After a campaign by the Kinsale History Society that goes back to 2007, it seems that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the restoration of the war memorial and pump at the World’s End, Kinsale.
As well as being a memorial to those who died in the Great War it was also of practical value to the community as it was the first public water pump in the area. This memorial pump was erected by public subscription on land bought by the Town Council from the Heard Estate and was the centre where residents of that part of the town used to meet to get water, some to do their washing and was in fact a social centre for many years.
While the women did the washing and drew water to their houses, the children played and the retired sailors and fishermen reminisced and solved the problems of the world. Unfortunately, the pump went out of use with the provision of a town water supply for the houses and the old pump was stolen.
The area became a waste land and was totally neglected as the Town Council said it was not in the ownership of that body. However, the secretary of the Kinsale History Society, Dermot Ryan, then set out to trace the history of the memorial.
Having looked at the Council Minute Book for 1922 and various planning files (29/82 and 41/89) this seemed to be the sequence of events that has resulted in the present situation: The property was held by the Heard Estate, which gave the committee of the Kinsale War Memorial Fund permission to erect a memorial pump, etc. According to the minutes of June 6th, 1922, a request was received and agreed by the Council that they take over the pump and plot of ground from the Heard Estate and pay all the costs incurred by both parties.
The minutes of the meeting of June 19th, 1922, record the conveyance of the property from the reps of the Heard Estate ‘duly sealed with the Corporate seal.’ The property would then have been registered in the Registry of Deeds as was the norm for the council at that time.
However, in 1981, a Mr Gahlin, from Sweden, registered the land which he bought, bordering on Compass Hill and where Messrs Nagle and Young later lived, but also included the War Memorial site to which it appears from the above he had no right. This was registered in the Land Registry (Reference CK3588/81) rather than in the Registry of Deeds, an arrangement which made it very difficult to trace.
But, the History Society persisted and Mrs Antoinette Young has now signed over the property to public ownership and the County Council is now working on the legal side of the arrangement and it is hoped that the planned restoration can be begin in the coming months. The History Society thanked Mrs Young for her decision as well as Virgil Horgan and Tony Greenway for their work on the matter.
The Society holds an annual ceremony of remembrance on Armistice Day every year and it is hoped that November 11th will be a special one this year in the restored site.