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Local Studies Department

The Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903 - Leinster Leader June 1903

Back to Introduction | June list of articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 27 June 1903 – Page 5.
District Doings,

In Athy and Carlow.
At the Carlow Sessions the District Inspector of police brought under the attention of the magistrates a matter of much importance, viz., the question of the granting of occasional licences on the day of the Motor Race. He mentioned that the Athy magistrates had passed a resolution deciding not to grant them.
It then transpired from a statement made by the Chairman, the Right Hon. H. Bruen, that Mr. Kennedy, R.M., had got a communication from the Castle stating it was the opinion of the law advisers of the Crown that occasional licences could not be granted by magistrates out of Petty Sessions.
Mr. C. J. Engledow, J.P., one of the presiding magistrates, evidently and naturally took umbrage that he was not apprised of this official communication, and said that the Chairman’s announcement contained the first intimation he got of its existence.
Steps should certainly have been taken to have the opinion of the law advisers of the Crown on this important matter conveyed to each magistrate individually. But for the action of Mr. Heard on Monday, probably many justices would never have heard of it.

In Naas and North Kildare

So far there is not much realisation of the fabulous wealth which was to flow into the coffers of the local residents during the week preceding the Motor Race. On the contrary, the situation in Naas and its neighbourhood more closely resembles a season of “slump” than a season of Carnival.
There is all the distraction incidental to the eve of an international event, but up to the present the crush of visitors elbowing and jostling each other at the entrance to the hostelries has not become quite visible. Preparations are more conspicuous than profits and inquiries have been far more abundant than engagements.
There has been a considerable influx of strangers to Dublin. The Metropolis, indeed, promises to come well out of the event. It has in matters of trade and manufacture enjoyed all patronage, except a portion that could not be bestowed upon it for reasons purely geographical.
The road contractors, the tradesman employed in connection with the stand, and the hostelries at which the motorists quenched a passing thirst represent, in their “takings,” the revenue locally derivable to the time of writing.
Under these circumstances Mr. Wyndham’s “regret” at the hesitation of the ratepayers in the matter of paying for “extra” police has a humour which will be locally appreciated.
So far as visitors are concerned, an opinion widely prevails that speculators, who failed to arrange things to their own satisfaction, did considerable harm by circulating impressions unfavourable to the various localities.
The next week, however, may bring a very considerable improvement and it would be rash to draw conclusions from the present tame and sluggish state of things.