Additional Biographical Note

Niamh Reilly

This additional biographical note provides further personal and family context to A. J. Kettle’s memoirs some 65 years after their original publication by Laurence Kettle in 1958, and more than a hundred years after A. J. Kettle first recorded his recollections in handwritten notes. In particular, using currently available online public civil records and newspaper articles, family anecdotes, archival material, and previously published commentary, this note provides additional information about A. J. Kettle’s wife, Margaret (McCourt) Kettle, and their 12 children. It also highlights the close links between A. J. Kettle’s family and the family of his brother, P. J. Kettle Sr.


Apart from Chapter 1 of The Material for Victory, in which A. J. Kettle shares some reminiscences of his own childhood and youth, the memoirs focus overwhelmingly on his part in the movement for land reform in Ireland and its leaders, especially foregrounding Parnell’s role between 1875 and 1890. To provide some personal context for the memoirs when they were first published in 1958, Laurence Kettle added a Biographical Note in the form of a series of short descriptions of significant events and characters that give insight into A. J. Kettle’s personal and business life and what he valued. The original note contains glimpses of Kettle’s father-in-law, Laurence McCourt, and his sons, notably his eldest son, Andrew Jr. (also known as Andy) and his youngest son, Charles (known as Charlie), who, in contrast to Laurence and Tom Kettle, were not public figures.

Laurence would have assumed that readers in 1958 were aware of his most famous brother, Tom Kettle (1880-1916), whose photograph appears in the book. While Laurence does not discuss Tom’s life in detail, his younger brother’s central significance to their father is made clear. In his Introduction, Laurence notes that A. J. Kettle had left instructions that he wanted Tom to publish the memoirs.[1] He tells us that his father had been especially “fond and proud” of Tom and on hearing that Tom was “listed as missing” following the Battle of Ginchy (9 September 1916), the 83-year-old father had responded that he no longer wished to live if Tom was dead.[2] Also underlining the special relationship between Tom and his father, Laurence closes the Introduction with “Tom’s epitaph” written for their father: “None served Ireland better, few served her as well.”[3]

In the original Biographical Note, Laurence commends the efforts of his youngest brother, Charles Stewart Kettle (1888-1952). Charles, who was educated at Newbridge and Clongowes Wood colleges, followed in his father’s footsteps to become a farmer. He managed substantial parts of A. J. Kettle’s farming business during the last decade of his father’s life and continued to farm for a few years after that. In his twenties, Charles was a member of the Dublin and District Motor Cycle Club and in 1915 participated in “reliability trials for motorcycles with sidecars.”[4] He was also a community activist and served as chair of the County Dublin Farmers’ Association in the 1920s, an organisation in which his father and his cousin, P. J. Kettle, were prominent in the 1910s. In this capacity, Charles was one of 121 witnesses interviewed by the Final Commission on Agriculture (1922-24). He also made a written submission to the body on the decline of tillage farming in County Dublin. The Commission “sat 56 times in public and 38 times in private session in order to ‘represent every phase of agricultural thought and activity.’”[5] In addition to the transfer of land from landlord to tenant, the period from 1870 to 1910 was defined by an “overall swing from tillage farming […] to pasture farming.”[6] Charles married Bridget (Beda) Dunne in 1911 and they had four children (Charlotte, Thomas, Leslie, and Margaret). While Charles continued to farm during the years after his father’s death, wider economic conditions were not conducive to this and subsequently he became a civil servant, working as an inspector for the Land Commission in Leinster.[7] Charles Kettle died in 1952, aged 63.

Laurence also highlights the talents of his older brother Andrew Kettle Jr. (1874-1917). He recalls that Andrew had managed what had been the McCourt farm at Newtown, St. Margaret’s, County Dublin, in the 1890s, which A. J. Kettle bought after the death in 1893 of his father-in-law, Laurence McCourt. Andrew Jr.’s granddaughter (Anne Mooney) was later told by her grandaunt, Jane Kettle, that she also had been despatched to Newtown along with Andrew Jr. in the role of “housekeeper” for a time. Laurence further notes that Andrew Jr. was a nationally recognised cyclist who held a number of all-Ireland speed and distance records.[8] This was a source of great inspiration to his younger brothers, Laurence and Tom, who formed a cycling club at Clongowes Wood College.[9]

There is some evidence that A. J. Kettle fell out with his eldest son, Andrew Jr., but Laurence does not mention this in his 1958 Biographical Note. The main source for this story is a 1964 interview with Tom Kettle’s wife, Mary Sheehy Kettle (1884-1967), who recalled that A. J. Kettle had treated his son Andrew “very badly,” apparently due to the father’s dissatisfaction with his son’s marriage to Mary (Reid) Kettle in 1900. However, it is also possible that any rift there was could have stemmed from the father’s disappointment that his eldest son was not as dedicated a farmer as he might have wished him to be. The Material for Victory documents A. J. Kettle’s decades of extraordinary hard work to transform the conditions of Ireland’s tenant farmers so that they could become owners and stewards of the land they farmed. Having achieved this aspiration personally, especially with the purchase of the McCourt farm, A. J. Kettle, then 60 years old, presumably looked forward to his eldest son building on what he had established. However, Andrew Jr.’s interests lay elsewhere. As a member of the Wanderers Cycling Club, he secured 46 cycling prizes in 1897 alone (aged 23).[10] This would have required a level of time commitment and focus that was admirable but inevitably would have diverted attention away from farming. If there was tension between father and son, it is plausible that this was a source of it. The 1901 census indicates that Andrew Jr. was no longer farming and was working for Dublin Corporation as a “rates collector.”

At the same time, it appears that A. J. Kettle actively supported this development. On 28 February 1901, one month after the birth of Andrew Jr.’s first child and A. J. Kettle’s first grandchild (Margaret, known as Genevieve), he wrote to John Redmond, recently elected leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, to ask for his help “if possible” in encouraging support for the candidacy of Andrew Jr. (“one of my sons”) for an appointment in Dublin Corporation that would soon be decided by a vote of the city council.[11]

Mary Sheehy Kettle’s anecdote that Andrew Jr. was cut off by his father or that his mother, Margaret, was prevented from seeing her son until after her husband’s death[12] appears to have been mistaken. Newspaper notices of the funerals of younger Kettle siblings in 1903 and 1915 list Andrew Jr. among the “chief mourners.”[13] In 1913, on the sad occasion of admitting his 25-year-old daughter to the Richmond District Asylum, where she subsequently died in 1914, A. J. Kettle listed his eldest and youngest sons, Andrew Jr. and Charles, as additional close relatives for contact purposes. Further, Andrew Jr. is named as the primary beneficiary and executor of the will of his father, who died in 1916. Tragically, Andrew Jr. died the next year in 1917, also at the Richmond District Asylum, aged 43. The official cause of death given was “general paralysis of the insane.” However, Andrew Jr.’s hospital admission record notes that he had recently suffered from “shingles of the head,” which can be associated with brain infection, causing symptoms and death similar to those of “general paralysis of the insane.” The large gathering of attendees recorded at Andrew Jr.’s funeral, of extended family and members of the political establishment of the day,[14] belies the narrative of a son completely outside the fold. Andrew and Mary (Reid) Kettle had two children, Margaret and Andrew, who were 16 and 15 years old at the time of their father’s death.


