I am grateful to my friends and pals of yesteryear, Vincie and Eric McAllister and Maureen Drummond – and more recently Pat O’Hanlon – for their assistance in compiling this list of early residents of
Facing the phone-box, the first house on
Round the corner, facing the entrance to the Pighall Loanan [hey, what a name!] and on
Next door at number six was the Crimmins, Gerry (also a hospital worker) being our mate. (Before I forget, on Helen’s Terrace just yards away lived the Carraghers [Ann etc.] and Raffertys [Emmet, Francie] as well as Doyles, Bodels and McFaddens.
I recently received the following email from Godfrey Bodel in Freemantle, Western Australia!
"I am living in Australia now this past twenty-two years, but I spent eight years in Johannesburg, after emigrating from Ireland. Here is close enough to Paradise to end my wandering!
Hello to Patsy McGuigan and anyone else from Helen’s Terrace of the 1940s/1950s. It’s a long time since Rooney’s Meadow was just a field full of cows! "
Joe McGuigan of the Monaghan Street Shoe Shop, lived there for a time. His son Peter was our mate. Sadly Peter died tragically in his early adulthood. Patsy of the B&B, Downshire Road is an elder son].
Next then was the McGuigans. The father acted as sacristan in the hut that originally served as our
In 9 lived the McManus’s, relatives of the Ruddys. I remember Rose Ruddy, who, I think, was also a sister of Hugh John McConville’s wife. Johnny and Mrs McFerran originally lived above the Loanan in the house that was later to go to Councillor Tommy McGrath, but were re-allocated to a four-bedroom house a few doors down  because of their growing family. Patricia was the eldest girl [there was also a Kitty, now working at the hot food counter in Fiveways] and Richie the eldest of many boys. In 11, more recent occupants were the Rooney family, while Jim Mallon still lives in 12 with his mother. Jim recently retired from a teaching post in
Sean McGuigan [Vincent McAllister thinks they were cousins of the family that lived below them] lived at 13. He later taught in St Josephs and had a younger sister Gertrude, now better known as Trudi. Peter Jackson raised a large family at
The Rocks’ [later to move to
Beyond Tommy McGrath’s were the Lucas’s. He had been a Welsh soldier, then worked as a postman. Patricia, Geraldine, Tony, Martin etc. [it was a large family] were our companions. The Coffeys, Brian, Derek etc. – already mentioned – lived next door. Cousins Eamon and Desie lived in
Eddie McVeigh, whose father was a bus-driver, lived next door. To the best of my knowledge, Mrs McVeigh still lives here at 22. Crawfords, Joan, Jack and Pete lived next. Joan was a good friend of Maura McAllister. Next door was the Smiths, Geraldine etc. who were cousins of Theo Patterson, three doors up.
The Drummonds – we knew Eileen, now married to Eddie Green and Maureen, married to Willie Rodgers and living on
Jack Shiels  was a tall man who worked on the railways – Arthur, his son, is tall too and still seen about town. Jack used to chase us around the gardens on our marathon game of Tig-Around-The-Block! Tina Griffin’s home was next. She married Jimmy Hutchinson and lives on
Then  it was the large family of Johnstons – many of them still about the town. We knew Bobby and Marie best. The McKeowns were next door, until they moved to
Next was the D’Arcys, Pat and Raymond the son. Terry and Mary McCartney lived next in 35: their father was a postman: Terry still works in the Post Office,
In the Horseshoe, at 39 lived the Fegans and next door the Pouchers. The Haugheys were in 41 [later Chris Coffey’s home, and later still Eamon McArdle]. Next door was Mallons, cattle-dealer and brother of Dr [Sunshine] Mallon. In 43 was the McSherrys and in 44 the Mathers. Crawfords had number 45 and the Byrnes were in 46. The Barrons lived in 47 and finally, another family of Byrnes had number 48.
It was remarked that a few other families occupied some of these homes in the early days. Mrs Lawless for example, in Keenans [relatives of Maura McGuigan?]. Vincie tells me he spent time in
Vincie told me a story of a neighbour whom he suspected of nicking his eighth birthday present and damaging it before leaving it back. The man in question is now deceased, so we’ll leave well-enough alone. With his brother Eric, he remembers a Magowan funeral of the early fifties, where the glass-encased hearse was drawn by shire-horses complete with plumes. They were terrified!