Benefits of running water – 1950

OTD_November_ICA water demonstration_1950

‘Don’t carry water to your home, make it run’

Rural electrification brought a number of modern conveniences to Irish rural life, including running water. On 8 and 9 November 1950, a special display on the benefits of running water was mounted by the ESB Rural Electrification Office (REO) at the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) Annual Fair at the Mansion House, Dublin. The centre-piece was designed to make a strong initial impact, and consisted of a large aluminium water tap gushing water at the rate of 2,500 gallons per hour. This was supplemented by a full size replace of a corner of a cottage kitchen sink with both hot and cold water.

The above photograph shows James Dillon, Minister for Agriculture, in the act of turning on the huge tap. He later spoke of the importance of running water, and highlighted the assistance available from his Department. His concluding remarks were highly applauded:

‘Young ladies of the country; make it known that there will be no more marriages until there is hot and cold water on tap in the kitchen’.


Extract taken from Michael Sheil’s The Quiet Revolution, page 188.

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