known as Wellington Square.
Carlow Nationalist , June 1920.
To the Editor "Nationalist and Leinster Times"
Dear sir – Words cannot express my delight on reading in the newspapers
that at a recent meeting of the Carlow Urban Council, it was decided to
make the above change. It was high time, indeed, that the people of
Carlow awakened from their seeming lethargy and culpable indifference,
and paid some tribute of respect to Mr. Governey, in recognition of his
invaluable service in connection with the development of the industrial
resources of the town, but as a Carlowman, and knowing that the chief
characteristics of its people are friendship and gratitude, I feel
inclined to attribute the tardiness to an oversight, and not to a want
of reciprocal kindness. Surely Mr. Governey richly deserves any honour
that could be conferred on him. His has been a life unique, both in
humane and commercial sense.
"He hath opened his hand to the
and stretched out his hand to the poor" (prov.xxx1.)
He also took a strenuous interest in all that pertained to the
advancement of Carlow, and by his tact, energy, enterprise, and great
business ability, made it what it is; i.e., one of the foremost and most
progressing little inland towns in Ireland. Is it any wonder, therefore,
why Mr.Governey should be commemorated in the name of the square of the
town he has done so much for?
"Why withhold good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power
of thine hand to do."
Yes, sir. He has so to speak, formed the fulcrum of the town, and the
magnet that attracted its patrons thereto. Let us suppose, explemia
gratia, that Carlow was deprived of Mr. Governey's great usefulness, and
what kind of town, may I ask, would it become? Well, I feel in truth it
might be compared with, and assimilated to, Goldsmith's "deserted
village." Hence I say that true worth should be recognised and
In early life he sowed good seeds,
Which produced fruit, both rich and ripe?
as lasting monuments of deeds,
Done by men only of his type.
He sought by all the zeal he could,
Without a wish for worldly fame,
An independent livelihood,
Blessed with an upright, honest name.
I think it would only gilding gold to dilate at any further length on
Mr. Governey's good qualities. Suffice it, therefore to say, if I were
to monopolise your valuable and influential journal with an eulogy, I
would even then fall short in doing the subject full justice.
In conclusion, when "his life's long day is closing," and in the
transient gleam of recollection and consciousness, how consoling will be
the happy thought of leaving Carlow his debtor; and then:
When in death his peaceful ashes lie,
And some tongue congenial speaks his name;
Friendship shall never blush to breath a
And great ones envy such an honest name.
I beg to remain, dear sir,
Extract from Nationalist
Saturday 25th April 1914.
Carlow Urban Council Meeting as reported
Chairman Michael Governey presided
Also present, Thomas Murphy, Patrick Lawler, John Murphy, J.D.
McGrath, J. Brennan, William Purcell, Edward Duggan, John Foley, W.
J. Jackson, J. D. McCarthy. Mr. W. A. Lawler, Town Clerk and Mr.
Cardery, B.S. were in attendance.
A question arose as to the re-naming some of the streets of the
town. - Mr MacCarthy referred to the opening of the Water Works in
Carlow which the Chairman graced with his presence. It was suggested
then that Hay Market should be called by the old name of Templeconey -
Mr. Jackson suggested that Wellington Square be called Volunteer Square
- Mr. Purcell said that for years he had in his mind that it would be
right to call Wellington Square, Governey's Square. The Chairman,
Michael Governey, said he would rather they would not insist on calling
any street in Carlow after his name. - Mr. Purcell said he would insist
on his proposition that Wellington Square be changed to Governey's
Square. It was only fair as Mr. Governey had done great things for
Carlow. - Mr. Governey still objected to putting the resolution. - Mr.
Brennan : You have no call to interfere (laughter) . I say Wellington
Square should be called Governey Square. - It was unanimously decided to
call Hay Market, Templecroney Square and Wellington Square to be called
in future, Governey Square.
Note; Councillor William Purcell referred to above was grandfather
to our regular contributor , J. J. Woods and uncle to my uncle, the late
Pat Purcell, 1895-1994, Killeshin /Carlow.
Governey Square (formally Wellington Square)
- Corcoran’s Bar, Governey Square. Photo Dan Carbery.
- Corcoran’s is unfortunately no longer in existence and the
factory buildings have been demolished. Corcoran’s Bar in Governey
Square (formerly Wellington Square) is the only place the name is
still displayed that we know of..
- Source: By Dan Carbery, Carlow County Museum