Spellman Park in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains in the south of County Carlow, Ireland is the location of Kildavin/Clonegal GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) Club. It is a most picturesque location and is often referred to as the Switzerland of Ireland. The villages of Kildavin and Clonegal are just 4km apart. Clonegal has several tourist attractions including Huntington Castle. The South Leinster Walking Trail begins in Kildavin. The name Spellman became associated with Kildavin/Clonegal through the area’s connection with Cardinal Spellman of New York.
Francis Joseph Spellman was Cardinal Archbishop of New York from 1939 to 1967. His grandmother Ellen Kehoe was a native of Kilbride, Clonegal, Co Carlow. Cardinal Spellman was born in Whitman, Massachusetts, USA in 1889. Following graduation from Fordham University in New York in 1911 he decided to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in Rome on May 4th 1916. Having served in numerous posts he was appointed Archbishop of New York in 1939. He was created Cardinal in 1946.
Cardinal Spellman visited Clonegal in 1953, met with local people and visited local schools. He also visited Ireland in 1954. He later contributed $2,000 towards the cost of the Kildavin GAA pitch and the local community hall which were subsequently named in his honour. Cardinal Spellman died on December 2nd 1967 at the age of 78.
Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman was born in the year 1889 On This Day.
Cardinal Spellman 1956