed away on October 10, 1915. He was buried in his full uniform which he had kept intact all those years and his headstone was inscribed with his male identity and military service. The house where he lived still survives in Saunemin, and in the 1970's a second headstone was added in the local cemetery to commemorate both of the Irishwoman's names; Jennie Hodgers, the girl who emigrated to the United States, and Albert Cashier, the brave veteran of the Civil War.


Cooley Genealogical and Historical Society Lecture

The next lecture of the Cooley Genealogical and Historical Society will be held in Long's Pub in Grange, Cooley (adjacent to the St. James's Church) on Friday, August 16th, 2013, at 8.00 p.m.

The theme of the lecture is   - depicting climate change Anabolica to the Artic.
(Anabolica is an area in Cooley)

Dr. Alison Donnelly will deliver a talk on the above which centres on the effects of climate change. An example would be how our insects and birds have evolved as a result of climate.  It is a very interesting topic and hopefully will be an enjoyable night.

Refreshments will be served. Entrance 5 Euro.

Drogheda Museum Millmount, Governor's House, Millmount, Drogheda 0419833097


Annual Day Away to Derry

Old Drogheda Society


Annual Day Away to Derry

European City of 
Culture 2013
Walking Tour of City Walls,
and visits to
Tower Museum
The Guildhall

On Sunday 18th August 2013

Derry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples in Europe. The Walls provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves it’s Renaissance Style street plan to this day. With the four original gates the city also claims Europe’s largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely. Many of them thundered in anger over the two seventeenth century sieges. 

The Tower Museum’s permanent exhibitions include The Story of Derry, using a wide range of techniques and artefacts to narrate the story from Monastic times, the Plantation of Londonderry, the Siege of Derry, through to the growth of Derry during the 18th and 19th centuries and the Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera which narrates the story of the shipwreck. However throughout the year the museum also plays host to a range of other temporary exhibitions.

The Guildhall is a beautiful building, fashioned in neo-gothic style, containing stunning examples of stained glass windows and visitors will be intrigued by its unique history and appeal. The staircase, main hall organ and corridors give a fascinating insight into this distinctive building.
Cost €50.00

Includes coach travel, tour and admission charges, tea, coffee & scone en route
and dinner on return journey 

There will be time for Snack/Lunch at own expense
Bus Departs       Marian Park: 8.15am. Sharp
Bus Departs Lourdes church:  8.30am. Sharp

Booking at:
Drogheda Museum Millmount, telephone: 041 9833097
Please note members are advised NOT to park their cars on the property of the Lourdes Church.

This tour will only operate dependent on minimum number.


Drogheda's Refuse Problems 1656 - 1707 A.D.

In this heatwave (and subsequent downpours) we've been having, give thanks for the fact that nowadays the citizens of Drogheda don't have to put up with dung, muck and refuse (of the human and household kind) all along our streets creating a foul sight and smell. Our seventeenth century counterparts were not so lucky in this regard. The rapid growth of towns in this period along with the consequent increase in population made the lack of sanitation, the shortage of good water, the dirty narrow streets and the lack of drainage an ever increasing problem.

From the minutes of the meetings of the Corporation of Drogheda (available from October 1869, the earlier records having been destroyed by Cromwell), it's clear that the council were well aware of both the danger and unpleasantness of uncontrolled refuse dumping. The great Plague of London in 1665 had also been attributed to the dirt and unsanitary conditions prevalent in that city. That the Corporation took whatever action lay within their powers to deal with the problem is evident from the following extracts from the minutes of the Council (original spelling used throughout).

7th August 1658: Petition of "Thomas Gregory, Bellowre (Town Crier) prayinge some allowance from ye worshipful Corporaceon for this dayly paines and labour for cleeringe the howse of office neere St. Saviours Key (ed. a mall which ran between Dyer St. and River Boyne) wch otherwise would be very noysome and hurtfull to ye adjacent inhabitants".

The "house of office" from the context would appear to have been a public convenience. Gregory was granted ten shillings sterling for services already rendered and promised that future remuneration would be considered by "ye committee of views".

