The centre of the S Armagh
William Kirk was a native of Larne who acted as agent for one of the early Belfast Banks and who brought his knowledge of the linen trade to
Post-Union, considerable efforts were made to integrate the Presbyterian community into the Establishment. Kirk (as I suppose, befitted his name!) was the most prominent member of the local Presbyterian community of the area. He was patriarch of the Second Keady Presbyterian Church, taking pride of place in the pews among his tenantry each Lord’s Day. Among the other prominent public positions he held, he was Justice of the Peace, a member of the County Armagh Grand Jury and Deputy-Lieutenant of the County.
William Kirk long represented the interests of Newry in Parliament, being returned for the third time in 1868. His many and frequent contributions to the Church and Manse Funds highlighted an era of Presbyterian liberality in
William Kirk died 18th December 1970 and was laid to rest in the family vault in Second Keady graveyard. The proposal in 1871 to erect the fitting memorial in front of the Town Hall was proposed by the Rev Steen and seconded by the Very Rev P Kelly, P.P.