The town of Ennis is getting a bigger car park, but at what cost to blacksmith Frank Malone?

The industrialisation of the 1960s brought jobs and prosperity in many regions of Ireland. One of the areas to benefit most was Ennis in County Clare. But there is always a price to be paid for prosperity.

Expansion of local factories and the development of the industrial estates in Shannon provided a welcome boost for Ennis. 

Progress means many things to many people but for Frank Malone it means the end of his livelihood and to the town of Ennis it is the end of an era.

As Ennis prospers, there are more and more cars on the road. To accommodate all these additional vehicles, Ennis Town Council has decided to demolish Frank Malone's forge and to put a car park in its place.

The Malone family have had a forge in Ennis for three generations and Frank is the last farrier left in the town. Once the forge is demolished Frank Malone will no longer have a place to work and he can't afford to build a new one.  Speaking to reporter George Devlin he talks about the council's plans, his own prospects and the future trade of the blacksmith.

There is a glimmer of hope as there is a possibility of the council building a forge as a tourist attraction, allowing Frank to carry on his trade as the master providing training to apprentices. Frank however, is philosophical about the future saying,

Progress is Progress

Jack Daly, Chairman of Ennis Urban Council also speaks to George Devlin about the council's plans to demolish this "blight area" to provide necessary parking. Daly also dampens any prospects of the council providing Frank with an alternative forge. 

This episode of 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly' was broadcast on 1 March 1972. The reporter is George Devlin.