- Bridge Street map c.1900
Bridge Street runs from Staplestown Road
to Pollerton Road and the eleven houses which comprised it were all on one
side i.e. Railway Line side. Like Accommodation Road, they too are long
gone. The houses were owned by Mrs. Belton, Montgomery Street.
A dancing board was the centre of
entertainment in the mid twenties on the "Square" opposite the houses, the
music being supplied mostly by Belgian and Czech workers engaged in building
the Sugar Factory and later by Dick Cummins and Hannah Redmond, Pollerton
Road, who played melodians and by Molly Kenny who lived at Pollerton Bridge
and who played this instrument left handed, i.e. upside down.
In later years, the Square was a great
"Tossing School" particularly on Sunday mornings, attracting good crowds of
on-lookers as well as participants, with quite large sums of money on the
ground at times.
The story is told that Jim (Acres)
Kavanagh who lived opposite (now at New Oak Estate) would get a stentorian
call "Your dinner is ready" invariably when Jim was ahead and while
suspicions were aroused that he somehow managed to give a signal at the
appropriate time to be called; the most careful scrutiny failed to confirm
At the time of going to press a commitment
has been given to infill Bridge Street with limited accommodation dwellings
to be built in the future by Carlow U.D.C.
No. 1 or 11, etc.: was occupied by Mick
(Cookie) and Margie Muldowney, who had a small corner shop and sold large
blocks of salt. After being vacant for some time, by Denis Dempsey, Mrs.
Dempsey's employee, who lived at J.K.L. Mrs. Dempsey now lives at Burrin
No. 2: Brennanís. Kate was mother of Slan,
who lived at Pollerton Bridge. His sister, Mary Ann, was a dressmaker, while
Nell, who worked for many years in France and England died only recently at
The Sacred Heart Home. Her mother Kate was gran-aunt of Rev. Fr. Paul
Fitzpatrick, McGamhna Road.
No. 3: The Chapman Family. Mary, the last
of the family, married Johnny Keeffe, who served in the British Army in
India. Four of six children worked in the Boot Factory. They moved to Upper
Pollerton Road and eventually went to England where Sonny and Mary died.
No. 4: Ml. Hanlon lived here and then the
Cunningham family. The girls Bridie and Peggy worked in the Boot Factory,
son Michael went to England at a young age, the family eventually following.
No. 5: Margaret Bohanna, who was married
twice, was mother of Nancy, who lives in New Oak and also mother of Greta
Kavanagh, grandmother of Jim (Acres) Kavanagh (now at New Oak). Following
the deaths of Stephen and Margaret Bohanna, the house was taken over by Mary
and Kate Kavanagh. The latter married Tom Ellis, moving to O'Hanrahan Ave.,
and later to England. Mary, still at Bridge Street was well known for her
work in the fields and was better known for her gambling pluck against any
man on the Square on a Sunday morning.
No. 6: The Butler Brothers were an
extremely quiet family. They had one sister Maggie, who died in England. Ger
married Gret Kavanagh and lived in Staplestown Road. Tom and Mick returned
home from England to live with brother (Slim), who worked all his life for
farmers and died in a field pulling beet.
7: The Curran Family lived here. Son, Dick played for The Shamrocks.
Daughter Lizzie lives in Castledermot. This was the last house to be
inhabited and daughter Ellen then moved to Pollerton Road where her house
was sadly destroyed by fire last year and Ellen now lives at Askea Lawns.
No. 8: Occupied by Phil Storey, Sacristan
for many years at our Cathedral and regarded by most as a saint and the real
Parish Priest. See plaque to his memory in The Cathedral. Then (1944) by
Mick "Frainey" Reddy who was married to Angela Kelly, Bridewell Lane, whose
grand-uncle was Jack Robinson, a postman who owned Emily Cottage and
reputedly gave rise to the saying "as quick as Jack Robinson". Mick Reddy,
reared where Hegarty's Supermarket stands, then moved the short distance up
the road to "Old Grange House" (Townsland). The family owning considerable
land along both sides of the Tullow Road. Frainey and his brothers, Lar,
Jimmy (Trough) and Paddy were All-Ireland class cyclists, Paddy receiving
The Hall of Fame 1982 and produced with Pollerton Road's photographer Leo
O'Brien the wonderful booklet on Co. Carlow, while Ger worked on the land.
Sister Kathleen married Jim Horan. Mick died, R.I.P., suddenly in 1985 aged
72 years and we all lost a piece of old Carlow. His daughters, Jean at home
still (Tullow Road), Marie (Mrs. Rock), Springfield Drive; Annette (Mrs
Moran), Talbot Tee.; Cecilia (Mrs. Sean Casey), of Erins and Carlow Hurling
fame, Muinebeag; Deirdre (Mrs. Hutchinson), Oakley Park; sons, Michael lives
at "Harveys", Pollerton Road; Paudge, the eldest, a prominent trade union
official, Pinewood Ave., and Matt is married to Francis O'Brien, sister of
the late Jim O'Brien. Matt is a former Eire Og player and currently
Vice-Chairman of the O'Hanrahans Club and has sons Glenn, Gavin and
daughters Sorcha, Emma and Dawn.
No. 9: Christy Bryan married to Josephine,
a Dublin woman and father of Paddy (Mut) and of Mrs. Nan Trodden (Pairc
No. 10: Occupied by an elderly Patsy
McDarby, who was regarded as harmless and who used "Give out a lot" to the
goundsill growing out of his chimney! Also the Bergin Family, Dan being
valet to the Bishop. Nollaigh was a famous son, Jackie lived in America for
many years. Mick is married and living on the Blackbog Road.
While Mary, who married Jack Carroll, St.
Killian's Crescent, a fitter/sugar cook at the factory, emigrated to England
and U.S.A. Jack qualified as an engineer and was in complete charge of a
sugar refinery in South Africa.
No. 11: Next came the Clarke family, Mick
was a male nurse at St. Dympna's Hospital. Sons, Tommy (P & T) is very
involved in researching Carlow's past and John who still lives at the family
home, St. Killians Cres. Daughter, Peg the eldest, married M. Corcoran and
lives at Mt. Leinster Park. No. 11 carried the highest rateable valuation in
the street 1951-'52.
- Starting School
- By Nan Shaw
- And now that I've reached the age
- I'm starting school today
- I've to tell my little pals I can't
go out to play
- I don't know what I'm going to be
- My mind is all a mixture
- Oh I'm always breaking daddy's
- So maybe Til be a fixer
- Or maybe Til be a postman or drive
a great big van
- But anyway Til do the best I can
and learn to be a man
- And then maybe God will give me the
best job of all
- And I'll be ready to answer his
- And go out to his mission fields
and look after the black babies with the wobbly knees
- Oh I better go now or I'll be late
- Gary and Angela are waiting at the
- 'Cause there's other fellas you see
starting off today like me
- I better hurry now and grab a stool
- O mammy I wish I was finished