SUNDAY 17th JUNE –  Birr Castle and Damer House and Castle in Roscrea – Departing from Foxrock Church at 9.00 SHARP – A tea/coffee break in the Gandon Inn near Emo Court. Then onto Birr for lunch in Birr Castle followed by a tour of this grounds. After onto Roscrea for a guided tour of Damer House and Castle. Estimated time of return to Foxrock Church at 19:30 pm. Members will be given first preference as these all day tours are taken up  well by our club .

Cost EUR55.00

Payment to: Myles Reid, 34 Clonkeen Drive, Foxrock, Dublin 18E8P5

Mobile – 087 9337475


LONG TALK  –  Pearl and Alfonso – A Foxrock and Spanish connection in the 1920’s and 30’s

Pearl Smiddy was the daughter of Ireland’s first ever diplomatic representative in the United States. Alfonso de los Reyes was a military attaché at the Spanish Embassy in Washington. They were married in the “tin church” at Foxrock, in January 1928. Their stories take place against a turbulent political background – of Irish independence and then the events leading up to the Spanish Civil War.     Speaker – John Porter

SHORT TALK  Murder incident in Deansgrange during the Civil War.

The stories of the Civil War in Ireland have rarely being told. Some events occurred  close to our area. The researching these by our speaker, Jim Scannell, has unearthed some of the local incidents in the south Dublin area.  Speaker  -Jim Scannell

Frank Murray R.I.P.

Members will have seen the news reports of the sudden and unexpected death on the Saturday of Easter weekend. You will have seen commendations from the Taoiseach, the President and other senior politicians. And no doubt we will all hear more when his funeral takes place.

Frank was Secretary to the government through some exciting times including, Charlie Haughey’s tenure and quite a few other Taoisigh and the peace process. On retirement he took up other posts, the most significant being with Sir Ken Bloomfield on the  Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains as one of two international inspectors tasked with finding the bodies of people ‘disappeared’ during the Northern troubles. He was greatly respected internationally and even by the hard line protagonists and most importantly by the families of the missing, in whom he inspired confidence that he was one who would never give up the search. He met the families. He met the IRA men and the other hard men and many others with the guarantee that what he learned would not leak out to any other body whether government, press, security or other shady group or individual.  He and his colleagues in the ILCVR  have steadily worked through the list of the disappeared, finding remains even as far away as France and bringing some measure of comfort and closure to many families until now only three remain to be found.

The Federation of Local History Societies and The Federation for Ulster Studies were beneficiaries of Frank’s generous support and influence when we organised our first ‘Our Own Place’ series of events. The FULS came to Dublin with a coach full of local history members very many of whom had never been to Dublin and who needed reassurance that they would be well received and safe in Dublin as indeed did so many of our group on the visit in the other direction. I was at that time the chairman of the FLHS and Frank was one of our members in Foxrock. He volunteered to help in any he could. We wanted to make a really big impression on our guests and to show the best possible Dublin welcome. He arranged for the whole group to visit the then almost sacrosanct very beautiful Iveagh House, HQ of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs. When this large group arrived it was to find a wine and refreshments reception laid on and we noted the welcome and the deference of the Civil Service staff given to Frank who was then just retired from Secretary to the Govt. We had a similar experience at Dublin Castle State Apartments.

Frank was a loyal and very supportive member of Foxrock Local History Club seen here on one of our annual outings.

Over the years Frank provided much similar help and presented a lecture to our society on the work of the ILCVR which was the same lecture he had presented to a United Nations body and other international groups. He was a modest and self-effacing man and when a few of us relaxed together he had some great stories from his days in the corridors of power. He was a good friend and a great Leitrim and Irish man and it can truly be said that in a long and distinguished  Civil Service career he did this state some great service.

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam Dhílis



Pádraig Laffan