by ehistoryadmin on October 10, 2022

Leinster Leader 5 February 1944

The late Dr. L. F. Rowan, Kildare

The death of Dr. Laurence Francis Rowan, which took place at his residence, Valetta, Kildare, on Wednesday, January 26th, and was reported in our issue of last week, caused very widespread regret.

The funeral took place from St. Brigid’s Parish Church, Kildare, following Requiem Mass (celebrated by Rev. W. Kinsella, C.C.) to the New Cemetery, Newbridge. The clergy in attendance at the Mass included – V. Rev. W. Tyndall, O.Carm., Prior; Rev. T. Kennedy, C.C.; Rev. P. O’Hare, O.Carm.; Rev. N. Barry, O.P., Prior; and Rev. M. Foynes, C.C., officiated at the graveside.

The chief mourners were – Captain Ray Rowan (son), Mrs. Eve Bergin and Miss may Rowan (daughters), L. Fullam, Asst. Co. Surveyor (brother-in-law), dr. F. Bergin (son-in-law), Dr. F. Bergin, Peter Fullam, Mr. Thomas P. Rowan, London editor “Irish Press” (brother of deceased) was unable to make the journey from England.

The attendance at the Requiem Mass and the subsequent funeral was large and exceptionally representative. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of William Whelan, Kildare.

An Appreciation

A life-long friend of the deceased writes – The late Dr. Rowan took a deep interest in the activities of the Gaelic League, the Industrial Revival Movement, Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers. He was arrested and interned after the Easter Week Rebellion with Eamon Moran, Michael O’Kelly, editor of the “Leinster Leader”, J. J. Fitzgerald and Michael Smyth. For his work during the War of Independence he was awarded a Military Service Medal. In 1920 he was the only Dispensary Doctor in Co. KildareĀ  who refused to recognise the British Local Government Board. During the Anglo-Irish War his services as a doctor were always at the disposal of the I.R.A.

He was a staunch supporter and member of the Labour Party and had the position of President of the Kildare Branch. He spoke on numerous platforms throughout the country in the cause of Labour, and proposed Mr. W. Norton, T.D., in his principal nomination paper, in every election since 1931.

He carried on a campaign for better housing in Kildare for a long number of years, and issued a pamphlet entitled “Lights and Shades of Kildare,” which dealt with housing conditions there. From 1933 to 1942 over 200 houses were built in the Kildare area, and one of these schemes was named Rowanville in appreciation of his work on behalf of housing in Kildare.

He lived to see the greater portion of the slums in Kildare cleared, and new houses erected and connected with water and sewerage, an achievement in which he played no small part.

He rendered considerable assistance to Mr. Norton in the establishment of the Cutlery Factory in Newbridge, of which he was a shareholder, and also of the Wallpaper Factory in Kildare.

The poor people of Kildare will mourn the passing of a kind and sympathetic friend, who was ever responsive to their pleas for assistance. He ministered to them for over forty years. May the sod rest lightly on him as he sleeps peacefully in the county he loved so well and among the people which he served so faithfully.

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