Outside what was the 30 foot high
boundary wall of British Army Barracks, stands Little Barrack
Street. The 'Barracks was built circa 1780, when the forces of the
Crown moved up from their original site near the castle. They moved
out to the 'Union' on the Kilkenny Road when the Free State was
inaugurated. The Barracks is now the Sacred Heart Home
The street comprises 16 houses and is at
the end of Barrack Street, running from east to west. It is one of
the last streets in Carlow to have a cobbled path. The houses end at
Ward's (1940) but the road twists on into Paupish Lane, which runs
alongside the "auld Burrin" and passing Mick Kelly's that famous
milkman and ending at Murphy's next to the Railway line.
Each house had a kitchen, two bedrooms
and a loft. A feature of these houses is the high ceiling in the
kitchen. The rear gardens, which are quite big, has the mill race
from the Hanover mill at the end.
Little Barrack Street was commonly called
"Gallipot", christened no doubt by local wags. It was so called
after its owner Wallace who was hung opposite at the Gaol
(Thompson's). He was a postmaster and spothecarry (chemist) and
chemists of the time mixed their prescriptions in a vessel called a
The street was later owned by Mrs. Sheils,
who also had a shop in Burrin Street where Newsworld now stands.
No. 1A -
This house at one time served as a forge but was later converted
into a dwelling house. During the 1940 Patrick Hynes lived here.
Patrick worked as a waiter in the Royal Hotel. He was married and
had thre daughters, Kathleen, Peg and Nan, and three sons, Paddy,
Ambrose and Jack. Kathleen lived in Portlaoise. Peg married Pat
Cullen and went to live in Green Lane. Nan lived in the house and
had one room converted into a shop for some years. Jack married and
his son Ollie taught at the C.B.S. and St. Leo's. Of all the houses
in the street, this one has seen the most changes as it has been
used as a forge, dwelling house-shop, hairdressers called "The Wee
Salon", and then a veterinary centre. Opposite the houses stood the
magazine post for the Army Barracks, which of course is long gone.
Here for three generations lived the Kelly family. Paddy Kelly
married Bridie who coincidentally was also a Kelly from New Street
and later Granby Row. They had two daughters Mary and Sarah, and
three sons Michael, Patsy and Hughie. Paddy worked for the Sugar
Factory and along with his helper "Rookie" Curran, (No 11) was the
first man in Carlow to drive a 10 wheeled lorry.
Mary married Jim O'Brien, to whose memory
this publication is dedicated, and has eight children. Patsy worked
for the U.D.C. until his untimely death in 1984.
Hughie served his time with Statham’s, He
had two children and lived in Coventry, England, as did Michael who
had four children and worked for British Telecom. Mary recalls a
winter's day years ago, when Michael climbed over the garden gate
and fell into the Mill race, which was in flood. She had to jump in
fully clothed to save him from what could have been a very nasty
accident. Patsy once told the writer about his father chasing him
barefoot through the snow covered fields for mitching (playing
truant) from school. He didn't return home until nightfall. Bridie
Kelly was still living here in 1986.
No. 2 -
Henry McDonald, Ballymanus Terrace and his wife Annie "Nan" from
Stradbally, lived here. They had daughters Bridie and Claire. Bridie
married Joe Bolger who worked in Lanigan's office. Claire married
Tom Hennessy, Graiguecullen, who was well known for his work with
the young soccer players of Carlow and Graiguecullen.
The Meaney family, believed to be one of the oldest families in
Carlow lived here. Thomas Meaney, who was an army man, married Annie
McDonald, Barrack Street and they had six children - Eileen, Jim,
Tom and Moll emigrated to England; Leo married Molly Kenny and they
lived in Kevin Barry Avenue with their four children, Thomas, Mary
Bernadette; John served in the Army medical corps. He married Hilder
Small and lived for a while in Little Barrack Street. They later
moved to Roncalli Place where both died in 1975.
John and Hilda had nine children all of
whom married – Joe, Frankie and Kenneth lived in Carlow; Jim and
Geraldine in England; Gertie went to Castledermot; Noel went
Kilkenny; Bernadette went to live in Maganey and John lived in
No. 4 - Patrick and Julia Dooley were
living here. Patrick died in an unfortunate accident at Thompson's,
where he worked. Anthony Dooley, the noted Carlow oarsman who
received the County Carlow Sports Stars Award in 1970, lived here
with the Dooley’s. The house was occupied by Julia's niece, Eileen
Denieffe and her husband Jimmy who worked for C.I.E. in Carlow. They
had three children.
