Ref NoBUS15
TitleFlynn and Lehany Coalmining Company Ltd. Collection
DescriptionThe collection relates to the work of Flynn and Lehany Coalmining Company Ltd. based on Kilronan Mountain in the Arigna coalfield.

The material itself consists of a very full record of the industry, covering the establishment of the company, as well as material relating to production, personnel and distribution. There are reports and correspondence with the various regulatory bodies associated with mineral rights, as well as technical manuals to go with the machinery used in the plant. There is also material relating to the Hewitson and Lawder estates in the Arigna area. It included details of lands purchased by the Flynn family from the estates under the auspices of the Irish Land Commission, some as early as the 1890s.

The arrangement of the collection reflects the various aspects of work associated with the Company. The first section consists of company records, usually associated with the company secretary, legal papers, correspondence and documents associated with the surveying of minerals and technologies. The legal papers are further subdivided into company legal papers such as memoranda of association, certified accounts and share certificates, as well as minutes of the Board of Directors. There is a sub-section on title deeds and the transferral of mining rights from various land-owners and companies. Correspondence is further sub-divided into company secretary correspondence (mainly with other directors and companies planning out the work of the company and possible projects), government departments (dealing with mineral rights, licences and other matters) and other correspondence (including an interesting letter from the company and workforce to John Hume making a donation to the Bloody Sunday Appeal Fund).

The financial material forms another section, dealing with the working of the mine and the financial running of the company. One section deals with tonnage, giving amounts mined by each miner, explosives licences issued by Defence Forces and An Garda Siochana to company employees, as well as catalogues and manuals of machinery used in the mine. Another section deals with time-sheets, wages and tax returns for each employee. There are sections of purchases and sales, and the final section deals with the banking arrangements of the company.
Date1949-1989
Extent25 boxes
Administrative HistoryFlynn & Lehany Coalmining Company was established in 1949 and continued to operate until 1989, operating the mine of Gubbarudda in the central part of Kilronan mountain. Coming in as it did in the post-war period, the company worked on contracts with hospitals and other public buildings through the fifties, and from 1958 with the building of a coal burning ESB power station at Arigna, it supplied coal there. The power station closed in 1989 and the following year the company also closed. The site is now a quarry operated by Hillstreet Quarry Ltd.

As well as the Flynn family, there are a number of links to families in the area, including a number with landed estate and business interests in the area, as well as Dr. James Gaffney, the TCD pathologist who brought Samuel Beckett on an Irish Red Cross mission to Saint Lô in 1946. There were also business links with John Charles O'Hara, who became involved in the company in the early 1960s. John Had served in the Royal Corp of Engineers, and kept the company informed on modern mining methods. His daughters Joan and Mary O'Hara were noted stage performers, Joan with the Abbey Theatre and later in "Fair City", Mary as a singer and harpist in the 1950s and early 1960s. Joan was mother of the author Sebastian Barry (who received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2012).

The company operated at a time of great social change in rural Ireland, with rural electrification and the modernisation of Irish industry through the sixties and seventies, onto the recessionary times of the 1980s. As the records of a commercial mining company in Ireland in the later twentieth century this collection is unique, and offer unparalleled insights into production processes, as well as financial management and the impact of the industry on the locality.
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