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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Dublin Street 1985


The following was researched and compiled by Breda Maher in 1985.
 It was published in The Advertiser in September 1992

The following was researched and compiled by Breda Maher in 1985. It was originally published in The Advertiser in September 1992 and edited by M. Brennan.

No 1. Before Benetton opened their shop here it was occupied for a number of years by E. J. Nolan’s, The Camera Shop. In Slater's Directory of 1842 and 1846 we can find a Mr. Frederick N. Spong who was a seed merchant and Florist. He also had nurseries and gardens in Pembroke while he himself lived in ‘Roseville’ Kilkenny Road. Carlow. There still remains the engraved name of “Henrietta, Isabella and Charles Spong” on one of the upstairs windows dated 1871. He was succeeded by ‘The Arcade’, a ladies outfitters and haberdashery, which was in turn taken over by Mr. Moore prior to the arrival of E. J. Nolan in 1929. E. J. Nolan traded as a chemist shop until January 1984, when it changed its wares to an extensive photographic business supplying all amateur and professional photographers their needs.

The Arcade was on the corner of Dublin Street (to the left) and Tullow Street (to the right). Note the shop in Tullow street with the horse collar hanging outside the door. (date unknown)
Photo supplied by Maribeth E. Nolan
E.J. Nolan, 1 Dublin St., Carlow.
Adjoining Nolan's is O’Neill's private dwelling house. At the beginning of the last century this premises was a shop, which traded under the name ‘Sticky Back’ and was owned by the aforementioned Frederick Spong. (source: Previously published in the 1964 edition of Carloviana page 30). The ‘Sticky Back’ shop supplied six photographs in a strip for 6d., and it also had an assortment of British Army Tunics and Caps, so that anyone martial -minded could be photographed as a warrior. It then became the property of David Henry, who ran a fruit shop. Sometime later it passed to John O’Neill who continued the fruit business for a time before establishing a fish mongers shop.
Also see Oliver's Butchers shop image in Dublin Street c.1910

No. 2 Bernard Jenning’s Optician was in the days of the stage coach an Inn known as the ‘Red Cow’. In later years the property passed to Daniel McGrath, who had a Drapery shop here. It was subsequently occupied by Miss Grace Burton. In later years Joe McGrath ran a chemist shop; he was succeeded by his nephew Dan Ryan and after his death the business was carried on by Mrs. Ryan. The late Sam McHugh also had a pharmacist shop here for a time. Tommy Alcock later ran a shoe shop in No. 2.

No. 3 Scamps Boutique was for many years the property of Michael Robinson who carried on a toy shop trade. He also had a builders providers yard in Haymarket together with a Joinery business. Later, a Miss Dowling who was a dressmaker, lived here. Brennan’s the butchers preceded the present occupants.

No. 4 Bugles Pizza & Wine Bar. This premises has seen many owners of various occupations down through the years. James Dowling resided here at the end of the last century, then the premises passed to a P. J. McEvoy and later to John Williams who had a successful tailoring business here. His brothers also had a Tailoring business, which catered for the hunting fraternity. In Tullow Street where Atkinson’s are now situated. Members of the Williams family still reside in Carlow. Then John Brennan and family lived here for quite a number of years. The Irish Assurance Company had an office here for a few years in the early 1950’s. No. 4 was then converted to flats and various tenants resided here until Jams Brennan reverted the premises to a private dwelling residence in the 1960’s. O’Rourkes of Centaur Street had a shop here for a time and subsequently Carpenters had a Craft shop, before Pat Shelly established a Video shop.

Royal Arms HotelArthur Wallace, one of the most infamous characters that ever lived in Dublin Street, occupied No. 4 over 200 years ago. Wallace was Post Master and he also had an apothecary business here. He was charged with the theft of money from the postal packets and was interred in the old jail. Wallace’s trial opened on the 5th August 1800 in the Society of Friend’s Meeting Hall in Tullow Street (where the Y.M.C.A. hall is situated). He was found guilty and was sentenced to death by hanging. Friends of Wallace tried to obtain a reprieve of the death sentence. When he learned that there was no hope of a reprieve Wallace tried to cheat the hangman by taking a large dose of laudanum. The condemned and very ill man was taken from the old jail to Barrack Street in a sedan chair, where he was hanged. The site in Barrack Street where the execution was carried out overlooked some property belonging to Wallace in Little Barrack Street; this later became known as ‘Gallipot Lane’.

