The Last Days of the Cork Docklands

The Last Days of the Cork Docklands

The Last Days of the Cork DocklandsThe Docklands have played a central part in Cork’s trading history and, being located in the heart of the city, feature greatly in the lives and memories of the local residents. The book is a visual record of the dockers and stevedores who work the wharfs, the business operators, and the sporting clubs, such as the rowers and the American football players, which use the waterways and fields for recreation.

The photographs have been taken over a year and are a mixture of black and white and colour images. The book is large format containing landscapes, architectural close-ups and detailed studies, but with an emphasis on portraits.

Patrick Cummins is freelance photographer who trained in the Crawford College of Art and Design. He is two times winner in the Australian Nikon Press Photographer Awards.

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Buy This Book

Hardback edition – 2008
Price: €25.00 ( £19.95* $39.00* )
Printed Pages: 192
Size: 280 X 240 mm

Water Street Bridge

Eastern Gateway Bridge, Water Street Bridge and Spine Route Network

An application by Cork City Council’s Roads and Transportation Directorate for the following development was made to An Bord Pleanala under Section 51 of the Roads Act 1993 as amended by Section 9 (1) (e) of the Roads Act 2007 and by the Planning and Development Acts 2000–2006.

  •  The construction of the Eastern Gateway Bridge and associated road network;
  • The construction of the Water Street Bridge and associated road network;
  • The raising and upgrading of Centre Park Road;
  • The raising and upgrading of Monahan’s Road;
  • Other related minor access roads

An Bord Pleanala held an oral hearing into the planning application and the C.P.O. of associated lands during 2008 and 2009 and a decision to grant planning permission was made in April 2010.

The Eastern Gateway Bridge is a proposed swing bridge and has been designed by Wilkinson Eyre bridge Architects and Arup Consulting Engineers. It is an iconic type structure with a single suspension cable support reflecting its important location at the entrance to the city.

Eastern Gateway Bridge

Water Street Bridge is a Bascule-type lifting bridge. Its design is aesthetic, with a “seagull” profile to the overhead bridge structure.

Water Street Bridge

Both bridges are opening span bridges to accommodate shipping traffic access the Docklands quays.

The spine route network within the Docklands includes the following:

  • Centre Park Road upgrade
  • Monahan’s Road upgrade
  • New North/South Link road from Water St Bridge to Monahan’s Road

A sweet story…

A sweet story from Cork

Made by an Armenian in the city of Cork, Hadji Beys Turkish delight has a story that beggars belief, writes MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY , was once one of Ireland’s most successful exports, selling in Harrods of London and Macy’s in New York, and being supplied to Buckingham Palace.

The opulent pink and yellow boxes, embossed in silver, went back on shop shelves last year when Newbridge confectionery maker Leo Cummins re-established the brand, 40 years after Eddie Batmazian, Harutun’s son, closed the business in Cork.

Hadji Bey Milseáin na Tuirce i gCorcaigh is a TG4 documentary directed by RoseAnn Foley and presented by her sister Catherine Foley, which tells the story of Batmazian and his exotic sweetmeats. It is being screened tomorrow at 9.30pm (repeated on Wednesday at 11.30pm).

The film includes rarely viewed footage of Cork city in the early 1900s by filmmakers Mitchell Kenyon, with contributions from historian and writer Diarmuid Ó Drisceol, TV presenter and producer Pat Butler, writer Prof Alan Titley, and Pól Ruiséil of Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha, the Centre for Oral Irish, at UCC.

Two of Batmazian’s grandchildren, Dolores Cunningham and Derek O’Sullivan, also feature, and describe the difficulties their grandfather and his wife Esther had to overcome in their early years in Cork.

Having fled persecution in their homeland, the couple were mistakenly identified as Turks by soldiers returning from the first World War, and their shop on Lower Glanmire Road was burned down. When they reopened on McCurtain Street, Batmazian had a legal document drawn up, called Live and Let Live, which he hoped would explain his heritage and protect his business. In the event, his superior confectionery, made with ingredients imported from all over the world, spoke for itself, and became a firm favourite in Ireland and beyond.

