Limerick Political History Minute Book Donates to National Library
A half-century-old Fine Gael Limerick East Constituency Executive MINUTE book has been donated to the Archives of the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.
It was donated by Gráinne and Rachel, daughters of the late David O’Keeffe of the Bruff branch. The book of minutes covers the decade 1971 – 1981.
Mr. O’Keeffe has been actively involved in the Fine Gael Party throughout his life and has held officer positions at the local branch and constituency level, as well as a delegate to the National Council.
He was Honorary Secretary to the Executive of Fine Gael Limerick East in the 1970s and has kept this minute book in a safe place for the past 50 years.
Mr. O’Keeffe has always had a great interest in politics and history and his daughters were delighted when the National Library became interested in acquiring the Book of Minutes.
“He was passionate about Fine Gael and loved history and politics. He kept the Minute Book for half a century and we know he would like it to be kept for future generations.
“We are delighted that the Minute Book is going to a safe home to be kept in the right environment by professional archivists, and more importantly, it will be available to the public in the future,” they said.
Mr. O’Keeffe passed away in February of this year. The number of people who came out to pay their respects, in a socially distanced manner, as the funeral procession left their residence on their way to Bruff RFC before continuing on to St Patrick and St Brigid’s Church reflected his standing in the community .
The minutes recorded between 1971 and 1981 include discussions on a number of interesting local and national topics. Limerick East TD Tom O’Donnell, Minister for Gaeltacht and MEP for Munster during this period, attended most of the constituency executive meetings to brief constituency delegates on national issues and reading is interesting.
The main national topics on the agenda in the early 1970s included referendums on joining the European Communities and reducing the voting age from 21 to 18. Other topics of the time included the crises in the North, the problems faced by the bacon industry in Limerick, the US government seeking landing rights at Dublin Airport and the impact on Shannon.
Constituency executive meeting agendas focused on planning and organizing upcoming elections, canvassing, staffing polling stations on election day, planning gate collections churches, the annual dinner dance at the Cruises hotel, the Árd Fhéis and the establishment of a youth branch in Limerick.
And, of course, the fact that the constituency of Limerick East no longer exists adds to their historical value.
The National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, is open, free of charge, to anyone wishing to consult the collections. The catalog is available online.