8th July 1659: Ordered "that all such persons wch for the future shall carie or cause to be carried any durt or dunge through the streets of this towne, in any carre or carte, but such as may bee well closed on both sides, at at ye one ende, to keep ye same from falling upon streets, upon paine of XIId sterling, to be leavied of and upon the goods of ye offenders, as they shall be found peccant (guilty) herein..."

12th October 1660: The Gate Customs (or toll collection) at the town gates were leased to one Thomas Cockayne. A condition of the lease was that he "Thomas Cockayne, or his under tenants, shall from tyme to tyme be at charge of cleaninge the sayd Gates so that travellers and other inhabitants of the Towne may not be annoyed in their incomings into the said Town or out..."

The Corporation were apparently anxious to impress the tourist even then.

Drogheda 1749
During 1665, the year of the Great Plague of London, the Corporation were very much aware of the danger of the spread of infection from the crews of English ships using the port. At the 1665 Oct. meeting reference was made to the "severall proclamations from the Lord Lieutenant and Counsell, that noe master or vessel shall come ashore nor suffer passengers to land in any parte without lycence first obtayned from the Magistrate by reason of the infection continuinge in England." There were also orders given that the townspeople, under pain of hefty and continuing fines, should keep their streets clean in front of their doors, carry away their refuse and keep their swine off the streets to avoid spreading disease.

The subject of the pollution of the River Boyne was also troubling the Council around the start of the 18th century, judging by the following:

16th January 1707: "
Ordered that Mr. Mayor, the Mayor of the Staple, Ald. Graham, Ald. J. A. Meade, Mr. John Ffriend, Mr. Wm. Patten and Mr. Edward Fforbes or any five of them doe viewe the Strand where the greate dung hill lys without the Blinde Gate and consider what is fitt to be done for the security of the river from the nuisance of that dunghill and to report their opinion to the next General Assembly."

The "Blind Gate" was the original name for the present Constitution Hill, and the area seemed to have been used by the citizens in the 17th century as a dump. The Corporation, judging by their decree of 30th April 1669 in which they closed St. Katherines Gate (this was located in the east wall of the town close to the river in the vicinity of Greene's Furniture Showroom) to people dumping waste outside the town walls, were conscious of the danger to the river water from the effluent from the dump, flowing down the steep hill into the river.  

Whilst the problems facing the Borough Council may not have changed much in the past three hundred odd years, at least Constitution Hill is no longer a giant midden heap and for that we should be very grateful.

Extracts from: "Drogheda's Refuse Problem 1656 - 1707 A.D." by Moira Corcoran, Old Drogheda Society Journal 1983.


Museums and a Castle

The Old Drogheda Society will hold an outing on Sunday July 28th to Dublin visiting The Irish Jewish Museum, The Pearse Museum and Drimnagh Castle.

The Bus departs Lourdes Church at 10.45am and Marian Park Shops at 11am. Cost: Members  €20 &  Non Members €25

The Irish Jewish Museum -  The Museum contains a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to the Irish Jewish communities and their various associations and contributions to present day Ireland. The Museum is an all-Ireland museum and its material associates with the communities of many Irish towns including Drogheda.

The Pearse Museum -  St Enda's school run by Patrick Pearse, now a museum in beautiful grounds. Attractions include exhibitions, a nature study room with attractive displays on Irish flora and fauna and an audio-visual show titled "This Man Kept a School". Much of the planning for the 1916 Rising took place here. St. Enda's Park is one of Dublin city's most charming and atmospheric parks, with its riverside walks, waterfall and walled garden.

Tea/Coffee and refreshments available in the restaurant/tearooms at own expense.

Drimnagh Castle - For nearly 800 years until 1954, Drimnagh Castle was one of the oldest cntinually inhabited castles in Ireland and it is an outstanding example of an old feudal stronghold. .It was built around 1240 as a fortress of the Barnewall family. There were a Norman family who owned large parts of land in Soth County Dublin.. It is the only Irish castle still to be surrounded by a flooded moat. The Castle consists of a Restored Great Hall and a medieval undercroft, a tall battlement tower with lookout
posts and other separate buildings. One of the most attractive aspects of Drimnagh is the garden – a formal 17th century layout. .

