Leinster Leader 10th January 1953
PAINTING THE QUEEN MARY
Naas Man’s Interesting Job
A County Kildare man who has a most interesting job across Channel is Mr. Jack Doyle, formerly of Oldtown, Naas, who is at present enjoying a well-earned holiday in his native town. Jack is a ship’s painter at Southampton, and when the mighty passenger liners, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth came periodically into port he has a job on hands – he gives these ships a coat of paint. Swinging out of a yardarm at a height of perhaps 300 feet gives these workers an elevated view of life, but it is not so easy for the men who have a time schedule to keep as they labour at the great funnels and masts. The work is done by contract and usually takes a month or sometimes seven weeks for each vessel. Recently a friend of Mr. Doyle, another Naas man Johnny Hynes, foreman painter, with nearly thirty years experience, fell to his death whilst on the job.
The dry dock at Southampton, the largest in the world, occupies 18 acres and can accommodate the largest vessels built. The fishing in the harbour provides the best sport of this type in the country, with abundance of flounders, whiting, mullet, bass and the delicious pouting. Recently in one night’s fishing Mr. Doyle caught 200 whiting. But that is nothing unusual to the Naas man who, besides being a keen angler, is a splendid all-around sportsman.
Before leaving Ireland about sixteen years ago, he was a well-known racing cyclist, and in his career won over 500 prizes in all parts of the country, and he also rode in England, where he collected two cups. With his friend, Jacky Bird, he competed in the Tailteann Games with distinction. The first man who started him on a bicycle was the late Mr. Jack Mitchell, Naas who was also a noted wheelman, and whose father is President of the Naas Athletic Club. Mr. Doyle was also associated with the Naas Club for twelve years, and he was Secretary for a time and a member of the Executive of the County Kildare Board of the N.A.C.A. (P). At that period, as it still is, the race for the Millbrook Cup over the famous Punchestown Course was a big annual attraction, and Jack, whose versatility was amazing, ran in the race and won the Cup and succeeded in finishing third and forth in successive years.
As an amateur boxer he was un-defeated and fought in some notable contests in the Naas Town Hall and in Dublin. Jack has now retired from the more strenuous pastimes, but his continued interest in shooting, fishing and swimming keeps him fit for his difficult job. His many Naas friends wish him every success in his adopted land.
The Leinster Leader of January 1953 gives us an account of a Naas man’s interesting job across Channel