Margaret McCourt (1851-1927) was the daughter of Laurence McCourt, a commercial farmer operating significant holdings at St. Margaret’s, County Dublin. Contemporary funeral notices indicate that she had at least two brothers: “P. J.” and William. A Mary McCourt, one of the witnesses at Margaret’s marriage, could have been her sister or mother. Two witnesses at the baptism of Alice, the daughter of Margaret, were John and Ellen McCourt. They are likely to have been a brother and sister (or sister-in-law) of Margaret. Throughout the 1870s, Laurence McCourt’s name appears alongside A. J. Kettle’s in newspaper coverage of meetings of the Dublin and Central Tenants’ Defence Associations in which both were activists. In the original Biographical Note, Laurence Kettle mentions that his grandfather was a skilled horseman and a well-known member of the still-existing Ward Union Hunt, which suggests that the McCourt family was well off.

In 1870, Margaret McCourt married Andrew J. Kettle. She was 19 and he was 37 years old. Over the next 24 years, the couple had 12 children: seven girls and five boys. Margaret and Andrew’s marriage had key characteristics of post-Famine unions, including a wide age gap and a large number of children. Historian Caitríona Clear cautions against the “gloomy scenario” that historians often paint of such marriages of the time, supposing them to be transactional, loveless, and especially “hard on women.”[15] Mary Sheehy Kettle recalled that Tom’s mother, Margaret, was “self-effacing” and “kind” and took “refuge in the kitchen.” She also recounts how when she visited the Kettle family home “there were always wonderful meals, an enormous spread at high tea and dinner,” and that Tom’s father would always “pick the flouriest potato for her,” considering this to be the best kind of potato.[16] She observed that “all the family were devoted to [their mother].” She further noticed that Tom’s sister Jane (known as Janie), was also “a kind of mother to them all” (which often happens to older daughters in large families), and that Jane’s departure to “enter a convent” was a “great blow to the whole household.” In his biography of Tom Kettle, J. B. Lyons refers to Margaret (McCourt) Kettle only indirectly, when he imagines Tom, the small child, reciting “prayers learned at the knee of a pious mother,”[17] but this seems to be conjecture.

There are mixed accounts of A. J. Kettle’s disposition as a father. J. B. Lyons sketches him as “a rigid, demanding parent”[18] and quotes from a letter that Tom sent to his younger sister Josephine (c. 1903) in which he laments the “almost complete absence [in their family] of that close and confidential intercourse which makes some homes so delightful.”[19] While A. J. Kettle could have been perceived by his young children as a serious and stern parent, in her own “memoir” of Tom Kettle after her husband’s death, Mary Sheehy Kettle described the close relationship between the father and the adult son:

[Tom] was intensely proud of his father and always loved, in later years, when the old man was confined indoors, to drive out to his country home to thresh out current politics with him. Though apparently they seldom came to agreement, still it was obvious they radiated in each other.[20]

A. J. Kettle’s memoirs contain some clues as to the nature of his and Margaret’s life together. When he was almost 49 years old and in poor health after six months in Kilmainham Jail for his part in the Land War, he recalled: “My wife’s health [had] got even worse than my own with the worry of the business and anxiety of looking after a large family, and she was held to be in a bad way. Still she came to [visit] me every week.”[21] At this juncture, Margaret was 30 years old and the mother of their five surviving children aged eight and under. In a second reference to his domestic arrangements A. J. Kettle mentioned that his family was “pretty large and young” (and therefore required him to focus on his farming and finances), as he made a request to Parnell after leaving prison to be permitted “to retire [from political activism] until further orders.”[22] These statements suggest that A. J. Kettle was conscious that his wife’s role caring for a large and growing family was a demanding one in itself, made more difficult by his political activism and period of imprisonment. They also indicate that their relationship was based on a partnership, albeit one in which each carried large burdens as determined by A. J. Kettle’s dual vocation as a tillage farmer and land reform activist, as well as by the gender, social, and religious conventions of the day.

There is no evidence that Margaret (McCourt) Kettle was engaged in activities outside of managing the large Kettle household and possibly the “minor […] farming activity” which, Laurence noted, took place at the family home in Millview (as distinct from the main centre of the farming business at Artane and later at St. Margaret’s). Without doubt, this work would not have left Margaret much time for anything else. The 12 Kettle children in order of age were: Mary (b. 28 December 1871), who died within minutes of being born due to “disability”; Alice (19 January 1873-25 March 1943); Andrew (7 May 1874-7 December 1917); Jane (Sr. Alphonsus) (27 February 1876-29 January 1967); Laurence (27 February 1878-27 August 1960); Thomas (9 February 1880-9 September 1916); Mary Catherine (Sr. Ambrose) (24 October 1882-25 September 1907); William (18 June 1884-23 May 1903); Josephine (23 March 1887-5 September 1914); Charles (21 August 1888-29 June 1952); Margaret (9 July 1891-10 February 1915); and Catherine (Kathy/Kathleen) (17 January 1894-13 September 1967).

After her husband A. J. Kettle died in 1916, Margaret (McCourt) Kettle moved to 6 Mountainview Road, Ranelagh. This address is close to the Dominican community and school at Muckross Park, where her daughter Jane (Sr. Alphonsus) resided and it is also near to where her son, Laurence, and youngest daughter, Kathy, lived at this time at 6 St. Mary’s Road, Ballsbridge. By 1917, Margaret had outlived seven of her 12 children. She died ten years later, aged 76, having suffered from cancer and heart failure. There are two small plaques in Beechwood Church, Ranelagh, dedicated to “Mrs. Margaret Kettle,” most likely commissioned by Laurence. One reads “in loving memory” and the second is a prayer for her.[23] These are small reminders that Margaret was warmly regarded in her private life. In newspaper notices at the time, however, she is remembered for being the wife of her once celebrated husband. As one obituary stated: “The passing of Mrs. Kettle recalls one of the links with the old land war days, when the name Kettle was amongst the leading ones which figured during that phase of Ireland’s claim for justice.”[24]


Tragically, three of the Kettle siblings succumbed to tuberculosis (TB) when they were young adults. The prevalence of TB began to rise in Ireland starting in 1880 so that “an average of 12,135 people were lost to it every year between 1899 and 1908.”[25] William died in 1903, aged 18. Anne Mooney (Sr. Genevieve), a grandniece of the siblings, recalls being told later by Jane (Sr. Alphonsus) that William had been a seminarian. It is also noteworthy that in the 1901 census return, A. J. Kettle records that his son William is a scholar who speaks “Irish and English,” the only member of the Kettle household for whom this is recorded. In her biography of Tom Kettle, historian Senia Pašeta notes (citing Mary Sheehy Kettle) that the death of William triggered a bout of depression for Tom, who was sent to Innsbruck in Austria to recover.[26] Before William’s death, Mary Catherine wrote to Tom, “Poor mother must be utterly worn out [taking care of William], having no rest for so long now.”[27]

Sadly, four years later, in 1907, Mary Catherine also died of TB, aged 25, at Sion Hill Dominican Convent, Blackrock. A recently professed nun who had taken the name Sr. Ambrose, she is remembered almost a decade later in an obituary for her father as “a gifted Sister of the Order of St. Dominic” who had predeceased A. J. Kettle along with his “brave and brilliant son Tom.”[28] One year after Mary Catherine’s death, Tom Kettle, then an MP, spoke at Westminster in 1908 criticizing the lack of resources provided to implement the proposed Tuberculosis Prevention (Ireland) Bill. He spoke “with the sincerity and seriousness of a person two members of whose own immediate family […] had died from tuberculosis” and “was bound to say that the Bill was going to scare everybody and cure nobody in Ireland.”[29] The rate of death did begin to fall after 1908, but “very slowly.” While about 12,000 people died of TB in 1908, a decade later that number was about 10,000.[30] Josephine (known as Josie) was the third Kettle sibling to die of TB. She also had a heart defect (“mitral regurgitation”). Josephine died in 1914, aged 27, while a patient at the Richmond District Asylum (more recently St. Brendan’s, Grangegorman).


