Old Fairways building bites the dust

End of an era

Old Fairways building bites the dust
Gene Yore gene.yore@dundalkdemocrat.ie @dundalkdemocrat

The original Fairways Hotel building, built in the 1960s, was demolished last week.

The famous hotel closed its doors on 5 January 2015. Now, the original building, so modern in its day, has crumbled to dust.

When The Fairways was built we weren't even in the European Union, or the Common Market as it was then, so Brexit wasn't a problem.

Neither was buying a house. A good house cost about €600 and Enda Kelly, who had just built the new look Oriel Park, was building plenty of them.

Alan Fox was the new player-manager with Dundalk FC and he led a team that would begin the great glory days at the club.

Al the games were on Sunday afternoons then, and on Saturday nights, it was the dance at The Fairways.

This was the showband era. Dundalk was still awash with factories and jobs and you had GEC in Dunleer that employed up 1,500 sp when it came to the weekend so when the weekend came people just wanted to have some fun.

The showbands were unique to Ireland, a cross between the big band sound of the Forties and the new rock or pop group.

Brendan Bowyer and The Royal, Joe Dolan and Drifters, Dickie Rock and the Miami, all played at The Fairways, which of course, was a major wedding venue too.

Jimmy Cumiskey of Euro Antiques held an auction of Fairways memorabilia in September.

He auctioned off furniture from all 33 bedrooms in the grand old hotel.

A lot of famous people stayed in these bedrooms,according to Jimmy.

People like Charlie Haughey, wearing his €2,000 a go shirts from Paris, Joe Dolan, wearing his shirt from Mullingar, and and Dickie Rock, who probably didn't have much left of his shirt after the Saturday night dance.

They sold chandeliers, tables, windows, counters, mirrors, safes, lamps, sinks, toilet cubicles, chairs, cushions, blankets, sofas, fluorescent lights, dishwashers, pots, pans, the lot.