Hadji Bey: Milseáin na Tuirce i gCorcaigh is on TG4 tomorrow at 9.30pm and repeated Wednesday, December 21st, 11.30pm

More can be found here on the Examiner’s website also!

The Demesne Dairy

Jervois’ Shop by Kathleen Jervois Fitzgerald c2005

I was about four or five years old when my parents opened No. 169 Lower Glanmire Road as a business. The name in ceramic letters across the front window was impressive. The Demesne Dairy was so-called after my mother’s home in Co. Tipperary.

My father had made up his mind to work for himself, and so ‘The Dairy’ opened its doors. In the shop milk, cream and beautiful butter were on sale. There was also 3 milk deliveries daily in all weathers, for 364 days in the year. The only exception was Christmas Day when the shop opened until midday to allow customers to buy milk and cream for the festive day.

The big 20 gallon churns with a tap near the bottom, were carried in an open cart drawn by our jennet. She was known all the way up as far as St. Patrick’s Church. En route she was given sweets by some of the customers and parsnips which she adored, by others. However, she really disliked ‘pom’ dogs and would stalk them and snap at their tales.

Down the strand
From our house we could see the strand with its row of small houses just above the slipway. Here the coal barges tied up and we kids learned to wax up the ropes. It is from these houses the great oarsmen, the Garrett’s came. On regatta day they ferried people across the river to the Marina. What excitement there was when the Tivoli Rowing Club brought the Leander Cup home in triumph. The festivities went on well into the night in Hyde’s pub next door, where Julia and Ms. Hyde looked after the bar.

Some years later the shop started to sell groceries and cigarettes. There were many customers who came across from the Harbour Commisioners, each morning before 7.30. Many came in with little whiskey bottles for a penn’orth of milk, 2 fags and a match.Woodbines were the favourites at 2d a packet of 5. Many of the customers relied on ‘tick’ or credit, for the week until Friday morning.

Donoghue’s Lane and Barry’s Lane were on either side of the three houses just below Beale’s Hill. Further up Beale’s Hill was Lover’s Walk, so called because the gateways on the way up to Montenotte were a nice shelter for the young couples many of whom met in the Arcadia, or the ‘Arc’ as this ballroom of romance was called. It was here I met my future husband when I was just 18 years old. This romance lasted until his death 50 years later. Now I must be going, and some of my dear friends and neighbours take up the tale of our road.

Love Hearts…

Love Hearts down The Lower Road by Margaret Ivers c2005

In the Sping of 1946, not long after my fourth birthday, I started school. Pat Fox, who was six months older than me, lived next door in Clehane’s Cottages, and at that time children were packed off to school as and when they were deemed ready. Pat had started in January so he had all the qualifications needed to take me up to St. Patrick’s school in St. Luke’s cross.

As we walked up O’Mahony’s Avenue Pat rattled off all the words he could spell for all I knew he could have spelt everything wrong as I hadn’t a clue, but my admiration for him knew no bounds. So brainy I thought. When we arrived at the school the teacher wasn’t there so Pat showed me around. To the front there was one classroom and behind there was a much bigger room. Three classes were catered for here.

It looked like a concert hall with, what seemed to resemble part of The God’s in the opera house at the back. What a great place I thought. We went bacl to the front classroom where Pat showed me how to swing by leaning on my hands on two desks. This was much better than I had thought. However the teacher wasn’t long putting a stop to that activity. Days turned into weeks, Pat and I continued to go to school and we remianedfirm  friends. However that would change as the first week of our Summer holidays passed, a new boy came on the scene.

Maichael Baldwen came to stay with his grandmother who lived in the house at the end of Castle View Terrace steps, just under the bridge. Word spread fast about this new boy on the scene. He was five and the proud possessor of the most beautiful three wheeler red bike that I had ever seen. As if that wasn’t enough he also had a blue pedal car. Like a Disney character love hearts were popping out of my eyes. Michael’s grandmother would take the two of us up Water Sreet, around by the Coliseum and back down the Lower Road everyday. I sat proudly on either the bike or the car. This was the life!

