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Kenny Family Collection
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Articles and research by Colum Kenny on Cyril Cusack's time living in Bray, Wicklow.

File includes newspaper cutting of article written by Colum Kenny published in Bray People on 15 October 1993. The article concerns Cyril Cusack's time living with the Muggeridge family in Bray and includes many of the reminiscences included in Grace Watt's (née Muggeridge) letters to Kenny. Her letter to Kenny dated 27 October 1993 [see item: C2/3/3/1 (15)] discusses the article. Also includes a longer unpublished article by Kenny titled Cyril Cusack Lived in Bray and photocopies of the roll book (featuring an entry for 'Cyril O'Rorke' [Cusack's birth name]) from St Paul's National School, Bray, which Cyril Cusack attended.

Awarding of the Portuguese rank of Cavaleiro of the Military Order of Christ to Kevin J Kenny.

Includes a certificate (in Portuguese) conferring on Kevin John Kenny, honorary Vice Consul of Portugal, the rank of Cavaleiro of the Military Order of Christ. His name is inscribed incorrectly as ‘Kelvin’ on the certificate. Also includes an English translation of the certificate by the Portuguese Consulate in Dublin, and a black and white photograph of Kenny receiving the cross, which is the insignia of the order, from Dr Henrique Bacelar de Caldeira Queiroz, the Portuguese Consul. Standing between them is the apostolic nuncio, Most Rev Pascal Robinson.

Battle of Gallipoli: notes

Sub-series consists of printed personal note from Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, British Army transcribed signals from the first day of Battle of Gallipoli, and correspondence between the Imperial War Museum and Colum Kenny regarding the transcribed signals and recruitment advertisements (see sub-series C2/1/1/2). Some of the signals are signed 'J Murphy' who Colum Kenny suggested may have been Jack (John) Murphy, brother of Annette Kenny (née Murphy), Kevin J Kenny's wife. This could possibly explain how the signals came to form part of the collection.

Belfast Boycott

Notes and leaflet relating to the ‘Belfast Boycott’. Dáil Éireann introduced this boycott in September 1920 in response to rioting in Derry and Belfast and discrimination against the Catholic community in Northern Ireland. It would appear from the items in this sub-series that Kevin J Kenny was concerned with ensuring that the activities of his business did not go against the boycott.

British Army recruitment advertising

Letters, newspaper cuttings and published material relating to the granting of a contract to publish army recruitment advertisements to Kenny’s Advertising Agency on behalf of the British government. This episode appears to have caused a significant amount of discussion and controversy in various newspapers and publications of the day, and was also discussed by Laurence Ginnell MP during a debate in the British House of Commons.

British Army transcribed signals from the landings at Gallipoli, 25-26 April 1915.

Includes four '"C" Form[s], Messages and Signals' [transcribed signals] relating to units of the 86th Brigade who would have been on active service as part of the 29th Division on the Gallipoli peninsula in April 1915 [see file C2/1/2/2/3 for further context]. The forms include handwritten signals in pencil, with messages such as: 'Send reinforcements. Urgently required. I have no men.'; 'I am unable to hold out. Send reinforcements. Urgent.' and 'No answer to last message. The wire must be cut. I have sent patrol. Firing is very near.'

Some of the signals are signed 'J Murphy' who Colum Kenny suggested may have been Kevin J Kenny's brother-in-law, Jack (John) Murphy.

Colum Kenny

Includes Colum Kenny’s work on three documentaries for RTÉ and personal correspondence with various individuals relating to topics such as the media, law and Irish history.

One of the series relates to Colum’s research for a documentary about the ‘Tailor and Ansty'. The Tailor and Ansty (husband and wife Timothy [‘the Tailor’] and Anastasia ['Ansty'] Buckley) were the subjects of a book by Eric Cross about their storytelling and home in Gougane Barra, County Cork, which became a hub for notable figures of the Cork arts scene in the 1930s and 1940s. The series includes letters from Eric Cross and friends of the Tailor and Ansty including Seán Ó Faoláin and Nancy McCarthy-Allitt.

Another series (C2/3/3) relates to connections between Colum Kenny’s house, 1 Herbert Terrace, Bray, County Wicklow, and two of its former residents: Cyril Cusack and Grace Watt (née Muggeridge). This series mainly consists of correspondence between Kenny, Cusack and Watt during the early 1990s in which they reminisce about living in the house, and discuss Cusack and Watt’s personal lives.

The final series (C2/3/4) consists of the original finding aid that was included with the collection when it was donated to DCU Library by Colum Kenny on 23 November 2011. It details the original arrangement and description of the collection and was created by Kenny.

Two of the sub-series in this sub-fonds relating to Colum’s work on RTÉ television series are currently closed for access in part or in whole.

Correspondence

Correspondence mainly relating to Kevin J Kenny’s work as an advertising agency and commercial manager for Kenny’s Advertising Agency and other publications.

Kenny, Kevin John

Correspondence between Seán O’Faoláin and Colum Kenny.

File includes one letter from Kenny to O’Faoláin, and two letters from O’Faoláin to Kenny concerning the documentary and other topics. Kenny’s asks O’Faoláin in his letter dated 28 August 1978 if will agree to be interviewed for the documentary, to which O’Faoláin agrees by returning Kenny’s original letter with annotations answering several of Kenny’s questions and dating his reply 29 August 1978. The second letter from O’Faoláin [?from September 1978] is titled ‘CENSORSHIP’ and appears to have been written following the recording of their interview, with O'Faoláin elaborating on some of the points he made about censorship in Ireland during the 1930s and 1940s, and expresses an admiration for Marina Warner’s book Alone of All Her Sex.

