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From cinema prices to cemetery caretakers
 – local notes cover all topics
Cinema prices, cemetery caretakers, and first communions were just some of the eclectic range of news items highlighted in the local notes page of the Leinster Leader of 29 March 1958. The local notes continue to be a universal feature of the provincial newspapers throughout the country bringing notice of events, meetings, results and general local happenings.
The Naas notes for the end-of-March issue of the paper featured some jottings from a meeting of the Town Council. The Town Clerk, Mr. J.P. Whyte told councillors that no reply had been received from the Directors of the Coliseum Cinema (later the Dara) despite the council having sent a second letter regarding cinema prices.  Cllr. W. Daly said that the cinema directors should have written to the council as a matter of courtesy. He suggested that the UDC should make another approach. Cllr. P. Fitzsimons said that no useful purpose would be served by writing again, and the other councillors agreed.
There was news from the sporting fields as well. On the previous Saturday at Oldtown , Green Rovers took over leadership of the Saturday section of Naas A.F.C. 5-a-side league, by a meritorious win over St. Patrick’s. The Army Apprenctice School beat Eadestown.  There was also a match between soccer sides from Naas and Edenderry. The young Naas side won by 7 goals to nil in a one-sided game. Although a great amount of praise is due to the Edenderry side for the ‘never say die’ manner in which they played to the final whistle. Naas were described as being the superior side, playing clever and fast soccer, mastering the strong wind.
Away from the football field there was other joyous news recorded in the local notes. The previous Saturday was described as being the ‘happiest of their lives’ for a large number of young boys and girls of the Naas Convent of Mercy schools who received their first holy communion at the 8.30 mass. Distributing communion were Fr. P.J. Doyle PP and Fr. L. Newman CC.
The local notes might seem a little parochial – literally so given the amount of parish news conveyed – but from time to time there was a little spice of far foreign fields among all the local material. Under the heading ‘A Visitor to Naas’ there is news of the visit home of Sergeant Martin Butler who had just left the Malayan jungles for a three-week holiday in Ireland. Sergeant Butler had fought all through the Second World War and had the distinction of being the first soldier on the British side to meet the advancing American Army in South Italy. The Naas man had indeed featured in the international press at the time of this episode, according to the Leader correspondent.
The local notes had news of arrivals and departures in many parts of Co. Kildare. Under the North Kildare notes there was an item headed ‘Farewell Party’ which recorded a going away function in the CYMS Hall, Maynooth for Miss Leta Sullivan who was leaving to take employment in New York. Clearly a popular lady in the North Kildare town, some two hundred people attended the party. Quaintly the report notes that she flew out from Collinstown – the old name for Dublin Airport. Accompanying her was Mr. C. Bean who was returning to New York after spending a holiday with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bean, The Harbour, Maynooth.
There was property on the move too in March 1958. The local notes report that in Celbridge the licensed premises ‘Breens’ of Celbridge had been sold to Mr. John Lawless of Drumree, Co. Meath for €6,000 odd.  He was following in family footsteps in the licensed trade as we are told that there his brother had a licensed premises in Dunshaughlin.
Further news on the commercial front in Celbridge was recorded under the heading ‘New Manager’. The item records that Mr. John Robert Horsham, the newly appointed manager of Celbridge Spinning Co. Ltd., had recently taken up residence in the three-storied house adjoining the mills. He hailed from Yorkshire, the traditional home of textiles. Mr. Horsham and his family were wished a long and happy stay in Celbridge.
A change of personnel was also featured in the Athy notes. Beneath the heading ‘Cemeteries Caretaker’ it was related that Mr. John Leonard was about to retire from Athy Urban District Council having served as caretaker at St Michael & John’s cemetery for the previous ten years. He was to be replaced by Mr. Paddy Rowan of Convent View, Athy who had been one of thirteen applicants for the job interviewed by Council officials.
The foregoing is a miscellany of the nuggets permanently recorded in print in the pages of the Leader fifty years ago this month.
Series No. 60

Liam Kenny in 'Nothing New Under the Sun' for the Leinster Leader 27 March 2008, explores the true merit of the local notes section of the newspaper in 1958.

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