Fire fighting has always been a community shared responsibility. From the earliest times volunteer firemen (never women in those days) provided whatever was needed to save life and property from the ravages of fire. Unpaid volunteers were still operating local fire services in Athy up to the early part of the last century. Kildare Co. Co. took over responsibility for fire fighting around that time and “retained firemen” were then employed and paid on a call out basis.
I can recall fire brigade drill competitions held in Emily Square in the late 1950s in which local firemen such as Matt McHugh, Christy Dunne, Tom Langton, Eamon McCauley and Ned Delahunt took part. This week I’ve a number of photographs from that time and later showing some of the local firemen who manned the fire service in Athy over the last few decades. I’m sure all of those pictured can be readily identified and the memory bank stirred to recall the times captured on film.