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MAYO'S MODEL VILLAGE

 
Leinster Leader December 10th 1887
 
“MAYO'S MODEL VILLAGE”
 
 
To the Editor of the Leinster Leader
                                   Castlewarden, Kill
 
Sir-you truthfully describe the village of Kill as Lord Mayo’s “Model Village” and so it is; that is a model of all that is offensive to good taste; decency (in habitations) or sanitary laws; in a word, to civilization. All the houses in Kill belong to four proprietors, viz: Lord Mayo, Mr. Richard Cunningham, Mr. Walshe, a small dealer, and Mr. Raymond. The former are tenants to Lord Mayo, and it is probable that they would not stand in the way if the local pashaw was inclined to improve the principle village on his property where there is a church, a chapel, and schools. The appearance of the village is, moreover, apart from sanitary laws, a signal disgrace in so beautiful a county. I am sure that many of the local gentry - who despise those adventurers - feel ashamed at such a mean, poverty-stricken site as they ride or drive through time after time. It forms a poor contrast beside the tidy village at Straffan and other villages in the county. I am sure the guardians, if they have been indifferent to their duty about this village hitherto, will yet exert themselves and enforce the law they are expected administer impartially and effectively. There is one matter that I, as a Catholic, have a right to look on as a grievance, and not I alone, but all Catholics attending the Kill Chapel Sunday after Sunday, should also feel aggrieved and humiliated at the insult so long permitted close to the gate of God’s house - a degradation as well as a standing affront, and a well-known danger to morals it is no exaggeration to say.
 I will explain briefly: -There is a row of houses opposite the Roman Catholic Chapel gate, six. In the centre of the row, and on the side of the public road, there stands the front and back wall of an old house enclosing a yard, in the centre of which is a wooden privy to which all the sexes and ages may have indiscriminate access. It is not an uncommon matter to see both classes going in and out together. The schools are on the other side of the road, beside the Chapel. And for the schools, there is accommodation in the Chapel yard. So, the clergy house and the Chapel, the House of God, are situated between two public nuisances. The Catholic parishioners are not indifferent to this. They feel it Sunday after Sunday. They know that respectable Protestants would not stand the like for any time. This unsheltered public mews, of so many years duration, has, as another drawback, no outlet. So that in summer, one passing the Chapel gate, is instantly offended by the foul air created by the school arrangement within the Chapel yard, and across the road. I believe the owner of this row of houses expects all the occupiers, to whom he denies back-yards, or back doorways, to make the best use they can of his generous provision, the yard in question, they prefer in the total absence of any ordinary sewerage about these houses, to throw all house refuse out on the road, thereby adding evil to evil-But the people are not to blame. I don’t think so. Still this public yard is used, and will be, as I said, indiscriminately, as long as it is open. Excuse me for troubling you with my feelings. As a Catholic parishioner these feelings have often, under the above circumstances, been sorely tried, and I can say the same of numberless others. I hope the singular state of matters will soon be set right; and that we Catholics, can go to our chapel for Divine worship, without outrage to our religious feelings, or to our sense of propriety and morality. I invite the Naas Guardians to inspect the situation themselves, and personally test the ground of my remonstrance, which I believe they will find to be, not alone substantially, but literally true. I believe we have a remedy in law,if all else fails-I am, yours, etc.,
                                                                                                                   John Barry

Mr John Barry from Castlewarden, Kill writes to the Leinster Leader in December 1887 to complain about the unsanitary conditions prevailing in the village of Kill. Our thanks to Roy O'Brien.


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