James Francis Leahy - Brother Kenelm (painting by K Leahy)

Brother Kenelm was but a small part of the life of Jim Leahy yet it was one he chose to make account of before he died, and for that reason I have documented it in his honour. (Anthony James Leahy Jan 2012)


James Francis Leahy was born in Tipperary Eire in 1926 the first born of Patrick and Margaret Leahy. He entered into the Novitiate in Cork from 1944 to 1945, where he was known as Brother Kenelm.

A certificate exists stating that he entered the Brothers of Charity of his own free will.

Following profession in 1945 he took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

He was based at Lota from 1946 to 1947, Belmont Park, Waterford and from 1947 to 1948, then at Lota Lodge an annex of Lota.



   The gates of the monastery at Lota                                    The Chapel at Lota

He was engaged in a care and teaching capacity both at Lota and Lota Lodge and went to Waterford to study Psychiatric Nursing.

He made an application to Pope Pius X12 for dispensation to be released from his vows when his mother died aged thirty nine. James aged twenty two the oldest of fourteen, felt a need and responsibility to support his family.


He was a member of the order Brothers of Charity who were operating a psychiatric hospital in Belmont Park, Waterford, when Our Lady of Good Counsel, Lota was founded in 1938 as a school catering for children with learning disabilities at the monastery at Lota in Glanmire.

The first patients being in residence at Lota the following year.


   The Monks Cells of the monastery at Lota                                  The Chapel at Lota

The motto of the Brothers of Charity is ‘Deus caritas est’, God is Love.

Their mission is ‘caring for people whose human dignity is threatened through disability, age, poverty etc’.


James Francis Leahy relocated to Warwick in England and worked as a nurse for a short time at Hatton near Warwick following on in from his vocation for people with need of Psychiatric care.


He met Yvonne Malin, also employed at Hatton and they were married at Hampton On the hill. They moved to Leamington where they had four children; Margaret, Christopher, Anthony and Walter. They had seven Grand Children, Maria, Tobias, Sonia, Christopher, Amber, Kelly and Adam.


James known as Jim was employed as a foreman at Leamington Spa Plating in the electro plating industry for the majority of his working life.




Left - Patrick, Yvonne, Jim and Brendon Leahy - Centre Patrick, Jim and Margaret Leahy - Right Jim and Yvonne Leahy


In James Francis Leahy's (Jim) Own Words

My name is James Francis Leahy, I was born on 24th August 1926 in a small little town in Ireland called Tipperary. As a young boy I roamed the hills, went to the woods, picked the hurts and sold them on my way home to get enough money for a trip to the seaside at Tramore. 

I was educated at the Christian Brothers School  on the hills of Tipperary. After passing my primary leaving certificate I worked at Kelly & Company with my father for about a year and a half. During that period I felt a calling to the religious life. I wrote to the Brothers of Charity who were in County Cork. I had an interview with the Novice Master Father Emanuel. The end result was that I was accepted.

I left home February 3rd 1944 and joined the Brothers of Charity as a postulate. Following a six months trial period of prayer and abstinence I was accepted into the initiate, where I received a religious habit in the presence of my mother and father. I entered an enclosed order taking the religious life very seriously. After only a year as a novice I was accepted into, the Brotherhood the Brothers of Charity.

On the 15th August 1945 I took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of three years. Life was very happy for me then, in prayer to a closed life. Following my act of profession I was sent to Waterford where the brothers educated mentally deficient children. In the capacity of a male nurse. I lived and worked there for twelve months. At the end of that period I was sent to the Brother of charity’s institution for the mentally afflicted at Belmont Park Waterford.  It was during that period that my mother who was then thirty nine died. This was a tragedy that I could not face. The great loss of someone I loved so dearly left me very distressed. The end result being that the vocation I cherished, I began to lose.

Eventually I wrote to Pope Pius 12th for dispensation from my vows which through the his Secretary of State Cardinal, was refused in 1947. After a period of six months I again wrote to his holiness for dispensation from of my vows as I felt I couldn’t carry on.

In August 1948 I received word from Rome that I could leave the order which I duly did with much sorrow.

