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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Branch

Irish Transport & General Workers' Union

Source (Michael Purcell) Carloviana 1983

Written by Patrick Purcell.

Carlow Branch of the Irish Transport & General Workers’ Union

The Carlow branch of the I.T.G.W.U. was established in 1918 having as its founder members Patrick Purcell, Quinagh, Carlow; Michael Brophy, late of Dublin Road, a plasterer; Edward Walsh, a plasterer, Graiguecullen, and Tim Brennan, a labourer. Mr. Purcell is the only surviving member still hale and hearty.

The first Branch President was the late Patrick Comerford, Burrin Street, a carpenter, with Carlow Urban District Council, and he had as Vice-President the late Dick Rodgers, Castle Hill, a carpenter in Corcoran’s Mineral Waters.

In 1919 the first office of the branch was vacated by the union as it had been rented only for one year. It was opposite the old Vocational School in Dublin Street, where they operated until around 1962.... when they moved to the present office in Barrack Street. This premises was formerly the old Protestant School.

In 1919 the late Paudge MacGamhna (Patrick Gaffney) was elected President of the branch, a position he held until 1943 having as Vice-Presidents over the ensuing years the late Peter O’Brien, male nurse, St. Dympna’s Hospital; the late William Jackson, storeman, Goods Hardware; Paddy Coffey, malting; Michael Brennan, petrol and oil; John O’Brien, retired C.S.E. Teo; the late John Nolan, Corcoran & Co.; Thomas Kelly, Thompsons; Martin Doyle, Cold Rolling Mills; the late Thomas Brennan, Barrow Mills, and Harry Byrne, C.S.E, Teo. All of the above have also acted as Branch Presidents at various times.

The position of Secretary to the branch in the early years was part-time and the first Secretary was Patrick (Nipper) O’Toole; Tom Donnelly (baker) also held the position. The late Liam Ellis, BA., was the first full-time Secretary until his appointment to Carlow/Kildare Health Board, St. Dympna’s Hospital. The late Stephen Carroll, a Laois man; Paddy Mullane of Cork, Tom McCarthy, Dublin, and Michael O’Leary, Minister for Labour in the Inter-Party Government, also served as Branch Secretary in Carlow, as did Jim Buckley who later transferred to head office in Dublin. Brian Kennedy served for sixteen years until he retired on health grounds.

Patrick Purcell c1983

Labour Organising in a County Town

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