File also includes an [Irish Times] newspaper cutting from [25 February] 1993 of a letter to the editor by Maurice Harmon in which he notes that he is ‘writing the life’ of O’Faoláin and ‘would like to hear from anyone who may have information, or recollections that may be helpful.’ It is possible that Kenny contacted Harmon about his own correspondence with O’Faoláin.

Correspondence between the Imperial War Museum and Colum Kenny regarding British Army transcribed signals from Gallipoli.

Includes letter and printout of e-mail from Anthony Richards, archivist at the Imperial War Museum, London, who describes items in file C2/1/2/2/2 as ‘transcribed signals’. Richards suggests that the signals relate to units of the 86th Brigade who would have been on active service as part of the 29th Division at Gallipoli during April 1915. Also includes copy letter from Kenny to Diane Lees, Director-General of the Imperial War Museum, London, regarding these transcribed signals and his grandfather Kevin J Kenny's recruitment advertising work around the time of the 1916 Easter Rising (see sub-series C2/1/1/2).

Cyril Cusack, Grace Watt and 1 Herbert Terrace, Bray, Wicklow.

Series relates to the history of Colum Kenny’s house, 1 Herbert Terrace, Bray, County Wicklow, and two of its former residents: Cyril Cusack and Grace Watt (née Muggeridge). The series mainly consists of correspondence between Kenny, Cusack and Watt during the early 1990s in which they reminisce about living in the house, and discussion of Cusack and Watt’s personal lives.

Grace and the Muggeridge family, lived in 1 Herbert Terrace from 1918 to 1926. Grace’s father worked [?as a welder] for Barimar Limited, who opened an Irish branch with head offices at 185, Great Brunswick Street, Dublin in 1919. According to Grace, Barimar Limited acquired 1 Herbert Terrace for the family after they relocated from London [see letter from Grace to Colum Kenny dated 5 November 1990; item C2/3/3/1 (5)]. While Grace’s childhood memories of living in Ireland as detailed in the letters are very happy, it seems that the family fortunes were not similarly positive. The family had moved to Ireland during tumultuous times, with the War of Independence and Civil War taking place during the period. Her father’s workshop [?in Dublin] was burnt down at some point and Grace notes in one letter that this 'was probably the beginning of our financial troubles'. Grace says her mother sublet rooms in 1 Herbert Terrace when 'times became difficult' [see letter to Colum Kenny dated 7 March 1993; item C2/3/3/1 (12)]. It was at this point that her path crossed with Cyril Cusack.

Cyril, who would later become a famous actor, and his mother, Alice Violet Cusack (née Cole), lived with the Muggeridge family for two to three years according to Grace [see letter to Colum Kenny dated 12 August 1992; item C2/3/3/1 (10)]. Cyril became friends with the Muggeridge children, particularly George, who is mentioned in several of Cyril and Grace’s letters, and whose photograph at 1 Herbert Terrace is included in the series (see file C2/3/3/6).

Grace and her husband Jack (John) R Watt called to 1 Herbert Terrace during a visit to Ireland in 1988, and Colum Kenny and his family were living in the house at that point. Following this visit, Grace and Colum wrote letters and Christmas cards to one another for the next few years. Grace informed Colum at some point that Cyril Cusack had lived with her family for a time in the house. Colum mentioned this to Cyril when they met at a function in Dublin in 1989 and Cyril subsequently began a correspondence with Grace.

Cyril’s letters to Grace include his memories of growing up in Bray, the various characters and events of their childhoods, and his friendship with George Muggeridge. He also shares details about his present life, the various plays, television documentaries and films he is acting in, and the travel that this involves. He also discusses the realities of growing old and his feeling that he might soon have to retire from acting. He mentions in a number of letters his desire to meet up with Grace again, but this never came to pass.

Grace’s letters to Colum mainly concern her memories of living in 1 Herbert Terrace, her new correspondence with Cyril and the latest news from her and her husband’s life. After Cyril died in October 1993, Grace decided to donate her letters from Cyril to Colum. She notes in a letter dated 27 October 1993 [item C2/3/3/1 (15)]: 'I feel most strongly that you are the only person who understands my affection for Cyril.'

This series includes: Grace’s letters and photographs to Colum Kenny and his wife Catherine; Cyril’s letters to Grace; Cyril’s letters to Colum; a letter from Mary Rose Cunningham (Cyril’s wife) to Grace; a letter from Jack (John) R Watt (Grace’s husband) to Colum; copy correspondence between George Muggeridge and Sir Garfield Barwick about George’s childhood in Bray; newspaper article and research on 1 Herbert Terrace written by Colum, and newspaper cuttings relating to Cyril’s death.

Design for the front-page of a periodical called Listen!

Hand-drawn design on a scrap of torn paper. Subtitle included in the design describes the periodical as 'Ireland’s best story paper'. Part of what appears to be a printed letter is visible on the reverse of the page and is signed off with the printed name 'T.M. Kettle' [Thomas Michael Kettle].

Documents and correspondence relating to legal reform.

Includes report titled ‘Free Legal Aid Scheme as proposed by Socialist Law Group’ written by Colum Kenny for the Pringle Committee on Legal Aid following a 1974 visit to the USA and Canada to research legal aid there; petition to King’s Inns proposing the change of its motto 'Nolumus Mutari' ('We do not wish to change' or 'We do not wish to be changed'); a rejection by the benchers Standing Committee of this proposal; and printouts and a newspaper cutting relating to a finding by the Competition Authority that the Irish legal profession was in need of reform.

'Documents presented to the U.S. Government on behalf of the Irish Republic'.

Fragile single-sided printed page, possibly from a newspaper or pamphlet. Document details the declaration presented to the USA Government on behalf of the Irish Republic by Dr Patrick McCartan in July 1917. Includes the complete declaration signed by Irish nationalist leaders such as 'Edward de Valera' [sic], Eóin MacNéill and 'Des Fitzgerald', and a 'note' by McCartan addressed to the President and Congress of the United States. Also includes an '[e]xtract from the trial of A. Stack' [?Austin Stack].

