26 Sept 2022

Memories of local stockyards - Peter Kavanagh's Trip Through Time

Looking back at Dundalk's past, with former Democrat editor Peter Kavanagh

Memories of local stockyards - Peter Kavanagh's Trip Through Time

That was something I had quite forgotten about, although I had often seen those vessels, as a boy during the World War II Emergency and noticed that the the pens at Greenore were packed with cattle and, after the War, horses on their way to Belgium to feed the starving millions on the continent of Europe.

The livestock yard at Barrack Street in Dundalk was often packed with animals in those years and even the fields around my home would be filled with sheep for just one night before being loaded onto wagons going to Greenore.

Apparently those sailings took place three times a week and were reduced to two; and then just one, on a Saturday. I wonder is there still anybody around now who worked on those ships or even in the stock yards of Dundalk, Newry or Greenore?

In one year there were open wagons at the Barrack Street Goods Depot, loaded with sugar beet going to the Carlow sugar factory. I do not know where the beet had come from but, possible it had been grown in the fields of England or Scotland.

Greenore was developed into a container ship port in more recent years but even that has passed, the Port at Greenore has been massively developed, I think, mainly to take grain cargoes. Greenore has also seen road vehicle ferry ships crossing over to the Greencastle side of Carlingford Lough which I hope will continue after the Covid 19 pandemic has passed.

What a loss, however, the closure and removal of the railway line from Dundalk to Greenore has proved? It might have been very useful today to the economy of Dundalk district if it had been possible to keep it open, even as a scenic tourism route. I will not be around after another 70 years have passed but there are many who will and I cannot help wondering what changes may have happened by 2092?

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