Nationalist and Leinster Times. February
Mr Francis Slater. 1881 - 1937.
We are very sorry to have record the
death of Mr Frances Slater, which took place at his home,
Hanover House, Carlow, on Saturday afternoon last.
The late Mr Slater was a very well known
figure, not alone in Carlow and district but throughout the
greater part of Ireland, for he developed in a very short
number of years a business concern of varied and
In the town of Carlow he was the owner of
a great amount of property, and he gave considerable
- Image 59. A gathering of a different sort, the
fowl pluckers and employees of Slaters Works. The
firm was owned by-local wonder money-maker Frank
Slater, pictured on the right with hat and drooping
moustache. Frank owned extensive property in
Carlow town including the Palace Cinema, he was also
proprietor of 63 'bookie shops', situated throughout
Ireland. His name can be seen painted on the fowl
and rabbit 'coffin' boxes.
- Image source: Carlow in old
Picture Postcards by Michael Purcell 1994
Mr Slater's interests were chiefly
concerned in the poultry trade, the bakery business and Turf
He was one of the largest exporters of
eggs and fowl in Ireland, and his possessions included over
a hundred branch betting offices located throughout Ireland.
His other interests included his
ownership of The Palace Cinema in Burrin Street, which he
purchased some years ago.
It was stated at that time that he had
never been in a Cinema in his life up to the time he
acquired The Palace. To a man of Mr. Slater's calibre
nothing was impossible. He possessed those rare qualities of
making everything he touched an undoubted success, and this
was possible owing to his amazing courage and foresight.
One might say that he managed all his
unwieldy business concerns almost single-handed, and
certainly did it with great success.
It is a very sad thing to see a man like
him passing so prematurely from this life. He was only
fifty-six years of age.
His health declined somewhat about a year
ago and he never really recovered, although he was active to
his unexpected end.
It was typical of the man that he should
die virtually in harness, for he was always greatly
interested in his business at the expense of enjoyment of
any considerable nature.
He personally supervised his staff, who
had a great respect for him, and he kept to his untimely end
a keen eye on the organisation and progress of his
considerable and far-flung business interests.
Of his personal qualities, Mr Slater was
known to all for his charity and generosity. No organisation
with the least spark of worthiness ever went to him for help
without coming away the better of their visit.
His unsolicited donations to charity were
large and numerous.
Unlike many men, he remained throughout
his life and through all his lightening business successes
the same simple, level-headed and kindly person.
His loss to the town of Carlow is
inestimable, and it is with great regret that we have heard
of his early passing.
On Sunday evening the remains were
removed to the Cathedral. They were carried from Hanover
House to the Cathedral on the shoulders of his employees,
their last tribute to a kindly employer. Practically the
whole population of the town turned out to pay their last
The chief mourners were:- Edward Slater
and John Slater, (sons), Master F. Slater, (grandson) Mrs S.
Moynihan, Mrs J. Glavin, Miss Baby Slater and Miss Mary Joe
John Slater and Val. Slater (brothers),
Mrs Mary Snoddy and Mrs Bridie Walsh (sisters). Val Slater,
Tom Fennell, Mick Snoddy, Tom Snoddy, John Snoddy, Sam
Snoddy, Joe Walsh, John Walsh, Francis Walsh, Edward Walsh
(nephews) Mrs Pat Jones, Mrs Joe Phelan, Mrs Michael
Purcell, Mrs Patrick Purcell, Mrs Pado Redmond-Goebells, Mrs
Joseph Leonard, Esther Walsh, Susanna Walsh, Bridget Walsh,
Anne Walsh, Catherine Walsh, Mrs John Largey (nieces). John
Ralph, (father-in-law). Mr J. Glavin and Mr S.Moynihan
(sons-in-law). Mrs Edward Slater (daughter-in-law), Mrs John
Slater, (sister-in-law), Mrs V. Slater, S. Costello, John
Hayden, E. Largey, Miss S. Wynne, Master O. Slater, Miss
Rose Slater and Miss Marie Slater.
Urban Council Minutes.
Moving a vote of sympathy at Carlow Urban
Council meeting on Monday last, Mr Edward Duggan referred to
the passing of Mr Francis Slater and said he would be a
great loss to his family and to the industry of the town. In
his extraordinarily successful career Mr Slater had showed
himself to be a man of great business ability and he
possessed gifts which gave him that high standing in
business and industrial life and which were peculiar to
They all knew him from boyhood and his
meteoric progress in so many branches of industry showed him
to be outstanding. He built for himself a great position in
the industrial life of the town and his death is a
tremendous loss to the general development of Carlow. Just
ten year ago Mr Slater was instrumental in bringing the
Sugar Industry to Carlow, when he pledged a donation of five
thousand pounds to develop the site for the building of a
Sugar Factory in Carlow.
They were all sorry to hear of his death,
which has come as an addition to the numerous very sad
events that have occurred in recent weeks, which have taken
so many people rather prematurely to the next world.
The Chairman seconded the resolution.
Mr Clarke said he would like to be
associated with the vote of sympathy.
