Omeath long ago

Michael Boyle spent most of his working life with the Great Northern Railway, an employment that came to an end with the closing of the Goraghwood-Newry-Warrenpoint line in 1965, an event remembered with sadness by the great majority of us older people. This is his story.

Though I was born on a small farm in the townland of Derrybeg in Newry, I spent most of my childhood in Omeath where my father, grandfather and great grandfather were born. I was educated at Ardagh National School at a time when there were still numerous native Irish speakers in the area. Among them were Ann O’Hanlon, Oweny Dip (Owen Kane) and Mary Rua McKeown. All the O’Hanlons in fact spoke Irish: there were so many of them they were recognised by their sobriquets only: Paddy Judy, Paddy Greasa

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