by ehistoryadmin on August 15, 2020

Leinster Leader 6 December 1941


Mr. George Wolfe, Forenaughts, Naas

Widespread sympathy had been aroused by the death which took place on Monday night last of Mr. George Wolfe, Forenaughts, Naas. Deceased had suffered from heart trouble for some time past. His demise, notwithstanding was unexpected, despite his great age of 81 years, for he had been active and apparently in good spirits up to the time of his death.

The late Mr. Wolfe was the son of Mr. Theobald Wolfe, of Forenaughts and Bishopland, Ballymore-Eustace, and was born in December, 1859. He was educated at Sandhurst and Trinity College, Dublin, afterwards being Commissioned in the British Army in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Both deceased and his brother served in the Eygptian and Sudanese wars in which his brother was killed in 1885. Mr. George Wolfe fought at Tel-el-Kebir and for his part in that battle received the Medal, Clasp and the Khedive’s Star.

Retiring from the Army with the rank of Major, he served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers from 1882 to 1885 and in the 8th Hussars from 1885 to 1890, the date of his retirement. In 1888 he married Emily Maud, daughter of the late Mr. Smethurst, and widow of Mr. J. J. Lenna, M.P., for Yorkshire. Back in his native country the late Mr. Wolfe took an active interest in the Irish Nationalist movement, an interest which was also shared by his English wife. He was prominent in opposing the Balfour Ceorcion regime, though his ardent Irish sympathies were not popular among his fellow members of the landed gentry. About 1900 Mr. Wolfe was appointed High Sheriff for Kildare, and he held the position of Ranger for the Curragh in 1910. For twenty-two years deceased was a member of the Kildare Co. Council and was deeply absorbed in local affairs where his integrity, sense of public duty and splendid character were greatly appreciated. As Vice-Chairman of the Co. Council he was responsible for the initiation of many useful schemes of public benefit. In 1923 Mr. Wolfe was elected to Dail Eireann, and re-elected in 1927, in the Cumann Na nGaedheal interest, topping the poll. Mr. Wolfe did not stand for the General Election in 1932.

It is of interest to note that the late Mr. Wolfe was a descendant of a well-known family who came to Co. Kildare from England about 1653. Members of the family who became prominent in history included Lord Kilwarden, the Lord Chief Justice who was slain in Thomas St., Dublin, in Robert Emmett’s rebellion: General Wolfe who captured Quebec, and Charles Wolfe, the poet who wrote the famous elegy on the death of Sir John Moore. The Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone is also stated to be a kinsman of the family, and on a number of occasions the deceased went to Canada to attend celebrations held by other members of the same family. His last visit was about ten years ago.

Apart from political matters Mr. Wolfe was prominently associated with the various social and sporting activities in the county. He was a member of the Kildare Hunt for many years and his interest in hunting and horse-breeding was well-known. The late Mr. Wolfe was also attached to the Co. Kildare Golf, whilst he was only surviving member of the Co. Kildare Archaeological Society’s inaugural meeting. He was President of this Society up to the time of his demise.

Mr. Wolfe had an extensive holding at Bishopland, Ballymore-Eustace of 365 acres, but this estate was sold to a Mr. Sampey, some years ago. Amongst his tenants the deceased was held in high esteem for his kindliness and benevolence, and indeed amongst all classes his characteristic good nature and high principles were recognised.

His death will be sincerely mourned by rich and poor alike and condolences will be extended to his only surviving relative, his daughter, Miss Emily Maud Wolfe, on the passing of an amiable and well-beloved gentleman.

The remains were removed from Forenaughts, Naas, to the family burial place at Ballymore-Eustace on Thursday. A large and distinguished attendance was present. The interment took place after the Service conducted by Rev. Precentor Clover, Naas, assisted by Rev. Mr. Saunders Griffin, Rector, Hollywood and Ballymore-Eustace.