McCartan would go on to serve as the Irish Provisional Government envoy to the USA, 1918-1920. Charles Tansill writes in America and the Fight for Irish Freedom 1866-1922: An Old Story Based Upon New Data (New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1957) that the signatories of the declaration had been released from prison (following their part in the Easter Rising) on 18 June 1917 as a gesture of good will to American public opinion. Tansill notes that the statement was written by MacNéill upon their release and taken by Patrick McCartan to the USA, where it was presented at the White House on 23 July 1917.

Flyer for an address by Eóin Mac Néill [Eóin MacNeill] and concert at the Antient Concert Rooms.

Two copies of a flyer advertising a concert in the Antient Concert Rooms, [52 Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street), Dublin] at which the flyer states, Eóin Mac Néill, President of the Irish Volunteers, will deliver 'an important address' on 'the present crisis'. The concert date is given as 'Sunday Night, April 9th' meaning that the flyer is most likely from 1916.

Frontline television programme on the sale of old national schools in the Beara Peninsula by St Brendan’s Trust.

Sub-series relates to an RTÉ Frontline television programme broadcast on 1 February 1980 that was researched and presented by Colum Kenny. The programme dealt with allegations that St Brendan’s Trust (the Kerry Diocesan Trust) had acquired 17 national school properties in the Beara Peninsula and sold them against the wishes of many in the local community. Prior to the Frontline programme being broadcast, the story was covered in Berehaven News, a newspaper published by Combat Poverty, a rural development group in the Beara Peninsula. A letter written by Kerry Diocesan Secretary and Social Policy Advisor (and Secretary of St Brendan’s Trust), Father Dermot Clifford condemning the Berehaven News article was also circulated to households in the Beara Peninsula area in January 1980.

After the Frontline programme aired, the Bishop of Kerry, Kevin McNamara and Father Clifford wrote (separately) to RTÉ Director General, George Waters to complain that Colum Kenny was “prejudiced in his approach” and “unfair” in an interview with Father Clifford. The complaint by Bishop McNamara, and the subsequent apologies made by Waters and RTÉ Chairman Patrick Moriarty to the Bishop were covered in several newspapers.

Father Clifford made an official complaint about the programme to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission in November 1980. The Commission rejected Father Clifford’s complaint in April 1981, and said the programme was not ‘a biased production’ and did not consider the interview unduly ‘harsh’.

This sub-series includes documents relating to the research for the programme and the production itself. Also includes letters and numerous newspaper cuttings relating to complaints made by Bishop McNamara and Father Clifford, and the subsequent decision of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.

Much of the sub-series consists of copies of private correspondence written by various individuals relating to the complaint made by Father Clifford to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission in November 1980. This particular material is currently closed and access will be reviewed in 2025.

Frontline television programme: preparation and aftermath

Includes transcript of the Frontline television programme originally broadcast on 1 February 1980; a copy of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission’s decision regarding the complaint made by Father Clifford; copy of letter sent by Colum Kenny to the Cork Examiner in May 1981 requesting that the newspaper publish the Commission’s decision; newspaper cuttings; some research notes written by Colum Kenny [?for the programme]; copy of letter dated 11 January 1980 from Father Clifford to parishioners in the Beara Peninsula condemning the article published in the Berehaven News about the affair; press release from Berehaven News in response to Father Clifford’s letter; Berehaven News, Vol. 1, No. 3, (1979), featuring the original article, and reference material relating to the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, 1976.

Government Notices

Public notices created by the British government, and subsequently Dáil Éireann, for advertising in newspapers and other publications.

Images of the Muggeridge family.

File consists of a photograph of George Muggeridge and printouts of a scanned postcard and photograph. The photograph was originally included with letters sent by Grace Watt (née Muggeridge) to Colum and Catherine Kenny (see letter from Watt to Kenny dated 21 September 1988; item C2/3/3/1 (1). The printouts were likely created by Colum Kenny having scanned photographs and the postcard sent by Grace Watt. The original photograph and postcard are not included in the collection.

The faded black and white photograph of George shows him as a boy standing in the garden at 1 Herbert Terrace, Bray. A letter from Grace Watt (née Muggeridge) to Colum Kenny [see item C2/3/3/1 (1)] dated 21 September 1988 describes this photograph: 'Brother George among the cabbages in your garden!'

The postcard printout is from 'Mother' [?Elizabeth Clara Muggeridge] to 'Darling Daughter' [?Mabel Elizabeth Muggeridge] and is dated 26 May 1924. The image on the front of the postcard (of people sitting on the strand and swimming in the sea at Bray Beach] apparently includes members of the Muggeridge family according a handwritten annotation on the printout. The caption printed on the image is: 'The Sea Shore, Bray, Co. Wicklow'.

The photograph printout is a portrait of the Muggeridge family taken in a photographic studio. A typed note attached to the printout identifies the members of the family and the ages of the children in the image.

File also includes part of an envelope [in which the photograph of George Muggeridge was originally contained] with handwritten annotation [?Colum Kenny].

'Imperial Preference – Certificate of Origin E' form.

Form relates to the importation of a '[s]tandard 10 h.p. de luxe saloon [?motor car] by John G McEntagart, Director and Secretary, McEntagart Brothers Limited’. Some of the entries in the form are filled in with typed and handwritten text.

It is likely that this car was purchased by Kevin J Kenny from McEntagart Brothers Limited.

Issues of The Freeman's Journal and The Evening Standard published following the destruction of their respective printing presses.