No. 5 Hanleys House for Men.This was once a butchers shop owned by Michael Keating, which then passed to John Robinson who was succeeded by Jas. Duggan in the 1920’s. He had Seed and Flower shop here. Duggan claimed that his “genuine tested seeds” were “famous everywhere”. He also had a nursery store in Pembroke. In later years Drummonds carried on the same type of business here. Later these premises passed to Stanley Hooper who had an electrical shop for many years. Following Mr. Hooper’s death that business was carried on by Miss Breen. After Miss Breen the Rea family acquired No. 5 and established a Sports and Toy Shop. This premises has now been absorbed by Hanleys.

Hanley's closed in April 2013 source Peter Walker

No. 6 was also under the ownership of Hanleys, At the turn of the century T. F. Markey’s - Ladies and Gents Outfitters. Markey claimed they had “the best value in ladies, children and maids outfitting” - in all varieties and ever particular”. Following Markeys, John O’Connor established a Watch making and Jewellery business here. Finally in 1934 the Hanley family acquired the premises and over 55 years later are still running a thriving gents fashion shop.

Dublin Street c.1940'sNo’s 7 and 8 Brennan’s Pork Shop incorporates two premises in Dublin Street.  No. 7 was formerly the premises’ of Ironmonger, Thomas Richards, who also dealt in China, Glass and Earthenware. Records show that Fox and Greenhough later acquired this premises. Fox & Greenhough had a Photographic studio in Kilkenny for many years and one assumes they had a similar type of business here in Carlow. In more recent times Manogue and Cleere had a Tobacconist, Stationery and Photographic shop before Brennans, the present occupants acquired the premises.

8 Dublin Street, Carlow.

No’s 9 Adjoining Brennan’s Pork Shop is O’Brien Travel which was originally the premises where Lucy Edwards, the widow of Thomas Edwards, lived with her family, Thomas Edwards, worked as Coach Agent to Joseph Fishbourne and kept a journal of his life of and his romance with Lucy before he married her (extracts of which have been featured in the Carlow Advertiser). - Mrs. Edwards had a newsagents and stationery shop. Other occupants throughout the years were Edward Hodges, Elizabeth McDonald and finally Martin Kehoe.

In the late 1800’s the premises of O’Brien Travel was the coach offices and yard of Mr. Joseph Fishbourne, the yard and out offices were the stables and sheds for the horses and coaches. In later years the aforementioned Thomas Edwards is listed as having a Tannery business here. Before the turn of this century John and William Ross established a Drapery shop on the site. They also had every type of footwear ‘from common hobnails to the finest calf and kid goods. Ross’s also sold hats, caps, gloves, hosiery, silk handkerchiefs and knitting and fancy wools. Following Ross’s, George Goods parents took over the premises and established a Drapery and Cycle Repair shop, known as “The White House”. Mrs. Good kept the drapery side and the father W.P. Good carried on the cycle repairs business. After Goods, the Wallace Bros. established a Grocery shop before Restricks took it over and carried on the grocery trade.

Dublin Street, Carlow
also at The Square, Tullow

The Laneway adjoining O’Brien Travel, which runs to Goods of Tullow St. was originally known as Gurleys Lane, it was named after Thomas Gurley Snr. a Solicitor who had his practice in Tullow St. His son Thomas Jnr was a Solicitor at Belville near Carlow. It is believed a stream ran through or under the land and out into the River Burrin. The old laneway was a popular venue for Pitch & Toss. R.T.V. Rentals is built on part of the laneway now.

Dublin Street in the 1950's

No's 10-13 The Royal Hotel which has been in existence in Carlow town for almost 227 years originally comprised only of No. 12 Dublin Street, it now incorporates No’s 10-13. Today the Hotel is popularly known as The Royal but records show that through the years it has been known under several variations ‘The Royal Arms Hotel’, ‘The Queens Arms Hotel’ and ‘Cullen’s Hotel’. The Royal Hotel is the only Inn in Dublin St., which survived as a hotel. James Cullen was the proprietor in the mid-nineteenth century. Under his ownership the hotel thrived and made a name throughout the country as being one of the finest hotels in Carlow. It was the scene of many grand social functions in the nineteenth century. Apart from the Hotel business, James Cullen had a marble yard at the rear of the hotel where stone cutting work of every description was carried out. Cullen also had-a range of public baths built. The baths were separate from the hotel and were open to the townspeople and hotel guests.

