Limerick East Fine Gael minute book donated to national archive

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by Alan Jacques

[email protected]

A MINUTE book of the Fine Gael Limerick East Constituency Executive, dating back half a century has been donated to the archive at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.

Donated by the daughters of the late David O’Keeffe of Bruff Branch, the minute book covers the decade 1971 to 1981.

David O’Keeffe was actively involved with the Fine Gael party throughout his lifetime and held officer positions at local branch and Constituency level as well as a delegate to the National Council. He was Honorary Secretary of the Fine Gael Limerick East Constituency Executive in the 1970’s and kept the minute book in safe keeping for the past 50 years.

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David always had a great interest in politics and history and his daughters Gráinne and Rachel were delighted when the National Library were interested in acquiring the Minute Book.

“He was passionate about Fine Gael and loved history and politics. He held the minute book in safe keeping for half a century and we know he would like this to be preserved for future generations. We are delighted the minute book will go to a safe home to be preserved in the right environment by professional archivists, and most importantly it will be accessible to the public into the future,” they said.

The minutes recorded during that period include discussion on some interesting local and national topics. Limerick East TD Tom O’Donnell, Minister for the Gaeltacht and MEP for Munster during that period, attended most of the constituency executive meetings to brief constituency delegates on national issues and it makes interesting reading.

Key national topics on the agenda in the early 1970s included the referendums on Assession to the European Communities and Voting Age Reduction from 21 to 18 years. Other topics from the time included the northern crises, the problems facing the bacon industry in Limerick, American government seeking landing rights at Dublin Airport and impact on Shannon.

Constituency Executive meeting agendas focused on planning and organising for upcoming elections, canvassing, manning polling stations on polling day, planning church gate collections, the annual dinner dance at Cruises Hotel, the Árd Fhéis and setting up a youth branch in Limerick.

The National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections. The catalogue is searchable online.