A great deal has been written about delayed and declining rates of marriage in post-Famine Ireland. Explanations range from the shift that occurred in passing land down to one son only (thereby leaving siblings little to offer a potential spouse), to speculation about domineering widowed mothers standing between their sons and prospective daughters-in-law, to the embrace of celibacy as a way of life, reflecting the influence of the Catholic Church, or the impact of emigration as people postponed marriage due to related uncertainties.[31] Caitríona Clear suggests that the independent choices of the daughters of farmers and the members of the commercial middle class around the turn of the century also played a significant role. This cohort was among the first to avail of educational opportunities and many saw the prospects of paid work, religious life, or a “genteel single life” in the original family home as appealing alternatives to marriage.[32] The latter explanation appears to be most relevant to the Kettle sisters. Just one of A. J. and Margaret Kettle’s six daughters who reached adulthood was married. Two became Dominican nuns: Mary Catherine (Sr. Ambrose), who died young, and Jane Kettle (Sr. Alphonsus), who became a nun and teacher. Anne Mooney (Sr. Genevieve) recalls her grandaunt Sr. Alphonsus having a reputation as a “very good English teacher,” first at Sion Hill and later at Muckross Park College. Two past pupils who attended Muckross Park in the 1930s recalled “poetry sessions with Sr. Alphonsus out under the trees on fine days.”[33] Tom Kettle’s biographer J. B. Lyons noted that she had also taught geography and drama and was warmly remembered by grandnieces and grandnephews for her “Kettle wit” and “kind personality.”[34] Jane Kettle was the longest surviving Kettle sibling. She died in 1967, shortly before her 91st birthday.

The eldest daughter, Alice (1873-1943), named after A. J. Kettle’s mother, was the only one of six Kettle sisters to marry. Mary Sheehy Kettle recalled that Alice “had a very gracious manner; she met you at the hall door to welcome you.”[35] In 1897, Alice, aged 26, married Ralph McGuinness, aged 27, in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral. The 1901 census shows that the couple were living at 11 Dargle Road in Drumcondra and did not have any children at that time. Ralph, who was educated at Castleknock College, worked in Dublin Corporation from about 1898 in various capacities, including assisting with the city’s regulation of water and petroleum. Tragedy struck in 1908 when Ralph died suddenly after contracting tetanus as a result of a hand injury incurred in a minor cycling accident. An obituary in the Freeman’s Journal describes him as a “popular and courteous public official” and as a distinguished athlete and a “leading cyclist.”[36] He and Alice were living at 2 Churchill Terrace, Glasnevin, at the time Ralph died. He had just left his brother-in-law Andrew’s house nearby when the accident occurred. Like Andrew, Ralph had been a member of the Wanderers Cycling Club and the two had excelled in competitions together during the 1890s.[37] Given the close family and professional links between the two men and their shared enthusiasm for cycling, it appears that not only did Alice lose her husband but Andrew lost a close friend.

After the death of Ralph, Alice McGuinness does not appear in the 1911 censuses of Ireland or Britain. Hospital admission records of her two siblings, Josephine (1913) and Andrew Jr. (1917), suggest that Alice also was admitted for a time to the Richmond District Asylum, possibly in the years following her husband’s death. J. B. Lyons noted in his biography of Tom Kettle that Alice had lived in the Isle of Wight,[38] but no evidence of this was given or has survived. Mrs. Alice McGuinness is named as a beneficiary of her father’s will after his death in 1916. She was residing at 25 Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, at the time of her death some 27 years later in 1943, aged 72. Alice died following treatment for breast cancer over a number of years. There are no public records or family memories to indicate that she had any children.

Josephine Kettle (1887-1914) was single, aged 27, and a trainee nurse when she died prematurely in 1914. In the 1911 census no profession is recorded for her at age 24, in line with the new instruction included on the 1911 form that “no entry should be made in the case of wives, daughters, or other female relatives solely engaged in domestic duties in the home.” This suggests that Josephine began to train as a nurse after 1911. It is impossible to say whether Josephine would have remained single if she had lived. The “first wave” feminist movement in this era focused on achieving women’s right to vote and for girls and women to have access to education and professions on par with boys and men. While it was not uncommon for working-class married women with children to be in paid work, for example, in textile manufacturing in Derry,[39] to the limited extent that white collar and professional roles opened up for women, these were typically viewed as alternatives to marriage and motherhood.

Margaret Mary Kettle (1891-1915) was the second youngest of the family. She also died prematurely in 1915, aged 24. Like Josephine, no profession or occupation is recorded for Margaret in the 1911 census when she was 19 years old. In the previous census of 1901, all of the Kettle children present (Thomas, William, Josephine, Charles, Margaret, and Kathleen) were recorded as “scholars,” indicating that they were “attending a school or receiving regular instruction at home.” Notably, A. J. Kettle recorded in 1901 that his 21-year-old son Thomas Kettle was a “Student Undergrad. R.U.I. [Royal University of Ireland].” If any of his daughters were engaged in education or training of any kind in 1911, it is likely that he would have recorded it in a similarly concise way. Margaret died at home, with her mother present, at Newtown, St. Margaret’s, due to the combined effects of “valvular heart disease” and Graves’ disease (“exophthalmic goitre”). J. B. Lyons noted that Margaret had “died suddenly when dressing to go out to a dance.”[40]

Catherine Agnes Kettle (1894-1967) was the youngest of the family and the seventh daughter. Her great-grandnieces remember her as “Kathy” and she appears on the 1901 census and in newspaper notices of her father’s will as “Kathleen.”[41] In the 1911 census, Catherine, aged 17, is recorded as a boarding student at St. Mary’s College, Muckross Park. Her sister Jane (Sr. Alphonsus) is also listed as resident at Marlborough Road (Muckross Park) at this time, an English teacher by profession, aged 36. For most of her adult life, Catherine (Kathy) Kettle lived with her brother Laurence at St. Mary’s Road and 46 Cowper Road, Rathmines. She worked in the civil service and remained single. At the time of her death in 1967, she was living at 43 Park Drive, Rathmines. She died, aged 73, of “primary cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic).”