The above is a transcription by Anthony James Leahy from a barely audible audio cassette tape account by James Francis Leahy.



Let him that is a thirst come and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely


Tiobrad Arann 


Greeted by the breeze

as it fiercely kissed my cheek

I could feel Tiobrad Arann

as it flowed through my veins;

clouds holding back the tears,

offering a much needed

refreshment for life.

Standing on the cup and saucer

breathing in the green

and tasting all it had to offer,

I drank from its well.

Ara had satisfied my need;

whilst cleansing my heart

it gave clarity to my soul,

anointing the continuance

of my journey to Lota.

Lota photographs taken and Tiobrad Araan written by Anthony Leahy in June 2001 (the day of the Killer Whale visit)  




Left  Patrick Leahy, Margaret Leahy, Maire Leahy, James Francis Leahy (Standing centre) Edmond? Leahy - Right RIP Patrick and Margaret Leahy

Thanks to Brendon Leahy for his hospitality in 2001 and for the above image (Left)


A Single Branch From An Ever Growing Tree

Patrick Leahy - Margaret Leahy (Murphy)

James Francis Leahy - Yvonne Dorothy Leahy (Malin)

Margaret Leahy - Christopher Leahy - Anthony Leahy - Walter Leahy

Maria Leahy - Sonia Leahy Christopher Leahy - Tobias Leahy Amber Leahy - Kelly Leahy Adam Leahy

(Maria) Keshia, Jordon, Amie, Jack - (Sonia) Laura - (Chris) Connor, Max - (Tobias) Luna - (Kelly) Shannon, Luke, Matthew - (Adam) Thomas, Skye









Anthony Leahy



Anthony Leahy


Art & Photography

Anthony Leahy


A Major Arcana

Kathleen Forrest


The Drumroom

Anthony Leahy

Rediscovering the Gelatine Factory



The Gelatine Factory

A comprehensive account 1899

from Round About Warwick


George Nelson



Nelson's Emscote Mills 2009



T B Dale


Charles Nelson's

Cement Works at Stockton


The Nelson Brothers


William Nelson


George H Nelson


Sir E Montague Nelson

E M (Sam) Nelson


A Visit to

Messrs. G. Nelson, Dale & Co. 1880



Nelson Works

Tomoana New Zealand


Guy Montague Nelson

Nelson Village

Charles St, Warwick


The Lawn at Emscote


Nelson's Lozenges

 packaging & adds

Nelson's Club

Isinglass Wars

Swinborne v Nelson


Nelson's 1950's

Warwick Advertiser account 1953



Descendants of George Nelson


George Wyatt A city trade jubilee



Nelson's Heritage Walk


Gelatine and its uses


Davis Gelatine


Sir E Montague Nelson's Scrapbook Circa 1882

Nelson Gym

Nelson Patents


The Nelsons of Warwick Timeline





Walter Nelson




Home Comforts


Mary Hooper



Mary Hooper Letters

 Mary Hooper Book Collection


Nelson's Home Comforts

Mary Hooper


Wives and Housewives

Mary Hooper


Little Dinners

Mary Hooper


Cookery for Invalids

Mary Hooper


Every Day Meals

Mary Hooper


Hints on Cookery

Mary Hooper

Good Plain Cookery

Mary Hooper


Handbook for the

Breakfast Table

Mary Hooper


Weekly Telegraph

Cookery Book

Mary Hooper

Our Dog Prin

Mary Hooper

Ways & Tricks of Animals

Mary Hooper


Lily's Letters from the Farm

Mary Hooper

Charles Wentworth Wass

Round About Warwick

Mary Hooper Books Wanted

Fleur De Lys

The Pie Factory at Emscote

Nelson Story

In Brief


Nelsons Story


Nelson's Home Comforts

From Beginning To End


Cookery & Home Comforts

Mrs Wigley

Rock's Royal Cabinet

Leamington & Warwick 1880



Anthony Leahy



Anthony Leahy


Art & Photography

Anthony Leahy


A Major Arcana

Kathleen Forrest


The Drumroom

Anthony Leahy








3 The Butts


Sky Blue Heaven