No 5 & 6 were occupied by the Curran
brothers, Michael (b1878-d1950) (at No 5) and James (at No. 6).
Michael worked as Tailor in Michael Molloy’s for many years.
Molloy’s which will be remembered by many readers, was a fashionable
department store in Tullow Street where Tullow Street House now
stands. James was also a Tailor in his later years. The Brothers
carried on a Tailoring business from their homes.
- Click on image to
visit Curran Family notes
- James Curran, Terry Curran's Great grandfather
one of the famous Tailors of Little Barrack Street.
He died after a fall and hitting his head on a kerb.
- Click on image to
visit Curran Family notes
- James Curran and his wife and children taken
about 1914. Note they are all well dressed expected
from a Tailor, maybe no food but a good suit was
always at hand.
No. 7 - James Ledwich and
family lived here, James from Dublin-originally worked the floats
for C.I.E. The family consisted of two sons and two daughters. Jim
worked for Governey's in the Boot Factory for many years while John
worked in Watty Kehoe's. Daughters Mary and Rose are living with
John in "Nanny Nolan's Shop" in Tullow Street.
No. 8 - Murt Conville, who died at the
great old age of 98, was a veteran of the British Army. He was
married to Mary Kehoe and had two sons and three daughters. Paddy
lived with his family in Graiguecullen. Owenie who served his time
in Prendergast's and went to live in England, as did his sister
Judy. Kathleen who lived in Castledermot. Mary, sadly died at
eighteen. Murt's wife was an aunt to "Bolum" Hogan of McGamhna Road
and of Eire Og fame.
No. 9 - Mr. and Mrs. Edward Doyle lived
here. Edward worked for many years as a gardener for Dr. Doyle,
Kilkenny. They had two daughters, Ena and Ann who worked for the
Beet Haulers' Association in Dublin.
- No. 10 - Robert (Bobby) Parker married
Margaret Durgan of Muinebheag, and they had two children, Annie and
Robert jnr. Annie married Jack Byrne and later lived at No. 5. Bobby
was Sarah Kelly's (No. 1) godfather.
No. 11 - The three Curran sisters,
Margaret, Fran and Mary lived here with their brother James. James
"Rookie" as he was known, was a bachelor. He worked with Paddy Kelly
(No. 1) in the Sugar Company for a while, but most of his working
life was spent as a boiler man in the Sacred Heart Home. Margaret
married James Nolan. (See Curran Family
No. 12 - Jimmy Fenlon worked in the Boot
Factory. He was married to Lil Walsh and they had two daughters,
Delina and Margaret. Delma married Dinny Hyland, who held the Irish
high jump record for nine years. Margaret married Joe Nolan (Tullow)
of Mix 'n' Match.
No. 13 - Peter Begley married Ellen
Moore. Peter was a sergeant in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and saw
active service on the continent. In France during 1915 he was
hospitalised having been wounded in battle. Ellen was a nurse in St.
Dympna's and they had seven children - Lizzie, Lilly, Mary, Nick,
Jack, Tim and Peter.
Before moving to Little Barrack Street,
the family lived in Bridewell Lane where they had a shop. Mick and
Jack married sisters, Nellie and Lizzie Hennessy, daughters of the
legendary Barney Hennessy. Mick was killed in an accident while
working in the Nationalist. Jack lived in McGamhna Road with their
children Barney, Michael, Sean and Harry. Tim died very young while
the family were living in Bridewell Lane. Bridie and Lizzie were
living in England. Peter married Chrissie and lived in St. Patrick's
Avenue. Chrissie was the star of R.T.E.'s Mike Murphy radio
programme when it was broadcast from Braun in 1985.
No. 14 - Edward Murphy worked as a
carpenter in Prendergast's, his wife Molly (nee Kelly) was from
Athy. They had three children, Eddie and Sean who went to live in
England, and Sadie lived in Nenagh.
No. 15 - Jack and Eilleen Ward (nee
Buchannon) and family lived here. Jack, originally from Staplestown
Road, worked in the Sugar Company. They had four sons, John who died
in Africa, Tom who was a Peace Commissioner in Rhodesia. Robert, is
a university professor and a colleague of Eire Og man Genie Kelly,
and Dick was a ship's officer on the Q.E. II.
Next is a plot of ground which was at
this time held by the Carey family who lived in Bridewell Lane.
Little Barrack Street c.2006
above was transcribed by Terry Curran c2008