Of the five Kettle brothers, three were married – Andrew, Tom, and Charles. William, who died at 18 years of age, and Laurence never married. Andrew Jr. had two children, Tom had one child, and Charles had four children, so that A. J. and Margaret Kettle had a total of seven grandchildren


Tom Kettle (1880-1916) was born in Kilmore, Artane, Co. Dublin, the sixth child of A. J. and Margaret Kettle. He became the most famous of the Kettle siblings. In the first decade of the twentieth century he was viewed by many as the brightest star of a new, expectant generation of educated middle-class Catholics, which included Padraic Colum, Oliver St. John Gogarty, James Joyce, and Hanna and Frank Sheehy-Skeffington. With Laurence, Tom first attended O’Connell’s Christian Brothers School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and later Clongowes Wood Jesuit College, Co. Kildare, where both excelled academically. Tom entered University College Dublin in 1897, completing a BA in Mental and Moral Sciences in 1902. During his lifetime, Tom Kettle was “associated with almost every major political and cultural development” in Ireland.[42] He came to prominence in his twenties as a writer who was a gifted essayist and journalist; a politician who was an emerging leader of “constitutional nationalism” and one of the last, young Irish Parliamentary Party MPs; a public intellectual and orator who was much in demand; a committee member of the Irish Volunteers; and a soldier killed in WWI, aged 36. After his death and Ireland’s decisive turn to “separatist nationalism” in 1916, Tom Kettle was almost forgotten. However, in the context of the centenary of World War I and Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries (2012-23), he has resurfaced and is increasingly referenced as a figure who reveals the complexity of Irish identity as a high-profile nationalist who fought and died in the Battle of the Somme.

Tom Kettle was a progressive, liberal Catholic intellectual and a vocal advocate for the rights of women and labour. Having co-founded and served as first president of the Young Ireland branch of the United Irish League (UIL), Tom was elected Irish Parliamentary Party MP for East Tyrone in 1906 and re-elected in 1910. He was also a poet, a literary translator, a reluctant barrister (called to the bar in 1906) and, from 1910, Professor of National Economics at University College Dublin. In 1909, Tom Kettle married nationalist, suffragist, and university graduate Mary Sheehy (1874-1967), sister of Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington. Betty (1913-1996) was their only child. As a young man, for health reasons, Tom had spent substantial periods in Europe, during which time he became proficient in French and German. He read widely, especially in political philosophy, literature, sociology, economics, and science, as well as Christian and Catholic theology. Throughout his adult life, he struggled with bouts of depression and later with alcoholism.

Laurence (“Larry”) Kettle (1878-1960) was also born at Kilmore, Artane, the fifth child of the family. After Clongowes Wood College, Laurence went on to study electrical engineering on a Maxwell scholarship at Faraday House in London and worked in engineering jobs in the UK and Switzerland.[43] He subsequently joined Dublin City Corporation’s electrical department in 1906, becoming deputy city electrical engineer in 1912.[44] Laurence earned a bachelor’s degree in 1902 and a master’s degree in 1906.[45] A committed nationalist, he followed in his father’s political footsteps in supporting John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party and was active in the party’s Young Ireland branch, of which Tom was elected president in 1904.[46] After the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill (1912) and the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), which aimed to resist Home Rule by force, a broad coalition of nationalists established the Irish Volunteers in November 1913. Laurence, representing the Irish Parliamentary Party, became joint secretary of the provisional committee of the Volunteers, which Tom also joined, viewing the body as “the kernal of what might become a genuinely Irish army.”[47] Both Laurence and Tom were involved in official Irish Parliamentary Party efforts to import arms for the organisation. Meanwhile, the Home Rule Bill became law in 1914, but its implementation was postponed due to the outbreak of World War I. The vast majority of Irish Volunteers responded to Redmond’s call in 1914 to form the National Volunteers and join the allied side in the war. During the 1916 Easter Rising, as a well-known senior public servant, Laurence Kettle was detained for a time by the Irish Citizens Army in the Royal College of Surgeons.[48] Months later, his brother Tom died on 9 September 1916 in the Battle of the Somme and their father died on 22 September 1916, soon after hearing this news.

After the Easter Rising and the eclipse of Home Rule parliamentary politics, Laurence focused his professional talents and energies on contributing to national development. In 1918 he became the city electrical engineer for Dublin and over the next few years formed the Water Power Resources Committee and promoted the use of Irish coal and turf for national electrification schemes. He championed proposals for a Liffey hydroelectric scheme as the national power supply.[49] In the end, an alternative proposal to build a Shannon hydroelectric scheme at Ardnacrusha, Co. Limerick, prevailed (it was completed in 1929). In 1927 the semi-state Electricity Supply Board (ESB) was formed to take control of the national supply under the leadership of the Ardnacrusha engineer. Laurence eventually joined the ESB board of management in 1934.[50]

In 1930, Laurence, retired from his position as city electrical engineer after 25 years of service to Dublin Corporation. To mark the event, the staff of the Dublin Electricity Department presented Laurence with his portrait by the artist Seán Keating.[51] A large event, hosted by the independent Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alfie Byrne, supported by a wide circle of Laurence’s professional associates and friends, presented him with an illuminated album in the “Gaelic art” style by “well-known artist Alice O’Rourke” and a cheque.[52] The mayor praised Laurence who had “built up a marvellous, undertaking, engineered it without outside assistance, and turned it into one of the most successful of the city’s enterprises.”[53] In thanking the gathering, Laurence announced his intention to donate the monetary tribute he had received to establish an annual prize in the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland. The L. J. Kettle Premium awards were made annually thereafter until the 1960s.[54]

After Laurence’s retirement as city electrical engineer, he worked with Seán Lemass, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who held this position for most of the years between 1932 and 1959.[55] Laurence is the person who persuaded Lemass to set up the Industrial Research Council in 1934, a highly significant policy innovation.[56] The purpose of the 24-member council, drawn from industry and academia, was to “offer advice on research for the better utilisation of Irish natural resources and for improved technical processes in industry.”[57] From 1934 to 1946 Laurence served as the chairman of the Industrial Research Council and also played a leading role in creating and shaping the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards, which was established in 1947. During this time, he was instrumental in driving the development and launch of Ireland’s second hydroelectric facility at Poulaphouca on the River Liffey in County Wicklow.[58] More generally, he was prominent in the engineering profession, including serving as chairman of the Irish Centre of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, a fellow of the Institute of Fuel, a founder member of the World Power Conference, and secretary of its Irish committee. He was also committee member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and many related societies.[59] Laurence finally retired from the ESB in 1950. He died in 1960, aged 82.


In his memoirs, A. J. Kettle describes his childhood household at Drynam just before the Famine as consisting of “[g]randfather and grandmother, father, mother, and six children, carter and ploughman, boy, chap and servant girl indoor, thrasher and all.” He does not name his siblings but a family gravestone at Swords indicates that his older sister, Mary (Kettle) Fitzpatrick, died in 1871, when she was 39 years old. After A. J. Kettle’s death, a notice of “charitable bequests” contained in his will provided for “masses to be celebrated” for his “deceased relatives,” including the “Fitzpatrick family,” suggesting a depth of feeling for his sister many years after her death.[60] Also identified as a brother of A. J. Kettle is Patrick Joseph (P. J.) Kettle Sr., a farmer in the Swords area. He appears to be the main sibling with whom A. J. Kettle and his family retained the closest lifelong connections. Newspaper records show that in the early 1890s P. J. Kettle Sr. was a prominent member of the Balrothery Board of Guardians (precursor of the post-independence County Boards of Health). He also attended meetings of the Central Tenants’ Defence Committee and the Irish National Land League with A. J. Kettle,[61] but appears to have focused his civic engagement at the local level. P. J. Kettle Sr. died of TB in 1894, aged 55 years, leaving behind his wife, Margaret (Owens) Kettle, and a large family.

