29 May 2022

Phone service is threat to business in Kilkenny

Kilkenny Lookback

A poor telephone service is costing Kilkenny city businesses Picture: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Here's what the made the news on the front page of the Kilkenny People 50 years ago this week - May 28, 1971

The telephone service in Kilkenny is so bad that a great deal of business is being lost to the city. This is the claim made by a number of city traders, manufacturers and hoteliers when interviewed by the People this week.
Cause of the problem is that the automatic exchange in the city is totally inadequate and is incapable of handling the number of calls now being made.
At peak business periods it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a line on the crammed system, and the result is business chaos.
The Post Office acknowledge the deficiency and says the steps are being taken the remedy the situation.
But at the same time irate businessmen are becoming increasingly concerned about loss in business.
"The situation is scandalous," said Bobby Kerr, managing director of Newpark Hotel, which is served by no less than nine lines. "It is utterly frustrating. In fact, words fail me when it comes to describing the telephone system."
Mr Tommy Duggan of the Monster House said that the wholesale side of his firm was 'losing sacks of money' because of the insufficient telephone service.
Mr Phil Purcell, secretary-director of Padmore and Barnes, said the telephone service was affecting his business very badly. He explained that as 80 to 90 per cent of their business was now with customers in England and America, the transaction of business by telephone was being seriously disrupted.
"Recent difficulties experienced at the Kilkenny exchange have been caused by a very rapid growth in the number of calls being made as a result of which the traffic hold equipment is overloaded during busy periods," read an official statement from the Post Office.
"Additional equipment to relieve the congestion has been ordered. Special arrangements have been made to instal portion this within the next two months."
At a meeting of farmers in Urlingford, at which there was a big attendance, a party of men armed with shotguns was organised to track down dogs that are causing havoc among sheep flocks.
It is estimated that sheep and lambs to the value of over £500 have been ravaged by marauding dogs and the killings have taken place over a wide area, particularly over the past three weeks.
Heaviest losses have been incurred by Messrs C Large, Urard; W Walsh, do; J Comerford, do; P Campion, Rathbeg; T Fogarty, The Islands; P Joyce, Borrisbeg: M Clohosey, Urlingford.
Following a thorough search of the area by the party of men with shotguns a stray dog was shot in a quarry. Another escaped but was shot later.
A garda spokesman said that the dogs were, in most cases, abandoned by itinerants or by people attending cattle marts. The Gardai in Urlingford appeal to all dog owners to keep the dogs under strict supervision.
The main talking point in Kilkenny on Tuesday was the bombshell delivered by Paddy Grace, county GAA secretary, when he announced his intention of resigning at a Co Board meeting on Monday night He agreed to postpone his decision for a fortnight after being persuaded by the members to do so.
Mr Grace told me before the meeting (writes 'An Caman') that he was determined to take this step. The growing volume of work involved in the secretaryship coupled with his work as an insurance official severely taxed his energy.
Mr Grace has also a serious complaint against the Central Council in regard to the Nowlan Park scheme. He feels the Central Council should have taken more positive action in regard to the Nowlan Park scheme.
"If we are to discharge this debt we would have to use gimmicks and the GAA should not have to use gimmicks," he said. He pointed out that it is utterly impossible for the Kilkenny Co Board to discharge this debt on the Park. The Central Council are promoting schemes of various kinds but if the clubs adopt these schemes they would find themselves in serious financial trouble.
"At present we are in the position that we cannot train teams and if we cannot send fully trained teams to Croke Park where are we, or where is the GAA?" he asked. "We cannot subsidise hurleys for the schoolboys and that, in my opinion, is the whole basis of the GAA and the only means by which it can be maintained in the future."
Paddy Grace was one of Kilkenny's outstanding hurlcrs and has county and intercounty medals in all grades. He was on the Kilkenny team that beat Cork in two memorable All-Ireland finals, the 1939 and 1947 finals. One of his greatest displays in an illustrious career was against Galway in the 1947 All-Ireland final while he played a significant part in the never-to-be-forgotten 1947 final.
The Imco building in High Street, which has been standing isolated by protective barriers since it was declared unsafe 14 days ago, is at present being demolished at a cost of £5,500.
And it is expected that High Street will once again be opened to traffic on Saturday at the latest, Kilkenny Corporation were told at their meeting on Monday.
The building is being knocked by Demolition Ireland Ltd on the instructions of Kilkenny Corporation. However, the memibers were told by the Town Clerk, Mr P Farrelly, that the cost of demolition will be recoupable as the Corporation are not responsible for the building but are demolishing in the interests of public safety.

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