Séamas Ó Maitiú led this summer’s annual evening stroll on Thursday evening the 27 June 2024. We met at Valleymount church where, for our opening highlight, we viewed the magnificent stained glass windows.  The four windows to the side aisles are attributed to Harry Clarke who was a major figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement. The stained glass windows by the chancel are by Hubert McGoldrick.

We then made the short drive to the stonecutters’ village of Ballyknockan where we resumed sight-seeing, guided by Séamus.  John McEvoy provided a detailed account of how the stonecutters quarried the famous Ballyknockan stone in the 1800s.

Séamas Ó Maitiú is a retired teacher and university lecturer, and a former editor of the Dublin Historical Record.  Among his books of local interest are (as joint editor with Dermot Jones) The Wicklow World of Elizabeth Smith 1840-1850 (1996), Ballyknockan – A Wicklow Stonecutters’ Village (joint author with Barry O’Reilly) (1997), and Lacken and its Church Down the Years (2011).  He is also the author of Dublin’s Suburban Towns 1834 – 1930 (2003). His latest work is Irish Historic Towns Atlas – Rathmines (published by RIA, 2021).  Séamas is also the author of a number of books in Irish for teenagers, including Samhradh Samhradh which became very popular in schools.

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