VISNEWS cameras visited the tiny village of Blessington, County Wicklow, Eire recently, filming the one man struggle save what must be one of the most picturesque villages in Ireland from extinction.
GV Pan From church to fields at Blessington
LV Fields statue in foreground.
CU Sign "Blessington"
GV Blessington village.
LV Children playing in street.
GV Pan Closed down sand quarry.
SV Ditto - horse carts etc.
LV Typical house in village.
SV Man closes gate and departs from house.
SV Girl leaves another house-kisses mother -.walks away.
CU "Bus" ??? Pan down to man and girl waiting
SLV Man and girl get on to bus.
SCU Priest Mr. Lucey looking on, behind trees
LV Bus moves off down street.
LV Mr. Lucey looking over old garage
SCU Mr. Lucey talking over purchase with owner
CU Hands clap and shake - completing deal
LV Larry arrives with old loom pan to Mr Lucey
SV Man carries part of loom into garage.
SCU Sign "Blessington Handweavers" being put up
CU Mr. Lucey nailing same
LV Pan Interior looms working.
SV Man working loom.
SV Girl and loom working.
CU Tweed being woven.
CU Girl at work.
CU Roll of tweed on loom.
SCU Postman delivers mail to priest's secretary
SV Secretary with mail sits at side of Mr. Lucey
SCU Secretary hands letter to Mr. Lucey.
cu Smiling face of Mr. Lucey.
Initials TDH/RL AS/RL
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Background: VISNEWS cameras visited the tiny village of Blessington, County Wicklow, Eire recently, filming the one man struggle save what must be one of the most picturesque villages in Ireland from extinction. The Very Reverend Daniel Lucey, Parish priest, came to the village four years ago when the population was 500, today there are 250. Blessington once had a population of 2,500 with over 100 Baptisms every year, now half a dozen is usual. Father Lucey has officiated at only one wedding in the past two years.
Reason for the emigration, local industry has dwindled until it is now almost non-existent.
Unsightly buildings have been erected and abandoned by County Wicklow Council..a public convenience erected in the village square has decayed gradually to an evil smelling eyesore..broken footpaths sprout weeds.. public thoroughfares are bordered by stagnant refuse..and the entrance to the village had a garbage dump 60 yards long... over 300 empty tar barrels litter the village.
While others asked "why", practical Father Lucey organized the Blessington Development Association and starred a clean up campaign. His main concern is for his Parishioners and has already started several schemes to give them a happier social life and some local industry. Six local men and women are working full time on five old hand looms, bought by Father Lucey in Dublin auction rooms and erected in a Blessington garage.. also bought by the good Father. This tweed manufacturing 'industry' is called 'Blessing Weavers', At the same time he directing construction of a factory, and for this two more hand looms, four automatic looms and two scarf looms are on order.
St Joseph's Parish Hall has been originated into a successful rural dance hall. Three bus loads of dancers from Dublin descend on the village for the Sunday night 'hop' and the hall seldom has less than 500 dancers enjoying themselves.
Father Lucey is steadfast in his resolve to stop Blessington from degenerating into seediness to which so many Irish villages succumb.