Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District Mae Sexton with Mel Kiernan, unveiling the new plaque. Photo: Michelle Ghee
There was a great buzz on Great Water Street last Friday afternoon as members of Longford County Council and members of the Kiernan family gathered at the garden of remembrance to unveil a plaque with a historical 1893 map of the street.
The plaque is a little slice of history, which recognises and acknowledges the exceptional role that the Kiernan family played in the economic, social and community development of Longford town.
Addressing the gathered crowd last Friday afternoon, Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District Cllr Mae Sexton recalled the great work of the Kiernan family, whose members carried out work on numerous properties around the county - including the cathedral.
On a more personal note, Cllr Sexton recalled the “budding romance of a young Mae Breaden and Water Street native, Tommy Sexton”, as she and Tommy used Kiernan's grocery shop as their meeting point.
“This plaque with its history of this place will stand as a permanent testament to the hard work and dedication of a family of conscientious, distinguished, honest and principled entrepreneurs, whose legacy continues to live on in its family and descendants,” Cllr Sexton concluded.
Martin Byrne, a member of the extended Kiernan family thanked the crowd for attending this very special occasion.
“This is a very special day for the extended Kiernan family,” he said.
“Our grandparents, Edward and Mary Kiernan first moved into the house on this side in the early 1900s and this was the beginning of nearly a century of connections, of memories with the original house and with Great Water Street.”
He went on to give a brief history of the family's time on Great Water Street before turning back to the plaque erected in his family's honour.
“All our lives consist of memories and I know that when we visit this lovely garden in the future, this plaque will remind us all of our personal history and our family’s connection to Great Water Street. And this means a lot to all of us,” he concluded.
His uncle, Mel Kiernan, was on hand to officially unveil the new plaque, which can be seen in the garden of remembrance on Great Water Street.