One obituary noted: “Although less known to the public than his brother [A. J. Kettle], Mr. P. J. Kettle was no less intensely sympathetic to the Independent Nationalist side.”[62] Indicating the closeness of family ties, newspaper notices of funerals of two of A. J. and Margaret’s adult children list all of the sons of P. J. Kettle Sr. among the “chief mourners,” including P. J. Kettle Jr., Andrew Kettle, John Kettle, Joseph Kettle, and James Kettle.[63]

In a close study of local politics in Fingal, North Dublin, from 1891 to 1914, Declan Brady[64] describes how the Local Government Act of 1898 effected a fundamental shift in power away from a largely unionist and Protestant landed gentry to an ascendant class of educated, Catholic, and nationalist landowners. In this milieu, Brady observes, “[T]hree families would figure prominently in the political life of Fingal over the next 20 years: the O’Neills, the Kettles and the Lawlesses” in which “[A. J.] Kettle’s experience and influence permeate[d] the period, in the background, through to his death in 1916.”[65] During this time, A. J. Kettle’s nephew, P. J. Kettle Jr. (1871-1950), emerged as a leading farmer and an “independent-minded, enthusiastic nationalist.”[66] He became president of the Swords branch of the United Irish League (UIL) in 1900 and treasurer of the North Dublin Executive of the UIL in 1902. In 1905, against A. J. Kettle’s advice, P. J. Kettle Jr. ran for and secured the Swords seat on the county council, which he held until 1908.[67] In the same year P. J. Kettle Jr. became president of the newly formed North Dublin Farmers’ Association and, in this role, also advocated for the rights of farm labourers.[68] Contemporary newspaper notices show P. J. Kettle Jr. attending or chairing meetings of the County Dublin Farmers’ Association with his uncle A. J. Kettle and later with his cousin Charles Kettle.[69]

Further, land purchase records indicate that members of the Kettle family were able to benefit from the first land reform acts that ensued from the Land War. Records from 1895 show that Patrick, John, and Margaret Kettle purchased 131 acres from a landlord that P. J. Kettle Sr. had rented from. (The context suggests that these are Margaret, the widow of P. J. Kettle Sr., and two of his sons.)[70] P. J. and his brother John Kettle also acquired 138 acres from an estate in Swords where they had held tenancies in 1908.[71]


Family ties among the extended Kettle family of north County Dublin were never more public or linked to controversy than they were in the second half of 1913 during the period of unprecedented labour agitation led by James Larkin. In 1908, the year that Larkin arrived in Dublin, the city’s urban poor were among the most impoverished in Europe, with 45 per cent of the working-class population living in tenement houses.[72] Larkin’s reputation as a radical and unorthodox organiser with the capacity to quickly generate “turmoil with strikes and lockouts”[73] had been established in the previous year in Belfast. In addition to raising alarm among Dublin’s industrial and commercial elites, and middle-class society in general, Larkin’s determination to foreground class conflict did not enamour him to the main nationalist political players of the day, whether IRB organisers within the Irish Volunteers or members of the Irish Parliamentary Party[74] or Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin.[75] For nationalists who were concerned about poverty, it was primarily understood to stem from British colonial rule and mismanagement rather than capitalist exploitation.

Larkin’s radical “syndicalist” approach, including the tactic of the cascading “sympathetic strike,” was also at odds with the moderate Irish Trades Union Congress (ITUC, formed in 1894) and he frequently clashed with other trade unions and fellow organisers, including, on occasion, James Connolly.[76] Nonetheless, by 1912, Larkin’s Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU, formed in 1909) “had over 18,000 members, and Larkin’s allies […] had seized control of both the ITUC and the Dublin Trades Council.”[77] While there is much debate about Larkin’s methods and legacy, on average, unskilled workers and labourers who were ITGWU members improved their situation as a result of his “industrial blitzkrieg,” achieving raises in pay of 20 to 25 per cent in the first eight months of 1913.[78] The principal locus of the conflict was between the ITGWU and William Martin Murphy (1845-1919), who was the owner of the Dublin Tramways Company and the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent newspapers, as well as a former Irish Parliamentary Party MP. In response to the union’s boycott of the Independent publications, Murphy moved quickly to dismiss tramway workers who refused to handle his newspapers and requested assistance in the event of a strike from the Dublin Metropolitan Police, which was readily given, along with contingents of the Royal Irish Constabulary.[79] This created volatile conditions where the tenuous right of employees to picket peacefully was often breached.

By August 1913, labourers on Kettle farms across north County Dublin were on strike. At this time, A. J. Kettle, aged 80, was retired from farming. His youngest son, Charles, aged 25, was managing the family farms at Artane and St. Margaret’s, while his nephew P. J. Kettle (1871-1950) was also a significant farmer in the Swords area, along with his brothers, Andrew and Joseph. Kettle farmers were prominent in the County Dublin Farmers’ Association (DFA) and were known as progressive employers.[80] For example, one DFA farmer “associated with the Swords district,” most likely P. J. Kettle, stated that the DFA “favoured [trade unionism] and only asked that it be conducted along reasonable lines.” Early in the dispute, the DFA had “agreed to pay their farm labourers 17s a week […] [which for most] represented an increase of […] over 20 percent.”[81] Despite this concession, ITGWU farm labourers were instructed to remain on strike. The DFA spokesman continued that “it is a common fallacy that the Co. Dublin farmer is a wealthy man” and while “some are,” half of them “cannot make ends meet,” noting that “in a few weeks more, the rates and rents fall due, and in very many cases there is no ready money to meet this demand.”[82] By October, the DFA line had hardened, exemplified in the spokesman’s statement that “unless the labourers are prepared […] to [give] up the Transport Union […] and any other union with which Larkin may be identified, this fight goes on forever.”[83]

A newspaper report that P. J. Kettle had obtained an eviction order to remove a striking labourer, James Ennis, from a cottage on Kettle’s property provided for employees, further reveals P. J. Kettle’s apparent hardline approach (as it transpired, James Ennis had already vacated the cottage and had been rehoused when the bailiffs arrived).[84] A subsequent newspaper article describes how a different striking labourer, James Flanagan, formerly working on P. J. Kettle’s farm, was brought before the “Swords Sessions” and found guilty of intimidating a current employee of Kettle’s, Thomas Joyce, who was allegedly verbally abused by Flanagan, including being called a “scab.”[85]

Regarding Charles’s experience, one newspaper report recounts that “his men marched out without any demand, negotiation or notice. He negotiated with them and he made peace […] [and] the men came back on their own terms but they were marched out again unless additional terms to those on which Mr. Larkin had sold peace were granted.”[86] A further article describes how Charles was “assisted by some farmers from surrounding districts” to take in “sixteen acres of corn.”[87] The same source notes that there was “a large body of police on duty […] but there was no disturbance.” In the case of P. J. Kettle and his brothers, the same source reports that “fourteen neighbouring farmers, assisted by some of the returned workers [who had disavowed the ITGWU],” were “busily engaged […] on the three farms in the Swords district, those of P. J. Kettle, Andrew Kettle and Joseph Kettle.”[88] At the Swords monthly fair on 1 October, another article describes how striking labourers were prevented from accessing the community band instruments in what was characterised as “the first exhibition during the present dispute of bad feeling between the farmers and the men on strike.”[89]

Although, by 1913, A. J. Kettle was “disabled by rheumatism and was able to get out very little,”[90] his influence in shaping the stance of the Dublin Farmers’ Association and the operation of his own farms is evident. He is quoted in the Irish Independent as saying: “After five weeks of an unnecessary strike, it was time to take steps to save the remainder of the crops” and he proposed to engage “free labour” from “Cavan, Longford and Leitrim” to do it.[91] Indeed, one account credits A. J. Kettle with starting the “free labour” movement in Dublin against “the combination among the strikers.”[92] Throughout October and November 1913, there are numerous newspaper reports about the transport and utilisation of “free labour” on A. J. Kettle’s farms and those of his nephews.

