Today (5 September) Carloviana 2020 and a number of other local history journals were reviewed in the Irish Times by Paul Clements. Here is Paul’s review:

Built on a foundation of scholarly research, brimful of features, cultural and social commentary, local history journals are valuable chronicles of parish life. Stretching back to 1947, Carloviana, No 68 (Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society,€15) edited by John Kelly, is one of the longest established.

In its sleek 2020 edition, its 220 pages cover topics such as feastday traditions of the Blackstairs Mountains, Hacketstown fair days in the 1940s and early Carlow watermills. Through the Portal is an exploration of the landscape underneath and around Brownshill Dolmen which, with its huge capstone, is one of the most spectacular examples of the form.

Other highlights include previously unpublished photographs of the 1903 Gordon Bennet race of Carlow and south Kildare with atmospheric shots of dirt-track roads around Carlow town, Mageney, Castledermot, Moone and Ballitore. An international contest, the rally was regarded as a precursor of the present-day Formula 1 Grand Prix and was described by the Times as a “thrilling modern analogue of the Roman chariot race”.

An article by Christopher Power provides another glimpse into the motoring past with terrific photographs of cars from the early decades of the 20th century and the first vehicle ever registered in Co Carlow. (All copies of Caloviana since the first edition are available free on the website:

Full article can be viewed at:

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