John McCullagh January 13, 2006
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Was it always sunny in days of yore?

Or does it just seem so now we’re looking back from middle age?

This is the famous Linen Hall Arch again, this time unspoiled with soldiers in the picture!

You can see the street was paved with granite setts.  These local cut granite setts now pave only The Mall and a small part of the road outside the rear entrance to The Quays.   All our granite quarries have long since been filled in with landfill waste.

Just inside and to the left were the early homes of the Caseys and Dickie Rodgers.  Just to the right there was Paschal Campbell’s home.  He is not enjoying good health at the moment.  His daughter Lorainne is married to Pat Quinn and they live on Courtenay Hill, by the way.

Those building just further on the right were the Showers and Washrooms belonging to the original Barracks.  After the Barracks were renovated in the third decade of the twentieth century (see our article!) some of the facilities – such as the disused Hospital, The Showers/Wash-Rooms, the Kitchens (later to be used to cook school dinners for all the town, and indeed schools beyond too! – were left, to be gratefully used as play areas for the growing children.

Some of our town’s best families started off in The Barracks, and a few remain there.  The Quinns, Campbells (I remember my friend Pat very fondly) McKeowns, Guinans, McCabes, Caseys … and now I know I should not have begun, for to stop is to leave terrible omissions!  I beg forgiveness.

The houses had wooden floors and running water.  The residents lived in better conditions than did the majority of the town’s working class.  Still in the 50s with the boom in working-class estates many families moved out. 

In 1963 the Linenhall houses were demolished to make way for the new Mourneview Park.  Among the new residents was your editor’s uncle, Paddy Vickers, Bridie and their two girls (yet to be born) Marie and Joan.  Paddy and Bridie (and a number of others) moved from Murphy Crescent, which too was soon demolished.

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