Boost for war memorial restoration campaign

February 7th, 2021 7:10 AM

Hopes are high that the long-sought restoration of the war memorial and pump at World’s End, Kinsale, can go ahead soon.

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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. 

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