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24 May 2022

Trip Through Time: Where in Dundalk was Parliament Square?

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

Trip Through Time: Where in Dundalk was Parliament Square?

Answers to last week's questions:

When did St. Patrick's Day become a public holiday in Dundalk?
St. Patrick's became a public holiday in Ireland in 1903 under the Bank Holiday Act (Ireland) but it was not universally observed until after the Free State was established in 1922.

There had been parades in Dundalk after the Mass observance on March 17 previously but many shops remained open.

In 1913 there was agitation by the Gaelic League and other organisations for the weekly Monday Market to be moved and local shops were asked to close.

The suggestion was opposed at local Council meetings by some members.

A compromise, that they close after 2.30 pm., was agreed but, according to the Book of Dundalk this 'was only partially observed'.

Where in Dundalk is Kelso Terrace?
This is a row of three storied houses in the middle of St. Mary's Road, between Mary Street, North and Broughton Street.

They were built in about 1860 by George Kelso local entrepreneur who acquired a former flax mill factory in Mary Street, North, where he attempted to establish a starch factory.

When the business failed, due to cheaper imports, he emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where one of his sons, John Joseph Kelso, a journalist and Founder of the Toronto Humane Society, introduced many child welfare reforms.

Where in Dundalk was Parliament Square?
This is at the east end of the present Barrack Street where Huguenot weavers established a cambric (linen) factory in the late eighteenth century with aid of a grant from the old Irish Parliament.

The site was taken over by the British military after the Act of Union in 1800 to establish a cavalry barracks.

The British Army remained until April 13, 1922 when it was taken over by the 4th Northern Division of the I.R.A., under Frank Aiken.

It was named 'Aiken Barracks' in 1986 by An Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald, to commemorate this event.

Where in Dundalk was known as 'The Sally Gardens'?
This was an area between the Navvy Bank and the Point Road, about where the old 'Towers House', was located, where sally tree shoots were grown for use in basket making.

There were a number of businesses in town, where baskets were still being weaved up to the middle of the last century.

Sally rods were also used to drive domestic animals and, by some parents, to punish disobedient children.

Questions for next week:

What were 'tigeens' and how were they important in Dundalk of fifty years ago?

Who was 'Clog McCann' and how was he remembered in Dundalk of the last century?

Where did the 'Dundalk Chemicals have their premises and what did they manufacture?

Where was Gaskins' Foundry and where can you still see the name on a Dundalk building?

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