The 20 Houses: Dromalane

The dreadful overcrowded town house conditions immediately after the war [mostly ‘entries’ with many families sharing a single tiny house] is clearly testified to by the list of tenants allocated the first twenty houses of Dromalane Park in 1950. 

 To this day these are known as ‘The Twenty Houses’ and the family heads, with the number of people in each family were: 

1  Christina McCauley (7) 
2 Patrick McMahon (7)  
3 Felix Loughran (9)
4 James McMahon (10)
5 Francis Harte (7)
6 Patrick Maguire (15)
7 Thomas O’Hanlon (9)
8 Thomas Gorman (7)
9 Patrick Downey (11)
10 James Coughlan (9)
11 William Smith (9)
12 Robert McKee (10)
13 Patrick McSorley (7)
14 Jim Rowantree (7)
15 Mr Savage (?)
16 Raymond Carroll (8)
17 Mr Carr (?)
18 Elizabeth Turley (6)
19 Samuel Henry (13)
20 James Millar (7)

It is noted that some dispute the Savages and Carrs as original inhabitants and substitute Michael Tumilty (6) and Michael McKeown (10).  

There are a few touching anecdotes from those times.  John Maguire’s family moved to Dromalane while he was away at scout camp.  After his week’s holiday he returned to what he presumed was still the family home in Peter’s Place.  Another family was living there!  They told him of the ‘flit’.  With his small suitcase in his hand he was pointed in the general direction of Omeath.  Fortunately for him he was finally spotted wandering by an older sister and brought to their new home.

Thomas (T’as) Murphy was seven years old when his parents were allocated their home in Dromalane.  They flitted while T’as was attending St Joseph’s School in Edward Street (The Abbey Primary wasn’t yet built and boys and girls went to St Joseph’s).  After school the young boy had to search for this mysterious new place called Dromalane.  Eventually he enlisted the aid of an older boy and found his way to the other [Dublin Road] side of town.  Together, on tiptoe, they peered into every living-room on the new estate until T’as could find some familiar faces!

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