The attendance included: Mr. W. T. Cosgrove, T.D.; Senator William Cummins, P.C.; Mr. Gerard Sweetman, solr.; General Fanshawe; Major Mainguy; General Brennan, representing the Minister for Finance and Public Works; Mr. Barry Brown, Co. Registrar; Mr. D. O’Rourke, solr.; Mr. W. E. Coffey, Secretary of Kildare County Council; Rev. Archdeacon Peacocke; Col. H. Mansfield; Capt. Mansfield; Mr. Joseph Osborne; Mr. W. T. M. Browne, V.S.; Mr. Joseph A. Cunningham; Very Rev. P. J. Doyle, P.P., Naas; Dr. Roantree; Mr. Joseph Gorry; Mr. Michael Fitzsimons, Co.C., and Mr. P. Fitzsimons; Mr. Gregory Byrne, Co.C; Commander Higginson; Mr. T. P. Clarke, Secretary, Co. Kildare Board, G.A.A.; Mrs. B. Lawlor, Naas; Mr. T. Lyons; Mr. Jack Fulham; Mr. Thos. Flanagan, Naas; Mr. A. Hanlon; Mr. Chas. Duncan; Mr. J. Malone, Brookstown; Mr. W. Smith, Rathmore; Miss Mitchell, Wellfield; Rev. Mr. Crooks; Miss Morris; Mr. and Mrs. Fenton; Mr. Jasper; Dr. Geraty; Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson; Mr. M. Magee; Mr. Kelso; Mrs. Croshaw; Miss M. Brown; Mr. Walsh, the dean of Kildare; Chief Supt Murphy, G.S.; General de Burgh; Capt. de Burgh; Mrs. Sinnott, Commander Sinnott; Mrs. McDermott; Miss Alexandra; Messrs. J. and E. Kinsella; Mr. T. Flanagan; Mr. P. O’Connor, Ballymany, Newbridge; Colonel Harrison, Johnstown, etc.

Naas Council’s Sympathy

At a meeting of the Naas Urban Council the following resolution was proposed by Mr. Fitzsimons and seconded by Mr. T. Lacy – “That we tender our sincere sympathy to Miss Wolfe and the other relatives on the death of Mr. George Wolfe, who, for so many years represented North Kildare in Dail Eireann. Always a good Irishman, he fostered the Irish language, subscribed generously to every charity, and in private was most generous in his help to the poor on all occasions. His demise will cause a great void and the poor will miss him severely.”

Mr. Fitzsimons said there was very little need to elaborate on the qualities of Mr. Wolfe. They were well-known to everyone living in the vicinity, and although he lived to a ripe old age, he will still be missed.

Mr. Lacy, seconding, said he knew the late Mr. Wolfe for forty years, and came into contact with him on many occasions, and all he could say was summed up in the one sentence – he was a gentleman.

Mr. Doyle wished to be associated with the resolution and agreed with all that had been said.

Mr. O’Donoghue also associated himself with the resolution and said he had met Mr. Wolfe at election time. He was a decent opponent and acted like a gentleman at all times.

Mrs. Higgins also associated herself with the resolution.

Leinster Leader 13 December 1941


Last Sunday (December 7th, 1941), this tribute of respect to the memory of the late George Wolfe was delivered in St. John’s Church, Ballymore-Eustace, by the Rev. R. Saunderson Griffin: –

It is only right and fitting that a brief reference should be made this morning to the passing from things temporal to things eternal, of one, who was connected with this parish for many years – George Wolfe.

The late George Wolfe, was a prominent figure in the social world, in the political world, and with notes of thankfulness and gratitude we hasten to add, in the religious world, as well.

While we might dwell upon all the various movements that appealed to him and in which he took a keen interest, the affairs of this county, its Archaeological Society, with which he was connected since its inauguration and the welfare of the poor and needy, whom he always generously helped; we prefer to recall his undying love for this parish. It must now be placed on record that George Wolfe always took a very real and deep interest in the affairs of our parish. Even though for many years he ceased to reside in our parish, her church and its support were never absent from his thoughts – year by year he generously subscribed to our Parochial Sustentation Fund – thus showing in a very practical way his deep interest in the welfare of our parish. When circumstances permitted he always loved to pay an occasional visit to our church and take his part as a devoted worshipper in her Services. Around each fibre, each nerve of his heart, this Church was entwined.

In the year 1894 considerable improvements and additions were made to this Church, that have made it, what it is to-day, a place where we can worship God, “in beauty of holiness.” These included the building of the Chancel, with its stately and magnificent East window and the erection of an open ceiling of pitch pine. It was then, that George Wolfe presented to our Church, its handsome Brass Lectern that adds dignity to our beautiful and well-equipped Church.

To-day we mourn the loss of one who never forgot our parish. Beneath the shadow of this Church, towards which his thoughts and affections are so often turned, he now rests “in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.”

We thank God for his life and the example he has left behind him – for his love and devotion for our parish and her Church, that will always treasure within her sacred walls a beautiful monument to remind us and each succeeding generation of his generosity and loving interest in the advancement of God’s Kingdom here on earth. To those who mourn his loss, and in particular to his devoted daughter we tender our deepest sympathy.

“Hail and farewell, the laurels with dust

Are levelled, but thou hast the surer crown,

Peace and immortal calm, the victory won.

Somewhere serene, thy watchful power inspires.

Thou art a living purpose, being dead.

A fruit of nobleness in lesser lives

A Guardian and a guide

Hail and Farewell.”

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