There will be a stop on the way home at the Carnegie Court Hotel to avail of their carvery service (at own expense).

Bookings are now being taken at Drogheda Museum Millmount - Phone 041-9833097 or e-mail info@droghedamuseum.ie

Please note -  you are advised NOT to park cars on the Lourdes Church property.

Please note - this tour will operate subject to minimum numbers

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


The Maiden Tower, Mornington

The Maiden Tower 

With all this beautiful weather we've been having lately, when you're working indoors your thoughts naturally turn to being outside; namely out to the beach. The beach walk at Mornington is a lovely spot for a walk or run and is overlooked by the two structures known as The Maiden Tower and The Lady's Finger. The history of the two is long and, like any good historical building, comes with local myth and folklore attached.

The 60 foot high Maiden Tower was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (some would say hence the name 'Maiden Tower') as a beacon to aid mariners on their way into Drogheda port. It was used as a landmark to mark the mouth of the Boyne and it is said that before the river walls were constructed in 1765, when a mariner brought his ship into line with the Tower and the Lady's Finger, the course of his ship marked the precise angle necessary to cross the bar. It also served as a look-out post during the Elizabethan Wars with Spain (1585-1603) to warn of any approaching enemy ships. The tower, the top of which is reached by spiral steps, commands a most extensive look-out over land and sea. It was originally brightly coloured, making it even more conspicuous and useful to mariners.

The nearby Lady's Finger is a 13 meter-high solid obelisk-like tower which is believed to have been constructed much later than its companion, and was also used as a shipping beacon in past times. In between the two there also sits the Victorian Lifeboat station which closed in 1926 and is now a private dwelling.

Local legend has naturally grown up around the two buildings, adding to their history. The story goes that a young and very beautiful  local woman had a lover who left to fight in a war overseas. Before he left, he told his sweetheart that he would return to her; if he survived it was on a ship with white sails, if he was killed his ship would return without him with black sails hoisted. Each day, for weeks the woman kept her constant and lonely vigil from the top of the tower for her lover to return. Months afterwards she spotted his ship on the horizon. Straining her vision to see the colour of the sails as the vessel came closer, it became clear to her that the sails were black. Overcome with grief she is said to have thrown herself off the top of the tower to her death. An obelisk was erected nearby in her memory which became known as "The Lady's Finger" , reputedly because it represents the tragic young woman's finger bereft of her hoped-for wedding ring.

There is one more local story associated with the Tower which is described by James Garry:
"On a Spring morning in 1819 the fishing community of the little village were surprised to see smoke rising from the top of the tower and some of the more bold folk volunteered to investigate the cause. On reaching the top platform they found an old woman preparing a simple meal over a driftwood fire. Exposed to the elements, the stranger had arranged a rough bed of bent grass and assembled a few pieces of humble furniture and a spinning wheel. On being questioned she revealed that she had been told in a vision to seek out the tower and make her abode there. The village folk helped to make the tower as comfortable as possible and stretched an old sail from wall to wall to keep out wind and rain. Small quantities of bread and milk were delivered daily to the hermit who was regarded locally as a "Holy " woman. Spending her days in prayer, contemplating and spinning her wheel, the stranger attended mass in Mornington Church and each Sunday left the fruits of her weeks spinning on the alter steps.

By the summer The Lady of the Tower, as she was called, had become something of an institution, attracting the attention not only of inhabitants of Drogheda but of the curious minded of Dublin. The visits of the ladies were never resented, but gentlemen were not allowed further than the bottom of the spiral stairs. Few visitors departed without leaving some monetary token of their sympathy and consequently the necessities of life were fairly well supplied. With the passing of the Summer and Autumn, food and fuel became scarce and the stream of visitors practically dried up. A local landowner came to the rescue and saw that essential needs were met. A very severe winter forced the hermit to vacate her lofty lodging and seek admission to a medical institution. She died there soon afterwards and was buried in an  unmarked pauper's grave. Who she was, what her background was and where she came from will always remain an intriguing unsolved mystery."

