When many rural towns are struggling and populations declining Newmarket-on-Fergus in Clare is thriving and more people want to make it their home.
In the last ten years, the population of the village of Newmarket-on-Fergus has grown from around four hundred to nine hundred people. The population of the surrounding district has also doubled to approximately two thousand five hundred people.
In 1961, Professor Veracruz of Leiden University in Holland, who was intrigued by the rapid population growth, carried out a survey of the entire district. His research found that in contrast to other rural towns and villages in Ireland, the population of Newmarket-on-Fergus had grown by around 12 per cent. No other locality in Ireland had experienced development like this and the research found that it was largely due to the development at the nearby Shannon Airport and Industrial Estate.
A local priest says that the development of the village has meant an increase in the marriage rate and a corresponding increase in the birth rate.
We have double the amount of marriages in this parish than we had ten years ago.
The growing population has also put an increasing demand on schools and seven additional teachers have been employed in the parish in the last fifteen years.
A member of Clare County Council Mr McMahon describes the prosperity that the village has experienced in recent years. Around seventy new houses have been built in the past twenty years and there are plans for further construction.
Other signs that the local economy is doing well include the opening of two garages, two filling stations and a bookmakers shop.
This is all a welcome sign at a time when people in other parts are leaving the villages for the big towns. Here, they're staying at home and growing prosperous.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 March 1964.