Problems in Ardara in 1926

Letter to Co Manager Donegal Co Council 18/8/1926 outlining resolutions for forthcoming Council meeting.


Co Donegal

18th August 1926

Dear Sir,

Kindly put below on agenda for next meeting and oblige

Yours faithfull, Neil Sweeney

Mr McLaughlin

1. How much of the Rates for year ending 31/3/25 and for the year ending 31/3/26 is still uncollected?

2. Owing to the farmers having no stock, the meadows that used to command a good price are now absolutely unsaleable, consequently if these poor people are to pay either rates to the Council or annuities to the Government it will only be when they are assisted by the Government by a loan, which I think the Council should press for.

3. The Government is inclined to do something to help the cottage industries in the parishes of Ardara, Carrick, Kilcar, Killybegs and Glenties but moving very slowly. I think if the Council saw its own way to pass a strong resolve to asking the Government to hasten before the people were driven out it would be useful to the Council, the Government and the people.

4. I would draw the attention of the Council to the fact that the Ardara street is the worst part of any main road in the County and hence would ask the Council to kindly see that it would receive attention now.

5. From the mart to the Ardara (4) N>S. there is a very bad curve, a narrow road, and a dirty sewer, at the head of which is a deep pit leading into a well, five feet or more in depth on the public road, which is a very dangerous place and liable if an accident happen, to be a source of considerable expense to the Council. I would suggest to the Council the removal of the well, the making of a stone pipe with a sidewalk over it over the sewer. The children of the town going to school could use the side walk and be safe from motors coming round the curve".

This agenda gives us a look at some of the problems peculiar to small rural towns and villages in the 1920s. At the top of his list, Councillor Sweeney puts the issue of local rates and Government charges, and the inability of the local farmers to pay them. The decline of the cottage industries of the area, knitting, spinning, weaving, lace-making, etc, also comes up for particular mention. Small home-based production of textiles provided a much-need income for families in this part of South- west Donegal; the threat of emigration due to lack of financial support from government was stressed. Ardara's main street seems to have been in very poor shape, and the sewage system as outlined, primitive, to say the least.


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