The Maiden Tower is unfortunately closed to the public but if you get a chance, go out and have a look. It's a beautiful spot especially in the sunshine.

Extracts from: "A Local Folklore Miscellany" by Frank Gallagher, O.D.S. Journal 2007
                      "The Streets and Lanes of Drogheda" by James Garry, 2009


Main event this weekend

Everyone get set for our main event this weekend, The Gathering Festival Party!

On Sun 14th July in Millmount Cultural Quarter from 2pm to 5pm will be our free, fun-filled family event with music, song & dance. Get your fantastic photographs of the town in this beautiful weather with free admission to the Tower & Museum, listen to chart-toppers Huey & the Hobgoblins rock out and enjoy the craft & food stalls, re-enactors and watch out for the cannons firing!

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


The Bathe House

In the 16th century while settlers in rural Ireland were living in fortified tower houses in stone construction, citizens residing within the safety of walled towns were able to build entirely unfortified houses. Sixteenth century Dublin consisted mainly of timbered cage-work houses of a type introduced into Ireland by English settlers during the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. In Drogheda there were many picturesque wooden houses of equal, if not greater comparison, some of which survived into the 19th century.

A modern timber frame house to illustrate the construction
These houses were usually of box-frame construction, with horizontal and vertical timber members, joined together to form the frame of a wall whose panels were then infilled or covered with some cladding material and then plastered. Horizontal and vertical members were connected with specially designed joints to form a self sustaining box. The houses were generally roofed with slates, tiles or thatch. The timber used in them was usually cut in nearby woods and often the framework was made and assembled there. Each beam was then marked, after which the whole frame was dismantled and the pieces taken by wagon to be re-erected on the chosen site. In other words, the houses were prefabricated.

Bathe House as seen from Shop St.
By 1776 apparently most of Dublin's cage-work houses had disappeared, but in Drogheda by all accounts they had lasted much longer. One of the most remarked upon was known as The Bathe House, also commonly called The Wooden House, which was situated on the corner of Shop St. and Laurence St. It was constructed in 1570 by Nicholas Bathe, a member of the Norman family of De Bathe who then resided in Athcarne Castle in Co. Meath. The principal front of the building was in Shop St., and was comprised chiefly of oak said to have been obtained from Mellifont Park (Old Mellifont Abbey).

The building consisted of three stories, each story projecting beyond that immediately below. In Hughes History of Drogheda it is described: " the attic was composed of a strong square oak frame with oak quadrants and semi-circles within it, the interstices being filled with plaster; the drawing-room floor was of a more finished character, consisting of paneling or wainscot, each panel being a foot square and fancifully carved with quatrefoils and foliage, executed in good style. On this floor, at the Laurence St. side was a handsome semi-circular oriel window, consisting of four divisions; a panel in the pedestal of which contained the arms of the ancient family of De Bathe". It is difficult to say how the bottom story was arranged, according to The Dublin Penny Journal it had "undergone many alterations; it was, however, extremely low and divided into several small shops".

An example of the interior carving with the arms of the De Bathe family

On the bressimer (a load-bearing beam that extends the length of the building) facing Laurence St. was an inscription, stating the building to have been "MADE *BI *NICHOLAS *BATHE *IN *THE *IEARE
*OF *OUR *LORD *GOD *1570 *BI *HIV *MOR *CARPENTER". Hugh Moore is also thought to have constructed Athcarne Castle, the castle being completed some twenty years after the Bathe House. The bressimer bearing the inscription is now on display in the National Museum in Dublin.

The Dublin Penny Journal states that the house was considered a masterpiece when first constructed and "even in later times it was considered a curiosity, and commanded the admiration of many. Taaffe, among others, remarks, "I have seen wooden houses in Pilnitz, Reichenau, and other towns of Bohemia and Germany, but none of such curious and elegant, as well as durable workmanship."

