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Address book

Includes the names and addresses of several of the individuals discussed by Lester in the diaries and those he was in correspondence with during the period.

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 Also includes a longer unpublished article by Kenny titled Cyril Cusack Lived in Bray and photocopies of the roll book (featuring an entry for 'Cyril O'Rorke' [Cusack's birth name]) from St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].

Diary: April - December 1941

Handwritten and typed diary entries relating to Lester's time as Acting Secretary General of the League of Nations in Geneva. Includes numerous diary entries and correspondence concerning Lester's threat to resign his position in June 1941 following his discovery that his name was apparently on a British secret service 'watch list'.

Diary includes correspondence with Seán T Ó Ceallaigh [Sean T O'Kelly], Minister for Finance; James John McElligott, Secretary of the Department of Finance; James Dillon, TD (letter from Lester was unsent); Seymour Jacklin, Treasurer of the League of Nations; Carl Hambro, Head of the Supervisory Commission of the League of Nations; Hugh McKinnon Wood, Counsellor and Legal Adviser at the League of Nations; Arthur Sweetser, League of Nations' Public Information Section; Frank P Walters, Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations; Roger Makins, British Foreign Office; Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Alexander Cadogan, British Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs; David V Kelly, British Legation in Berne, Switzerland; Harry Livingston, British Consulate in Geneva; Lord Davies [David Davies, 1st Baron Davies]; Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood; Robert Collis, doctor and author; Frank T Cremins, Irish Legation in Berne, Switzerland; Ernst Grunwald ('[an] Austrian textile trader, who was in a civilian camp in Switzerland with his wife and obtained visas thanks to S. Lester's help', according to the finding aid for the Sean Lester collection in the United Nations Archives, Geneva. See reference: PP 274/2/871-873); Gretta Lester, Seán Lester's sister, and Frank Lidgett McDougall, Australia House, London. Also includes several Christmas cards and business cards from various diplomats, dignitaries and friends.

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