File includes: two reduced single-sheet-formatted versions of the Freeman’s Journal from 30 and 31 March 1922, and a four-page single-sided-sheet version of the Evening Telegraph (Dublin) from 1 April 1922. The Anti-Treaty IRA destroyed the printing presses of both newspapers in March 1922.

Kenny Family Collection

  • IE DCUA C2
  • Collection
  • 1905-2011

The fonds relates to the lives and careers of three men from the Kenny Family: Kevin J Kenny (1881-1954), his son Michael B Kenny (1919-1992), and Michael’s son Colum Kenny (b. 1951). The collection is arranged in three sub-fonds relating to the three men respectively.

The majority of the collection relates to Kevin J Kenny and his work at Kenny’s Advertising Agency. The sub-fonds relating to Kevin includes correspondence with many of his clients, some of whom included eminent nationalists of the day, such as Patrick Pearse, Arthur Griffith, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington and James Creed Meredith. Kenny solicited advertising for the publications of many of these figures, which often proved essential in keeping the publications afloat and in circulation, as evidenced in particular by the letters from Patrick Pearse regarding advertisements for An Macaomh, the official magazine of St Enda’s. This sub-fonds also includes several sub-series relating to significant episodes in Kevin’s career and life, such as the controversy over Kenny’s Advertising Agency and a contract to run British Army recruitment advertisements during the First World War, and personal memorabilia and publications relating to significant historical events, such as the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence and Civil War.

This sub-fonds also includes a collection of British Army transcribed signals from the first day of the Battle of Gallipoli (25 April 1915), which give a vivid insight into the harrowing experience of some British soldiers fighting on the front line that day. These signals may have come into Kevin J Kenny’s possession from his wife Annette’s brother John Murphy, whose signature may be the ‘J Murphy’ included on some of the signals.

This sub-fonds relating to Michael B Kenny consists of a few items concerning his career in advertising. These include a brief history of the Kenny’s Advertising Agency written by Michael, and two photographs: one of meeting of the Advertising/Press Club in 1956 or 1957, and the other of the Kenny’s Advertising Agency premises at Lower Baggot Street, Dublin.

The final sub-fonds in the collection mainly relates to Colum Kenny’s work on three documentaries for RTÉ, and some of his personal correspondence with various figures relating to topics such as the media, law and Irish history. One of the sub-series relates to Colum’s research for a documentary about ‘The Tailor and Ansty'. The Tailor and Ansty (husband and wife Timothy [‘the Tailor’] and Anastasia ['Ansty'] Buckley) were the subjects of a book by Eric Cross about their storytelling and home in Gougane Barra, County Cork, which became a hub for notable figures of the Cork arts scene in the 1930s and 1940s. The sub-series includes letters from Eric Cross and friends of the Tailor and Ansty, including Seán Ó Faoláin and Nancy McCarthy-Allitt. Two of the other sub-series relating to Colum’s work on RTÉ current affairs television programmes are currently closed and access will be reviewed in 2025.

Another series relates to connections between Colum Kenny’s house, 1 Herbert Terrace, Bray, County Wicklow, and two of its former residents: Cyril Cusack and Grace Watt (née Muggeridge). The series mainly consists of correspondence between Kenny, Cusack and Watt during the early 1990s in which they reminisce about living in the house, and discuss Cusack and Watt’s personal lives.

Kenny, Kevin John

Kenny Family Collection: newspaper cuttings.

The newspaper cuttings provide a detailed insight into the life and career of Kevin J Kenny in particular, with many articles relating to his involvement in numerous professional, Catholic and charitable organisations.

Most of the newspaper articles were downloaded and printed from the website www.irishnewsarchive.com by Colum Kenny. File also includes photocopies of photographs, publications associated with Kenny’s Advertising Agency and newspaper cuttings.

Kenny Family (Dublin) Papers at DCU.

The original finding aid arranges the collection into three parts focussing on Kevin J Kenny, Michael B Kenny and Colum Kenny respectively, as with this present finding aid. The arrangement of the sub-series and descriptions differ mostly, but some have been maintained.

Kenny’s Advertising Agency and Kenny Press

Sub-series consists of a pass to enable Kevin J Kenny to visit Kenny’s Advertising Agency at Middle Abbey Street after it had been destroyed during the 1916 Easter Rising; a photograph of the first Kenny’s Advertising Agency dance, and publications produced by the agency and Kenny Press.

Kevin J Kenny

This sub-fonds relates to the professional and personal aspects of Kevin J Kenny’s life. The majority of the series concern Kevin’s professional life, specifically his work as an advertising agent and commercial manager with his company, Kenny’s Advertising Agency.

Kenny, Kevin John

Leaflet requesting prayers in memory of the rebels who were killed during and following the Easter Rising, 1916.

Leaflet reads as follows: 'Lá na Marbh, 1916, All Souls’ Day, 1916. Your prayers are earnestly requested for the repose of the souls of the following Irishmen who were executed by Military Law this year: [includes list of 16 names] Also for the repose of the souls of the following men who were killed whilst fighting for Ireland, during Easter Week, 1916: [includes list of 52 names] Go nDeinidh dia trocaire ar a nAnamaibh'.

Letter from Jeremiah Newman, Bishop of Limerick, to Colum Kenny.

Newman replies to a letter from Kenny, which had included a copy of a book by Alan Watts [according to Colum Kenny, the book was most likely Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal (1974). Kenny sent Newman the letter and book in response to some reported comments made by Newman. The letter from Newman discusses Catholic attitudes to sex and warns Kenny about Alan Watts' writings on religion: 'I would like to warn you against getting too involved in that kind of literature'. According to Colum Kenny, Bishop Newman spoke about contraception and the relationship between church and state in an RTÉ interview broadcast on 30 March 1976.

