It’s a house that has long fascinated us, especially as, in recent years, it has sadly been left to sink back into the ground.
Built circa 1860, Kindlestown House is a stunning six-bay, two-storey Italianate style house, and something of a dream home to anyone who has ever cheekly peaked inside its Chapel Road walls.
And it was indeed a dream home for Dr James Ryan and Mairin Ryan (nee Cregan) when they moved there in the 1920s, a home where they would raise three children – Eoin, Nuala and Seamus – whilst also getting on with such everyday tasks as, respectively, founding Fianna Fáil and becoming an acclaimed author.
That the young Jim and Mairin were a big part of the 1916 Rising only makes their achievements later on in life all the more admirable.
And given just how much this remarkable couple contributed to Greystones in those later years – such as donating neighbouring land to the community (where the likes of St Laurence’s National School and the Dr Ryan Community Centre now stand) – we really should look into planting a plaque somewhere around here in their name.
In the not too distant future, we hope to do justice to the life of Dr James Ryan – in the meantime, here’s a fine RTE TV interview from 1965 – but, for now, it’s all about the marvellous, militant and mildly miraculous mother Mairin.
Part of Greystones Library’s month-long exhibition entitled Our Wicklow Women – which also includes fellow female pioneers of this parish, Lizze Hawkins-Whitshead and Averil Deverell – Mairin Cregan has long been a figure of fascination for local historian Rosemary Raughter.
Which is why we snuck inside the Kindlestown House grounds for a quick video chat this afternoon…
You can find out more about Mairin Cregan Ryan on the Our Wicklow Heritage site right here, and about the Greystones Library exhibition Our Wicklow Women right here.
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