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History

Those were the days!

Founding Member, Molly Bowers (RIP) reflects on the establishment of the service for Longford in 1981

There was an open meeting. Names and addresses of would be volunteers were taken. Altogether 30 people volunteered. The following October a course of lectures was given at the Oliver Plunket School courtesy of John Barry.

When the lectures were finished we had to negotiate a place were we could operate from, and eventually we got a room at St Vincent-De-Paul headquarters.

We got a grant from the National Social Services Board (N.S.S.B.), which was small, N.S.S.B. ran on a shoestring in those days, and we had to be subsidised by our own efforts.

Therefore, we formed a committee,

  • John Barry (RIP)- Organiser
  • Michael Walsh - Deputy organiser
  • Bridie Grealy - Deputy Organiser & Secretary
  • Detta Cassells (RIP)- Joint Treasurer
  • Maisie Regan -Joint Treasurer
  • Molly Bowers (RIP)- Minutes
  • Padraic Gearty (RIP)- Legal Advisor

It was decided that John Barry, and Michael Walsh, would go to the industrial firms, banks, etc. for sponsorship. They met with a good response the firms etc were generous so we were solvent and ready to go.

A timetable was established and we started duties in February 1981. Because we had so many volunteers, we were only on duty once a fortnight. However as time went by, our numbers got less; owing to people moving, and job transfers etc, and by June 1984 we were down to 15 volunteers, and since then we have gained and lost.

We continued to put posters in factories Doctors, Dental Surgeries, Hotels etc.

In November 1987, a problem arose. The government of the day decided to abolish information centres. By this time, I was organiser, and Detta Cassells (R.I.P.) my deputy, so off I went to Dublin, to the "Impact Union" meetings each week for about four weeks.

They advised us to lobby T.D.'s write letters etc. So, I wrote to Albert Reynolds and Mary O'Rourke, amongst others

Eventually it was settled and we were back on duty.

That was the only set back we had.

"I have enjoyed my time as a volunteer with the CIS and am pleased that all the years dedication of all its members has not been in vain".
Molly Bowers, Volunteer of 20 years.

 

 


 


Founding Member
Molly Bowers