Letter from Mary Rose Cunningham to Grace Watt.

Cunningham writes to Watt regarding her husband, Cyril Cusack's, recent death and thanks Watt for her letter of sympathy. Cunningham discusses how Cusack and Watt 'went back along [sic] way', how Cusack had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease the previous April, and her wish that Watt and Cusack could have met again before his death.

Also includes a related note from Watt to Colum Kenny describing Cusack's death as '[t]he end of a particularly happy period in the latter part of [my] life which I owe entirely to you. If you had not spoken to Cyril none of this could have happened.' Watt included this note with the letter from Cunningham when she forwarded them onto Kenny in November 1993.

Letters from Cyril Cusack to Colum Kenny.

Two typed and signed letters from Cusack to Kenny dated 17 September and 4 October 1990. Cusack writes from London where he is acting [in a production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Royal Court Theatre] and thanks Kenny for passing on a letter from Grace Watt (née Muggeridge), and for Kenny’s invitation to visit his house in Bray (1 Herbert Terrace). The Muggeridge family had lived in the house in the 1920s, and Cusack and his mother had lived with them for two to three years around 1922. Cusack discusses his recent attempt at writing an autobiography and remembers Grace and the Muggeridge family fondly.

Letters from Cyril Cusack to Grace Watt.

17 September 1990 - C2/3/3/3 (1)
Typed and signed 4-page letter. Cusack writes from London where he is acting in a production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Royal Court Theatre. He discusses how he had met Colum Kenny at an event at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, [in 1989] and that Kenny had mentioned 'that a woman called Grace Muggeridge' had called to his house in Bray and that he had a letter from her which he would like to show to him. He mentions that Kenny subsequently shared some letters from Watt with him. Cusack notes that it is 70 years since Watt and he have been in contact and goes on to recall various individuals and events from his time living with the Muggeridge family in 1922 (such as seeing the local barracks in Bray on fire during the Civil War). File also includes a photocopy of the letter.

29 March 1991 - C2/3/3/3 (2)
Typed and signed 1-page letter. Cusack writes from London where he is 'selling [his] soul to the Devil' [sic] doing a commercial. He mentions that he is travelling between Dublin, Paris and London over the next few weeks and regrets that he is neglecting to write his autobiography. He agrees with Watt that it would be good to meet and suggests doing so during his 'next trip over'. He also mentions that 'I think you must have had the news of Jeremy's win before I did. I'm glad he got it, he's a good lad as well as being a good actor.' [This possibly refers to Jeremy Irons winning the Academy Award for Best Actor on 25 March 1991 for the film Reversal of Fortune. Jeremy is married to Cusack's daughter Sinéad].

11 April 1991 - C2/3/3/3 (3)
Typed and signed 1-page letter. Cusack writes from Dublin that he has also read 'the Tim Pat Coogan, a big job of work, with a big bias against Dev [Eamon de Valera]. And I'm something of a Dev man, like it or not' [this may refer to Tim Pat Coogan's book, Michael Collins, which was first published in 1991]. He discusses one of his own poems relating to the Anglo-Irish Treaty from his book, Between the Acts and Other Poems, and ponders he and Grace could meet up. He suggests 'somewhere in the Chiswick [London] vicinity' but 'wish[es] it could be here' [Dublin].

23 April 1991 - C2/3/3/3 (4)
Typed and signed 1-page letter. Cusack writes from London where he is 'just back from Paris' and 'on-going to Dublin TO-DAY' [sic] and is thus unable to meet Watt. He mentions that at the beginning of May he will be in Stonyhurst [Lancashire, England] 'on a documentary about the Jesuits (!!!)' [sic], and in the west of Ireland 'on a film for Hollywood.'

14 May 1991 - C2/3/3/3 (5)
Typed and signed 2-page letter. Cusack writes from Dublin detailing his 'tiresome' schedule of work and travel including having to travel to Dingle, County Kerry, in two days to rehearse 'with current film idol, Tom Cruise' [?for the film Far and Away]. He writes of recent experiences as an 'octogenarian in solitary near-confinement', including locking himself out of his house three times, and of another 'crisis' when he forgot to bring money to the supermarket, had to borrow 'a tenner' from the local newsvendor, and having his 'lamb chop' stolen on his return home by a stray cat because he left the back door of the house open.

5 June 1991 - C2/3/3/3 (6)
Holograph letter 2-page letter. Cusack writes from London that he is 'chasing back to Ireland in a day or two' having worked on a documentary 'for American TV’ on Stonyhurst, '[t]he Jesuit College'. A further day of filming is planned for early July in London and he wonders if 'we might strike up then?' Mentions that he 'has to come up with the "few words"' having been asked to open the Synge Summer School [Cusack opened the inaugural John Millington Synge summer school in Rathdrum, County Wicklow].

8 August 1992 - C2/3/3/3 (7)
Holograph 2-page letter. Cusack writes [from Dublin] and opens the letter with: 'a Ghráinne, a ghráibh (did you know your name in Irish?)'. Mentions that he has 'to be brief this time – as time is running out' and that 'my recent effort on stage – The Cherry Orchard – sees me out ... curtains for Cusack!' [Cusack acted in a production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard at the Gate Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1992].

