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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell  Papers

Baldy Grandfathers and Old Maids Dancing...

By kind permission of Michael Purcell  12/2009

Baldy Grandfathers and Old Maids Dancing...

January 1922.

To the Editor, Nationalist and Leinster Times. Carlow.

Dear Sir,

Time was when no married folk and few middle-aged persons "took" to the dance floor. Of course allowances must be made for the man "who was no older than he felt" and the old maid who was as young as (she thought) she looked. Struggling hard to avoid being indexed amongst the "wall flower" variety. Nowadays all this is changed.

Old grandfathers who might pass for Santa Clauses,baldy heads, and old maids, musty, and well seasoned from "the shelf" make their presence felt,and may be seen nightly enjoying themselves on the floor.

No one can gainsay that dancing when properly carried out, is good and pleasant exercise and helps to keep the heart young, but when it comes to what occurred in Portlaoighise recently at a fancy dress ball there when the lights were all turned off at a certain time, and as part of the programme, one wonders what we are coming to.

Surely no peace treaty , prisoners home coming , etc., can excuse such a proceeding as this in the capital of Laoighis and the sooner for the dignity and morality of Ireland such Vivian-like conduct is put an end to the better for all.

It was surely bad enough to have drinking bars set up for the sale of intoxicants, etc., at such functions, but now to have "lights out " at a certain time in the middle of a fancy dress ball, with showers of confetti - - and let us hope, old boots --is certainly carrying such abuse beyond the limit of Christian endurance, and is a headline unworthy of the traditions of O'Moore's county.

It is a sad state of affairs if on the eve of our deliverance from foreign bondage we are to be plunged straightaway into the heaten practices of Continental Atheists.

A few weeks ago in London the moral press of England was shocked by a Russian ballet dance, got up by the nobility of London, at which the dancers were all attired --well, as Adam and Eve were --and it seems we are on the road to such here in Ireland, if some one, or organisations of authority do not exert themselves to protect the youth of the country from such dances, as that provided for by the Continental people of Portlaoighise quite recently. --

(signed) GLANA.
(name and address with the editor, card enclosed).

[Note added by Michael Purcell 2010. No way of knowing who this letter was from but I bet it was from some Parish Priest who like the Carlow gentry seems to have his (or her) finger on the pulse of the Irish Nation in 1922. Portlaoighise is the old spelling for Portlaoise formerly Maryborough in the Queen's County now county Laois.]

 The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, 2010

Pg 120 Pg 121 Pg 122
1922  INDEX Page 21 Page 22 Page 23
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