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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

New Street c.1940

Source: Friends and Neighbours 1986 & Michael Purcell c2008

New Street

NEW STREET ran from Granby Row towards Green Road. It consisted of six houses on the right hand side of the road, a cobbled path ran almost along outside. Each house had one room and a kitchen, loft and yard, the kitchen floors were flagged.

The street was once owned by the Yelverton Estate and later by Neneritta Bell, who sold it to Mr. P. Nolan, "Borlum" for a sum in the region of £100. The houses were knocked down about 20 years ago; Close to New Street were The Union and its graveyard and "The Barrack Field".

The Union was on the site of the present Vocational School, Kilkenny Road, and was the workhouse during the famine, it was also used as a Barracks for the Irish Free State soldiers in the 1920s.

The Barrack Field was for many years the home of the O'Hanrahans GFC and it was used for Gaelic games and athletics. Travelling shows stopped in the area from time to time and they were a source of great excitement. Open air mass was said here on occasions.

On at least two occasions show-jumping events were held in the field behind the street. These were organised by Robert Bell and were enjoyed by all who attended, and perhaps even more by the children of New Street, many of whom watched over the wall at the back of their home.

Living so close to the O'Hanrahan's grounds helped to develop a keen interest in sports among the youngsters here. The more popular sports were football, hurling, camogie and athletics. Very popular among the youths of New St., and indeed Carlow town generally, was boxing and many of these lads were members of the Carlow Boxing Club.

Under the watchful eye of Fr. Dunny P.P. and Joe Hayden (trainer) the sport flourished with training almost every night in the Union. Two of the street's most famous sons were Martin Timmons who won the Leinster Junior Cross Country Championship and Joe Holden, winner of the Bantam Weight Championship in India.

Playing cards was also a pastime among the New Street families and you would often see the older lads "shuffling the deck" on the green opposite the houses. Also from New Street was Paddy Flynn, seventh son of a seventh son.

No. 1: Michael Byrne married Mary Murphy from Bridewell Lane. They had seven children, Mary, John, Michael, Angela, Patrick, Thomas and Sarah. Michael (senior) worked in Byrne's Butchers in Bridewell Lane, until Byrne's moved their business to Cork. He then worked in Thompson's until his death in 1958. Michael (Jnr.) is a Sugar Company employee and John worked for some years with Thompson's. They both live at J.K.L.

Parick, a bachelor, served his time with Thompson's. He then emigrated to England and joined the British Army and is presently working in Fords. Thomas, who died in 1983, worked for C.I.E. in Dublin for 13 years.

Daughters: Mary, who sadly died at the age of 12; Sarah, who worked in England for a few years, then came home and later married John Howe (Dublin) — they are now living in Tallaght. Angela worked in the Sugar Company before marrying Ned Hayden. They are now living at Pollerton Road and have 6 children.

No. 2: This house was occupied by Joe 'Diddles' Holden and family. Joe married Mary Dwyer, Monacurragh, whose nephew Tommy Dwyer is the great Carlow and All-Ireland footballer.

Joe, who was a cobbler by trade, worked in Governey's Boot Factory for 40 years, but was perhaps better known for his achievements as a boxer. While serving with the British Army in India, he won the Bantam Weight Championship of India and along with 'Bolum' Hogan's father, Billy, he was treated to dinner with the Maharajah himself. Their children: John, living in England; and Jim living in J.K.L., both followed their father into the sport of boxing. They were among many others to practice in an outhouse at the back of the houses. Jim and John, along with the Davis's, Geoghegans and Timmons were members of Carlow Boxing Club.

No. 3: The Nolan family. Michael Nolan married Netta Byrne. They had two children, Michael and Josie, Michael (Snr) was in the Munster and Leinster Bank (now A.I.B.), Tullow Street. Michael (Jnr) emigrated to England. On his travels he gained vast experience in Catering and Bar management. He married and became landlord of the 'Castle Hotel', Enysord, Kent, until his sudden death in 1978. The hotel business is still being carried on by his wife Edna and son Sean.  Josie also emigrated to England to pursue a general nursing career. She later returned and engaged in private and hospital nursing, during which time she attended the late Captain Henry Bruen, Oak Park. Josie married Michael Byrne and is now living at Church Street, Graiguecullen and is nursing in the District Hospital.