20 September 1992 - C2/3/3/3 (8)
Typed and signed 1-page letter. Cusack writes from Dublin saying that he 'may not properly have answered [Watt's] letter of the 30th July'. Mentions 'volley' of photographs Watt has received from him and that his 'actor's ego is unsurmountable; can't help it.' Also mentions a previous query from Watt which he failed to answer about 'Colm Kenny's request regarding my stay with the Muggeridge's' [sic]. He tells Watt to 'go ahead with whatever you may like to say' [Colum Kenny was writing an article at the time about Cusack and Number 1 Herbert Terrace. See Watt's letter to Colum and Catherine Kenny dated 8 October 1992; item C2/3/3/1 (11)]. He also notes that he never referred to a letter from George [Muggeridge, Grace's brother, who lived in Australia] to Sir Garfield Barwick, [seventh Chief Justice of Australia, and George's wife's brother-in-law], and Cusack notes that 'George didn't take too readily to Ireland or the Irish' [Cusack and George were childhood friends when they lived in Bray. See Cusack's letter to Watt dated 17 September 1990; item C2/3/3/3 (1)]. Cusack mentions that he is '(supposedly) engaged [...] on an autobiography' but is 'slipping into fatigue, whether permanently or otherwise [...]' An attempt was made to block out part of a line in the letter with black marker [?whether this was blocked out by Cusack, Watt or Colum Kenny is unclear]. The line appears to read: 'Possibly for that reason three of my progeny appear to have alienated themselves from their father.' A typed note by Watt addressed to Colum Kenny is included with the letter in which she gives the context for Cusack’s mention of Kenny in the letter.

14 December 1992 - C2/3/3/3 (9)
Typed and signed 2-page letter with handwritten annotation by Cusack. Written in Dublin, the letter discusses Cusack's salary at the Abbey Theatre 'in those happy days', his recent health and reminisces about various childhood sweethearts. His handwritten annotation discusses his first wife, Maureen Cusack (née Kiely), whom he describes as a 'good actress' and a 'favourite of [Micheál] Mac Liammóir' [co-founder of the Gate Theatre]. Included is a typed note from Watt to Colum Kenny giving further context to Cusack's remark in his letter that he would 'not have been quite up to [Watt's] requirements and regulations even for a proposal.'

[?1993] - C2/3/3/3 (10)
Holograph 2-page letter. Cusack writes from London that he thought they 'might meet up this time but now it seems not like it.' He says he is 'afraid that my acting career is at an end, due to increasing deafness – a rotten complaint – on the stage [...]' He suggests though that he 'may yet be able for cinema or TV'. Letter also includes a typed note from Watt to Colum Kenny saying: 'On reading this again it seems rather prophetic.'

Letters from Eric Cross to Colum Kenny.

File consists of three letters (dated 28 July 1978; [September-October] 1978; and [November] 1978) mainly concerning Cross' book The Tailor and Ansty; Kenny's documentary and his attempt to find someone to interview who was critical of Cross' book; and an RTÉ dramatisation of the book which was broadcast on the same night as the documentary on 31 October 1978. File also includes a note by Cross about the 'unbanning' of the book [in the 1950s] and its reissue in 1964.

Letters from Fr Brendan Bradshaw, Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK to Colum Kenny.

Includes two brief letters from Bradshaw. In the first letter dated 23 September 1988, he thanks Kenny for the ‘offprint and review both of which I read with considerable interest and much to my benefit.’ He notes that '[t]he revisionists here and elsewhere are simply exchanging one distortion with another. Your careful research goes towards correcting both.' In the second letter, with postmark dated 5 November 1990 [according to a pencil annotation by Colum Kenny], Bradshaw thanks Kenny for ‘the encouraging letter regarding my article in I.H.S. [Irish Historical Studies].’ Referencing revisionism again, he adds: ‘I realise that I am swimming against the current and have no doubt that a price will have to be paid in some form or another. For the moment, however, the strategy seems to be to allow the anti-revisionist flak to spend itself before mounting a counter-assault.’

Also includes Kenny’s journal article ‘The Exclusion of Catholics from the legal profession in Ireland, 1537-1829’ published in volume XXV, number 100 (November 1987) of Irish Historical Studies. This is possibly a copy of the ‘offprint’ that Bradshaw references in the first letter. Kenny references Bradshaw’s book The Dissolution of the Religious Orders in Ireland under Henry VIII (Cambridge, 1974) in this article.

Letters from Grace Watt to Colum and Catherine Kenny.

The majority of the letters are addressed to both Colum and Catherine Kenny, while some are only addressed to Colum. All letters are typed and signed, some include handwritten annotations. File also includes copy letters from George Muggeridge (Grace's brother) and Sir Garfield Barwick (friend of George Muggeridge). Watt often mentions that she has included photographs with the letters. Some of these photographs are included in files C2/3/3/6-8, but several are not included in the collection.

21 September 1988 – C2/3/3/1 (1)
Encloses photographs of the Muggeridge family at 1 Herbert Terrace, Herbert Road, Bray, County Wicklow in the 1920s. Also shares photos of her current home in Harrow, London, and of a recent trip to visit her brother George in Australia [photographs not included with letter]. Thanks Colum and Catherine Kenny for their welcome when Grace and her husband Jack (John) visited in the summer of 1988. Related photograph of George Muggeridge is included in this series [see item C2/3/3/6].

28 September 1988 – C2/3/3/1 (2)
Encloses photographs of their visit to 1 Herbert Terrace in 1988 [photographs not included with letter].

9 January 1990 – C2/3/3/1 (3)
Sends Christmas greetings and says: 'Delighted to hear of your recent encounter with Cyril Cusack (known to me as Cyril O'Rourke)' [sic]. Also mentions: 'My beloved brother George passed away on 16th Dec[ember 1989].'

19 September 1990 – C2/3/3/1 (4)
Includes a copy of letter she received from Cyril dated 17 September 1990. Writes to Colum Kenny: 'I had one of the nicest surprises of my life today and it was all due to you!'

5 November 1990 – C2/3/3/1 (5)
Gives details of Bray in the 1920s, family history of 1 Herbert Terrace, and moving back to England in 1926. Says that she is waiting to hear back from Cyril. Asks Colum and Catherine Kenny to confirm her recollections of Michael Collins' funeral.

