This voluntary website and the John Sweeney Collection were founded in 2018 by James Doyle, launched on 09th April 2019 and is dedicated to his grandfather, John Sweeney (1889-1939), Kneestown, Duckett’s Grove, Co. Carlow (formerly of Friarstown, Bennekerry, Co. Carlow).
John Sweeney was employed by the Duckett family as Head Gardener of Duckett’s Grove in the early 1900s. During this time he also managed and carried out other works and repairs across the demesne in the capacity of Demesne Manager. He was founding Secretary of Duckett’s Grove Land Committee and one of the twenty-eight Beneficiaries of Duckett’s Grove Demesne in 1921 when Duckett’s Grove Land Committee purchased Duckett’s Grove demesne with a loan of £32,000 from the Bank of Ireland with a vision of establishing a Forestry College in the Mansion. According to local sources, John Sweeney was the only Roman Catholic Maria Georgina Duckett trusted. He was a very loyal and honest employee and was held in very high regard by the Ducketts who considered him a member of their family. When Maria Georgina Duckett left Duckett’s Grove circa 1916 she invited John Sweeney to continue to work for her at ‘De Wyndesore’, Raglan Road, Dublin. He was appointed Caretaker of Duckett’s Grove Mansion House and lands in 1930. His love for Duckett’s Grove as a place of natural beauty and a sanctuary of solace lives on.
The website is designed to provide the viewer with an insight into the factual history of the Duckett family, Duckett’s Grove Demense, while also incorporating local knowledge and stories from the period. The website will be updated with additional articles periodically and will develop over time. If any reader would like to submit, information, documentation or photographs for the website they can do so by emailing (info @ duckettsgrove.ie).
Article by J. Doyle – Founder, Owner and Administrator of DuckettsGrove.ie