07 Jul 2022

Trip Through Time: Who in Dundalk was known locally as the 'Soccer Saint'?

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

Trip Through Time: Who in Dundalk was known locally as the 'Soccer Saint'?

Answers to last week's questions:

Which Dundalk sporting venue was once known as 'Casey's Field'?

This was the field on which Dundalk A.F.C. built their stadium 'Oriel Park'.
The land belonged to the Casey family of Carrick Road for generations. When Patrick John Casey, was President of the League of Ireland in 1932 he made the land available to the local club, on a long lease, for use as their home ground. The club later added to the property and greatly improved the venue.

Who was known locally as the 'Soccer Saint'?

Joseph (Joey) Donnelly (1909-1992), who was one of the best soccer footballers to play for his local club and country, was born in Mary Street, South, and lived later in McSwiney Street.
He was well known to Dundalk folk when he traded as a green grocer opposite St. Nicholas Church for over half a century until his death on 'Leap Day', February 29. 1992.
It was of sadness to many in Dundalk that his daughter Marie, wife of the late Jim Corcoran, St. Alphonsus Road, passed away on May 10. She occasionally served in this shop and was as much loved as her illustrious father.

What was Dundalk's connection with the pirate radio ship 'Radio Caroline'?

According to a report in the 'Dundalk Democrat' in March 1993, when the famous 'pirate radio' went off air for the first time on Sunday March 3, 1963, she was being supplied by a Dutch tender 'Offshore 3' which called regularly at Dundalk Port to collect supplies for the vessel anchored somewhere in the English Channel.
The vessel had been damaged in a storm and had to be towed to Amsterdam for re-fitting and came on air again in the following year. Three different vessels were used to broadcast 'Radio Caroline' over many years and many who worked on them may have been originally from Dundalk.

What was the 'Railway Protection Corps' of the Irish Army?

This was a unit of the Irish National Army which was formed in August 1922 to repair railway tracks and bridges that had been attacked by the Anti-Treaty forces during the Civil War.
The chief recruitment was in Dublin but their headquarters in this region was in Drogheda where their main duty was to protect the Boyne Viaduct. Many men who worked in the G.N.R. (I) Locomotive Works at Ardee Road, may have joined this Corps, remained in the Defence Forces and rose through the ranks.

Questions for next week:

Who in legend was 'Sétanta'?

Who in the Tain legend owned the famous 'Brown Bull of Cooley'?

Where in Dundalk was the 'Stella Factory' and what was made there?

What in old Dundalk was known as 'The Horse Tide'?

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