The Resolution was passed, all members
standing and the meeting adjourned.
On Monday Office with Solemn Requiem Mass
was celebrated in the Cathedral at which the Very Rev. A.
Lynam P.P. V.F., Bagenalstown presided. The celebrant of the
Mass was Rev. J. Breen, C.C., Bagenalstown, deacon. Rev. P.
Maher, Knockbeg College, sub-deacon. Rev. W. Gavin, Knockbeg
College; Master of Ceremonies. Very Rev. T. Browne, V.P.,
Carlow College. Chanters: Very Rev. T.H. Burbage, P.P.
Tinryland and Rev. G. Sinnot, C.C. Leighlinbridge.
In the choir were:- Very Rev. John
Killian, P.P. Arles; Very Rev. J. Donohoe, P.P.,
Leighlinbridge; Very Rev. P. O'Haire, P.P., Graiguecullen;
Very Rev. J. Dunny, Adm. Carlow; Very Rev. Dr. Ignatius O.M.
Cap. Kilkenny; Rev. W' Miller, D.Ph., C.C. Carlow; Rev. D.
Hughes, D.D., St. Kieran's College, Kilkenny; Rev. E. I.
Campion, C.C. Graiguecullen; Rev. C. Brennan, C.C. Carlow;
Rev. J. Conway, B.D. Carlow College; Rev. J. Foynes, B.A.
Carlow College; Rev. J. Doran, C.C. Tinryland; Rev. P.
Hayden, C.C. Bagenalstown; Rev. E. Lalor, C.C. Arles; Rev.
M. Murray, C.C. Mountmellick; Rev. J. Moynihan, C.C.
Killinaule; Rev. C. Moynihan, Cashel; Very Rev. P. Swayne,
Rector, Knockbeg College; Rev. M. Murphy, B.A. Knockbeg
College. Rev. C.P. Phelan, C.C. Nass; Rev. J. Prendergast,
C.C. Curragh; Rev. W. Fanning, C.C. Portarlington; Rev. A.
Farrell, C.C. Edenderry; Rev. C. O'Connor, C.C. Kiltegan;
Rev. W. Flood, Newtownbarry; Very Rev. M.Brophy, P.P
Suncroft; Rev. P. Broughan, P.P. Caragh; Very Rev. P. Horan,
P.P. Myshall; Rev. J. Griffin, C.C. Paulstown; Rev. J.
Loughrey, C.C. The Rower; Rev. A. Lowry, P.P. Inistiogue;
Rev. T. Ryan, C.C. Newbridge; Rev. W. Mahon, D.E. Tullow;
Rev. A.G. Byrne, Baltinglass; Rev. T. Hickey, St. Patrick's
Note added 2011 by Michael Purcell:
Frank Slater was born in 1880 to Edward
Slater and Anne Farrell of Ballymanus Terrace, Carlow. One
of ten children, Frank started out with very little, in time
he became known as "Slab Slater the money-maker".
He married three times, first to Mary
Ellen (Minnie) Fennell of Graiguecullen, (died 1904, aged
22), secondly to Maria Ralph, Dublin Road, (died in 1923,
aged 32), on the advice of Father John Killian he married
his third wife in 1924, Anne Foley of Tullow Street, (died
1955), shortly after the marriage he separated from Anne,
hence there is no mention of her in this obituary.
At the time of his death it was estimated
that Frank was owner of over 200 houses and several
"parcels" of land throughout the county of Carlow, he also
owned some property in Kilkenny and Dublin and was operating
in one hundred and eight Turf Accountant "Bookie" offices
established throughout Ireland.
Shortly before his death Frank financed
the building of 15 "luxury homes with large gardens and gate
entrance" in Granby Row, Carlow (for sale) -- 4 "large
houses with gated entrances to rear" at Court Place, Dublin
Road, Carlow (for sale) -- and 6 "town houses" on Barrack
Street, Carlow (for rent). Up to the present day solicitors
are still trying to unravel some aspects of the Slater
In 1934 he adopted three children of the
Smith family, their parents had died and their aunt, Sister
Angela of The Mercy Convent in Carlow, inveigled Frank to
adopt them. He paid for their education; one of them was
ordained a priest, Father Oliver Smith.
In Norman McMillan's book on Carlow
Cricket, Billy Ruddock recalls "for many years in the 1930s
we had a good under 14 X1 and regularly played Enniscorthy,
Gowran, Collattin, Newtownbarry, Arklow. As often as not we
all packed into one huge car provided for free by the late
Frank Slater, a benefactor of the youth, who was a
substantial poulter, fish monger, and owner of a chain of
betting shops. He lived in Hanover House where Pennys is now
situated. The huge car he provided was used to ferry the
clerks from Carlow each day to his various betting offices.
It was Frank Slater who knocked and rebuilt number 26 Tullow
As well as a fleet of lorries, Frank
owned a dozen luxury Buick cars for transporting staff to
As John Hargaden said to me recently "if
Frank had to live out a normal life span, not dying at 56,
he would have ended up owning the whole town".