Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Let there be Light - The first street lighting in Dungarvan 1851


Maurice Flynn's Hardware Store, Main St, with a gas street light in the foreground

Extract from: Waterford News 2 January 1852.

Dungarvan did not have fully lit streets until 1860 when the Dungarvan Gas Consumers Co. was established.  Michael Mahony lived in Mary Street [then William Street] and was also a ship owner and Town Commissioner. He died from a fall from the top floor of his house.

Dungarvan Dec. 30 1851

Our enterprising and spirited townsman, Mr. Michael Mahony, merchant, has purchased four splendid lamps for the use of the public, and has placed them in William Street.

They were lit on the night of the 24th inst, amidst the cheers and acclamations of the people, who assembled on the occasion to witness so novel a scene in this town, where the eye of a spectator never beheld such a treat, during the dreary dark and dismal winter nights.  There have been many valuable lives lost here these years past, in consequence of having no lights to guide the footsteps of the stranger, or the unwary traveller passing through dirty or impassable streets.  And obliged to remain inside doors, rather than endanger his life.  This has not been the first kind act that this generous and noble-minded man has done to render a service to this town, and I hope and trust that other merchants will imitate this good and humane example, to set up a few more in the other streets; most particularly on the Quay where lives have been lost – and at all hours of the night persons are in imminent danger of walking over it, as there has been no precautionary measures adopted to preclude the possibility of any such danger occurring.

J. Mc C.

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