Now around that time The Forge,, which was overlooked by Nelson’s Terrace, was taken over by a man who had a seven year old son. The Forge was a wonderland whose joys I had never tasted because the gate was too high for me to climb over. But my brother Richard had told me of all the gadgets and the machine for making the blocks out of saw dust.

I passed The Forge everyday on my was to Michael, so I couldn’t belive my eyes when I saw the big gate open, I peeped in. Richard was right, this place was a wonderland, stuff everywhere. I didn’t need a second invitation to looka round. Time flew and before I knew where it went my mother called me, it was time to go home and I still hadn’t investigated even half the place. The following morning my legs couldn’t get me fast enough to The Forge. This time The Forge boy had a rope tied to the ESB pole at the edge of the footpath. He offered me a swing but I was afriad to swing out onto the road.

Then I remebered Michael and  the three wheeled bike. I ran towards his grandmother’s house, as I was within reach of it horror! There, just at the corner of Water Street I saw a bike and the car, both were moving. Somebody else had taken my place. I called out his name and his grandmother turned around. “Go back to where you were yesterday”, she told me. I couldn’t believe it.

As the beloved bike and pedal car disappeared up Water Street I sat on the steps outside Roycrofts shop and felt very sorry for myself. After about five minutes, which seemed to me an appropiate mourning time, I dusted myself off and made my way back up the road to where The Forge Here was happily swinging around the ESB pole. This time I accepted his offer to try the swing. On the outward swing my knees made contact with the pole and although the pain was almost as bad as the pain in my heart, when I saw the beloved car and bike disappear up Water Street, I didn’t let him know.

By the time I went home that day I was the proud owner of two black and blue knees and from the swing back to the footpath, a lump on the back of my head, which my mother told me would be better before I was married.

This, the Summer passed. Pat and I renewed our friendship and we spent our time playing up the lane where we lived and visiting The Forge, Michael also returned and shared his toys with us.

Just before the school holidays were over, Pat Fox and his family moved to England where his father had got a job. Michael retuened to his parents. Sometime later The Forge closed, a garage now stands where The Forge used to be.

To Pat, Michael and the Boy from The Forge, wherever life has taken you I hope it has treated you well. Thanks for the memories.


In the early 19th. Century, the shipbuilding yards on the Lower Glanmire Road (within St. Patrick’s Parish) were the most important in the country. By 1840, both Cork and Waterford were the pioneers of iron shipbuilding in Ireland.

Vessels of up to 500 tonnes could be repaired in both of Cork’s shipbuilding yards.

Prominent names in Cork’s shipbuilding industry are Leaky and Beale, the Pike Family, Joseph Wheeler, and George Robinson, the industry provided employment for 1600 men.

The Pike Family was the main contributer to the shipbuilding industry in Cork.

Their company was known as the Cork Steam Packet Company and had it’s main offices at Penrose Quay. Steamships were built and launched from their Water St. (off Lower Glanmire Road) yard.


The most significant family member in the shipbuilding business was Ebeneezer Pike. In 1871, the Cork Steam Packet Company was separated into continental and home line companies.

The home line was known as the City of Cork Steam Packet Company Limited, while the continental line was known as the Cork Steamship Company. Between 1848 and 1860, the following steamers were built by Mr. Pike at his Water Street yard, ‘Gannet’, ‘Cormorant’, ‘Falcon’, ‘Dado’, ‘Osprey’, ‘Bittern’ and the ‘Ibis’. All were Single Screw Steamers with the exception of the ‘Osprey’ which was a Paddle Steamer.

It is quite clear that with this level and type of industry, the introduction of adult and night classes at St. Patrick’s School with such subjects as shipbuilding, boilermaking, rivetmaking and carpentry would have been of distinct advantage to the Shipbuilding Industry within St. Patrick’s Parish.

It was also about at this time that Sherman Crawford Municipal Institute began taking an interest in Maritime Education.

