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Above: Turning the sod, at St. Mary's Park during the Mayoralty of James Casey: From left: D. O'Dwyer, mace bearer; P. Forest, City High Constable; Mrs. Stenson, J. Casey, Mayor of Limerick; Mrs. Molloy, Mr. P. Malloy, builder; P. O'Mara, Mace Bearer; Miss Molloy, C. Stenson, City Architect. The scheme of almost 400 houses was completed by August 19, 1935 when the residents of a number of slums in Lady’s Lane, Parnell Street, and in Palmerstown, were re-housed.

“Here you can enjoy life and bring up your families as they should be brought up, worthy citizens, physically and morally fit”

The taking over of the Island Field houses by the tenants was signalised yesterday afternoon by an open-air dance and other festivities.The Mayor, Mr. J. M.Casey and the Mayoress, who attended, opened the proceedings, and throughout the evening the greatest enthusiasm prevailed.

In the course of a brief speech, the Mayor congratulated the tenants on having been "rescued from slum districts, insanitary houses, and unhealthy surroundings."The slums of Limerick, the Mayor added, would soon disappear with God's help. A scheme for the building of one thousand additional houses was at present under consideration.

Mayor's address: The completion of the transfer of the residents of the Palmerstown and Lady's Lane slum areas to the new houses in the Island Field was signalised by the holding of an open air dance yesterday evening. The Mayor, Mr. J. M. Casey presided, and the Lady Mayoress was also present. There were three bands - the Boherbuoy Brass and Reed Band, the Thomondgate Boys' Band and a special string band for dancing - present and the function was witnessed by thousands of citizens.


The removal of the tenants from the slum areas had been going on for about a week, but the last of them moved into their new dwellings on Saturday night. All three hundred and eighty houses are now occupied.The tenants are delighted with their new houses and bright and airy surroundings.The dance was a most lively, enjoyable and animated affair, in which the tenants from the youngest to the oldest, took part.

Everybody enjoyed it immensely, including the thousands of spectators. In view of the fact that the tenants came from different parts of the city the dance also served the very useful purpose in helping people to become acquainted with their new neighbours at an early date.


The dance was opened by the Mayor and Mayoress, the music being supplied by the bands.The programme was diversified by including many Irish dances, which were the outstanding feature of the evening's amusement.

The function was organised by Messrs. P. Madigan, O'Callaghan, Hurley and McKeown, to whom the tenants expressed their heartfelt thanks for a most enjoyable evening's entertainment.

During an interval the Mayor, who was given a most enthusiastic reception, said that it was a great pleasure to him to be associated with the festivities of the tenants. It was very fitting that the tenants should mark in such a happy way their occupation of the houses, and in that connection he should like to say that the Island Field Scheme was a matter in which they could all take a just pride in (applause).


It made him feel very happy to know that that scheme was the means of rescuing close on four hundred families from slum districts, from insanitary houses and unhealthy surroundings. The slums of Limerick, which were nothing short of a disgrace would, with God's help, soon disappear from their midst. The Government were doing all that was possible to promote housing schemes, and he could say that the City Manager and Council had now under consideration schemes for the building of one thousand additional houses.


"Providence has been very good to you," the Mayor proceeded, "in providing for you those lovely new houses, so beautifully planned and laid out, so beautifully situated amidst charming and healthy surroundings. Here you can enjoy life and bring up your families as they should be brought up, worthy citizens, physically and morally fit (hear hear, the crowd cried). For years past you have been forced to live in slums, in one-roomed houses. Now you have been taken out of them and given possession of houses that are modern and up-to-date in every detail. Surely, you are entitled to given expression to your great joy on such an auspicious occasion. Proceeding, he appealed to all the tenants to show to the citizens as a whole that when they got the chance to live in decent houses that they know how to respect them by keeping them clean, neat and tidy.


As an incentive to that end the Manager, the Mayor declared, intended to offer prizes for the best kept gardens and houses. He (Mayor) had every confidence in the tenants, and he was sure that the Island Field Scheme would continue to be a credit to the city. Concluding, the Mayor said that he had given a special invitation to the delegates to the Municipal Authorities' Congress, which would beheld in the city next month, to visit the scheme. He again wished to avail of that opportunity to extend to them all his very best wishes for their peace, happiness and prosperity for the future.


Later, the Mayor and Mayoress paid a visit to Mrs.Hurley, the mother of the first child to be born in theIsland Field. The Mayor has consented to act as Godfatherfor the infant.

Source: Limerick Leader - Published Date: 19 / 08 / 35