6 February 1991 – C2/3/3/1 (6)
Thanks Colum and Catherine Kenny for Christmas cards and views of Bray. Mentions her admiration for Cyril and that she is a year younger than him. Encloses her last photograph of 1 Herbert Terrace.

11 December 1991 – C2/3/3/1 (7)
Mentions that she and Cyril have been writing to one another, but that they are struggling to find time to meet. Notes that she is going to be 80 years old in March.

11 January 1992 – C2/3/3/1 (8)
Thanks the Kennys for Christmas card and for informing the Watts about works to 1 Herbert Terrace. Reminisces about travelling abroad for past Christmases.

22 January 1992 – C2/3/3/1 (9)
Mentions that she has been reading Cyril Cusack's book of poetry Between the Acts and Other Poems.

12 August 1992 – C2/3/3/1 (10)
File consists of a letter from Grace to Colum Kenny, and photocopies of two letters between Sir Garfield Barwick and George Muggeridge. Grace's letter discusses her brother George in Australia and how she had previously sent him audio tapes recorded during her and Jack's visit to Ireland in 1988. According to the letter, George and his wife ['Val'] wrote to Val's sister and husband [Sir Garfield Barwick], and Grace encloses copies of their correspondence and notes that she has also sent copies to Cyril. Grace shares reminiscences about 1 Herbert Terrace and of Cyril and George being in the sea scouts as children.

In the letter from Sir Garfield Barwick, he tells George Muggeridge that he enjoyed the audio tape of Grace and John Watt's visit to Ireland very much, and tells George that he never told him why he decided to come to Australia. George writes back and shares details of his personal and family history. Discusses living in Bray briefly and the hardship his family experienced in Ireland: 'They [the Irish people] treated him [George's father] very badly, burnt down his shop and robbed him of equipment'. See also letter dated 20 September 1992 from Cyril Cusack to Grace Watt regarding these letters.

8 October 1992 – C2/3/3/1 (11)
Grace apologies for delay forwarding on Cyril's remarks about Colum Kenny's proposal to write an article on Cyril and Number 1 Herbert Terrace. Passes on Cyril's remarks from a letter to her dated 20 September 1992: 'That's alright, go ahead with whatever you may like to say, whether good or bad but not indifferent.' Notes that Cyril has said that he is going to retire soon and that he plans to write an autobiography.

7 March 1993 – C2/3/3/1 (12)
Thanks Kenny for sending on a draft of his writings on 'The History of Herbert Terrace, Bray' ('one of the loveliest surprises I have ever had'). Mentions that Cyril's wife [Mary Rose Cunningham] telephoned about trying to meet in London in March.

13 March 1993 – C2/3/3/1 (13)
Sends condolences on the deaths of both Colum and Catherines' fathers. Discuss the recession and how it is a challenging time to be raise a family. Grace says she has sent copies of Colum's History of Number 1 Herbert Terrace to her bother George's widow, Val, and to Val's sister [Norma ('Lady Barwick')] and her husband Sir Garfield Barwick.

13 October 1993 – C2/3/3/1 (14)
Thanks Kenny for passing on newspaper cuttings regarding death of Cyril Cusack. Discusses Cyril's health and references to this in his letters, his sense of humour. Grace notes that she got the impression from his letters that he lived alone. Mentions her friendship with her grand-nephew, Jim Hall, and his interest in the family's connection to Ireland.

27 October 1993 – C2/3/3/1 (15)
Discusses Colum Kenny's article in Bray People [published 15 October 1993] about Cyril, Grace and Number 1 Herbert Terrace [this article is included in this series, see file C2/3/3/9]. Discusses her willingness to give Colum the original letters from Cyril: 'I feel most strongly that you are the only person who understands my affection for Cyril.' Says she will add any necessary comments to letters. Discusses Cyril's life, saying it 'seemed to be a little but odd'. Reminisces about activities they got up to in Bray as children and her friendship with 'Mrs Sutton', a Bray resident.

[?18 November 1993] – C2/3/3/1 (16)
Undated letter, but sent on 18 November 1993 according to a handwritten annotation in pen on the first page of the letter [?by Colum Kenny]. Discusses that her husband Jack (John) had a transient stroke; how she hurt her foot while helping him, and their trip to the hospital. Also notes that she has forwarded on the letters and photographs she received from Cyril to Colum Kenny. Also included is the envelope in which the letters were originally contained.

7 January 1994 – C2/3/3/1 (17)
Two letters. Notes that the other letter of the same date gives him 'permission to donate Cusack correspondence to library' [?National Library of Ireland]. Also includes discussion of her getting a word processor; Colum's mother being unwell; Jack's transient stroke, and thanks Colum for forwarding on articles about Cyril. The second letter in the file details the transfer of ownership to Kenny of the letters Grace received from Cyril.

28 August 1994 – C2/3/3/1 (18)
Encloses photographs of Jack (John) and herself. Mentions that Jack recently turned 80 years of age; discusses his birthday celebrations; her grandnephew Jim Hall's travels in Malaysia and Indonesia, and their correspondence with one another.

Letters from Nancy McCarthy-Allitt to Colum Kenny.

File consists of seven letters (dated 16 July 1978; 20 August 1978; 16 September [1978]; 1 October 1978; 7 November 1978; 18 December 1978; and 1 May 1980). McCarthy-Allitt was interviewed by Kenny for the documentary in 1978 and the letters concern her memories of her close friends Timothy (‘the Tailor’) and Anastasia ('Ansty') Buckley, arrangements for the interview, her praise for the finished documentary and Kenny's professionalism, and reaction to the documentary from customers in her chemist shop in Douglas, Cork. Other notable friends of McCarthy-Allitt mentioned in the letters include Seán O’Faoláin, Frank O’Connor and Seamus Murphy. File also includes a poem by O’Connor, 'In Memory of Timothy Buckley "The Tailor"', in McCarthy-Allitt's handwriting.