No’s’ 10 and 11 was originally a large bakery owned by Stanley Johns later passed to Maurice Reidy who had a hotel here before the Royal Hotel acquired ownership of the premises. In later years P. J. Byrne, Solicitor, had his office here. He was succeeded by the late Desmond Early, Solicitor. Endeering Flowers was situated here for a time. O’Brien Travel also had a shop in this part of the extensive hotel.

No. 14 Red Setter Guest House (Gary Feeney) was formerly Patrick Bourke and Son, Victualler and Wool Merchants. Bourkes was also agents for the Dublin and Wicklow Manure Co. Mr. Bourke emigrated to Perth, Australia. The business then passed to Oliver's who established a thriving Butcher Shop here.

Olivers advert from the 1960's provided by Peter Walker

No. 14 Olivers Butchers Joe Walker standing outside Oliver's Butchers at 14 Dublin Street Carlow. Joe followed his father Peter and worked in the shop  for 38 years. His father Peter is in a postcard of 64 Dublin Street (at the end of the page). The photo was taken in the 1960 by a couple from the USA and they poted it back to Joe Walker care of the "Meat Market beside the Royal Hotel Carlow Ireland". Source: Peter Walker 2015.

Prop.: Gary Feeney
14, Dublin Street, Carlow.
The images are a collection of very old and interesting buildings found to the rear of The Red Setter Public House on Dublin Street taken by Linda Rogers c.2006 and sent in by Sue Clement. They seemed to show how the early shops, buildings, etc,.of the town would have looked like in a by-gone time. She believes the street may have been called Brown's lane. Anyone know any different then please contact me at

No. 15. Carlow Insurances Financial Services Ltd., (Michael and Colette Morrissey) where Thomas M. Byrne had his Auctioneering business here before moving up to No. 18 Dublin Street.  At one time No. 15 Dublin Street was the office and Printing works of a local weekly newspaper ‘The Carlow Vindicator’; then the Commercial Club had it’s meeting room overhead. Patrick Kinsella and Thomas Geoghegan later took over the premises and opened a radio shop. Patrick Kinsella later continued on his own with the electrical and radio business.

No 16 Lamberts Newsagency. Crossing Brown Street we come to what is at present Lamberts Newsagency. Before Lamberts acquired No 16 in the 1960’s, it was occupied by Miss McElwee who also had a newsagency. Lamberts No 16 and Lisandra’s Hairdressing Salon formerly Cunninghams barber shop, was one house and reverting back to the days of the stage coach these houses were known as the ‘Globe Inn. It was, according to records, one of the first stone houses to be built in Dublin Street. The old inn was remodelled in 1699.

A stone tablet on the front of the house (at Lambert’s Newsagency) bears the inscription ‘W.J.R. 1699’. The letters are the initials of the then occupants Jonathon and Ruth Watson. Story has it that King William lodged and wrote one of dispatches following the Battle of the Boyne. Around 1870 Lamberts was occupied by John Core who was known locally as ‘the Apple Man’ and ‘Whistling John’. Story has it that he bought orchards of apples around the countryside. When the fruit was ripe he would bring a number of youths on drays from the town to pull the apples. John would seat himself on a box and give the signal ‘now boys start whistling’. His idea was that if the boys were whistling they could not be eating apples. Ownership of No. 16 and 17 passed to Samuel Hunt who established the ‘Carlow Saddlery warehouse’. Hunt claimed he had the “best horse saddles, carriages, gig and cart harness’s” Other occupants that preceded Cunninghams were John Williams and the Singer Manufacturing Co.

Adjoining Lisandra’s Hairdressing Salon we have Thomas M. Byrne, Auctioneers formerly Prendergast’s ‘Mother & Care’. Present day Carlovian's will remember this as Sloan’s extensive furniture and clothing shop. Alex Sloan and Co. was a Dublin Co., with premises in Parliament Street, Dublin. Before Sloan’s acquired the premises in the mid-fifties, Mary Doran had a shop here and before her Mary Dillon ran a thriving Hotel and Confectioner business for many yeas. In the late 1800’s Robert Power carried on a apothecary business her and following his death Eliza Power his wife gave up the apothecary and started a religious goods shop.

No. 19 Coleman's is the only premises in Dublin Street to retain the same name over the doorway for the last 100 years. Coleman's are one of the oldest established family businesses in Carlow town. Before the advent of the car and when the bicycle was a relatively new concept of travel for the Irish roads, Coleman’s carried on the business of Painting and Glaziers. In 1899 Benjamin Coleman stocked all kinds of Window Glass - plain and ornamented. They also made frames for pictures. An ancestor of the Coleman's disappeared in 1798. Thirty-two years later his body was found in an old quarry - where the courthouse garden is now situated. The body was recognised by a steel plate in one of his legs, which was inserted as a result of an accident. It was assume he was murdered by the rebels.

