newbridge is gearing up to celebrate St Conleth’s Day this Wednesday, May 4 in a bid to promote a sense of place and sense of pride in the community in line with Newbridge 200.
Saint Conleth was an Irish hermit and metalworker, also said to have been a copyist and skilled illuminator of manuscripts.
While living in seclusion at Old Connell on the River Liffey in what is now Newbridge he was persuaded by Saint Brigid to act as priest for her monastic community in Kildare and he became the first Bishop of Kildare circa 490.
“I had an idea of a ribbon or small emblem for the day and Suzann Smyth in Newbridge Library suggested I ask Newbridge Knit ‘N Stitch Group, run by Eva Kavanagh, who come into the Library on a Thursday morning to help,” explained local Librarian Mario Corrigan. “They responded enthusiastically and came up with an idea for a small emblem, which we have christened - ‘St. Conleth’s Rose’ - and proceeded to hand-knit 1,000 of them in little over one week which is truly unbelievable.”
The hand knitted emblems will be handed out for free on St Conleth’s Day to people in Newbridge to simply wish them a Happy St. Conleth’s Day.
“People should be able to collect them in the Library and Riverbank and we will make some available to Fr. Joe McDermott and Mayor Damian Molyneaux who are enthusiastic supporters of the project,” he added. “It just a way of saying thanks and reminding people that Conleth was from near Hurley’s Moat at Old Connell, Newbridge - a reclusive hermit who became a member of St. Brigid’s community at Kildare and ultimately her bishop, the fist Bishop of Kildare.
“We are tying in with Mary Linehan and Veronica Bagnall of Red Events and making it part of the May/June celebrations.
“This will include a walk to Hurley’s Moat on the 31st of May, courtesy of Mr. David Brophy, of Old Connell Stud, Red Events, Newbridge Local History Group and Mayor Damian Molyneaux.”