IARNRÓD Éireann, together with Turtle Bunbury Histories and Flahavan’s foods, have installed beautifully illustrated panels at Athy and Sallins/Naas railway stations as part of its ‘Past Tracks’ series, which tell fascinating stories about historical events that occurred in the areas.
As rail customers wait for their train or to pick up a loved one, in Athy they can learn all about the Scottish invasion of Athy 700 years ago, famous explorer Ernest Shackleton’s links to the area, the origins of the ape on the Earls of Kildare and Dukes of Leinster’s coat of arms and many other intriguing stories about the history of the town.
In Sallins, they can learn all about Sallins native John Cliffe Watts, who was born in the town in 1785. He trained as an architect and worked as a banker before joining the British army. He later moved to Australia, where he designed a new military hospital for Sydney, ran South Australia’s postal service for 20 years and co-founded the Aborigine’s Friends Association.
Historian Turtle Bunbury first approached Iarnród Éireann over a year ago with the idea of creating historic panels at stations around the country that could be enjoyed by members of the travelling public as they waited for their trains. Flahavan’s, Ireland’s oldest privately-owned family food business with its own rich history spanning seven generations, agreed to come on board as sponsors and ten stations around the country now have ‘Past Track’ panels, which feature quirky and accessible information about the areas surrounding the stations.