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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Irish Nation, volume 1, numbers 17 and 48.

Includes issues published on 14 October 1916 (volume 1, number 17) and 19 May 1917 (volume 1, number 48). Issue number 17 features an article about the lack of rebuilding taking place in Dublin city centre following the 1916 Easter Rising, and includes a sardonic reference to the rebuilding of the Kenny's Advertising Agency building, suggesting this is related to 'big cheques' from the 'profitable business' of 'Recruitment in Ireland'. See sub-series 'Recruitment Controversy for further context about this topic. Issue number 48 includes the banner: 'Organ of the Repeal League and Independence Association'. Price: one penny.

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'.

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.

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.

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.'

To-morrow, volume 1, numbers 1 and 2.

Two issues of the literary magazine edited by Henry Francis Montgomery Stuart and Cecil Salkeld featuring contributions from Irish poets, writers and artists including WB Yeats, Lennox Robinson and Liam O’Flaherty. Volume 1, number 1 from August 1924 includes: ‘The Madonna of Slieve Dun’ by Lennox Robinson; ‘A Red Petticoat’ by Liam O’Flaherty; ‘Leda and the Swan’ by WB Yeats; ‘The Japanese Pine’ and ‘Just Now’ by Charlotte Arthur; ‘Be a Trembling Petal’ by Henry Francis Montgomery Stuart; ‘“As I was Among the Captives”’ by Joseph Campbell; ‘The Principles of Painting’ (with illustration) by Cecil Salkeld; an editorial by Henry Francis Montgomery Stuart and Cecil Salkeld; ‘Sonnet’ by OF Fleck; ‘Why we Live’ by ‘“Sachka”’; ‘A Primitive’ by LK Emery; Colour by Margaret Barrington, and ‘Alba’ by RND Wilson.

Volume 1, number 2 from September 1924 includes: ‘Honore Dumier’ by Arthur Symons; ‘The Garden’ by ‘Sachka’; ‘Marriage Song’ and an untitled poem by Blanaid Salkeld; ‘Wet Loveliness’ and ‘The Horse-Breaker’ by FR Higgins; ‘Two Poems’ [‘An Etching’ and ‘Gifts’] by Charlotte Arthur; ‘An P’ [in the German language] by OJ Fleck; ‘The Sea’ by RND Wilson; ‘In the Hour before Dawn’ by Henry Francis Montgomery Stuart; ‘The Popular Road’ by Iseult Stuart; ‘The Principles of Painting’ [continued from volume 1, number 1] (and illustration) by Cecil Salkeld, and ‘The Tendencies of the Younger Irish Poetry’ by LK Emery.

The address of the journal publisher is given as 13 Fleet Street, Dublin in volume 1, number 1 and is given as Roebuck House, Clonskeagh, Dublin in volume 1, number 2. Price of the journal is six pence.

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

The Tailor and Ansty: correspondence

Mainly consists of correspondence between Kenny and a number of individuals involved in a documentary researched and presented by Colum Kenny for RTÉ television about 'The Tailor and Ansty’ (husband and wife Timothy [‘the Tailor’] and Anastasia ['Ansty'] Buckley). The Tailor and Ansty 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 such as writers Frank O'Connor and Seán Ó Faoláin, sculptor Seamus Murphy, students of the Irish language, and folklorists. The book was published in 1942 and banned soon after. The RTÉ documentary included interviews with Cross, Ó Faoláin, and the Tailor and Ansty's close friend Nancy McCarthy-Allitt, and recounted the aftermath of the banning; including an episode when the Tailor was forced by three priests to burn a copy of the Eric Cross book in his fireplace. The documentary also included dramatised accounts of debates which took place in Seanad Éireann in December 1942 following the banning of the book. The RTÉ documentary was broadcast on 31 October 1978.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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