The Village Pump

By Trish Murphy

In the 1930's county councils began a series of building houses for families who were living in bad quality houses. The cottages were built on a acre of land and consisted of four rooms, a kitchen, parlour and two bedrooms. Each cottage had a outside dry toilet, a pigsty and a hen loft built further over the yard. They were built in groups of two or four. There was no plumbing in these houses so a iron hand pump was placed on the local wells and the wells were up graded and deepened where needed.

The pumps were constructed in a foundry in Dublin and the original colour appears to have been green, although some were black. The pump was a source of not only water but local news and gossip. Many of these houses were without water until the 1990s and the pumps were in continual use up to then.

Over the years people bought the cottages out from the council  and now the owners have full facilities, and as the pumps fell out of use many disappeared from their original sites and into gardens as furniture. Once there were hundreds of  these pumps scattered across the country.Now there are a few marking the village center getting a fresh look  at the tidy town season, but in some areas we are lucky to say,the pump is still working  and working well, especially in the winter when storms and freezes stop the electricity and its back to the village pump.

This page was added by Trish Murphy on 10/12/2017.

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