FOR decades it provided employment for the people of Dundalk. Today it still does but the PJ Carroll’s building is no longer just a place of work.
As Dundalk IT’s new home for their School of Infomatics and Creative Arts, one of the area’s most iconic buildings is providing not only this area but the country as a whole with future potential.
Its official opening by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen on Friday allowed people from all walks of life to see it in all its splendor, including many of those who plied their trade there when it was a cigarette factory.
While Friday was about looking forward after a e38 million investment, sometimes it is nice to look back too and there was more than a few people reminscing about times gone by in Dundalk IT on Friday.
Amongst those were two members of the Carroll family, brothers Patrick and Charles Carroll.
Both plied their trade in Dundalk while the latter still lives in the locality with the brothers describing it as a “very proud day” to see their iconic old building looking so well and being put to such good use. Patrick Carroll told The Dundalk Democrat: “It’s very impressive. I think it’s just fantastic.
“We’ve some fantastic memories of the old place and it’s good to see that it’s going to good use now.
“This is a very proud day for us.”
As he made his way through what used to be the old pipe factory, another man looking back on times gone by was former PJ Carroll’s managing director Jim Murphy, whose nephew Liam is currently on the staff at DkIT.
Speaking about his feelings on the redesigned building, Mr Murphy – well known for his History of Dundalk FC book – said: “It’s great to see the job they’ve done with it.
“A lot of that is down to Ronnie Tallon who was the original architect of the building.
“There’s a lot here who were involved in the old Carroll’s including people who went before me like Joe McKinley,” he said.