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The Collins Family

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You would hardly believe the number of ancestors this family have around Lucan today.

collins family

Taken in Adamstown around 1910, the photo shows John and Kate Collins with eleven of their thirteen children.
Back Row L-R: Jim, Eva, Kate Collihns (mother), Christina and Ned.
Middle Row L-R: Tom, Daisy, Nance, John Collins (father), Jack, Jenny and Eileen.
Front Row: Martin.
It looks like the picture was taken on St. Patrick's Day, as there are several sprigs of shamrock on show.

Born in 1855, John Collins came from Coolamadra in the Wicklow Mountains. His people were farmers and until his arriage he was a member of the Church of Ireland. His wife, Kate, also a Wicklow woman came from Knockinarrigan, near the Glen of Imaal. Her maiden name was Dowling, and her father was a blacksmith.

John and Kate were married in St. Catherine's R.C. Church, Meath Street on 6th February 1883, and over the next twenty years, they had five sons and eight daughters – ten of these were born and baptised in Lucan.

When the photograph was taken, John Collins was the Land Steward at Finnstown House. He'd begun working for the Nash family in the 1880s (in Lucan and Howth) as a caretaker and gamekeeper.

He lived to the ripe old age of 90, dying on 26th December 1945. Kated died at 83, in October 1941. They're buried together in the Old Esker Cemetery, just to the right of the big cross on the main walkway.

Their children…….
Tom, born in 1896, was the father of the late Jack Collins of Sarsfield Park.

Eva, born 1892, was to be one of the many young women widowed during the Great War. Her husband, Thomas Sharpe, was a Private in the East Lancashire Regiment, and was killed in action on the Western Front in October 1917. Eva had married Thomas (a publican's son from Roscrea), in St. Mary's in Octber 1914. She later remarried.

The oldest and youngest of the five Collins brothers were killed in accidents some years after this photograph was taken. The eldest boy, Jack, was killed in a train accident, while the youngest, Martin, was accidentally shot dead in September 1925. Martin, a grocer's assistant, had been out shooting birds near Straffan, along with his employer, Michael Nugent of James's Street. On their way home, they were climbing a railway embankment at a place called Barnrath, when a shotgun accidentally discharged, killing the unfortuante Martin instantly. He was twenty-one.

The two missing from this photograph are Mollie (better known locally as Nurse Moffett), who was the eldest of the family, and married at the time living in Sandymount, and also Kathleen who married Jim Rafter of the Rafter family of Glenwood at the top of Stanford's Hill.

Thank you so much to Tomás Moffett, grandson of Nurse Moffett (Mollie), who sent us the above photograph and information.

I'm just thinking of all the Lucan families of today who can trace their lineage back to this Collins family. I wouldn't list them, as I'd surely leave somebody out. What a dynasty!

Mary Mulhall