For A. J. Kettle, his position was fully justified in response to Larkin’s “violent career of mischief,” which, he argued, had “not bettered the men’s position as much as a fair […] trade union would.”[93] He declared it was a “waste of time” to seek industrial peace if Larkin “is to be allowed to ride roughshod over everyone who differs with him” and calls for Irish labourers to “organise trades unions of their own.”[94] Significantly, A. J. Kettle attacked the democratic legitimacy of the ITGWU, asserting that “[n]o man of its many members was consulted about starting it or working it. It is all Larkin from top to bottom.”[95] Further, he felt deeply that Larkin’s campaign was inimical to Ireland’s bid for national self-determination and lambasted “English labour leaders [who] are supplying food and money to force a needless labour war in Ireland.”[96] Ultimately, A. J. Kettle viewed Larkin as a dangerous character who was “out to assert personal dictatorship at the expense of men who are trying to extend and establish manufacturers,” which for him was an essential part of achieving national independence.[97]

In some respects, the intensity of A. J. Kettle’s opposition to Larkin’s campaign and the striking labourers could appear to be inconsistent with his lifelong fight against landlordism in Ireland, including his role in promoting the tactic of the “rent strike” during the Land War. A. J. Kettle was a radical voice for land reform and he advocated policies of rent control, redistribution of land, and the developmental state – all of which set him apart from free-market liberals. For him, the transfer of landownership from landlords to the people who worked the land was integral to Irish self-determination. Importantly, while not opposed in principle to private property, A. J. Kettle believed that agricultural land was “the national property” and its nominal owners were stewards of this collective resource.[98] In contrast, Larkin’s main goal was to dismantle capitalism by seeking to end private property and its privileges. Also, as his memoirs show, A. J. Kettle was deeply committed to democratic means and open debate as the principal methods for bringing about change, and using strike action only as a last resort and under particular conditions. As a veteran organiser who had spent decades building up tenant right networks and assiduously negotiating alliances and platforms, the first resort, disruptive tactics of the ITGWU and its perceived top-down modes of engagement were particularly anathema to Kettle.

More fundamentally, Kettle’s thinking remained strongly oriented to the pre-eminent value of land. In 1885 he had argued that “every interest in Ireland hinges on the one industry of agriculture.”[99] From this perspective, his vision of social justice included the radical idea of “free land for labourers,” insisting that “unless Ireland can place her labourers in a satisfactory condition there is little chance of social prosperity.”[100] He continued: “[T]o give our labourers a fair start they must get land rent free” and be extended low-cost, long-term loans to build their homes.[101] This was A. J. Kettle’s dream – the replacement of landlordism with an ever more egalitarian system, whereby the land would be under the stewardship of the farmers and labourers of Ireland in the service of national development. In addition to directly threatening his own hard-won livelihood and that of his extended family, Larkin’s campaign threatened A. J. Kettle’s vision of Irish agriculture as a realm of opportunity and innovation, and relative harmony among differently sized farmers and well-provided-for labourers, on the long road to national self-determination.

Tom Kettle was also a prominent contributor to debate and action in response to the labour unrest of 1913. He shared his father’s assessment of Larkin’s personality and tactics, describing him as “picturesque, eloquent, prophetic, at once dictatorial and intimate,” as a man who “organized not so much a trade union as an army.”[102] However, in contrast to A. J. Kettle, Tom Kettle’s sympathies were squarely on the side of the workers. He said they had “fought with admirable courage […] and a great deal of idealism and soldierly sacrifice.”[103] When the dispute had ended, he lamented the fact that “not a single member of the submerged fourth [the quarter of the population that was living in poverty] seems to be any nearer a living or […] an economic wage.”[104]

On 7 October 1913, in an effort to break the deadlock between employers and workers, Tom Kettle set up the Industrial Peace Committee to campaign for “an immediate truce between the conflicting parties” in order to enable negotiations to take place and to “consider and propose measures tending toward permanent peace between employers and employed in Dublin and toward economic prosperity of the city and the country.”[105] Over a period of five weeks, the Industrial Peace Committee, under Tom Kettle’s chairmanship, coordinated deputations to and from the leading employer and trade union bodies; public engagement via meetings, dissemination of circulars, and gathering of signatures of support; and preparations for a hoped-for peace conference.[106] Ultimately, the employers refused to participate, ensuring the failure of the initiative, even though the striking workers were in favour of it. On 23 October, “8,000 ITGWU members march through Dublin in protest at the employers’ rejection of [the] Industrial Peace Committee’s initiative.”[107] Tom Kettle summed up the outcome as he saw it: “The workers have talked wildly and acted calmly; the employers have talked calmly but acted wildly.”[108] This was possibly the most public airing of differences in view and approach on a major public issue between the respected Land War veteran and his famous son.

Laurence Kettle’s direct role in relation to the 1913 industrial conflicts was relatively minor in his capacity as deputy electrical engineer with Dublin Corporation. On 1 October 1913, ITGWU labourers were ordered not to unload a shipment of coal at the Poolbeg Generating Station (known locally as the “Pigeon House”) where Laurence worked because the company that owned the delivery boat had supplied goods to William Martin Murphy’s Dublin Tramways Company. A statement by Laurence published in the Freeman’s Journal, citing witnesses, makes it clear that the ITGWU had no dispute with Dublin Corporation or the terms and conditions of its employees and that Laurence had spoken directly with the mayor and to James Larkin to try to resolve the issue constructively, but to no avail.[109] The following day, after an inquiry into the situation, the Electricity Supply Committee directed Laurence, as the deputy electrical engineer, to “make arrangements for unloading the vessel.”[110]


Some weeks later, on 25 November 1913, Laurence Kettle and Eoin MacNeill, in the roles of honorary secretaries, presided at a public meeting to formally establish the Irish Volunteers. However, as Laurence stood to read the manifesto of the new organisation, a group of members of the recently formed Irish Citizen Army (ICA) – established by James Connolly and Jack White in response to violence directed against picketing workers – began to “heckle and harass the meeting,” shouting down Laurence and cheering for James Larkin.[111] The headline of the Irish Times report on the event declared: “Irish Volunteers. New Nationalist Movement Meeting in Dublin. Larkinite Outburst. Stormy Scenes.” The report noted: “While Mr. Kettle was speaking considerable confusion ensued, but other speakers were quietly heard.”[112] Several thousand were in attendance. In addition to Eoin MacNeill, Michael Davitt Jr. and Patrick Pearse also spoke. Laurence Kettle was singled out as an alleged “active enemy of the working class’s effort to combine for its own benefit.”[113] It is very unlikely that Laurence’s personal role in dealing with the coal hold-up at the Pigeon House the previous month was sufficient provocation for the intervention. But his presence on such a large and prominent public platform presented a tactical opportunity to the ICA to register opposition to the significant involvement of “moderate nationalists” and Irish Parliamentary Party supporters in the leadership of the Irish Volunteers by protesting the actions of Laurence’s relatives, who had engaged “free labour” on their north County Dublin farms.[114]

