Who lived Where in Boyle in the 30's - 40's
‘Someone should write it down’’ is the earnest phrase which often attends a conversation with knowledgeable people on the subject of Old Boyle from decades back. There are a number of people who are in the premier division in terms of traversing the streets of Boyle in their memories and nominating who ‘lived there’ and what they did. My ‘go to ‘ people in that respect are Frankie Tarpey and Christy Wynne. I know there are a number more also like Frank Tivnan, Mick Harrington, Paddy Daly, Hal Cawley, Barry Feely, John Mcloughlin, Paddy Toolan and more. There have to be a number of ladies also. And one can be surprised by some people who have a deep knowledge of the town.
It is difficult for me, ‘a blow in’, to grasp the generational sequence and context of those times. The native who has grown up with all that is king in that respect. Anyway I’ll make a shot at trying committing to paper the information that I have received. The template which I will use is a map of Boyle from circa the late forties carefully drawn by Paraic Beisty formerly of Ledfordspark Carrick Road who has been in the United States for a considerable time. Paraic’s house-numbered map goes from street to street nominating those living there and what they did circa 1950. As I would not know any of this I act as the scribe. There will be mistakes I’m sure and omissions and hopefully this will be just the beginning and that people will add, subtract and forward corrections to enhance Boyle Town Project to give it a working title. It may not work at all of course but we’ll try it and see.
So….for no particular reason I start with
ELPHIN St. West Side from the current Health Centre. Paraic Beisty had each street numbered so
1. The Gate House to the Workhouse Grounds occupied by a ‘Spud’ Murphy’ of then. (The present Plunkett Home was the site of the Old- historic- Workhouse an insightful article on which can be accessed in the invaluable Moylurg Writers Vol. 1 1988 page 78 written by Sr. Patricia Kelly.
2. Workhouse, later a hospital, now The Plunkett Home. (There is a whole history there of its own).
3. Pump House For water pressure booster. Doctor Collins built a house there whose son Peter is a Solicitor in Carrick-on-Shannon. Doctor Fallon and family were there until recently and it is now a food outlet.
4. Richard Murray –carpenter later moved to Marian Rd. His brother Johnny a painter and family lived there then. Josie lived in Felton. Phil Murray was caretaker of King House for the period of the 30s’ when the Free State army vacated and then returned to King House during The Emergency. Members of the Murray family were prominent in the town in the Republican movement of the time.
5. Randal Rice & Mary Anne (Coen) & family. Carpenter & Masonry. Also a sweet shop and provided food on fair days. Randal had a brother Robert who had a forge behind Paddy Daly’s; involved with horses and lived near ‘the Quarry’.
6. Paddy Kennedy N.T. & School Principal and All-Ireland handballer & family, after some time living on the Crescent,.
7. Tom McCabe a former member of the R.I.C. police. There were a number of former R.I.C. men living on this street such as Gillen/McCabe/Griffin. Tom is referenced as associated with a glove factory behind where Wynnes' Solrs. are now. One of my sources say he had a son a judge in Dublin. (Mrs. Nicholson former Roscommon Herald employee and Comhaltas & Fleadh Committee member).
8. Pat Spellman, originally from Keash, builder and fire brigade officer. Prior to him Mr. Turbett from Ballinamore.
9. Kilfeather’s one of whom joined the Christian Brothers. A number of houses here, it is suggested, were known collectively as ‘Drury Terrace’. Paraic Beisty has Guard Vaughan nominated here also.
10. John and Mrs. Dwyer. A busy and popular lodging house. Some of the people who stayed there settled in Boyle subsequently such as Paddy Purcell and Martin Mc Loughlin who were initially employed as lorry drivers during The Lime Campaign’ of the early 50s’. Later John McGowan a stalwart of Boyle GAA in the 60s’ and 70s’.
11. Miko Finneran from Ballinagare a builder who had returned from New York acquired Griffins and then Moran’s sweet shop. (Reference to Roger Gray here)
12. Mrs. Griffin married to a member of the R.I.C. kept boarders also. Dr. Gibbons who was working in the hospital stayed there for a time. A member of the Griffin family was an officer in the army and a second son Christy, after a time as a barman in Dublin, established a bar in Woodquay in Galway City.
13. Mister Christy Callan had a house here.
14. James Turbett a noted Old IRA person. A sister Cassie a dedicated gaelgoir and Irish dance teacher. Another sister married to a publican and Co. Clr. in Fuerty outside Roscommon.
15. Danny Cunnion (sold to Murphy’s later. Mister Murphy came from B’Shannon) from Leitrim a baker inherited from his uncle Mr. Sharkey. Provided lovely confectionary and such. Martin Mc Loughlin later acquired a residence-St. Anne’s- there. Mrs. Mahon wife of Garda Mahon. ( A Mister Young ).
