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Local Studies Department

The Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903 - Leinster Leader May 1903

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Leinster Leader Saturday 9 May 1903, Last Edition – Page 5
District Doings,

In Athy and Carlow.

On Saturday last Mr. George Ducros visited Athy, to which he travelled by motor car, accompanied by his wife. He engaged accommodation in Hamilton’s Hotel for a number of employees of the Panhard Lavasseur Company, whose business interests in Great Britain are looked after by the Dunlop Company, which Mr. Ducros represents.
Athy will, therefore, it appears, be the headquarters of the Frenchmen as well as of the English representatives.
Already a number of rooms and some houses in the town have been engaged at handsome figures, and even the police, with extraordinary foresight, are looking out for accommodation! Inquiries have been made at every house, public and private, where it was thought possible to procure a room.
Many of the occupiers are holding “tight” a disposition of mind for which they cannot be altogether blamed, especially if we are to believe the assurance of an American visitor that “half New York is coming over.”
The “Broadway swell” represents, after all, only a very small portion of the American community. The man “out West” will also come, and there remain the visitors from “jealous China, strange Japan” the rebellious Filipinos, and the almost extinct Maoris! Perhaps there will be also cheap trippers from the newly discovered islands on the North West Passage!
With so many cosmopolitans likely to be pleading for admission as paying guests, why would not Athy householders be not just a little coy and squeamish in their financial dealings?
In all seriousness, however, visitors to Athy will be treated in a reasonable manner, and – although the occasion would scarcely seem to admit of it – with becoming hospitality.

In Naas & North Kildare

It is stated that every effort is being made to induce the King to visit Ireland for the motor race, but the great difficulty in the way is the early date at present fixed. His Majesty’s arrangements are made so long in advance that, unless ample notice is given, it is usually found impossible to make any change.
* * *
The incident to which Mr. J. S. O’Grady drew attention at Wednesday’s meeting of the District Council, is an illustration of the recklessness of some motorists. Although their machines are now rather common, horses take a considerable time to become accustomed to them, and there may perhaps be an instinctive prejudice amongst a section of the equine race against an invention which will, no doubt, in time seriously affect the interest now displayed in their welfare.
Drivers of motor cars and motor cycles should display more caution and considerateness. The speed at which some of their number dash through towns is both reckless and dangerous. The ordinary pedestrian is still an important factor in the life of the community, and, in his interest and that of the few quadrupeds yet left in the land, the motorist must keep his machine under proper restraint.