Making History: Kevin launches Nenagh Walking Trail

The history and stories of families around Nenagh are being brought to life in a new guided historical walk by trained tour guide Kevin Whelan.

The history and stories of families around Nenagh are being brought to life in a new guided historical walk by trained tour guide Kevin Whelan.

Kevin launches his historical guided walks this Thursday following a trial run during the Nenagh Rail Partnership Reviving Rural Rail seminar earlier this month.

“Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, chair of the Nenagh Rail Partnership, asked me if I would do a historical walk as part of the seminar and it got me thinking that it was something I could do on a full-time basis,” he said.

Kevin, who worked as a guide in Damer House, Roscrea, and at the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, said that he always had an interest in local history.

He gathered much of his information for the tours, which last one hour, from Nenagh Library and Nenagh Heritage Centre as well as local historian and teacher Danny Grace, but was also able to pick his mother’s brains for some of the anecdotes told on the tour.

“My mother, Maureen, is 93, and she has a friend, Maureen Bolger from Pound Street who is 90. When they get together they tell all the old stories about Nenagh and I always enjoy listening to them,” he said.

As if to illustrate the point, part of the tour recounts the arrival of whole families from Clonakilty, including his family, when the Hanlys brought the machinery and workers from a mill that was closing in the west Cork town to Nenagh.

“The journey took 10 days and the train of people and machinery was one mile long. Hanlys bought the workers as well as the machinery and they all moved to Nenagh,” he recounts.

Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star