"The Wooden House" lasted until 1824 when by order of the Corporation it was pulled down, having become "extremely rickety through "old age and infirmity"" and seemingly neglected for many years "being suspected of harbouring rats, reprobates and typhus fever" which was then raging in the town. Like the many other wooden houses in Drogheda, The Bathe House was consigned to history and modern brick buildings built in its place.

Extracts from : Corcoran, Moira, "Drogheda's Timbered Houses" from the Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 1990 No. 7

                        D'Alton, John, "History of Drogheda", 1844

                        Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 1, No. 12, Sept 15th 1832

                        Hughes History of Drogheda, 1893

                        Kelly, Matthew J., "Some Wooden Houses of Drogheda" from the County Louth Archaeological Journal, 1941

Drogheda Fenians Return 13th & 14th July

We have a fantastic line-up for you this weekend, starting with our Genealogy day on Sat 13th where you can come along and learn how to trace your ancestors. We'll have a team standing by all day from 9.30am to 5.00pm in the Tholsel to help you with your queries and help point you in the right direction to start looking; that includes websites, local history sources and literary sources. David Snook of irishmariners.com will also be present, so if your ancestor was a mariner, David can help you trace them! Could you be related to someone famous? Or to a hero or a villain? Who knows what you'll discover once you start looking!

On Sunday 14th July is our main event, The Gathering Festival Party! Taking place from 2pm to 5pm in Millmount Cultural Quarter, it's a free fun-filled day for all the family with music, song and dance. There will be re-enactors, crafts, food stalls, traditional games, Museum and Tower free admission (so you can take fantastic views of the town in this beautiful weather) and the cannons will be fired to mark the occasion.
Music will be provided by Realta - award-winning trad group from Belfast, Huey & the Hobgoblins  Drogheda Orchestral Collective, Watery Hill boys, and many more. It's going to be a fantastic day, you'd be mad to miss it!

Final Lunchtime Tholsel Presentation

Don't Forget

Today Friday July 12th @ 1300

Final Lunchtime Presentation in the Tholsel

Artist's depiction of Irish News in the Illustrated Press of the 19th Century.

Presented by Peter Murray, leading international art historian and Director of the Crawford Gallery, Cork.

Peter Murray

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & HeritageMillmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Packed Houses at "Drogheda Fenians Return" Gathering Event

The Drogheda Museum / Old Drogheda Society's Gathering event, titled "The Drogheda Fenians Return" - a 10 day long festival to welcome home the descendants of the Drogheda Fenians of 1867 - has been an astonishing success.

Despite the heat wave weather the crowds have been packing in to our Lunchtime Presentation series in the Tholsel each day at 1pm and there is a constant stream of visitors to our "Who Were the Drogheda Fenians?"

Exhibition in Drogheda Museum Millmount.

A huge crowd followed Community Historian Brendan Matthews on his Fenian Town Walk on Tues evening and Brendan again had a capacity audience in Millmount on Wed night for his Old Drogheda Society Lecture on "New Light on the Drogheda Fenians". Brendan brings the forgotten characters of
Drogheda history back to life in a vivid way and he speaks about these people as if he knew them - which in a way he does .... his research on their lives has been so meticulous and insightful.

Most moving moment of the week was Wednesday's Lunchtime Presentation by Juliana Flinn, great-grandaughter of Thomas Flinn of Duke Street who was one of the 3 "Centres" or Leaders of the Fenian Movement in Drogheda and who had to flee to America after the failed Rising of 1867. A large group
of the Flinn family had traveled from the U.S.A. specially for this event and on Wed they were re-united with long-lost branches of the family from the Drogheda area and also from Britain. The "Wild Geese" were welcomed home on behalf of the people of Drogheda by Cllr. Richie Culhane, 414th Mayor of the Town.

Once again, many thanks to Noelle Bowe who gets news of these events up on her Facebook page almost as soon as they are over    .... check them out here.

