This book is mainly set in the 1950ís when I was around twelve years of age. The population of the town was around 3,000. It is now over 20,000. At this time most families on the main street lived over their shops. The town was so close to the country side that if you walked for three minutes in any direction you would find yourself in open fields. There was very little industry in the town and many were unemployed.
Even as a child growing up in a rural town of Naas , Co. Kildare, in the middle years of this century, I could grasp the importance of politics in the local community. In an age before television, local politics and local politicians fulfilled the function of entertainment and were a great source of Ďcraicí and amusement.
Of course local politicians dealt with serious matters and accomplished much for the community. But many of them also had the great ability not to take them selves seriously.
As a child I was not aware of the politics conduced at the national level in the nations Parliament situated at Leinster House in Dublin . But frequently of far greater importance to us were the politics conducted at the local Town Council meetings. I have been reading the Town Council reports in the Leinseter Leaderís archives dating back to the 1940ís and 1950ís. Many of the great characters in the reports were known to me as a child, either by repute or in person, and those old newspaper stories brought nostalgic memories of childhood flooding back.
All the great characters who fought many a Council Chamber battle in that long gone era and who figure in the pages of this book are, alas, dead and gone.
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