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A dip in the Archives - 1976

Population of Lucan was 12,451

St. Mary’s Parish
(Still only one Lucan Parish)
In the first week of January, the Church collections were as follows:
Campaign Collection £470.95
Share Collection £45.25
St. Loman’s Hospital ford December £18.00

Editorial 11th January
Join the Planned Giving Campaign: As a consequence of the rapid growth in housing and the influx of many new families, the Church and boys Schools have been extended in the past two years; the work was just done in the nick of time. The cost has been moderate: the result is that there is a debt of £79,000. Almost at once a new school must be built at Beaumont to provide for the existing boys and girls who go to school from Hillcrest and Arthur Griffith Park: the site alone will cost over £40,000 and so the debt will be £120,000. With 3,500 families living here now, it is possible to get this debt down to tolerable interest rates. But every family should join in and aim at knocking out the debt in a five year period.

Lucan Priests were Very Rev. Donal Coughlan P.P, Rev Con O’Herlihy C.C, Rev. Tommy McCarthy C.C, and Rev. Liam Belton C.C.

Lucan Schools
St Mary’s Presentation Convent National School.
St. Mary’s Boys National School.
St. Andrew’s Church of Ireland National School.
St. Joseph’s College Secondary School
Coláiste Pádraig CBS

11th Jan: There was very slow progress on the acquisition of a site for a ‘Comprehensive School’ in Lucan. A site at Willsbrook was being considered but there were drainage problems to overcome which could take up to five years to put right.

20th June: New Schools – Enrolment for the new Esker Schools will take place on 1st and 2nd July from 10am in the Parish Hall. Mrs. McKiernan is the Principal of the new school. It will begin this year with three infant classes. The building this year will be a temporary one while the permanent 16 classroom school is being built.

Local Matters
Jan 11th: Graveyard - Dublin County Council “has acquired 5½ acres to extend Esker Cemetery”.

18th Jan: Linear Park - There was an objective to “develop a linear park from Lucan Village to Leixlip Bridge between the River Liffey and the Lucan / Leixlip Road.

Playgrounds - Arthur Griffith and Sarsfield Park are to have playground equipment and landscaping.

7th Mar: Playing Pitches - “Two permanent playing pitches have now been provided at Dodsboro and it is intended that these be placed under the management of Lucan Community council. Two temporary pitches have been provided on the land at Esker South. The 22 acres of open space at this location which are in the ownership of Dublin Corporation are being maintained by the Council’s Parks Department and it is understood that this land will be transferred into the Council’s ownership shortly. The lands involved in the Esker North Compulsory Purchase Order are still under appeal to the High Court”.

11th April: Traffic lights were ordered for the Celbridge / Leixlip Road junction, and would take 6 to 8 weeks to install. A “small piece of land” was required to facilitate the lights….. After related problems, it was hoped to have the lights running by the end of the year.

Lucan Bypass – Proposal submitted for a £2 million Lucan Bypass.

30th May: Traffic Signals at Chapel Hill - It was decided to take a traffic count during July 1976. Cllr. Gannon pointed out that July was unsuitable as the schools would be closed, and the count was moved to school term.

13th June: Traffic Jams in Lucan – Last Friday week, 4th June, there was a traffic jam on the main road to the west: the cars and lorries and car-ferrying caravans were extending away back into Ballydowd. The exodus from Dublin to the country for the Whit weekend added to the confusion…..

20th June: Mass Bus - Dodsboro residents had a problem with C.I.E over the 12 o’clock Mass bus running too late for people going to the 12 o’clock Mass. It was hoped to get the 11.25am changed to 11.45am to enable the people to be in time for the 12 o’clock Mass.

25th June: Information Centre - Lucan Community Council mooted the idea of an Information Centre – where the Town Hall would be an ideal base.

29th August: Lucan Festival Week – all kinds of activities during the week.

26th Sept: Tidy Town results were out – Lucan scored 100 out of 150 marks.

3rd Oct: Hillcrest – as this estate is not yet in charge of the Council, the question of erecting a yield sign on the access road to Dodsboro Road has to be deferred.

24th Oct: Bus Shelter - Dodsboro residents in contact with C.I.E. regarding providing a bus shelter at the terminus in Dodsboro.

14th Nov: Permanent sites for Library in Lucan is not available but steps are being taken to erect a temporary library in Lucan.

14th Nov: Lucan / Newcastle Road – money has been set aside for the creation of a bus turning bay and provision of extra lighting at Hillcrest.

