Later Life and Legacy

William Carrigan was only 45 when the work was completed. His keen interest in history continued for the rest of his life. He became parish priest of Durrow in 1911. His daily lifestyle was marked by the simplicity that had always characterised him. He continued to write and collect material; a further volume was planned but never got to be published. Canon Carrigan died in 1924, his health had deteriorated since he had had 'Spanish Flu' in 1918. His unpublished works are preserved in the Diocesan Archives in St. Kieran's College.

His legacy has continued to this day. His history is still for many people their introduction to the local history of their area. His lavish use of illustrations and photographs gives the work an accessibility lacking in many histories of the time.

2005 marked the centenary of the publication of his work. In Kilkenny the diocese set up a commemorative committee to mark this occasion. It was decided to mark the occasion in two ways; Firstly a new comprehensive index was commissioned for the four volumes. The indexing was undertaken by Helen Litton. This new volume provided a level of accessibility to the work previously lacking. The second strand was a Centenary Conference organised in St. Kieran's College on the 7th-8th October 2005, the index was launched at the conference along with a digitised CD-ROM edition of the 'History' combined with the new index. At the conference a variety of papers were delivered on Canon Carrigan himself and the ecclesiastical history of the diocese.

In Ballyfoyle, his birthplace, a local committee also marked this date. A commemorative garden, sculpture and water feature was constructed adjacent to the Parish Church. This will form a lasting memorial to the man in his birth-place.


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