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MAY 27th, 1976

Late Mr. M. G. Nolan

MR. MICHAEL G. NOLAN, P.C., Duke St., Athy, one of the dominant figures in political, social, educational and cultural spheres in South Kildare for close on half a century, died at St. Brigid's Hospital, Carlow, on Friday at the age of 70.
A native of Mountrath, he came to Athy towards the end of 1934 to set up his drapery business at 6 Duke St. Soon he was to display the tremendous energy and organising ability that distinguished him in the ensuing years.
During World War II he was one of the founders of Athy Social Club, and a prime mover in the acquisition of the former British Legion Hall in St. John's Lane, as a club premises. The club's table tennis and badminton teams were among the best in the Midlands, and its drama group, Athy Social Players, won the Feis Maitiu drama cup with one of its productions.
In the early 1940's, M. G. ― as he was popularly known ― became an active member of Fianna Fail, and successfully contested Athy U.D.C. election for that party in 1945. He held his seat until the local election of 1974, and served for a considerable number of terms as the Council's Chairman.
Although he was unsuccessful at one general election at which he was a Fianna Fail candidate, his dynamism and drive gave greater impetus to the party machine throughout the constituency. His high standing in that party was indicated by his election for a term on the Fianna Fail national Executive.

In 1950 he was elected a Fianna Fail member of Kildare County Council, a seat he retained into 1974. His wide-ranging interests extended to vocational education. For many years he served with distinction as a member of Co. Kildare Vocational Education Committee and over ten years ago he became its Chairman, an office he held at the time of his death. As a member of Carlow/Kildare Joint Mental Hospital Board, he was one of those who advocated the modernisation scheme undertaken at St. Dympna's Hospital, Carlow, during his membership.

He encouraged healthy outdoor activities among youngsters. Before the last war, when Athy had a troop of Catholic boy scouts, he gave it generous financial aid, and his car was at all times available to it for transport. Other bodies of which Mr. Nolan was a member were Athy Urban and Rural Old-age Pensions Sub-Committees. It could truly be said of him that whatever good he could do for anybody he willingly did it. He was a man of highest integrity, a devout Catholic and a daily communicant.

As a public representative he set model standards. Above all, he was a just man who entertained no ill-will or animosity towards others. On public and general affairs he liked to argue a point he found unacceptable, but always in a friendly way without any semblance of resentment.
Few public representatives achieved as much for their area as he did for his; few worked as selflessly as he in the public interest. That he continued to do so in recent years despite the affliction of almost total blindness indicated his heroic qualities.
The many who knew him well, particularly those who were privileged to call him friend, will remember him with affection and gratitude for his humanity, his anxiety to help others and his great courage. And they will appreciate the big loss he is to the area.
He is survived by his brother, Peter, Mountrath, and sisters, Mrs. Kathleen Cossick, Portumna, and Mrs. May Glasgow, Abbeyleix. After Requiem Mass in St. Michael's Church, Athy, on Sunday, he was interred in the family plot in St. Fintan's Cemetery, Mountrath.

An article from the Leinster Leader of 27 May 1976 on the death of Athy man, Michael G. Nolan. Re-typed by Chris Holzgräwe

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