Thursday, July 12, 2001

Extracts from Minute Books - Athy U.D.C. Contd.

This week we continue with some extracts from the Minute Books of Athy Urban District Council during the 1930’s and 1940’s.

5TH MAY, 1930
A new lighting system came into operation in Athy in September 1930. It consisted of fifty 200 watt lamps, ten of which were pilot lamps. The pilot lamps were lit from dusk to dawn, the remaining lamps one hour after sunset to midnight. The total cost for the year was estimated to be £170.00.

The Urban District Council agreed that in future the poor people of Athy would be allowed to have graves opened at their own expense under the supervision of the Cemetery Caretaker, Mr. P. Hyland.

Reference was made to the fatal accident at St. Michael’s Cemetery on 25th September when Mr. B. Bolger died. The local Councillors agreed that a railing should be erected on the wall where the accident occurred.

21ST MARCH, 1932
The Duke of Leinster’s Agent offered a room adjoining the Leinster Estate Office in the Town Hall to be used as a local library at a rent of £1.00 per year.

Miss M. Gibbons, Local Librarian was allowed to open the Library on Tuesday nights instead of Thursday nights as practice dances were being held in the Town Hall on Thursdays.

A special meeting of Athy Urban District Council was held to meet a deputation from the local St. Vincent de Paul Society to discuss the distress prevailing amongst the poor of Athy caused by the bad weather. The Vincent de Paul Society was represented by T.J. Brennan, D. Carbery and Fintan Brennan. It was agreed to set up a Distress Committee consisting of the members of the Urban District Council and representatives of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The Town Clerk and Fintan Brennan were appointed Secretaries to the Committee.

6TH MAY, 1935
The Urban District Council passed a Motion proposed by J.C. Reynolds and seconded by Tom Carbery “that the Council consider the construction of a Swimming Pool and sanction preliminary expenses not exceeding £5.00 to have plans prepared and estimates of costs made with a view to applying for a Grant for same.”

18TH MAY, 1936
It was reported to the Urban District Council that John Farrell “one of the Councils oldest workmen” was unable to resume work due to illness. He had over forty years service and the Council agreed to write to the Department of Local Government seeking for approval to pay him a small gratuity. The Department subsequently replied that there was no statutory basis for any such payment.

Mr. L. Doyle sought the Urban Council’s support for a request to the proprietor of the local cinema for a free night show to provide boots for the poor children of Athy.

In 1936 a Council tenant in the newly built Dooley’s Terrace Scheme came to the Council to get permission to change his house for a house in “one of the condemned areas”. The tenant was in arrears with his rent and he was given two weeks to find someone who was willing to exchange houses with him and to pay the outstanding arrears. At the same time a tenant from St. Joseph’s Terrace who was also in arrears with his rent wrote to the Council informing it that he was going to England to seek employment and would pay off his rent arrears as soon as possible. This was accepted by the Urban Council.

31ST MAY, 1937
The Urban District Council presented an address of welcome to Sean Lemass, Minister for Industry and Commerce on the occasion of his visit to the town to officially open the Asbestos factory on 31st May, 1937.

5TH AUGUST, 1937
Athy Urban District Council agreed to give a yearly grant of £50.00 to the Athy District Nursing Fund for the part time services of a nurse for infant welfare, half of the amount to be recouped from the Central Fund.

18TH MARCH, 1942
At the Council meeting on 18th March, 1942 reference was made to a fire at Levitstown Mill on the previous Saturday night at 10.30 p.m. A quantity of petrol on reserve plus thirty eight gallons supplied by Mr. Minch were used in the fire fighting operations which lasted intermittently from Saturday night until Tuesday morning. On Monday and Tuesday mornings the Fire Brigade were called out again to deal with small outbreaks of fire from the smouldering material in the Mill. Three extra men were taken on to fight the fire. All firemen were paid at the rate of three shillings per hour. It was agreed that all the costs in connection with the fire fighting operation were to be recouped from Messrs Minch Norton & Company.

On the proposal of Tom Carbery it was agreed to recommend to the County Manager that in the next Cinema Licence issued by the Council a condition be inserted prohibiting the admittance of persons under sixteen years of age at any cinema performance terminating later than 8.00 p.m.

4TH MARCH, 1946
At a meeting attended by Garda Sergeant Duggan the Council agreed to ask the Minister for Local Government to have a fifteen mile per hour speed limit in the town of Athy. It was also agreed to have car parks in Blanchfield’s Square in Leinster Street, Woodstock Street, Emily Square and Brogan’s Square in Duke Street.

2ND MARCH, 1947
A public meeting was held in the Town Hall on Sunday, 2nd March, 1947 under the auspices of the Urban Council to form a local committee to provide fuel for the poor of Athy. M.G. Nolan and Liam Ryan were appointed to interview Mr. Myles Whelan of Fortbarrington and T.G. Dowling and M. McHugh were asked to interview Miss Geoghegan of Bert House in order to procure sufficient trees for use as firewood.

1ST MARCH, 1948
McNally Cinemas Limited of Dublin wrote to the Council confirming that it was their intention to build a cinema on the Bridge Mill site as soon as legal and other difficulties were overcome.

At it’s meeting on 4th November, 1948 the Council members referred to the tragic drowning of James Bracken during the week and to the gallant efforts of James Dargan of Offaly Street to avert the tragedy.

Someone phoned me following last weeks article asking whatever happened to the Council’s resolution of July 1920 to change the street names of the town for which purpose a committee of the Council was appointed. I’m afraid the Mminute book does not indicate that anything was done with regard to changing the street names. The issue, so far as I’m aware, has not come up since in the Council Chamber. William Duke of Leinster need not be disturbed at the thought that his name might be removed from our principal streets.

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