For the safety of road users, laws were introduced that prosecuted those cycling on footpaths or travelling in the dark without a light. Often on bicycles, the Royal Irish Constabulary and after 1922, the Garda Síochána, enforced this law throughout Ireland.
When the dance was over, we headed on our homeward journey on our less than roadworthy bicycles. Only a few of us possessed lights, the girls with flash lamps positioned themselves four abreast on the road in front, with the dark unlit beings cycling half hidden in between. At the back, you’d have your fingers crossed that you wouldn’t encounter any Garda, as to be caught without a light in those days was a big offence. The embarrassment was the biggest thing, as you could face having your name appearing in the local paper for breaking the law. So it’s a case of; 'where would you be going without a light on your bike?' as the saying goes.”
- Peggy McLoughlin, Cluain na gCléireach, Cnoc Mhuire, Co. Mhaigh Eo / Clarkfield, Knock, Co. Mayo