It is to be assumed (for further research) that the beautiful and intriging ‘walkway’, some 500 metres or so, east of Water Street and leading from Lower Glanmire Road to Lovers Walk, known as ‘Beale’s Hill’, was name after the industialist Mr. Beale, mentioned above.

(Courtesy: )

Joseph Wheeler (shipbuilder)

Joseph Wheeler began building and repairing ships in the early 19th century using derricks and slips on the Brickfield slobs off the Strand Road, Cork. By 1829 he had moved to a yard on the Lower Glanmire Road where he built a patent slip. In the 1850s he moved again, this time to a purpose built yard at Rushbrooke that was built around a large drydock designed by Sir John Rennie the Younger. While at the Lower Gleanmire Road yard, Wheeler built a number of wooden ships including his largest, the 500-ton Mary Hardy.

In 1842 Wheeler lived at 20 Grand Parade, Cork and in 1867 he is recorded as having lived at Westlands, Queenstown (Cobh)


St. Patrick’s School

The following is an article written by Mr. Vincent O’Sullivan, former Principal of St. Patricks School and included in a publication celebrating the 50th. anniversary (1987) of the Schools opening. (Source: )

St. Patrick’s School, the Founding and Early Years.

Today we take for granted the availability of primary education for all, but up to the early part of the last century schools were few and far between. However, even before the passing of the National Education Act of 1831, primary schooling was being provided in the St. Patrick’s Area. On October 8th. 1822, Brickfields Male and Female Free School began operating in the upper storey of two adjoining houses in Lower Glanmire Road. A yearly rent of £11.13.6 was paid to the owners who continued to live in the ground floors. The income required to run the school was provided from the proceeds of an annual charity sermon, which averaged £15, and from subscriptions, which averaged £10 annually. Tuition was provided free of charge.

In October 1833, the school was taken in under the National Education system, Rev. James Daly, who was senior curate at the Cathedral Parish, became manager of the school, Rt. Rev. John Murphy, Bishop of Cork, patron and Mr. Paul McSwiney, King St., (now MacCurtain St.) became treasurer. By this time there were 60 boys and 40 girls attending the school although the potential for growth was noted by the commissioners for National Education. Thomas Riordan taught the boys for an annual salary of £20 while Ellen Crosby had to be content with £13 per annum for teaching the girls. However, the Brickfields School ceased to exist in 1840. It was described by James Sheridan, Superintendant of National Schools, as ‘very badly conducted and capable of accommodating only a few pupils.’

St. Patrick’s School opened to pupils for the first time on 13th September 1841. It’s location at St. Luke’s Cross was described by it’s first manager, Rev. Patrick William Coffey, as ‘the most central of St. Patrick’s district and approachable by six roads which meet at this point.’ Fr. Coffey, in his letter of 20th. September 1841, applying for aid towards the payment of teachers’ saleries and supply of books, informed the Commissioners of National Education that ‘the educational wants of the poor in the district of St. Patrick’s in the parishes of S.S. Mary and Anne Shandon in the eastern suburbs of the city of Cork induced the clergy and laity of the parishes to confer on this important subject two years back.’ The Brickfields School, he told them, had been found ‘inadequate and incommodious for the growing numbers of the poor.’ The site for St. Patrick’s School he described as having 100 feet frontage and 150 feet depth.

He added that ‘a substantial schoolhouse’ had been built by the contributions of the local clergy and laity. He had the satisfaction, he said ‘of numbering several Protestants benefactors’ among the contributers. The school building he describes as containing ‘for males the lower room running along the entire length of the building, and it’s dimensions are 45 feet in length, 30 feet in width and 17 feet in height, each side being lighted by four metal sashed windows and the room ventilated from the top. An upper room for females corresponds to the lower in dimensions and arrangements, and is accessible (by reason of the inclined site of the ground) from the road in the opposite direction by which the male or lower school is entered’. The male school was furnished with ’20 new forms with fixed desks, ten feet long each, and the female school with 15 new forms with fixed desks of like length’. Each room had ‘one large frame 8 feet high supporting a thin blackboard four feet square, hung on weighty pulleys and used for public diagrams, one raised bench containing a desk’, lockers for the teachers and also for holding the school register ‘under key’. There were two grates ‘in which fires are kept in the winter’. The patrons, he said, were anxious to open the school immediately, and therefore had borrowed one hundred pounds from the bank ‘to carry out the original work of surrounding the school ground with a wall and to furnish the schools with benches and forms.