AFTER 1916

A. J. Kettle died in September 1916, aged 83, having lived an extraordinary life of public engagement spanning from the Great Famine to World War I. Following the labour unrest of 1913, the years 1914 to 1918 were marked by growing uncertainty, political upheaval, and the threat of civil war in Ireland. It was an exceptionally cruel period for the family during which four Kettle siblings died prematurely and tragically: Josephine (d. 1914), Margaret (d. 1915), Tom (d. 1916), and Andrew (d. 1917). Within three months of A. J. Kettle’s death, the family home at St. Margaret’s and the farms that A. J. Kettle had acquired and developed since the mid-1880s were sold at auction. The total value of A. J. Kettle’s estate in 1916 was £4,307. (Nominally, this amount would be worth approximately £430,700 in 2022, but it was probably considerably higher if the value of lands and associated buildings are calculated at twenty-first-century market values.) In all, A. J. Kettle’s estate included 386 acres of agricultural land. To put this in context, in 1916, there were approximately 10,000 farm holdings in Dublin, 70 per cent of which were still farmed by tenant farmers. The average size of a Dublin farm was 45 acres (18 hectares).[115]

A. J. Kettle’s estate included four farms. First, the original McCourt farm bought about 1894 consisted of c. 170 acres of “prime quality” land “suitable for grazing or tillage,” which in 1916 was rented out for £162 p.a. and subject to “Board of Works charges” of about £36 p.a. and a Poor Law valuation of c. £181.[116] The “dwelling house,” which had been the Kettle family home for about 20 years, was a two-storey house with two reception rooms, five bedrooms, a servant’s room, kitchen and pantry, as well as various outbuildings and stables. A second large farm of c. 106 acres at Bonnybrook (in present-day Coolock) had been “bought out in 1912 under Land Acts 1903-6” and was subject to an annual payment to the Land Commission of about £153. It included eight labourer’s cottages and some outbuildings.[117] A third medium-sized farm at Kilmore had been farmed by A. J. Kettle since the 1870s. Kilmore consisted of 69 acres, 17 of which were bought out in 1895 under the Land Acts of 1891-96, a further 35 of which were in the process of being bought under the Land Acts of 1903-9, and 16 held under a “judicial tenancy,” whereby the rent had been determined by the courts.[118] One auction notice describes the two-bedroom dwelling house, “Kilmore Cottage,” where Jane, Laurence, and Tom were born before the family moved to Millview, Malahide, as “substantial and comfortable” with a “good garden and orchard.”[119] Finally, the estate included a fourth average-size farm of 41 acres with some stables, a cattle shed, a gate lodge, and a small dwelling house, “Primrose Cottage,” most likely located near Drynam, Swords. The farm had been purchased under the Ashbourne Act of 1885, making it A. J. Kettle’s first purchase. It was subject to annuity of £44 p.a. and a Poor Law valuation of £65.[120]

Andrew Kettle Jr. and Laurence Kettle were named as executors and beneficiaries of their father’s will. One newspaper notice stated:

The late Mr. A. J. Kettle […] left his household furniture, plate, etc. to his wife and two daughters, Alice McGuinness and Kathleen Kettle; £200 to another daughter who is a nun; £300 to his son, Charles; and the residue subject to some small bequests, to his wife, son[s] and two daughters, Alice McGuinness and Kathleen Kettle.[121]

Within one year of the auctions of the family farms and properties, only Charles continued to live and farm in the Newtown, St. Margaret’s, area, at least until the mid-1920s. The management of the substantial estate of A. J. Kettle ultimately fell to Laurence after Andrew Jr. died. All evidence indicates that for the rest of his life he took this responsibility very seriously and ensured that the needs of his mother and surviving siblings were met and that his nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews benefitted in small and large ways from the family inheritance.



The paragraphs above describe Laurence Kettle’s life as a pioneering engineer and a lifelong public servant who was motivated by an abiding commitment to the economic and social development of Ireland, both pre- and post-independence. On a personal and family level, he is remembered for his consistent kindness and generosity to immediate and extended family members over many years. There is evidence that he provided significant financial assistance to Tom Kettle during 1915, which was a particularly difficult year for his brother as he battled depression and alcoholism, from which he appears to have successfully emerged.[122] After Tom’s death, Laurence ensured that Mary Sheehy Kettle and Tom’s daughter, Betty, received support. One grandniece (Mary Kettle Grimes) recalls being told that after her grandfather, Andrew Jr., died in 1917, Laurence arranged for his 15-year-old nephew (also called Andrew) to attend the Atlantic College of Wireless & Cable Telegraphy in Kerry, where he completed training to become a radio officer. She remembers that Laurence sent a cheque to her family each Christmas, which was very welcome.

Laurence’s grandniece Anne Mooney (Sr. Genevieve) recalls that he supported refurbishment projects for the Dominican community at Muckross Park, to which his two sisters and grandniece belonged. Anne Mooney also remembers as a child in the late 1930s her mother (Laurence’s niece, Genevieve [Kettle] Mooney [1901-1943]) being invited to dinner by “Uncle Larry” at Restaurant Jammet, Dublin’s premier restaurant. Laurence’s niece, Betty Kettle, had attended University College Dublin and qualified as a solicitor and, in 1943, had married Joseph Dooley. However, she suffered from mental health problems from an early age and a short time after her marriage went to live at Verville Retreat in Clontarf, where she was cared for until her death in 1996. When Laurence died in 1960, he left instructions for the creation of a trust whereby the majority of the estate he left would be used to support the care of Betty Kettle for her lifetime. The nominal value of Laurence’s estate in 1960 was £64,000 (which would be approximately £1 million in 2022).

Finally, Laurence Kettle’s undertaking to edit and publish his father’s memoirs in 1958, while he himself was 80 years of age, reveals both a depth of commitment to his father’s memory, and also to the scholarly value of making the memoirs available to future generations as a unique historical resource that illuminates the telling and retelling of the complex story of the emergence of independent, modern Ireland.