Some of the corresponding letters from Colum Kenny to McCarthy-Allitt are available in the Nancy McCarthy Collection, Archives Service, UCC Library, University College Cork.

Media career and general correspondence.

Mainly concerns the production of various radio and television documentaries, but also includes correspondence between Colum and a range of figures and organisations on topics such as revisionism in Irish historiography, the inclusion of Ireland under the designation ‘British Isles’ during SKY News television broadcasts and Channel 4's attitude to Ireland and the reporting of Irish affairs.

Michael B Kenny

Sub-fonds consists of a few items relating to Michael B Kenny’s career in advertising. These include a brief history of the Kenny’s Advertising Agency written by Michael, and two photographs: one of the Council of the Advertising/Press Club in 1956 or 1957, and the other of the Kenny’s Advertising Agency premises at Lower Baggot Street, Dublin. Sub-fonds also includes a short biography of Michael [?written by his son Colum Kenny].

Kenny, Michael

Mid-Week Pictorial with image of Arthur Griffith on front cover.

Mid-Week Pictorial was an illustrated weekly newspaper supplement published by The New York Times. Includes a full-page photograph of Arthur Griffith on the front cover, describing him as the 'Head of the Irish Free State'. Inside is a one-page feature about Ireland including photographs of five government ministers: George Gavan Duffy, Richard Mulcahy, Michael Collins, Eamon J Duggan, WT Cosgrave.

Colum Kenny purchased this journal from a bookshop in the USA in March 2010, through www.abebooks.com. File includes the relevant section of Colum Kenny’s original finding aid for the collection that notes that Mid-Week Pictorial was purchased from www.abebooks.com, the shipping manifest for the item, and the address of the bookshop that the newspaper was purchased from.

Nationality, volume 1, numbers 32, 34 and 36

File includes issues published on 22 January 1916 (volume 1, Number 32), 5 February 1916 (volume 1, Number 34) and 19 February 1916 (volume 1, Number 36). Address: 12 D’Olier Street, Dublin. Edited by Arthur Griffith. Proprietor: Sean MacDermott. Price: one penny.

Newspaper cutting from the Evening Herald concerning a campaign to make St Patrick's Day a national holiday.

Newspaper cutting includes a report of a meeting of the National Holiday Committee campaigning for St Patrick’s Day to be made a national holiday. Those reported as present included Kevin J Kenny. Cutting also includes letter received from Archbishop of Dublin, William J Walsh in support of the campaign.

Note discussing the proposed cessation of Civil War hostilities

Stencil copy of typed single page. Lists conditions upon which a cessation of hostilities may occur. One of the conditions includes the '[d]eclaration of [Éamon] De Valera and [WT] Cosgrove [sic] that unless requested by two-thirds of new Parliament neither will accept office of head of State.'

Note from Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston CB DSO to the 29th Division of the British Army on the eve of the landings at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915.

Undated printed page which reads:

'Personal note from Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, C.B., D.S.O., to each man of the 29th Division on the occasion of their first going into action together. The Major-General Commanding congratulates the division on being selected for an enterprise the success of which will have a decisive effect on the War. The eyes of the world are upon us and your deeds will live in history. To us now is given an opportunity of avenging our friends and relatives who have fallen in France and Flanders. Our comrades there willingly gave their lives in thousands and tens of thousands for our King and Country, and by their glorious courage and dogged tenacity they defeated the invaders and broke the German offensive. We must also be prepared to suffer hardships, privations, thirst, and heavy losses, by bullets, by shells, by mines, by drowning. But if each man feels, as is true, that on him individually, however small or however great his task, rests the success or failure of the expedition, and therefore the honour of the empire and the welfare of his own folk at home, we are certain to win through to a glorious victory. In Nelson’s time it was England, now it is the whole British Empire, which expects each man of us will do his duty. A. H-W.' Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston was commander of the British 29th Division on the Gallipoli peninsula in April 1915. 'Keep this and never loose [sic] it' is written in pencil underneath Hunter-Weston's message. Another lightly written and mostly illegible note in pencil is also visible on the reverse of the page.

Note from Roger Casement to 'the Manager' of The Nationist newspaper.

Undated note from Roger Casement to 'The Manager, The Nationist, 53 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin'. Note reads: 'Dear Sir, I should be obliged if you would now send my copy of The Nationist to the Quay, Ballycastle, Antrim, instead of to the English address hitherto given. Yours faithfully, Roger Casement.'

The note is handwritten on headed paper from Exchange Station Hotel (Lanc & York Rly), Liverpool [the address is scored out]. The Nationist, edited by Tom Kettle, was a weekly newspaper that appeared in 1905 and 1906. Kenny was the business manager of the newspaper.

Original finding aid and newspaper cuttings

Series consists of the original finding aid for the collection created by Colum Kenny, and a file of newspaper cutting printouts collected by Colum Kenny.

The finding aid was included with the collection when Colum Kenny donated it to DCU Library on 23 November 2011. The pages in this finding aid relating to Colum’s work on certain RTÉ television programmes have been removed as they are currently closed for access.

The newspaper cuttings mainly relate to the careers and lives of Kevin J Kenny and Michael B Kenny, and the history of Kenny’s Advertising Agency.

Personal Life

Consists of two sub-series. The first relates to personal mementoes such as newspaper cuttings, cards and photographs relating to various events in Kevin J Kenny’s life. The second sub-series relates to the Battle of Gallipoli and includes British Army transcribed signals from the front. These signals may have been written by John Murphy, Annette Kenny’s (née Murphy) brother and Kevin J Kenny’s brother-in-law.

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