The Commissioners were informed that ‘after public notice, Mr Michael O’Mahony, aged 27 years (who had taught at Brickfield School) was appointed to teach the male school and Mrs. Ellen Kennedy, aged 30 years, to teach the female school’. There was an average of 300 pupils enrolled in the schools during the early months, 174 boys and 126 girls. The scholars paid 1d per month although, on the manager’s instructions, approximately 100 pupils were admitted free of charge. School hours were from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and ‘a portion of Monday for religious instruction’. Religious instruction was also provided on Sunday by Fr. Coffey or another priest if he was not available. The school according to Fr. Coffey, was ‘open to every visitor who shall be at liberty to enter remarks on the book kept for the purpose, provided the presence of visitors interferes not with the order or application of children or teachers’. The manager visited the school frequently, ‘some weeks thrice, at other periods once a fortnight, never I believe less’.

Michael O’Mahony did not remain long in the position for by the time James Sheridan, Superintendant of National Schools, visited on March 1st. 1842, Danial Sheehan (aged 19 years) was the boys’ teacher. And so as Ireland moved towards the Great Famine, St. Patrick’s School was firmly established. The school manager and the driving force behind it’s founding, Fr. Coffey, who had been appointed first administrator of St. Patrick’s Chapel of Ease in 1836 did not survive long. He died (aged 42 years) on June 17th. 1847, the blackest year of the Famine, of a malignant typhus fever contracted while ‘attending the dying bed of a patient’. There is a plaque to his memory in the Church ‘erected in gratitude and affection by the parishioners of St. Patrick’s to the memory of their beloved pastor, friend and guide.’

For the next twenty years, despite the depression of the Famine and its aftermath, the school developed and expanded. By 1863 extra building and reorganisation became necessary. St. Patrick’s Infants’ School was opened on June 1st. of that year in a schoolroom adjoining the male and female school. It was erected with funds left by the late J. Murphy Esq. of Clifton, Montenotte. Bridget Conner (18 years), who had been assistant teacher in Sunday’s Well, was appointed as first teacher in charge. There were 34 boys and 51 girls enrolled on opening day, the pupils had come mainly from the existing Boys’ and Girls’ Schools. Numbers increased quite dramatically for within ten years there were 300 pupils attending the Infants’ School alone.

The need for adult education must have been felt in the district at the time for, on February 3rd 1886, on application of Rev. John Canon Browne (school manager), an evening school was opened in St. Patrick’s Male School. It was in operation from Monday to Thursday of each week from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. during the entire year. It was conducted by Thaddeus O’Conner who was also master of the day school. Reading, writing, arithmetric and geometry were taught. The National School books were in use as well as the Christian Brothers’ Arithmetric. Seventy seven names were on the books (all male) of whom thirty were present when the school was visited by J. Sillic, District Inspector of the Board of Education. He recommended the application, commenting that the evening school was required in the locality and noted that the schoolroom had been lit by gas. Four of the students enrolled were also pupils of the day school, fourteen of them were adults average of nineteen and a half years of age, all of them were employed in the locality. Their occupations are described as* shipbuilding, boilermaking, rivetmaking and carpentry.

The evening school has not survived but otherwise, apart from a change in location, the Infants’ Girls and Boys’ Schools continue to this day.

The Lower Road 1948-1964

The Lower Road 1948-1964 by Mrs. Catherine Moran (nee Rea) c2005

In the early 1900’s the ‘Spillane’ family ran a grocers shop at 116 Lower Road, and they lived over the shop. They were a large family. Some of them went to America. In the time of the troubles it would have been known as a safe house.During the 1914-18 war one of the sons built an ‘air-raid shelter’ in the garden. The eldest of the family was Nell. she lived all her life at 116. She was a single lady. A brother of hers fell out of the bedroom window on the second floor, due to his severe head injuries he had to have a plate fitted in his head.