The goodwill established by Coleman over the years is evident by the thriving business carried out there today.


Source of images: Dermot O'Brien
19, Dublin Street, Carlow,

Kals Bistro restaurant was formerly know as Glamour Boutique (Mona McGarry) and previously the residence of William Johnson, later James Fenlon occupied this premises. Edward Jameson, Under-Sheriff to Carlow Grand jury, also resided here at one time. It was later the residence of Mr. Samuel Coleman. His son Percy Coleman was connected to the Shackleton’s Flour Mills. Other tenants were Dr Stan McHugh, Breifne O’Reilly, and in later years Stan McCullough.

Scissors Empire was originally Jane Dresser’s residence. It then passed to John Ryan, and later James Lawler, who was an accountant for Corcoran and Co., lived here. The premises then passed Quillinans. It then became the private residence of Garda Behan who was succeeded by Pete Buckley.

Adjoining Scissor Empire we have the office of the National Insurance Co., which was at the turn of the last century occupied by Mrs. Susan Rainsford and her brother John Woodhouse, who had a Tailoring business here.

Susan Rainsford’s husband had a coach building premises in Cox’s Lane. Her sister was married to Samuel Hunt, Saddler and Harness Maker who lived at No. 16 and 17 Dublin St (Lisandra’s and Lamberts).

The Transport Union was then located here. After that the building then passed to Thomas Rourke who had a Hairdressing Salon on the first floor while Burton and Co. had their premises on the ground floor. Burtons were followed by Prescotts then Maurice Dowling Auctioneer, The premises is now occupied by Carlow Gents Dress Hire (Peter Cashin) and First Choice Menswear.

No. 22 Dublin Street. In the 1929 MacDonald's Irish Directory there is a T. O'Rourke, operating a Milliners and Dressmaker business.


No. 23 Dublin Street.  The Southern Fried Chicken at No. 23 Dublin Street was occupied at the turn of the century by James Muldowney, it then passed to John Costello. After Costello the property was acquired by Pat Murray and subsequently by Mrs. Whitford who preceded Patrick Kelly, Hackney man, before the premise went to Fast Food Take Away and then a tailors.

No. 24 Charlie Lewis’s was owned in the latter half of the last century by John Hogan. It was also occupied for a time by a Mr. Donohue who carried on a small grocery and dairy trade. The Lewis family has occupied these premises since the early years of this century. Charlie Lewis is the longest established shoemaker in Carlow town.

No. 25 Adjoining Lewis’s is P. Murray’s Chocolate and Sweet Shop. Premier Sweet & Ice Cream Cafe.  The were known for their large stocks of high class confectionery and a variety of cigarettes and cigars. Murray’s, like Lewis’s, have been in Dublin Street for quite a number of years. The image is Murray’s Christmas window display 1922. In later years a large Christmas tree with coloured lights was erected outside the shop every year. It was prior to the census of 1911 that Patrick Murray came to Carlow to work in the Royal Hotel in Dublin Street. On the 4th March his wife gave birth to their first child while resident at 23 Dublin Street. A short time later they moved to 25 Dublin Street and Patrick opened his ‘high class confectionery and tobacconist’ shop, which became known to generations of Carlovians as Murray’s.Prior to Murray’s, who moved here before the first World War, Henry Condell, carpenter and contractor, resided here. Samuel Coleman who was a housepainter also occupied the premises.

No. 26 Bruce's Betting Office and up to recently Premier Racing S.P. and before that Richard Power’s Betting Office was formerly the residence of Patrick Devine. Other occupants were Francis Gales, John Craig, Fred Pollard, B. Williams and Seamus O’Beara. Richard Power established his Turf Accountant business here in the 1950’s. The Godfrey family resided here and the late Donal Godfrey had his photographic studio here also. Blakes Hairdressing Salon was situated here for a time. Also at No.26 on the first floor is Architectural Planning Design (Frank Bird).