No. 4: House No. 4 was built on the boundary line of the parish with Tinryland on one side and Carlow on the other. Here dwelt Charlie Timmons Jnr. (Charlie Snr. having lived at No. 1) who was married to Ann Farrell from Crossneen. Charlie had a green-grocer shop in Castle Hill where Fitzgerald's electrical shop is now.  Charlie and Ann had eleven children — Elizabeth, Mary Anne (Moll), Charlie, Martin, Johnny, Jim, Patty, Eamonn, Billy, Rosie and Margaret. Patty is married to John Joe Kelly and living at Springdale, Tullow Road. Charlie is 66 this year and is a well known figure with Carlow Hurling Club and his interests in Gaelic games goes back to his playing days with the Young Emmets minor team. He was also an organiser of Burrenside, a team from his own area, in the days of Street Leagues. Martin was the winner of the 1942 Leinster Junior Cross Country Championship. Carlow won the Team Award also that year.

One of the sporting highlights for Carlow during the 20s was the exploits of a greyhound called 'Charlie's Fancy’ which finished 2nd in the Irish Cup 1925. It was owned by Charlie Snr. During the 40s the Murphys lived at No. 4. Mr. and Mrs. Andy Murphy had six children — Sean, Marie, Pauline, Joan, Michael and Margaret. Andy was a postman, a job he held for 44 years, starting at the age of 14. The family lived in New Street for about 15 years and are now in Kevin Barry Avenue. Andy died in 1971. Sean, Marie, Joan, Michael and Margaret are still living in Carlow while Pauline emigrated to England.

No. 5: This house was first occupied by the Kellys and some time later by Michael Geoghegan and family. Jack Kelly married Mary Slater. He was a blacksmith and he carried on his business in Burrin Street. Their children were William, Jack, Tom, Jimmy, Peter, Paddy. Bridget (Bridie) and Mary. Peter and Paddy are still living in England. Bridie married Paddy Kelly (see No. 1 Little Barrack St.). The family moved to Granby Row.

Michael Geoghegan married Margaret Byrne, Rathanna and they had eleven children — Margaret, Billy, Neddy, Patricia, Michael, Jim (Bono), Patrick, Thomas and Chris.

The children in this house took a great interest in sports, probably influenced by the fact that their father was an avid supporter of O'Hanrahans. He looked after the jerseys, hurleys, boots, etc. for the teams. Billy played hurling. Michael was both boxer and footballer. The girls Patricia and Chris played camogie. Billy, Patricia and Michael are living in England. Chris, married Paddy Kavanagh and they live at Pollerton Road.

No. 6: Maurice and Mary Walsh lived here. Mary (nee Atkinson) hailed from Ballon and married Maurice in Carlow in 1947. They then moved into New Street and stayed for eight years while Maurice worked on Paddy Nolan's farm. Three of their nine children Michael, Marie and Patricia were born here; Anne, Maurice, John, Eamonn, Noleen and June are the rest of the family.

Walsh's was a friendly house and many a stranger was offered a drop of tea or a mug of soup to help them on their way. One such Visitor' was 'Charlie' who used to stop over in Paddy Nolan's sheds on the Black Bog Road. 'Ginger', the best worker, from Mayo, was another. Mary remembers coming home from first Mass one Sunday to find 'Ginger* sitting on the middle of the road polishing a pair of boots given to him by Bridie Hayden (Mayer).

For a while Maurice worked in Tom Donoghue's Lodging House and Restaurant in Tullow Street (now Cafe Roma). Tom's was famous for its greasy fries and on market days business was brisk from early morning till late at night. From time to time Maurice kept pigs to fatten and sell to John Brennan.

Paddy and Nellie Flynn lived here before Walsh's, their son Paddy of Mill Lane was the seventh son of a seventh son. He was a popular and respected faith healer who has been known to cure all sorts of ailments. He has been greatly missed since his death in 1981.

Source: Friends and Neighbours 1986 & Michael Purcell c2008

From: Michael Purcell - New Street, Carlow.
May 1938. New Street, Carlow. Slated houses. Rent. two shillings per week. Landlord, Kate Nolan.
Tenants. Patrick Flynn. Andrew Murphy. John Walsh. Michael Nolan. Joseph Holden. Michael Geoghegan.

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