Tom McKeown: Introduction

Tom McKeown recalls for us his reminiscences of growing up in the Kilmorey St/Chapel Street area in the 1940s. 

Tom McKeown Newry

The following few lines are Tom’s introduction of himself and his family. Without prejudice to my own and others’ earlier efforts in the same area, I must say that I have enjoyed reading Tom’s memories immensely and will serialize them over the next few months! Yes, there’s that much! 


I was born on Rosary Sunday 1937, an only son, the eldest of four children. My three sisters Maeve, Carmel and Anne followed.  Our parents were Rita Gribben, Chapel Street and Johnny McKeown of Pool Lane, Newry.

We all lived at 5 Customs House Avenue, better known in the locality as ‘Tan Open’. We all have many childhood memories of those happy years. 

Sundays were always looked forward to, especially the afternoons. Our mother would get us ready after we had our dinner and go to meet up with other families and head over to the ‘Plantin’, where all the children would play to their heart’s content. 

We left the ‘Open’ in 1952 to live in Dromalane and that is where we settled until each of us in turn left the ‘nest’ to marry and raise our own broods.  

Maeve lives in Armagh City, Carmel in Newry and Anne resides in Warrenpoint. I live on Chapel Road, just across from The Plantin’.

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