Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Old photo recalls self-starting Kilcullen

This fuzzy photograph is somewhere in RTE's archives, and was flashed up last night during an introductory sequence in the TV programme 'What Are You Working For?', writes Brian Byrne.

The programme was a repeat broadcast from the opening episode back in September, with Phillip Boucher-Hayes examining the nation's pay packets — tackling everything from gender pay gaps and the 'gig economy' to what we most value about our jobs.

That programme is worth a look at any time, as it poses real questions about those racing ahead and those being left far behind in our 'resurgent' economy, and you can do so here until 9 May.

But the photograph of a 'Factory Sites Available' sign in Kilcullen — with the comment during the programme on how the Lemass government was changing Ireland from an inward-looking country to an open and growing economy — is a reminder of a time when a group of local people took the future of Kilcullen into their own hands.

In doing so, Kilcullen Development Association put in train a process which was far ahead of future government policies, including IDA advance factories, and the provision of affordable housing.

It's a great story, and out of its own local history, there are probably still lessons for today.