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Shedding New Light on the Drogheda Fenians

Lecture reminder

Wed July 10th - 8pm  – Governor’s House, Millmount – Old Drogheda Society Lecture: New Light on the Drogheda Fenians by Brendan Matthews, well known community historian, who has unearthed some very interesting facts regarding the Fenian movement in Drogheda.

All are welcome.

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097

Tholsel Lunchtime Presentations

Last minute reminder:

Wed July 10th - 1pm – The Tholsel Lunchtime Presentations

Official Welcome by Mayor Richie Culhane to those attending the Gathering followed by lunchtime lecture.

Professor Juliana Flinn, great-grand-daughter of Thomas Flinn of Duke Street, who was the leader of the Drogheda Fenians in 1867, tells of his adventures after he fled from Drogheda and became a prominent engineer and inventor in the USA.

All are welcome

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Wed 10th July - Drogheda Fenians Return


Tomorrow afternoon Wednesday 10th July at 1pm in the Tholsel sees a very special lunchtime presentation from Dr. Julianna Flinn, the great-grand-daughter of Thomas Flinn who was one of the leaders of the Drogheda Fenians in 1867. Dr. Flinn will tell of his adventures after he fled from Drogheda and became a prominent engineer and inventor in the U.S.A.

Dr. Flinn will also be officially welcomed by the Mayor of Drogheda as part of the Gathering Celebration.

Then at 8pm on Wed 10th July there will be a brand new lecture by community historian Brendan Matthews in the Governor's House in Millmount - New Light on the Drogheda Fenians - where he examines the lives of the Drogheda Fenians and tells their stories, from natives to exiles.


Fenians And Photography


Tomorrow Tuesday 8th July Lunchtime Presentation in the Tholsel at 1pm is FENIANS AND PHOTOGRAPHY by Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly is the leading expert on the role of photography in Irish history. His book Photographs and Photography in Irish Local History is regarded as the definitive work.

How do we have astonishing photographs of Drogheda men from 1867? How was photography used by the authorities in trying to combat the Fenian movement? Come along tomorrow and find out.

There will also be an illustrated contribution from Des Clinton of the award-winning Drogheda Photographic Club on the earliest photography in Drogheda.

Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland.
Tel. 041-9833097

Annual John Boyle O'Reilly Wreath laying ceremony

The Annual John Boyle O'Reilly Wreath laying ceremony will take place at the memorial in Dowth Cemetery on Sunday July 21st at 3pm. All Old Drogheda Society members and their friends are welcome to attend.

Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland.
Tel. 041-9833097


Col Leonard Banner Trail

Please note there will be a bus travelling to the Drogheda Fenians Return Gathering Event - "The Col Leonard Banner Trail" on Sunday next July 7th, leaving Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 2.15pm and picking up outside Marian Park shops at 2.30pm to travel to Monknewtown Slane. The bus will return at 6.15pm Return fare €5 ( also open to friends who are not members).

Bookings at Drogheda Museum Millmount 041-9833097 or info@droghedamuseum.ie

The event starts at 3pm with a parade from the Tourist's Rest Pub, Rossin (Dolly Mitchells) to the nearby Monknewtown Cemetery for a ceremony at the grave of the leader of Drogheda's Fenians, Col Patrick Leonard. For information on Leonard whose death led to a demonstration of Fenian support and it was reported that 9,000 people attended his funeral. For many years, massive crowds accompanied by several bands marched from Drogheda to Monknewtown to commemorate his anniversary.

The parade will feature replicas of the Drogheda Guild Banners, on show in Drogheda Museum Millmount and painted by William Reynolds, a cousin of Leonard.

After the celebration in the cemetery there will be an afternoon of music, dance, story telling and poetry in the Tourist's Rest, music by Eitlean, the popular local traditional band.

This event will be attended by relatives of the Drogheda Fenians who were forced to flee the country in 1867, and it is hoped for a good turn out of Old Drogheda Society Members.

