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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

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Leinster Leader, Saturday 11 July 1903 - Page 7




The quarterly meeting of Baltinglass No 3 Rural District Council was held on Friday, the 3rd inst., Mr. John Kelly, J.P., presiding. When the ordinary business of the Council had been transacted, Mr. P. P. Farnan, J.P., said he considered, as they were the first authority connected with the roads to meet after the Motor Race; that it was their duty to take notice of the way in which the officials connected with the roads had discharged their duties, and to show their appreciation of them. He had great pleasure in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Glover and his Assistant, Mr. Hurley, for their services, which so largely contributed towards the successful carrying out of the race.

The Chairman said he had great pleasure in seconding the resolution, and in recognising that they had in Mr. Glover, an efficient, able and courteous Co. Surveyor, who was second to none in Ireland. The manner in which the roads were prepared opened the eyes of the foreign visitors, and it was admitted that as far as road surface was concerned they were the best in the world. They gave satisfaction to the competitors generally. Of course popular sympathy in Ireland was not with the victors in the race, but they deserved the victory they won and as victors they commanded their respect. However, their feelings were all with their own country, and as a portion of Great Britain they would naturally be glad to keep the cup at home. After that their hearts went out most to the stars and stripes. It was a great pleasure to find that the Co. Officers had done their work so well, and that the road contractors had responded so loyally to the instructions given to them by the County Surveyor, that the whole amount granted for the extra work was paid, not a penny being stopped. Mr. Glover had carried through a responsible work without a fault, and he (Chairman) heartily seconded the vote of thanks to him and his able Assistant.

Mr. Glover in acknowledging the vote of thanks said the greatest reward an official could expect was to give satisfaction to those for whom he was working. He was surprised at the compliment they had paid him, though he should not be surprised at any kindness from their Council, in consequence of the friendly relations that always existed between them. Regarding the preparation of the roads, he had done his best – for his own sake as an official, for the sake of the country at large, and last but not least for the sake of the County Kildare. He should express his appreciation of the way in which his instructions had been carried out by Mr. Hurley and by the road contractors. The latter carried out their work in a notable way, and they manifested their confidence in him by taking his word, that they would be paid extra for what they did. He hoped that the time would come again when they would have a motor race in their district.

On Tuesday, in the House of Lords, a Bill amending the law relating to motor vehicle traffic on the highways was read a first time. It provides for the registration of cars, identification of vehicles, licensing of professional drivers, the variation of the maximum speed limits by the Local Government Board on the application of the local authorities, and the increase of penalties for violations, with the possibility of imprisonment.