He spent a few years in America but had to return as the heat effected his head. When the Spillane family retired from the grocery business, sometime in the 1940’s the premises became a ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’s hairdressers shop.

It was run by Billy Donovan and he employed my father David Rea. The men’s hair was cut in the front room while the room behind was for the ladies. Here ladies had their hair cut, permed and dyed and even wigs were made on the premises. Billy and Dave worked very long hours particularly at the weekends.Billy Donovan and his wife Johanna lived at ‘Clehane Cottages’. They had two children, Richard and Margaret. After Billy’s death Dave ran the business on his own and the ladies side of the business ceased. David and Margaret Rea and their two children came to live at 117 Lower Road around 1946. While living on the Lower Road, John, Anne and Michael were born. So in the mid 1950s the family moved into 116. It was then that I got to know Nell Spillane, at this stage she was old and frail. After school, I would make her tea and get the grocery times for her.

She was an eccentric lady and got what she wanted simply because no one would cross her. She got her daily itmes in ‘Neiland’s’ post office. She liked a special loaf called ‘Milk Loaf’. One day I was sent to collect this ‘Milk loaf’ the shop keeper forgot to put the bread away for her but did not leave themselves short, and I was given a different type of bread.

Well Nell was furious. She threw a coat around her shoulders and to a quick time step she marched into the shop and obviously gave a piece of her mind to them and arrived back home with a milk loaf. Friday was pension day, Nell’s treat of the week was a half ounce of snuff purchased from ‘Joe Manning’.

Nell had a fear of hospitals, so my mother looked after her until her death in October 1956.

It was the norm to support one shop, one did not walk out of one and into the next. There were many grocery shops on the road, and each was able to make a living. We had McCoys, famous for a good bargain in ice-cream, Tom Coughlan had a butchers shop near Bassett’s Lane, The Co-Op, Caseys, Linehans for sweets, a vegetable store next door, further on the Post Office, also known as Murays/Neilands, Twomeys ran by two sisters Miss Twomey and Mrs. Mac until they retired in the mid 1950s.

Mrs. Mac never smiled but had a wicked sense of humour. One day she gave the messenger boy a half crown to take the cat to the animals home. Everyhing was fine, until a week later, when he arrived into work one morning, Mrs. Mac was waiting for him with her fore finger crooked, indicating he should follow her out into the backyard, and there was the cat sittign on the wall. She wanted no explanations, just take the cat to the Animal’s home. The messenger boy made sure the cat stayed at the bottom of the Lee on the second trip.

For a short while a Mr. McGregor had a place and it was then sold to ‘George Jackson’. George was a very nice man, and we can thank him for bringing his niece Patsy Meaney to us. Patsy stayed for the long haul, got married to Tim Crowley and reared her family on the Lower Road. We also got to know her parents and sister Mary. Now to continue with the shops, next door but one, we had ‘Mannings’ grocery shop, then the butcher Michael Ryan and his wife Kathleen. Around this time, just around the corner and up the lane we had the shoemaker Mr. O’Keeffe.

The newsagents ran by the Dunnes and later continued by Ms. O’Callaghan. Further down there was Eddie Stanley for vegetables and his brother had a little shop too. Eddie was also a Peace Commissioner and lastly Roycrofts.

All these shops were above the bridge. There were oodles of pubs and a billard room. Kate and Danny Meaney lived at 118. At one time they sold coal, I don’t remember that, but their next venture was ‘pigs’ which were fed onthe left overs or ‘slops’ gathered from the neighbours, an early form of recycling. I can remember the squealing animals being taken away for slaughter.

I think most of my generation will remember ‘Nellie’ (Beattie/Kerins) for the comics. The childen of the area brought their comics to Nellie, and she in turn gave out on loan someone else’s comic and thus I believe she ran the first swop shop in Cork.

