Compiling the Work

His first posting was as curate in Ballyragget in North County Kilkenny. In the late 19th Century, there was a great resurgence in all things historical. In Kilkenny, in the 1880's two major historical works had already being published, John Hogan's History of Kilkenny and P.M. Egan's Guide to Kilkenny.

The clergy were active in this movement; the Rev. James Graves was a frequent contributor to the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. William Carrigan with his keen interest in local history was much encouraged by these developments to write himself.

In 1890, the Bishop of Ossory, Dr. Brownrigg encouraged him to begin the complementation of a history of the Diocese. The Bishop would facilitate his travels around the diocese and also subscribe to the completed work.

On his travels around the Diocese, he spoke at great length to older people noting down folklore traditions and oral history. It is through this diligent work that these survive down to us to this day. He also methodically went through existing accounts often noting conflicting accounts.

He spent most of his holidays in the Public Records Office in Dublin transcribing any material that pertained to Kilkenny. By the late 1890's he was installed as curate in Durrow and had collected an immense amount of material. The task now was to condense this down into a manageable work.

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