John McCullagh December 13, 2005
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Sean Murtagh of Ballinlare Gardens recalled his neighbours of days gone past, and spoke warmly of those still in the cul-de-sac. 

Eric Bittles is just a few months deceased, as is his mother who latterly went to a Home: so also is Sean Hillen who lived here for a very long time. He spent his latter years living with a daughter in another part of the district.


Sean’s parents were from Monaghan Street: indeed they had a shop there. Sean’s son Gerard has the house.

Mrs Quinn, widow of Luke still lives here. They raised a large family in Ballinlare, including a girl who married Sean Brady the glass etcher. There was also Patsy, and Martin, now a successful estate agent.  

Paddy Kavanagh was a brother of Joe of Derrybeg Drive. Paddy’s children included Padraig and Arthur. There were other boys and at least one girl too.  

Jim McAvoy now lives where the ‘Dolly Sisters’ resided! They got this nickname (everyone called them that!) because they were always very dapper! Their name was Mullan.

There were two Burns families. Kevin Burns, the milkman, had a family of girls and one boy, Mark who married a daughter of Peter McCann (and Phyl) of Derrybeg Drive. I understand he may be recently returned from California. His sister Donna married Barry Crawford, son of Phyllis.

Brendan Burns, who once had a newsagents shop on Francis Street, had a daughter Monica.

Larry Hand, brother of Gerry who lived in Derrybeg Drive and was father to Ignatius and Rowan, lived for a time in Ballinlare Gardens though he lives now on the Armagh Road. He did VAT returns. His son is Martin. Kieran Mullan did home decorating. 

Paddy Rafferty was the gasman: Kieran the solicitor is his nephew, as I understand is Father Rafferty. Paddy’s wife taught in St Patrick’s Primary School, whose entrance was (and is) via Ballinlare Gardens. 

Who else is there? Mr Teggart who used to mend TVs. He’d arrive with a cardboard box full of diverse parts, valves and the like, and worked apparently by trial and error. He was a brother of Mrs McKigney of Slieve Gullion Road – mother of Michael and Colum.  

Sean Kinney, his father Peter was a Contractor. The wife is still there. There was John Kane of Derrybeg. And John O’Hare. Jim Campbell’s father.

The McCrackens. You know Sean. And Bily, married to Mary. Margaret has the house now. She’s married to Joe Coyle. Indeed they have a grown-up family now. Next door is Mrs Magee. Earlier that was the Cunninghams. 

The man first in round the corner there originally was in the police.

Oh, Eddie Ruddy, the whistler of Crubeen! His son Eamon still has that house.

I’m sure I’ve left many out!

Brian Fitzpatrick’s Oasis of Ballinlare Gardens …

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