The Oughterard Co-Operative Society

Leslie Lyons

The Oughterard Co-operative Agricultural Society was set up sometime around 1918 with the intention that artificial fertilizers, feed, meat and other goods needed by farmers could be purchased in bulk from the suppliers and sold on to the farmers at a better price than that which had to be paid in the shops. The offices of the Society were located in the galvanised Green shed on the main street.

That building had originally been the Officers’ Mess for the garrison of British Army soldiers camping in Lemonfield (Corribdale Grounds) during the war years. It seems that there was not sufficient room in the barracks in Camp Street and tents had to be set up in the field off the Pier Road. The Co-operative appears to have been quite successful at first, but it then got into financial difficulties in 1923. The result was that a writ was issued against it by John J Doyle and Co. (Solicitors) of 16/17 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin on behalf of the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society Ltd. of 151, Thomas Street, Dublin regarding an outstanding bill of 235-8s-1d

I have a copy of the writ which names, as defendants, Matthew Mullin of Shanavaugh, Patrick Mons of  Drimnakill (Glann), R.E Willis of Gortrevagh, Hugh Walsh of Billamore, John O’F Willis of Moyvoon, Martin J Naughton of Rusheeny, Thomas H Lyons of Tullaboy, Pat Burke of Mahera and Thomas Osborne of Old Chapel. All are also described as “Gentlemen”

The writ, signed by John A Costello, stated that “By guarantee in writing dated 15th day of January 1920, the defendants jointly and severally guaranteed payment to the Plaintiffs for all goods supplied to the Oughterard Co-operative Agricultural Society Limited.” It also stated that goods to the value of £235-8s- 1d had been sold and delivered to the Oughterard Co-operative Agricultural Society but that no payment had been received.

Butter, Tobacco and flour are amongst the items listed as “particulars referred to”. It is also stated that, if within four days of service of the writ, payment of the amount outstanding together with £6-10s-0d costs was made, further proceedings would be stayed.

It appears that the matter was quickly settled, and that the Society continued to operate for some years afterwards as a receipt issued to my grandfather on September 16th, 1926, reads “Paid on Loan Guarantee Shares £1-16s.0d. No further liability from this Society.”

This page was added on 18/11/2022.

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