Kilmorey St People’s Story

Would our readers abroad please comment on the latest street lists? 
The even numbers began at the north end beside the William Street junction.  Bridie McClelland, a lovely friendly lady, had a fruit and vegetable store on the corner.  Francis and she lived three doors up, after Vincie and Pauline Gorman.

  Walter and Margaret Murphy (16; where Gateway is now) had just been allocated the Loughview Park home they still live in today.
Referring to the photo that accompanies the previous Kilmorey Street lists, the first house there on the left was the home of Sally Campbell.  Gregory Hollywood’s father Austin was just before that.  Gregory too moved to the new houses on Barley Lane. 
After Sally’s was the home of builder Joe Donnelly.  Joe moved to Derrybeg some time after.
The shop on the Quay Street corner belonged to Tommy Byrne.  Tommy lived next door to Tommy Rocks.  Both (separately) once owned The Satellite restaurant also on Kilmorey Street. 
Many’s the match was made in the Satellite.  I used to meet two old girlfriends there, Imelda Morgan of Cornmarket being one.  The other will remain unnamed (since she’s just appeared on Guestbook!). 
It was where we heard the latest records for they had the first jukebox in the town.  This is how and where we learned the exciting new music of the Beatles.  And when we first discovered that the ‘flip side’ was as good as, sometimes better than the A side.  I remember thinking that the Satellite above the shop was real, and wondered how Tommy had got his hands on it!
Tommy Byrne, remembered amongst other things for his training of the Irish Dancers, was an uncle of the McGraths from Cronin Park.  Assumpta and her husband Bill Hyland still live in the family home there.
Tommy and Bridget Fearon lived in one of the small houses pictured above, at the spot where the memorial anchor now rests in a tiny park. (Yon’s no anchor! says P J Cunningham.  That’s the pick I used to dig England’s motorways!).
We hand further comment on the densely populated Kilmorey Street to our readership!

Gerry Monaghan Part 5


5. Thirsty Work

Joe had served as a soldier in the Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War (First World War). He had been wounded at the Dardanelles. He was struck during the battle for Gallipoli and at the height of that ferocious, hopeless attack. He was towed on a raft across the waters to the beach. This raft had a stout, wooden partition behind which the crouching soldiers could hide, crouching behind this, taking the safe side, shooting up at the Turks who were pouring fire down upon them from the high, rocky cliffs. The bullet that struck Joe penetrated and lodged in his helmet and partially entered his skull. Seriously injured, he was invalided out of the army. He recovered, only to suffer the effects of the chronic unemployment, encountered by so many of his kind. He hated Churchill whom he blamed for this debacle.

Still as a wounded ex-serviceman, Joe was entitled to a government gratuity to assist in his rehabilitation in those immediate post-war years. The money would be paid only if the appellant could prove that the money would be spent in some wise and worthwhile venture. The amount of this gratuity was

Murphy Bros Poulterers


If one could corner the market, the most profitable business in Newry would be that of ‘Shop Outfitters’, for there is never a day but that one observes the rubble skips filling up outside one or other retail business as some indomitable entrepreneur – like Bruce’s spider – makes yet another gallant effort to succeed in the retail trade.

Read moreMurphy Bros Poulterers

Moleskin Joe

I remember as a youth hearing of tramps of the district that had no particular fear of prison.  Indeed there were a few could better cope with incarceration than freedom and who would deliberately commit some minor offence to guarantee their return to their preferred lifestyle.  Like many of my age I could – but will not – name a few.  There are probably still a number of people in the same position.  Just how far have we failed as a society for such a situation to prevail?
Patrick MacGill of Donegal was a talented writer and the author of a number of books.  Like a long-gone relative of my own, gambling was his downfall (as indeed it was of my favourite all-time novelist Dostoyevsky!).
Patrick wrote:
‘I tramped through the country despised by everyone and hating all men.  I was angry at my plight.  A few gave me food, some cursed me from their doors and a great number mocked me as I passed.’
He found it extremely difficult to escape from this lifestyle and return to normal society.  Where does one begin, with no home, job or money and just ragged clothes?  He told of Moleskin Joe:
My name’s Moleskin Joe.  I don’t mind havin’ seen my father or mother. (‘I have no memory of ..’) and I was bred in a workhouse.  I’m forty years of age, more or less, and I started work when I was seven. 
I’ve been in a workhouse, a reformatory, prison and church.
When times were bad and I couldn’t get a mouthful of food outside, I went to prison of my own free will.
But it was always against my will that I went to church’.
Who has made society – and especially churches – less palatable than prison?  Is the political philosophy of the ‘short, sharp shock’ always the right answer?