Next door at No. 27 now the private residence of the Dillon family was originally occupied by George Langran. Mr. Langran was a reporter with the Carlow Sentinel, a weekly newspaper published on Saturday

The offices and printing works were at No, 1 Athy Road. The Sentinel ceased publication after the First World War. Subsequent owners of No. 27 were Edward Lloyd, Eliza Cornelius, Mrs. Cath Tynan, James Brennan and the Burke family. Miss Dora Burke now Mrs. Dillon had a Hairdressing Salon here before reverting the premises to a private residence. McKenna and Southern had offices here before moving to their new premises across the road.

No. 28 is now occupied by the McDonald family. The late Godfrey McDonald was a well known architect in Carlow. His son, a solicitor, has his offices here. This was formerly occupied by James Hade who later passed it on to his sons Arthur and William Hade. Arthur Hade was Board of Works Inspector for Counties Carlow Wicklow, Kildare, Wexford and parts of Dublin. William Hade was Engineer to the board of Poor Law Guardians.

No. 29 acquired by Willie Dooley Photographer was established as a Post Office. Robert Swale, Post Master lived here, it then passed to Samuel Coleman.  Subsequent occupants were W. J Wilkins, and A. Wynn respectively. Hugh O’Donnell, Solicitor lived here for approximately 5 years and was followed by Edward Moody.

No. 30 the last premises on this side Dublin St. was a gent’s hairdressers owned by John Wills before the end of the last century. The Carlow Masonic Lodge also had offices here at the same time.

Records also show that the Provincial Bank was situated here around 1904. Mr. John Clover Assistant Clerk to Carlow Union, Kilkenny Road, had apartments here. Present day Carloviana's will remember this was for number of years the site of the Carlow Country Library and Office. The building now stands empty an unused. 

No. 37 Photograph of Frank O'Meara's birthplace and family home at 37 Dublin Street, Carlow. The relevant house can be identified as the premises called "Royal Insurance". This photograph was taken circa 1970's. O'Meara also died here in 1888 at the early age of 35 years with his father Dr. Thomas O'Meara present at his death.

Source: Carlow County Library website

No. 38 Pat Donohue had a Paint and Wallpaper shop here in 1934.

No. 42 John McQuaide, (1818 - 1897) owned a bookshop and business as stamp seller at 42 Dublin Street (beside the present-day Capuchin Friary). He was a member of Carlow Town Commissioners. He was also the Register of Marriages for the town.

John McQuaide is pictured standing outside his bookshop in "Carlow in Old Picture Postcards" Volume 1. Picture # 38. A longer view of Dublin Street taken from the corner of Coxs Lane. On the right, with glazing bars on the window, is the home of John McQuaide; he is pictured outside the adjoining book shop which, as the name overhead indicates, he also owns. Next door, fronted by cast-iron railings, is the National Bank; the scrolled brackets mark the entrance to the bank, the steps lead to the manager’s private residence. Beside the bank is the house and shop of William Douglas, house furnisher, next door is William Kennedy's public house. Beside Kennedys we can see the entrance to Centaur Street. This photograph was taken before 1889, as the Post Office has not yet moved to the building on the far side of Centaur Street.

No. 44 Frank McAnally had a very successful business as a Chemist which he sold to F. Corless who carried on the business.



No. 48. This was originally the location of the Old Post Office

No. 49 The Golden Grill

No. 50. Cigar Divan. This business was established in 1882

Source: SmugMug, Inc., Miceal O Braonain‎  &  Carlow Architectural Heritage by William Garner c.1980

No. 53. O'Loughlin's Bar formally Bergin's Public House in the 1920's

No. 58 in 1934 Duggan's had a Stationary shop which sold everything in this category. In 1986 the same business was been carried on by Miss Hayes their successor.

No. 59 - 64 Duggan's had a large grocery store with a Wine & Spirits business at the rear.  This was a great meeting place for Peter and Betty Gorman who were the owners of the premises in 1986.

62-64 Dublin Street
 Bramleys Jewellers shop in 62-64 Dublin Street. c1999 Photo: M. Brennan (see article)
Dublin St. Carlow c 1999
Source of images: Dermot O'Brien

Source of images: Dermot O'Brien
Dublin St. Carlow c1905
This photo of a Butchers shop in 64 Dublin Street was taken from Market Cross c.1898. The butcher is Peter Walker and the boy in the sailors uniform is Jim Oliver who later owned a shop (14 Dublin St) beside the Royal Hotel and the Woolstore in Coalmarket.  He died c.1990's aged 90 years of age. The man with the bicycle is Pat Keogh, then porter for the County Infirmary
Donated by "Carloman"
See 1964 edition of Carloviana p.31


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