To book please ring Liam or Kathleen at Drogheda Museum Drogheda 041-9833097 or e-mail

For details of all the events in the Drogheda Fenians Return Gathering see www.droghedamuseum.ie

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage, Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland.
  • Tel. 041-9833097


Drogheda Fenians Return - Day Seven & Eight

On Friday 12th July at 1pm Peter Murray, a leading international art historian and Director of the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, will present a talk on Artists' Depiction of Irish News in the Illustrated Press of the 19th Century. Mr. Murray will examine the representation of the Irish, and causes like the Fenians, throughout the press during the 19th century, in images such as the one below.

An example of Anti-Irish racism in American press

On Saturday 13th July the whole day will be focused on genealogy. From 9.30 to 5pm in the Tholsel there will be a genealogy advice day, where you can come along and learn how to trace your ancestors at the Old Drogheda Society Genealogy desk. We'll give you all the advice you'll need to start searching, such as the right websites, the right local history books and various organisations to talk to to find out just where your family came from. Are your ancestors from Drogheda for generations or from further afield? Now is your chance to find out.

There will also be present David Snook of irishmariners.com who has extensively researched Irish Merchant seamen in the British Navy, so if your ancestor was a mariner David can help you trace them! 

Link to the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork : http://www.crawfordartgallery.ie/

An Ancestor of Your Own Perhaps?


Launch of new exhibition: "Who Were the Drogheda Fenians?" - A social history of the Drogheda Fenians and their times.

Venue: Drogheda Museum 6:30pm Today Thurs 4th July 2013

Perhaps an ancestor of your own in the story?

Wine & nibbles

Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage
Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Drogheda Fenians Return - Day Five & Six


Wednesday 10th July at 1pm sees a very special Tholsel Lunchtime Presentation. Dr. Julianna Flinn, great-grand-daughter of Thomas Flinn, millwright, of Duke St., who was one of the leaders of the Drogheda Fenians in 1867, will tell of his adventures after he fled from Drogheda and became a prominent engineer and  inventor in the U.S.A.

Dr. Flinn will also be officially welcomed by the Mayor of Drogheda as part of the Gathering Celebration.

Then at 8pm on Wed 10th July there will be a brand new lecture by community historian Brendan Matthews in the Governor's House in Millmount - New Light on the Drogheda Fenians - where he examines the lives of the Drogheda Fenians and tells their stories, from natives to exiles.

On Thursday 11th July at 1pm the Tholsel Lunchtime lecture focuses on - The Radical Political Thought of John Boyle O'Reilly - delivered by Ian Kenneally, author of the definitive biography of Boyle O'Reilly 'From The Earth, A Cry'.


Celebration of Fenian leader and his banner painter cousin

 Old Drogheda Society 28/06/2013: Press Release

As part of the Drogheda Museum/Old Drogheda Society’s Gathering event to welcome home the descendants of the Drogheda Fenians of 1867 there will be a re-enactment of the annual march of the Drogheda Banners to the memorial to Col. Patrick Leonard in Monknewtown Cemetery on Sun next 7th July at 3pm. 

This will be followed at 4pm by a celebration in the function room of the Tourists Rest – better known as “Dolly Mitchell’s” – with music by trad super-band Eitleán and an illustrated presentation of the Drogheda Museum’s famous banners.

Begrath man Patrick Leonard was a Colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War and returned to Ireland as a flamboyant Fenian leader – the “Scarlet Pimpernel” of his day! He often appeared openly in his full American Army Officer’s uniform around Drogheda as a sign of open defiance to the authorities.

Artist William Reynolds from Tullyallen was a cousin of Leonard’s  and was the painter of many of the Trades Banners now in the Drogheda Museum Millmount.

The Drogheda Banners – known as “the Flags of Drogheda” were famous in the 19th century and were in huge demand for demonstrations and events all over the country.

The Old Drogheda Society are running a bus out to the event leaving Lourdes Church at 2:15 and Marian Park at 3:30, cost only €5 and everybody welcome.

We have no images of Col. Leonard – the above illustration shows the Union Army colonel’s uniform