An interesting discussion took place tonight in the Whole House Committee connected with the road difficulty. Some members seemed to think that the Chamber of Commerce— brainy and intelligent, as Alderman Daly admits— did not dare suggest anything for improvement of the state of the streets. Councillor Slattery objected to meet the deputation from the Chamber but proposed direct negation. It was admitted that the state of the city was such that it should not be tolerated, but some of the members seemed to think that, let the Corporation blunder ever so stupidly, no other public body should check their downward career. Alderman Daly seemed to think he had made a great point when he said that they would accept guidance in regard to the Fire Brigade because insurance premiums would increase, but not when the streets were a series of intersecting bogs. As if the whole community, mercantile and otherwise, was not interested in the vital question of high rates and deep mud. Fortunately, for the city, such senseless counsels did not prevail, and it was decided, 16 votes to 7, to appoint a deputation to confer with the Chamber of Commerce Committee for the general good. It was rather bad form to start smoking a pipe in the Council Chamber, the ex-Mayor’s example being quickly followed till the members were completely befogged.
The agitation in favor of St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday gains in strength as March grows older. Last night, the Corporation adopted the resolution passed by the local branch of the Gaelic League and already supported by a large number of trade and other bodies in Limerick. Deputations will wait on the proprietors of the various business establishments in the city, and public opinion is now so strong on this point that common sense, even if patriotism is absent, will suggest compliance with a request strongly backed by popular support. Next week, I hope to be able to announce that nationalist Limerick holds its place in the movement for the building of an Irish Ireland. It is stated that the “monster houses” have refused to grant the holiday to their employees, who offered to forgo another public holiday in lieu thereof, and there is a general disposition to resist this attitude of anti-national aggressiveness.
The 10 prisoners who are interned in His Majesty’s male prison were in good health and spirits when seen by Mr John S. McInerney, J.P., and Mr O’Regan, D.C., this week. They are made of the right stuff and will come out more determined Nationalists than ever. It is to be hoped that their farming work will be done by Nationalist neighbors, so that in addition to the discomfort of the dungeon, they may not suffer loss through their enforced absence at the busy season of the year. It would be a feather in Mr Wyndham’s cap if the interests of these plucky Leaguers were not attended to while he has them locked up.
For reasons into which it is not now necessary to enter, the work of providing dwellings for the working classes on the Nicholas Street and Mary Street areas has hung fire for the past three years. Friends of the workers will approve of the resolution passed by the Municipal Improvement Committee and adopted by the Council, recommending the appointment of a deputation to wait on the Bishop to ask his lordship to take steps to have the scheme carried out as soon as possible. Meantime, the Board of Works squelches the scheme for erecting artisans’ dwellings in Frederick Street by refusing to lend the Corporation £3,000. The plea that the rates in the city are not sufficient security for this comparatively small sum won’t hold water if the question is raised in Parliament, and pending a resolution of the question, it is just as well that the Council did not take the advice given last night to hand over the ground to some private speculators. Genuine democracy is in favor of bringing under municipal control undertakings of this kind.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Saturday 08 March 1902