Here is a selection of the minutes of meetings from July 1894 to March 1897.
Home Rule Club opened.
Rules of the Club established. Building had a card room and a billiard room. A billiard marker and a caretaker were employed. Caretaker was instructed to get remainder of fittings from Commercial Club. Caretaker paid 15 shillings per week. Meetings were held once a week.
Gasalier to be taken down from Commercial Club and put up on Home Rule Club. Auction of newspapers will be held on Sunday night.
Edward Madigan who was proposed at previous meeting also was not admitted as some of the members present were of opinion that he is a parnellite.
That Fr Dan O Halloran PP Muckalee whose priceless services and fearless patriotism during a recent trying period will not be soon forgotten be invited to deliver an opening address on the opening day of the club.
That T M Healy Esq M.P. be invited to deliver a lecture in the Club. That on November 23rd a mourning memento flag be hung out of the Club Premises windows in memory of Allan, Larkin and O Brien.
It was unanimously resolved that the Club be henceforward be responsible for the rent of the Band Room, Patrick St provided the St Patricks Branch contribute to the club the sum of £5 yearly.
Having heard with pleasure that a popular and esteemed member of our Club Mr W. Cassin is a candidate for municipal honours we hereby pledge him our unqualified support and we call upon the Burgesses of St Canices Ward to return him triumphantly at the head of the poll, by as doing we feel assured they are putting the right man in the right place.
Miss O Reilly was ordered to be paid the sum of £15 half years rent for club premises.
That whilst disavowing partizanship and discountenancing dissension and discussion in every shape we cannot approve of what we consider, the unjust and unmerited criticism both in the press and on the platform to which T M Healy MP is being subjected for advocating a policy which no one can dispute viz- that the country should and shall get better value from Parliament for its time and sacrifices whilst waiting for Home Rule and tha the Reception of the Tweedmouth cheque wrong in policy and principal. That copies of this resolution be sent to Freemans Journal, Irish Catholic and Nation, Kilkenny Journal, T M Healy MP and Justin McCarthy MP.
Ordered that the rent of “The Shanty” be paid for a period of two months.
That the committee of the Home Rule Club record the expression of their feelings of pride and pleasure at finding amongst the members of the Club and their lady friends (particularly the latter) the existence of such varied and striking talent as was exhibited before the unprecedently large and appreciative audience present at the concert in the Town Hall on Sunday evening and the Committee trust that such gifts and talents as there exhibited will not be allowed to become dormant and be neglected, but, that such pleasing and elevating treats as Sundays will in the future, be afforded the citizens, so many of whom were on that occasion, through want of room, unable to gain admission. That the best thanks of the Club are due and hereby tendered to the talent performers and in especial manner to the ladies who so kindly and generously gave their invaluable services and made the concert such an enjoyable treat, and such an unprecedented success.
That at the next meeting collectors be appointed to make city collections for Club also that the county priests on whom circulars have been served be requested to subscribe to club.
That the secretary be empowered to write to Bagnelstown Young Mens Society inviting them to compete with billiard players of the Home Rule.
That Mr O Hanrahan and Cantwell be deputed to call on Father Dillon and request him to interview Miss O Reilly re house to see if any settlement could be arrived at re Arch House
It was decided that a Club drive to Woodstock or Kilcooly at an early date be inaugurated and all members who are willing to take part will hand in their name to the Secretary. Probably cost per head five shillings.
Mr Cantwell agreed to call on Mr. Buggy to see what are the conditions laid down by Miss O Reily re House.
Mr John Morrissey is a candidate for Municipal Honours we hereby pledge him our support and guarantee that we shall do our utmost to secure his triumphant return at the head of the poll.
That pending some arrangement re w.c. the caretaker see that water for flushing purposes be procured in the meantime fearing that owing to its present unsanitary condition health of the members might be endangered.
Proposed by Henry Hetherington that a bar be established in the club. Proposed by Mr Dunne that Miss O Reillys claim for an increase in rent be not acceded to.
Mr Whyte and Mr King were appointed card stewards for the coming week.
Patrick Bryan was appointed Billiard Marker, his duty to commence at 7 o clock each evening at a salary of five shillings per week.
Mr Walshe gave notice of motion that on this day week he would move that the under mentioned members of the club, who misconducted themselves during the late elections be expelled from the club. Thos. Creighton, John O Neill, Joseph Evans.
Ordered that a notice be placed in Bar Room requesting members to be more careful of the friends whom they introduce and on no account are persons holding different views from what the Club was started to maintain be introduced.
Resolved. That as the date of election of the Mayor for 96 is at hand we deem the time opportune to ask and we consider that the occasion and circumstances justify us in requesting that those members of the Municipal Body who are in sympathy with the views of the club will take steps to select a man for the important position of Chief Magistrate of our city who will reflect our political views, and whilst disclaiming any intention to interfere with rights, or trench on their priviliges of selection we respectfully suggest the name of our respected Treasurer Alderman Thomas Cantwell a man eminently qualified for the position and entitled to the honour. We base our action and request on many grounds, a few of which we beg to specify. First since Alderman Cantwells entrance into the Corporation we believe that every act of his has been manly, straightforward, and in perfect accordance with the wishes of the Burgess and citizens. Secondly for efficiency and capacity in the discharge of his duties and attention to same we venture to assert that he is one of the most conspicuous members of your body. Thirdly in every political movement in our city for years Alderman Cantwell has taken a principal though always an unostentatious part and to him in no small degree is due to the healthy condition of our Home Rule Club today as a source of national strength in our city. In short his record as a hardworking nationalist deserves the honour, and his sound judgement, tact and business ability entitles him to the position.
