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Coal Scarcity Hits Limerick: Public Lamps to Be Dimmed by Gas Committee |

Coal Scarcity Hits Limerick: Public Lamps to Be Dimmed by Gas Committee

In a city accustomed to the warm glow of its public lamps, the flickering shadows of scarcity now loom large over Limerick. At a recent gathering of the Limerick Corporation, concerns over the diminishing coal reserves took centre stage, casting a sombre shadow over the otherwise routine proceedings. Mayor Alderman P. O’Donovan, his demeanour grave, addressed the assembly, highlighting the pressing issue at hand.

“The scarcity of coal in our fair city is a harsh reality we can no longer ignore,” Mayor O’Donovan declared, his voice echoing with a tinge of concern. “The situation, exacerbated by the ongoing war, has forced the Gas Committee’s hand, compelling them to procure cargo coal at a staggering 75% above the contracted price.”

The gravity of the situation was not lost on the gathered officials, who exchanged worried glances as the implications sank in. With coal reserves dwindling and the spectre of shortage looming on the horizon, drastic measures were deemed necessary to navigate through these turbulent times.

“In light of these unprecedented circumstances, the Gas Committee has made the difficult decision to implement measures aimed at conserving our limited coal resources,” Mayor O’Donovan continued, his tone resolute. “Effective immediately, the public lamps of our beloved city shall be extinguished nightly by 11:15 PM.”

The announcement reverberated through the chamber, eliciting murmurs of concern from the assembled council members and citizens alike. For generations, the reassuring glow of the city’s lamps had served as a beacon of comfort and security, guiding residents through the darkest of nights. Now, with their luminescence dimmed by the spectre of scarcity, the streets of Limerick faced an uncertain future.

But the austerity measures did not end there. In a bid to further conserve precious coal reserves, the Gas Committee had resolved to slash the number of public lamps lit after dark by nearly half, a move aimed at mitigating the strain on dwindling resources. The once-illuminated thoroughfares of Limerick would now be cast in shadow, their familiar landmarks obscured by the cloak of night.

As news of the gas committee’s decision spread throughout the city, residents grappled with the implications of the impending darkness. Shopkeepers shuttered their windows earlier than usual, eager to conserve whatever meagre light remained. Pedestrians hurried through the dimly lit streets, their footsteps quickened by a newfound sense of unease.

“It’s like a scene from a bygone era,” remarked one elderly resident, his voice tinged with nostalgia. “I remember when the streets were ablaze with light, and you could navigate through the city without fear of stumbling in the dark. But now… now it feels like we’re taking a step back in time.”

Indeed, the spectre of scarcity had cast a pall over the once-thriving city, challenging its residents to adapt to a harsh new reality. In the absence of ample illumination, tales of mischief and mayhem began to circulate, fuelled by the cover of darkness that now enveloped the city streets. Petty crimes soared, and rumours of clandestine dealings proliferated, casting a shadow of suspicion over the community at large.

Yet amidst the gloom, a glimmer of hope remained. In the spirit of resilience that had come to define the city of Limerick, residents banded together to weather the storm of scarcity. Community-led initiatives sprang up, aimed at promoting energy conservation and fostering a sense of solidarity in the face of adversity.

“We may be living in dark times, but we refuse to let the darkness consume us,” declared a local activist, her voice ringing out against the backdrop of the dimly lit square. “Together, we will find a way to navigate through these uncertain times, guided by the light of our collective resolve.”

And so, as the streets of Limerick grew dim under the cloak of night, the indomitable spirit of its residents burned ever brighter. In the face of scarcity and adversity, they stood united, ready to confront whatever challenges lay ahead. For in the heart of Limerick, the flame of resilience flickered defiantly, illuminating the path forward in even the darkest of nights.

Dublin Daily Express – Saturday 20 February 1915

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