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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Happenings

Switching on the Christmas Lights at Malcomson Square, 10th December 2011.
Am uncertain who was pressing the button. Take your pick!
On the left - Johnny Crotty, Portlaw Heritage Group.
On right - local resident, Maurice Nugent, heading towards becoming a centenarian!

Not having the names of all involved, I can only say that the members of the local Fire Brigade were very much involved on the occasion, also members of Foróige, who usually are responsible for the Christmas tree, which, being erected on the roundabout, makes it impossible to have a connection to the electricity service, and thus can not be lit up!
Those wearing fluorescent jackets are all members of the Fire Brigade, as is the gentleman in photo No. 169.

A double left-click on any image will enlarge the series for easier viewing. .

If anyone cares to supply names of people in these photos, I will be glad to publish them. If submitting names, please mention the relative photo reference number!

It was with deep regret that people heard of the closure of Woodlock Nursing Home just a week before Christmas (2011). The house, which had been run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny  since 1909, was once home of Frederick Malcomson, one of the seven sons of David Malcomson, founder of Portlaw’s famous Cotton-Mill circa 1825.
At one stage, Fred’s brother, George, who had been living in Clodiagh House, exchanged dwellings with his brother, and it remained in his wife’s name – Emilie Maud (née Pim) –  after he died, until she passed away in in the early 1900s. Shortly afterwards, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny acquired the property from Emilie Maud’s son, Keith, who was carrying out his late mother’s wishes.  Both the Malcomson and Pim families were prominent members of the Society of Friends aka Quakers.  
The house, designed by leading Irish architect, J. S. Mulvany, featured architectural details which can be found in other Malcomson houses. The building, erected in 1863,  contained a chapel,  originally  a consevatory, which was used by the public for Mass on weekdays and Sundays. An inscribed plaque over the front door reads:-

To the Glory of God and in memory of George Pim Malcomson and Emilie Maud, his wife.

The twenty-plus patients in the nursing home were moved elsewhere some days before Christmas by the Health Board.  More than thirty full-time and part-time staff, mainly from the Portlaw area, are now without work, at a time when the present recession is worsening.  

The convent and nursing home, with chapel at this end of building.

-   oooOooo   -

Death of Pat Phelan

Pictured (3rd from left)  on the occasion of his visit to Portlaw Heritage Centre on December 9th 2006, is the late Pat Phelan, noted artist, who passed away on December 13th last.
Others in picture, from left:-  the late Brendan Coffey, Paddy Cahill, and on right is Tom Nugent, all friends of Pat from his younger days.

(Further note to follow)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Why do they need to close Woodlock Nursing Home? They should have just continued the nursing home's service for the people because it will be better that way. It was a beautiful structure built by J. S. Mulvany.

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