The sum of £1 and 10 shillings was ordered to be paid to Mr. Ranalow for hire of piano for two months. Mr Ranalow to get piano removed from court house when the concert party are finished with it.
We congratulate our fellow member Mr W Cassin on his election to Municipal Honours.
Members of the committee to call on Mrs Best re house and that the President with the foregoing call on Miss O Reilly afterwards.
That a half years rent be paid to Miss O Reilly.
Committee members to inspect the building commonly known as the Old Reading Room ans report on its suitability as Club premises.
Miss O Reillys terms as read by president be declined. A deputation from the club to inspect The Old Library, Parliament St.
That the caretaker be instructed to summons all priests who are members of the Club and the Mayor to attend the General Meeting on Sunday week. That the sum of £3 be given to the J P Farrell Testimonial Fund.
That a deputation to call on Miss O Reilly and make the following suggestions that the Club propose to give her Mrs Best terms for Arch House.
That on St Patricks night a subscription supper to be followed by a smoking concert be held in connection with the Club. 100 tickets to be printed.
That Miss O Reillys terms be accepted with the exception that we do not agree to put up a railing and as a guarantee we pay a half years rent in advance.
That a brass band be established to be called The Home Rule Club Brass Band and that a request be made to Father Keoghan and ask his consent for the loan of the St Patricks Brass Band Instruments.
A challenge from the Castlecomer GAA Association for a friendly game of billiards be accepted.
Having heard that the Rate Collectorship of Kilkenny Union has become vacant owing to the resignation of Mr Lacey and that a member of our Club and committee Mr W Comerford, John St is an aspirant for the position we respectfully request the guardians who are members of our club, to extend to him their aid and support on his candidature and to use their influence in securing for him the appointment.
The deputation from the Club met the Mayor who distinctly refused to vote for the nominee of the Home Rule Club at the forthcoming contest. The President of the Club Mr O Hanrahan informed the deputation that the resolution of the Club favouring the candidiature of Mr Comerford that previous to the resolution being passed he had promised to vote for Mr Kennedy.
A challenge from the G.A.A. Castlecomer for a cricket match the committee decided to refer the matter to Mr Gargan who looks after the athletic portion of the programme.
Drive to Woodstock via Mount Juliet and return via Thomastown start at 9.45am from Clu.
Dowling and Sons bill for 3 wagonette for 38 passengers to Woodstock on Sunday 28th of June for £3.16.0 be paid.
Arrangements be made for the holding of Literary Entertainments on Sunday evenings during the winter months.
Owing to young Kelly the present billiard marker moving to England, Martin Carroll was appointed to succeed him.
A circular from Mr Kenealy inviting a deputation from the Home Rule Club to attend on Committee to make arrangements for the “Barrington Lectures” in Kilkenny.
That wandering musicians be not allowed into Club Rooms.
That an apparatus for heating porter and a small kettle be procured for bar.
That the Club be illuminated on New Years night on honour of the new Mayor our worthy Treasurer Alderman Cantwell.
A communication from the Dramatic Club asking that a President and a Treasurer be appointed from the committee of the club for the dramatic club. Mr. Kennedy was appointed president and Mr. Healy was elected treasurer.
That in consequence of the dangerous state of Club premises and to the fact of being deprived of the use of our principal rooms (owing to the front wall been removed) we hereby resolve that we give our landlady Miss O Reilly notice of our intention of leaving said premises.
That the President, Treasurer and Secretary be authorised to make all financial arrangements with the Hibernian Bank, to purchase and pay for the premises of Commercial Club on Johns Quay with all the furniture and fixtures therein for the sum of £280.
That we hereby authorise our President and Secretary to take over possession of the Commercial Club premises on Johns Quay for and on behalf of the Home Rule Club and that they be authorised to appoint William Kirk as caretaker of the said premises for one week at 10 shillings.
That the Home Rule Club be transferred to the premises on the quay lately occupied by the Commercial Club on Friday night 26th February 1897.
That the caretaker and his family reside in the new premises at Johns Quay in order that at no time will the Club be without some responsible person and that the members may at all times have the facilities of the Club.
That the premises be opened on each week day at 9 o clock and closed at 11 o clock sharp.
Removal of Club to new premises was deferred to Friday night week, on account of renovating and painting Johns Quay premises.
That no singing be allowed in bar on Sunday night as bar is only intended for refreshment.
That Mr Hetherington be authorised to carry out roof repairs at Johns Quay.
That the new premises on Johns Quay be opened on tomorrow Friday night.
A communication from Br Dowling Christian Brother asking that the proceeds of the entertainment of the proposed play “The Shaughraun” be devoted to them. It was proposed that the proceeds of the first two nights go to the funds of the Home Rule Club.
That the usual St Patricks night dinner be held on St Patricks night and the charge be 2/6 per man.
A communication from Mr Barry re the establishment of a Gaelic League it was decided to invite him to the next meeting of the Committee and to assure him that the object of his letter has our fullish sympathy.
That a notice re St Patricks night supper be put in the Journal on Saturday week.