5th Dec: Library Facilities – It has become necessary due to the unsatisfactory condition of the Lucan Library and the inadequacy of the facilities there, to close the building pending the constriction of a full time temporary library to serve the area. The existing library will close on Sat 4th December next.
Provision has been made in the estimates for the new building and tenders for the work are to be invited shortly. In the meantime, a mobile library service will be provided as from Sat 4th Dec and on each subsequent Saturday. The unit will be sited in the vicinity of the Church 9near the existing library) and will open from 10.3am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm on each Saturday.

The above items were gleaned from Editorials, Lucan Community Council notes, and from political notes.

Political contributors 1976 were:
Cllr. Michael Gannon Labour,
Cllr. Brian Fleming Fine Gael,
Senator Brian Lenihan Fianna Fáil,
Eamonn Tuffy (Labour),
Liam Lawlor (Fianna Fáil),
Matt Fitzpatrick (Sinn Féin).

Our Dáil Representatives in 1976
Ray Bourke FF, Mark Clinton FG, Justin Keating Lab, Sean Walsh FF.

Local Groups
Groups on the go in 1976 were:

Lucan Community Council had many hats! Apart from keeping an eye on local developments, which was no mean feat, they did Trojan work with our Community Games events. Joe Byrne, our present Festival Chairman, was P.R.O. for the group back then.

Lucan ICA celebrated their 10th Birthday – celebrating their 50th at the moment!

Lucan Drama Society were well established but experiencing difficulties and unable to produce a play in the past season. Their meeting room was on Main Street – “entrance at rear of new cake shop”. In May they put on “A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant” by Thomas Murphy, in The Ballroom of the Spa Hotel.
A week later, their premises on Main Street was broken into by schoolboys and vandalised. Props and scripts were destroyed, slogans painted on walls etc. A stern letter from Ewan O’Flynn, addressed to parents of the vandals was published.

Lucan Red Cross were thriving with wins in Inter unit Competitions – names involved were Linda Lowry, Breda McMorrow, Cora Lowry, Angela Finn, Karen Murray, Jaqueline Dunne, Brian Roberts and Joseph Keegan.

St. Mary’s Youth Club renovated their premises at The Hollow, and held Discos that are still talked about today. They also had all the usual youth club events of the time.

Scouting – Both the 23rd Lucan Troop and the 48th Dublin (Lucan) Cup Pack had lots of activities reported for young lads.

Lucan Credit Union – registered its 1120th member in October of that year.

Music and Dancing – The Kinclare School of Music under the direction of Rosaleen Handibode taught music and had great success at Feis Maitiú, while The Sweeney School of Irish Dancing under the direction of Imelda Higgins, was in its early days.

The Grove Panoramic Cinema
(Formerly on the site of the present Ulster Bank)
Jaws 2 andThe Godfather Part 2 were showing, also Carry on Cowboy. The Railway Children was a popular showing that year. Admission to the balcony was 60pence, and the stall would cost you 50pence.

Lucan Sports
Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club – this was before the club had a place to call home, when Dodsboro provided their home pitches.

Dublin won the All Ireland v Kerry in 1976, and Goalkeeper Paddy Cullen was soon out in Lucan presenting medals to lots of little lads.

Lucan Pitch & Putt Club, Lucan Bridge Club, Lucan United, Grade Ten Canoe Club and Lucan Golf Club were the groups sending weekly reports.

Things worth a mention…….
Weekly Bingo in the Parish Hall (old Boys School).

Non-Stop Draw run weekly to raise funds for the Girls School. Prizes ranged from £1 to £10.

Sr. Michael’s Babysitting Service – Sr. Michael who taught Infant Classes in Primary School, organised a babysitting service minding small children during the 10, 11 and 12 Masses at St. Marys each Sunday. Based in the old Boys School, she was assisted by Gabriel Gleeson, Jacqueline Buggle, Geraldine O’Toole and Denise Brady.

Rent or buy your new Bush T.V. in Colour or Black and White – from Dunne’s Celbridge.

Tojo’s Super Store, 2 Crowes Corner, Lucan – Fresh Fish Wednesdays and Fridays……

The Spa Hotel organised a Dinner Dance for a Saturday night in February, 9pm – 1am, for £3.50 a head, with great variety on the menu! Mind you, £3.50 was a lot of money forty years ago!

Palmerstown Children’s Horticultural Show, in May, had over 1,000 entries! It would be interesting to see what sort of response a Children’s Horticultural Show would get today!