Portrait of Laurence J. Kettle by Seán Keating, 1930

  1. Kettle, L. J. 1958b, ix.
  2. Kettle, L. J. 1958a, xxi.
  3. Kettle, L. J. 1958a, xxi.
  4. Weekly Irish Times, 8 May 1915, ‘News of the Week.’
  5. Department of Agriculture 1923.
  6. Clear 2007, 5.
  7. Irish Independent, 30 June 1952.
  8. See notices in, for example, the Drogheda Independent, 28 August 1897, and the Irish Times, 20 April 1908.
  9. Lyons 1983, 19.
  10. ‘Mr A. J. Kettle, Junr, Wanderers CC, Winner of 46 Prizes during 1897 on his R&P Racing Bicycle.’ Framed photograph in the possession of the Kettle family.
  11. Kettle, A. J. 1901.
  12. Pašeta 2008, 7.
  13. Drogheda Independent, 30 May 1903, ‘Funeral of the Late Mr. William Kettle’; Freeman’s Journal, 16 February 1915, ‘Funeral of Miss Margaret Kettle.’
  14. Freeman’s Journal, 11 December 1917.
  15. Clear 2007, 74.
  16. Kettle, M. S. 1964.
  17. Lyons 1983, 17.
  18. Lyons 1983, 39.
  19. Lyons 1983, 39.
  20. Kettle, M. S. 1917, 14.
  21. Kettle, A. J. 1958, chap 8.
  22. Kettle, A. J. 1958, chap 9.
  23. Thanks to Nollaig Rowan, who is married to Margaret’s great-grandson, Charlie Downey, for this discovery.
  24. Evening Herald, 20 June 1927.
  25. Clear 2007, 96.
  26. Pašeta 2008, 15.
  27. Lyons 1983, 50.
  28. Drogheda Independent, 30 September 1916.
  29. Breathnach and Moynihan 2012.
  30. In 1918 the number was 9,576 (Clear 2007, 96).
  31. Clear 2007, 77-80.
  32. Clear 2007, 79.
  33. A Century of Memories 2000.
  34. Lyons 1983, 318.
  35. Kettle, M. S. 1964.
  36. Freeman’s Journal, 15 September 1908, ‘Death of Mr. Ralph McGuinness.’
  37. E.g., see Irish Daily Independent, 30 May 1893.
  38. Lyons 1983, 317.
  39. Clear 2007, 26.
  40. Lyons 1983, 318.
  41. Irish Independent, 2 December 1916, ‘Estate of Late Mr. A. J. Kettle.’
  42. Pašeta 2008, 1.
  43. DIB 2009, ‘Kettle, Laurence J.’; IME 1907.
  44. DIB 2009, ‘Kettle, Laurence J.’; IME 1907.
  45. IEE 1921, 34.
  46. Pašeta 2008, 34.
  47. Pašeta 2008, 79.
  48. Pašeta 2008, 89.
  49. DIB 2009, ‘Kettle, Laurence J.’
  50. DIB 2009, ‘Kettle, Laurence J.’
  51. Keating 1930.
  52. Irish Times, 15 April 1931, ‘An Electrical Success.’
  53. Irish Times, 15 April 1931, ‘An Electrical Success.’
  54. The award was accompanied by a medal designed by Alfred G. Power that featured Laurence Kettle’s profile (Power 1933).
  55. O’Doherty and Fitzgibbon 2014.
  56. O’Doherty and Fitzgibbon 2014, 40.
  57. O’Doherty and Fitzgibbon 2014, 41.
  58. Irish Press, 9 August 1935, ‘Power and Water Plan: Experts Report on the Liffey Scheme’; Irish Press, 24 April 1940, ‘Poulaphouca: Dublin’s New Source of Water.’
  59. DIB 2009, ‘Kettle, Laurence J.’
  60. Freeman’s Journal, 16 March 1917.
  61. The Nation, 24 May 1879; The Nation, 14 May 1881.
  62. Irish Daily Independent, 27 September 1894.
  63. Drogheda Independent, 30 May 1903, ‘Funeral of the Late Mr. William Kettle’; Freeman’s Journal, 16 February 1915, ‘Funeral of Miss Margaret Kettle.’
  64. Brady 2017.
  65. Brady 2017, 22-23.
  66. Brady 2017, 27.
  67. Brady 2017, 28.
  68. Brady 2017, 28.
  69. E.g., Freeman’s Journal, 2 August 1907, ‘County Dublin Farmers’ Association’; Drogheda Independent, 6 February 1915, ‘Dublin Farmers’ Association Annual Meeting.’
  70. Brady 2017, 20.
  71. Brady 2017, 27.
  72. Leddin 2019, 19.
  73. Lyons 1973, 277.
  74. Leddin 2019, 41-42.
  75. Lyons 1973, 279.
  76. Yeates 2000, xxvii.
  77. Yeates 2000, xxvii.
  78. Yeates 2000, xxiii.
  79. Yeates 2000, 9.
  80. See Brady (2017, 28) for a discussion of P. J. Kettle’s activism on behalf of farm labourers.
  81. Yeates 2000, 9.
  82. Drogheda Independent, 4 October 1913, ‘How the Week Went Over.’
  83. Drogheda Independent, 4 October 1913, ‘How the Week Went Over.’
  84. Irish Independent, 25 October 1913, ‘An Eviction at Swords.’
  85. Irish Independent, 24 November 1913, ‘Terrorism in Swords: Cowardly and Dastardly.’
  86. Freeman’s Journal, 2 October 1913, ‘Corporation Coal Held up by Transport Union.’
  87. Evening Herald, 1 October 1913, ‘Farmers Help Each Other.’
  88. Evening Herald, 1 October 1913, ‘Farmers Help Each Other.’
  89. Drogheda Independent, 4 October 1913, ‘How the Week Went Over.’
  90. Kettle, L. J. 1958a.
  91. Irish Independent, 23 October 1913, ‘Farmers’ Action to Fight Larkinism: Importation of Free Labour.’
  92. Sunday Independent, 2 November 1913.
  93. Irish Independent, 6 December 1913, ‘Obstacle to Peace. Letter from Mr. A. J. Kettle Sen.’
  94. Irish Independent, 6 December 1913, ‘Obstacle to Peace. Letter from Mr. A. J. Kettle Sen.’
  95. Irish Independent, 6 December 1913, ‘Obstacle to Peace. Letter from Mr. A. J. Kettle Sen.’
  96. Freeman’s Journal, 7 November 1913, ‘Mr. A. J. Kettle and the Free Labour Campaign.’
  97. Drogheda Independent, 29 November 1913, ‘Mr. Andy Kettle on Larkin.’
  98. Kettle, A. J. 1958, chap. 4.
  99. Kettle, A. J. 1885, 3.
  100. Kettle, A. J. 1885, 33-34.
  101. Kettle, A. J. 1885, 33-34.
  102. Kettle, T. M. 1918, 117.
  103. Kettle, T. M. 1918, 119.
  104. Kettle, T. M. 1918, 120.
  105. Daily Express, 21 October 1913, ‘Dublin Industrial Peace Committee Official Report.’
  106. Daily Express, 21 October 1913, ‘Dublin Industrial Peace Committee Official Report.’
  107. Yeates n.d.
  108. Kettle, T. M. 1913, 446.
  109. Freeman’s Journal, 2 October 1913, ‘Corporation Coal Held up by Transport Union.’
  110. Freeman’s Journal, 3 October 1913, ‘Orders for Unloading.’
  111. Leddin 2019, 39.
  112. Irish Times, 26 November 1913, ‘Irish Volunteers.’
  113. Quotation from the Irish Worker, cited in Leddin 2019, 39.
  114. Leddin 2019, 42.
  115. CSO 2016.
  116. Drogheda Independent, 2 December 1916.
  117. Irish Independent, 23 December 1916.
  118. Irish Independent, 23 December 1916.
  119. Irish Independent, 23 December 1916.
  120. Drogheda Independent, 2 December 1916.
  121. Irish Independent, 2 December 1916, ‘Estate of Late Mr. A. J. Kettle.’
  122. Kettle, T. M., et al. 1914. T. M. Kettle letters to General Hammond.


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The Material for Victory: The Memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle Copyright © 2023 by Niamh Reilly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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