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Limerick Update: Barrington's Hospital Appointment, Christian Brothers Celebrated, New Library Debated, and Rowing Club Events Flourish |

Limerick Update: Barrington’s Hospital Appointment, Christian Brothers Celebrated, New Library Debated, and Rowing Club Events Flourish

The appointment of Miss Coffey as the matron of Barrington’s Hospital has put an end to a state of things that must have been painful to all who desire to cultivate Christian charity in a disused community, and which, without a doubt, has curiously affected the prospects of this useful institution. The fact that there are six Protestant patients in the hospital shows that the claims of non-Catholic patients are safeguarded, and all causes for dissatisfaction have been removed. The citizens must now set themselves systematically to work to relieve Barrington’s from financial embarrassment. A deficit of £2,000 and an annual deficit of some £300 reveals a condition of affairs that must not be allowed to continue. One thing that is wanted to make a steady revenue from popular sources is a certain system. Haphazard methods will never do. If collection boxes could be placed in shops and bars and those who frequent them, if everyone who could spare a copper made a point to drop one in, it would amount to a goodly sum every week. The medical equipment of the hospital is all that can be desired, and it behoves every man with a spirit of “pay, pay, pay,” even to contribute a mite. The Shannon Rowing Club has set a splendid example by handing over £120 to the treasurers of the hospital, the entire gross takings of the recent “At Home” and scratch races. The expenses amounted to £14 19s, but the committee of the club, in consideration of the financial embarrassment of the hospital, decided to pay this sum out of the club’s funds.

There are few cities in Ireland which owe as much to the Christian Brothers as Limerick. If any generation knows anything about the history of Ireland, it is because the boys attending Christian Brothers’ Schools learn a lesson every day of the week. It is no wonder that the citizens are anxious to join in the centenary celebrations held in Dublin and Waterford. It was fully expected that this subject would have been referred to at last night’s meeting of the Corporation, but no formal announcement was made. The good Brothers know that the people of this city, with one accord, join in the chorus of congratulations which has greeted the end of a century of inestimably useful work for Ireland.

The fate of the new Library still hangs in the balance. The Board of Works has been reluctant to grant a loan of a couple of thousand pounds and has shown a marked unwillingness to meet with a deputation, whose arguments might prove persuasive. However, Mr Daly has pointed out that the Board adopted a similar stance towards a loan for electric lighting and later relented with more or less grace. The notion that the finances of the city are in such a parlous state as not to provide good security for this small loan is absurd. On the question of “urgency,” the deputation can make a strong case. If action is not taken soon, Mr Pery’s offer may be withdrawn, and his conditions may no longer be available. By the way, the Board of Works, instead of responding to the Corporation’s request in the usual manner, waited until the last moment and then sent a long and complicated telegram. This is a prime example of how public money is wasted.

The Limerick County Council will be called upon to elect a new chairman on Monday, and much depends on the choice of its members. Mr T. B. Mitchell has been an excellent chairman for the past three years, demonstrating patience, impartiality, and a painstaking approach. His successor must not be found wanting in these essential qualities. Lord Dunraven has been mentioned as a possible candidate. However, in 1899, when there were six Unionists on the Council, he was defeated, and it is unlikely that the present Council, which is more thoroughly Nationalist than in the past, would appoint him. Other counties have done well with a commoner in the chair, and the same may be true for county Limerick. It is much more likely that the Council will select Mr John Coleman, whom the Earl of Dunraven and his toady Adare were only able to defeat by a handful of votes thanks to the support of the Manor labourers. The District Council first co-opted Mr Coleman and then made him their chairman, by way of honouring him for the splendid fight he had waged against the Earl’s manoeuvres. Where the District leads, the county may follow.

The election of officers to the Limerick Board of Guardians resulted in another triumph for the United League. Not only was Mr John Cregan unanimously re-elected as chairman, but Mr Patrick Bourke, Vice-President of the city branch, was also elected as vice-chairman without a dissenting voice. This action serves not only to demonstrate the hold that the United League has over its members and the public in both the Limerick and Clare divisions but also points to the friendly relations between the Guardians, which have strengthened considerably over the past three years. Mr Thomas Bourke, the previous vice-chairman, generously waived his claim to the position and was re-elected with one accord.

A sensible letter from Mr O’Dwyer of the Limerick Leader, pleading for the co-option of ladies onto Boards of Guardians, has been published. He argued that “there were many things in the administration of Poor Law work which were as Greek to the average man,” and women would bring valuable insights. Mr O’Dwyer’s plea does not seem to have had much effect in Clare, but in Dublin, the first meeting of the Board of Guardians saw the co-option of Mrs Mahaffy and Miss O’Brien. Their appointment is expected to be beneficial not only to the inmates of the institutions they oversee but also to the ratepayers.

On Saturday night in Cruise’s Hotel, several members of the Shannon Rowing Club and others gathered to make a presentation to Mr Bradley, who has been a buyer for Messrs. Cannock and Tweed’s Carpet Department for many years and is now departing for Dublin. Mr John Shannon read an address and bore testimony to Mr Bradley’s many good qualities. The chairman presented a purse of sovereigns, accompanied by a short speech highlighting Mr Bradley’s active role in organizing the recent Limerick Fete in aid of St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Mr P. O’Connor, president of the Rowing Club, spoke about the active part Mr Bradley had played in building the club and reviving the Limerick Regatta, which is now once again an important aquatic event. Mr Bradley briefly responded, and the toast of the Shannon Rowing Club was proposed, with Mr P. O’Connor responding. Songs were contributed throughout the evening by Messrs. T. Bradley, Page, Flynn, Shannon, Russell, and Buckley.

The scratch races on the Abbey River, organized by the Athlunkard Boat Club, concluded too late last Friday evening. The event was followed by an “At Home,” which was not mentioned in last week’s letter. The rowing on display showed some exceptional ability, with the Connor family featuring prominently in almost every race. The all-around excellence bodes well for the club’s performance in the upcoming season. The arrangements for the event were handled by the following committee members: The Mayor (Mr J. F. Barry); Mr Ralph Nash and Mr W. County (judges); Mr John De Courcey (starter); and the following stewards: Messrs. John Shanahan, club president; Thomas Prendergast, vice-president; Charles Harby, captain; Denis Connor, vice-captain; James O’Farrell, hon. secretary; and M. Conway, hon. secretary of races. The Workmen’s Brass Band and the No. 4 Fife and Drum Band played Irish music throughout, and there was outdoor dancing under the light of Chinese lanterns, with the scene becoming even more enchanting as night fell.

A correspondent writes:

“Regarding the proposed Feis for Limerick this summer, I think that it would be an attractive feature to include a competition for the best performance of the reel dance. With Dr O’Neill and his friends doing so much to resuscitate Irish dancing, such a competition would provide an opportunity for others to learn the art of the reel and become proficient in it.”

The untimely death of Mr T. Close, B.A., a talented graduate and successful teacher, has left a profound sense of loss in the community. A genial and obliging friend in private life, Mr Close was unwell several months ago but continued to teach his classes. It was only when he was unable to continue and sought Dr Holmes’ advice that it was discovered the disease had taken a firm hold on him. The funeral on Tuesday was largely attended by representatives of the various educational institutions with which the deceased had been connected. Deep sympathy is felt for his sorrowing family.

Rowing events are all the rage in Limerick just now. Last month, the St. Michael’s Temperance Rowing Club held their aquatic carnival, which drew a large crowd and provided some excellent sport. With constant practice, this club should put on a good show during the summer season.

Northants Evening Telegraph – Saturday 14 June 1902

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