16. Bertie Devine worked in insurance. A brother of Agnes/Aggie Devine-Conlon of Devine Conlon’s St. Patrick’s Street. Father of Michael, Dermott, Willie, Sister Mary and Father Tom in New Jersey. They later moved to The Crescent. Bertie was the son of Tom J. Devine who was one of the three candidates in the famous 1917 bye-election won by Count Plunkett. So the Devine family are part of a very significant event in Irish History.
17. Ignatius Sullivan in the National Bank and the Bank of Ireland on amalgamation. Also referenced, a Mister Devane a civil servant
18. Detective Bill Doyle and wife Sophie. Very active in Boyle organisations.
19. Coleman’s (Postmaster) where dentist Boland is now.
20. Mr. Mc Clean from Northern Ireland worked with F.X. Burke Sol. in Main St. (Mr. Burke was for a time owner of the Royal Hotel). There is also mention of the following in this area: 1. Barry Owens from Fermanagh and son Vincent Owens who was later domiciled in Birmingham and was a contact person for a lot of Boyle people going to that city. Their house was accessed to the rear of others. 2. Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Redmond and Andy Fee who was a manager in Sloan’s and later had a shop in a premises of Paddy Daly where Jackie Tighe was later.
Corrections and submissions welcome. In 2 weeks’ time-hopefully- we will cross to the East Side of Elphin St. !
I have had some reaction to my Gerry O’Malley piece from last week. Christy Dolan remembers the day well having particular reason to do so. Christy was on the Mayo minor team that defeated Galway that day and so had a close view of proceedings and remembers it clearly.
Christy later played for Roscommon and was a top player with Boyle, nearly always at centre back, in the early seventies. I intend to talk to Christy about all this in due course.
**As I mentioned last week there are tickets available from the club proceeds going towards the Gerry O’Malley Commemoration Fund in his native place of Brideswell in the St. Brigid’s Club area.
Boyle Seniors v Creggs
I attended as Boyle defeated Creggs in the O’Gara Cup in the Abbey Park last Saturday evening. There was the usual mix of good and not so good football. Boyle have a good number of special players at the moment but perhaps the panel is not deep enough. I did come away very impressed by an aspect of the game however. That was the demeanour and calmness of the team managers involved. We in Boyle are well aware of those qualities in the Creggs manager, Boyle stalwart, Jonathan Conroy, always a gentleman. This was also very much in evidence in the Boyle manager Tom Morley. I watched as he passed on instructions to his players in a quiet, polite and unfussy manner while still confirming that he was in charge. And he did not react to mistakes by throwing the bottle out of or into the dug- out. The attitude of team managers is in the news at the moment with the o.t.t. actions of Davy Fitzgerald. Most quality managers recognise that self- discipline is a necessary quality if they are to have a similar response from their players. One sees this exemplified in current county managers of Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone and I cannot think of one sinner in this respect apart from Fitzgerald who is probably deliberately theatrical.
While it nice to see at adult level the pity is that down the years a small number of managers of under-age teams have not shown the necessary self-discipline that should obtain when dealing with young people during close games. There is a short monologue which I tried to source there now about praising the child and he/she will prosper or words to that effect. I hope that my own record when I was involved was in line with the note I write now. We can hardly teach our kids to be respectful by treating them with disrespect. Kids rarely do not try hard. They make mistakes but hardly do so deliberately. They are as good as they are. Encouragement is key in improving ‘weaker’ players.
I know of a parent of a young county player who found going to inter-county games very stressful due to the criticism hurled at his son. A parent hearing his/her boy/girl being overly criticised, feels it just as much as the young person or perhaps more. So wouldn’t it be nice if the example of Messrs Conroy and Morley became the norm as of best practise.
The Boyle Celtic Journey
It does not shorten, this Boyle Celtic journey. Next Saturday, yes Saturday not Sunday, the team play in Killarney in the preliminary round of the FAI Senior Cup. The game was understood by all on this side of the equation (and earlier on the other side) as being down for decision on Sunday but apparently it was ‘inconvenient’ for the Killarney Club for whatever reasons. To change, arrange and advertise the game for late on a Saturday without appropriate consultation with the club having to travel such a long journey, shows how little consideration that the host club, Killarney, has shown for Boyle. To expect a team to travel the 4/5 hour trip to Kerry and then play an important/historic match demonstrates an arrogance and lack of consideration of some magnitude. With the game at 7 it would be over in normal time at near 9, with extra time this would extend to 9.30 or later. Then whatever supporters travel have to face the 4/5 hour journey back to Boyle. Allowing for a burger stop it would be 3am before one would arrive in Boyle. I haven’t been this late coming home from a match for a very long time.
Obviously sportsmanship is a spare commodity with this Killarney club. One would have expected that a town which prospers on the philosophy of friendliness and welcome would not be the practitioners of such low standards as in this case.