Kilmorey Street 1914

This is the next in our series of Lists of Residents of streets of our town from former times. These can be utilised in many ways …

…. but are also of general interest. Most of the names here remain common today and it is a simple enough procedure to check whether any of these people were your forbears or those of your neighbours.

J Curran of number six was a policeman in the Royal Irish Constabulary. They lived openly among our townspeople then! Number seventeen was a ‘nurses’ home’ for the Misses McAlister and O’Doherty. The Independent Club was thriving at number 30. Was the Terence Ruddy of number six the same man who formed and led to success the Independent & St Joseph’s Band associated with that Club? Probably. Was the Denis Ward of 29 a forbear of the Denis who did doorman for a time in the same club two decades ago? Or the recently-retired Abbey Primary schoolteacher Denis of Carlingford Park?

You will ask your own questions! After the list below, I have illustrated how one name here, Philip Coonagh, sparked an extensive search by your author in pursuit of minor details of his own family history. The latter has become the primary recreational pursuit of Americans and others and one of the chief uses of the World Wide Web. Maybe this’ll be enough to set you off on the same path?

Kilmorey Street 1914


1 Daniel McVeigh

2 S J Morrow & Co

3 Michael O’Hare

6 Terence Ruddy

7 J Curran RIC

8 John McCourt

10 G Kane

11 Mrs McIvor

13 Miss McGuigan

14 Patrick Brennan

15 Mrs Craig

16 John Fox

17 Nurses Home Ms McAlister & O’Doherty

18 Philip Coonagh

22 James Ward

24 Mary McConville

25 Patrick Larrissy

26, 28 & 31 John Brown

27 Joseph Murphy

29 Denis Ward

30 Independent Club

32 John White

34 Patrick Murphy

36 John McGuigan

39 W E Squire

40 John Stuart

42 Bridger Rowan

43 Margaret Cruckshank

44 Mary McCourt

45 Ann McQuaid

46 T McGivern

47 Joseph Murphy

48 J H Potter

49 Mrs McGauley

I learned in adulthood from my mother that a lady friend of hers and of Sonny’s, my father, by the name of Kathleen Cooney, was godmother to me at my baptism.  She was a distant blood relative. I never knew her. Still I determined to find out more.

There was no trace of any such lady in the records in the streets where she ought to have been found. I tried variations on the surname spelling. This is an outline of what I discovered!

The Philip Coonagh of 18 Kilmorey Street in 1914 had two brothers, Edward and Frank and a sister Kathleen, the lady whose history I was researching!

In later life Philip married Nancy Devine, sister of Charlie who was father of several sons, including my brother-in-law Kieran. Philip and Nancy emigrated to England where they had two children Teddy and Priscilla. She married the eldest of the Briscoe boys of Monaghan Row, Pat. They too settled in England where Pat died.

Edward, a lovely young man by all accounts, died at the early age of twenty-five. Frank, I knew. He bore a striking resemblance to my late and much lamented father and so became important to me. Frank’s mother, Susan Loye had been a younger sister of Sonny’s mother Bridget, who had a boarding/eating house at 43 Monaghan Street where I was born!

Frank remained single. He had at one time worked as chauffeur to the Bishop of Dromore. In retirement he tended the petrol pumps at Hollywood‘s Garage on Monaghan Street. He was well-liked by many.

Kathleen married George Flanagan and settled in Bridge Street. Reports say it was an unhappy union that produced no issue. She spent much time at the Boarding House in the company of my mother and her cousins. She was happy to be godmother for my mother on the birth of her fifth child!

Edward, just mentioned, on 30 June 1909 had married Susan Loye and at the service her bridesmaid was her sister Margaret, soon to open a boarding house of her own in Upper North Street. Best man was John Bell.

The Coonagh family had moved to Newry in the previous century. Their grandfather Edward gave up a farm of land to become a fitter/engineer in the town. He was fifty-six years old then. The first-named Philip, his son and father of the Philip who appears on our list above, also a fitter like his father, in 1881 married Catherine McNally of Boat Street. Her father was a currier there.

And all of this from finding a familiar-looking name listed among a street’s residents.

Fascinating, eh?

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