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13 Aug 2022

Trip Through Time: Where was the Dundalk Charter School?

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

Trip Through Time: Where was the Dundalk Charter School?

Answers to last week's questions:


Where was Dundalks's 'Gallows Hill'?

This is an old Dundalk name that is not much used today but in the middle of the last century most Dundalk people regarded it as being the County Jail at the Cresent where the Garda Station was established in 1946. However, the name is much older than the Jail, built in 1853. It is mentioned in a scetch map of the Town from the middle of the eighteenthed century as the site of a row of cottages. Ordinance Survey maps would seem to indicated that it was located further up the Carrick Road, about opposite the front gate of Clarke Railway Station.

Where was the Dundalk Charter School?


This was one of Dundalk earliest educational institutions, founded 1726 by Lady Anne Hamilton (nee Mordaunt), mother of Viscount Limerick who re-built Dundalk in the 1740s. The school was one of the institutions from which Dundalk Grammar School evolved. Originally it was located in a building at the Park St. end of Anne St. which was to become the R.I.C. police headquarters for County Louth in the 1850s and the main barracks for the Civic Guards (Garda Síochána) in 1922.

When Was Dundalk's first Technical School established?


This was opened in 1907 in the red brick building at Chapel Street which faces towards St. Leonard's Gardens. It was established to provide for the Town's industrial training needs under the terms of the Education Act of 1876. It was taken over by the Irish State and extended to a new building across the road in 1937. It moved to become Ó Fiaich College, off Hoey Lane, in the 1960s.

When were Dundalk's first traffic lights installed?


Traffic lights in Dundalk were not as old as many Dundalk people might think. They were first installed at the junction of Dublin Street and Park Street and at the Market Square in 1971. Those lights were switched on at the beginning of September of that year. I have a vague recollection of a set of manual signs at the Market Square Crossing in about 1940 when this was the busiest junction in the centre of Dundalk but may have been mistaken as this crossing was controlled by a Garda on point-duty about three times a day on week-days at this period!


Questions for next week:

When were cherry trees planted in Ard Easmuinn and why were they later removed?

When was the first big extension of St. Mary's College?

What and where in old Dundalk was known as 'The China Bridge'?

What happened in 1946 to change the shape of Dundalk?

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