Those comics were the bane of my mother – she called them ‘penny dreadfuls’ because we did not do our school homework if comics were at hand. Nellie and her husband John Kerins bred Alsatian dogs. The main guesthouse was “Herlihy’s” known as ‘Cheney House’ because of the shinning tiles that surrounded the door.

The Lower Road was a hive of industry in the 1950s and most of the employment was given by the Harbour Commissioners, C.I.E. known as ‘The Railway’, Barry’s Timber and in later years The Dockyard. Most of the workers travelled to work either on bicycle or walked. In those years, the live cattle for export were driven down the Lower Road and up Water Street to be loaded onto ships or ‘cattle boats’ as they were called locally. I believe one time a bull went beserk because somehow acid got into his eye. That unfortunate incident made the residents on the road nervous, when a herd of cattle appeared on the scene and children were called closer to their front door.

The milk was delievered daily to most houses by Dan Jervois. The customer came to the door with a jug to receive the milk, be it 1/2 or pint plus a tilly. (Note: We think a ’tilly’ was an extra sup added for the cat and not anything to do with an oil lamp!)

The majority of the children on the road went to St. Patrick’s School N.S. at St. Luke’s Cross. We all walked both ways twice a day in all elements of weather. Most of us children played on the road. We had games for the girls, pickie, skipping, throwing two balls againstt he wall to some rhyme or other, spinning tops, scraps and of course dolls & prams.

The boys played hurling and football, mostly in the old railway line up Grattan Hill. One had to be able to climb onto the wall, and jump down, this kept the smaller boys out. The chestneu season brought ‘chessies’ and then marbles and glass alleys.

The fashion was practical and sensible. In Summer cotton dresses, rubber dollys while the boys had short pants and dollys. In Winter we all had good warm coats with socks to the knee and sturdy shoes plus wellington boots.

I can also remember the bread from the bakeries arriving by a horse drawn van, another occasion I was fascinated by the black carriage with windows and the black horses with their bridles polished and looking very elegant. I did not understand death or why the relatives of the deceased were so demur and silent.

The chocolate crumb was a delightful era, while the bags of crumb were being discharged fromthe ship, occasionally a bag would break. In Winter time, most children wore berets, se we would throw the beret/hat down to the docker and in turn we’d get a quantity of chocolate crumb. This could be chewed, but it was nicer when made into a drink with boiling water and sugar to taste.

One must not forget the famous ‘Garrett’ family for their manning of the small boats across the river to the various functions on the ‘Marina’ side of the Lee. The hurling/football matches would be scheduled for 3 O’Clock start and the ‘Garrett’s’ rowed hundreds across the river and back again when the match was over. The annual regatta was another busy day on the Lower Road.

That was the life style in those years. All of us youngsters grew up and went into various jobs until one moved on or got married in the case of the girls. My father Dave Rea died unexpectantly in May of 1971 and that was the end of the barbers shop. I left ‘The Road’ in 1968 to do a bit of travelling in Europe and then settled in London for a few years.

Memories of Tivoli

Memories of Tivoli

O lovely lane of my boyhood dreams,

Enriched by woods and running streams,

The things I did in those days gone by,

Will remain in my heart till the day I die.

Though my life has changed since my days in the lane,

The lessons it taught me will always remain,

Those grand old folk that lived down there,

I’ll cherish their names with loving care.

The Fields, the Joyces to name but a few,

Are part of me now in the things I do,

As the bough is bent so shall it grow,

And from that old lane I learned that is so.

For it taught me to keep my feet on the ground,

And remember to keep my thoughts always sound.

But when I lie and the night is still,

My heart and mind they travel at will,

To the times gone by when I played as a boy,

In that little lane so filled with joy.
Michael O’Leary

Tivoli Rowing Club

The Lower Road had a rich history of sports teams. A rowing club, hurling and football teams, soccer teams. Do you have any information about them?

Tivoli Rowing Club c1950s

Tivoli Rowing Club c1950s

Blessing of the boats


Regatta on the River Lee (c. 1950s – Courtesy of O. Noonan)