Ballyfermot Heritage Notes Looking for your Story of your Memories of Growing up in Ballyfermot

Ballyfermot Heritage Notes Looking for your Story of your Memories of Growing up in Ballyfermot

Thanks to Ann Hudson Lipscomb from Drumfin Avenue, Maureen Hodgins Phelan, Jenny West, Marie Quearney Haughan, Paddy Banks, Anthony O Brien, Louie Clark, Kathleen Coates Currivan, Marian Whelan McCarty, Denis Kelleher, J oe Coleman, Sharon Molloy, Peter Abbey, Ieuan Llewellyn, Frankie Carolan, Veronica Rooney, Kay Denton, Joe Gavin, Liam and Helen Keogh, Francis Daniel McDonnell, Billy Kavanagh, and Brenda Farrell for their memories.
More and more people are sending me transcripts of their memories of them growing up in Ballyfermot and where they and their family came from before Ballyfermot. These transcripts include their friends the community, the schools the Youth Clubs Football clubs that they went to and it makes great reading, so I have put this to the Ballyfermot Heritage group and we are willing to see if we can form a book from the memories. If this was to go ahead profit from this book would go to organised charities in Ballyfermot. This would also be a great local history for the area and a great benfit for the Students of Ballyfermot . If anyone has or is interested in writing up there memories please let me know. For the people that have they can send it to my e mail address


Link to the History of Ballyfermot Television…

Not By Bricks alone a Video showing Ballyfermot and Ballymun 1969 see link below

Thomas Walsh Cremona Road – De La Salle 1958 The School Around Corner t…
Ann Hudson Lipscomb from Drumfin Avenue was one of the first usherettes to work in the Gala Cinema this is her History 3/2/2014

The Gala opened up with a full staff of two senior ushers (Matty Byrne being one) and two junior ushers. There were at least 5 usherettes and two cashiers. There was a big write up and photos in the evening papers. Mr Kelly was the manager. Harry did not arrive till the mid 60s. I don’t remember him working there in my day and I left in March 1965. I saw him on the Tivoli in Francis Street. He worked there for years.

Our family moved to Drumfin Ave on the 18th April 1955. We were the second family to move in. There were no street lights and we arrived around 8 pm at night. The electric was not switched on till the next day, can you imagine carting in furniture in the dark
We did have gas, so we could boil a kettle. The dinner came from Borzas chippy on the main road. As kids we were so excited to have our own house as we had lived with our Grand Mother in Killester, which seemed like another country, it was so far away.
Memories of the Gala…there are so many. The crowd of kids for the matinees, especially at the week end. I used to love to work on the balcony, it was nice and quiet! I remember the Furey bros and their parents were regular patrons. The local Garda coming in for a smoke and hiding from the Inspector. Many the time he would come in to check and we would have to open the side exit to let them escape. We had a few concerts there too with the deeler band and show bands appearing…The Casino showband being one.
When you think of all the couples who met up there, the marriages that developed from the Gala and the Ritz ballroom
I am enclosing a couple of before and after photos, you never know maybe some one will recognise me

Maureen Hodgins Phelan 21/1/2014 Be careful what you discuss in front of the Kids

My exes sister who reared the younger kids after their mother was killed, was called into the office in his brothers school one day, and told to be careful what they discussed in front of Stewart, as when the teacher asked for their daily news, Stewart told the class that nate had put in a Police Mans car window and was in court over it….. Lal had to explain that nate worked in Auto Glaze and had to go to court to give evidence about what window was broken and where the hammer was found.

GROWING UP IN BALLYFERMOT by Jenny West 17th January 2014

Our family moved from Garden Lane, off Francis Street, to Ballyfermot early in 1955. I was two and a half years old and my twin brothers were six months old. Later that year, my Mother gave birth to another set of twins. My sister survived but my baby brother, Anthony, only lived for a day. My sister was so small that she slept in my dolls pram. It was a beautiful miniature version of a Silver Cross pram. (I was the eldest grandchild in my Dad’s family and a bit spoiled!)

We lived in Gurteen Avenue and there were very few cars so the kids had the run of the road. We played chasing, skipping, beds, relievio, marbles and swung on the lamp-posts. There was a laneway between Gurteen and Drumfin with a steep slope that was very popular with roller skaters.

The only schools in Ballyfermot when I started school in 1957 were the Dominican Convent and the De La Salle. I remember kicking up a riot on my first day because my best friend was put into a different class to me. She was five and a half and was put straight into Senior Infants. My first teacher was Miss Supple and she helped me get over my little trauma. At the end of the first year, Miss Supple decided that a girl called Muriel and I should skip Senior Infants and go straight into first class – so I got to be in my friend’s class after all.

The classes were huge. There were 52 of us and it was very rare that everyone would be present. We moved from St Gabriels to St Raphaels and had a nun teaching us for the first time – Sr Melchior. For fifth and sixth class we had a wonderful elderly teacher called Mrs Carroll. We did the Primary Certificate at the end of sixth class and as the minimum age to start work was 14, most of my classmates got jobs.

My two brothers went to school in Baggot Street. There was a bus that left every morning from the ‘clinic’ and brought them back there in the afternoon. By 1959 there was a school at the end of the road – Mary Queen of Angels. My Dad was adamant that the boys should go to the De La Salle. He didn’t think a school run by lay teachers would be disciplined enough. I remember Fr Daly calling to the house to let my parents know that he wasn’t very pleased with the arrangement.

My sister started school in St Louise’s. They were very good to her. Her teacher insisted that her hearing be tested and she was right. After she made her First Communion, she was transferred to a special class for the deaf in the Dominican.

When I finished primary school, I went on to secondary school in St Dominics. Less than 50 out of 500 who finished primary that year went on to secondary school. There were 24 in my class, but by the time we got to sixth year, there were only ten of us. Our classrooms were in the convent building. We could see the nuns underwear fluttering in the breeze from the corridor windows.

I liked studying science but the science teacher, Sr Sylvia didn’t like me very much and advised me to study french instead. Our domestic science teacher was Sr Leo and she tried hard but was sometimes a little out of touch with reality. Our geography teacher was Miss Cullen who was known as Flossie because her hair was like candy floss. Geography class usually meant one of us having to read a chapter from our text book. The chapter on igneous rock was fun. Shists was mispronounced and dear old Floss never noticed.

Shops or the lack of them!
Our closest shops were in Drumfin Park. Coyles is still there and hasn’t changed very much. Dorans is twice the size it used to be having taken over where Herlihy’s used to be. Then there was Christine’s drapery and the chipper. On the other side of the park there was the butchers, hardware and Nolan’s newsagents. Getting to the shops was so much easier when the laneway was there.

The shops I remember on the ‘main’ road were Joey’s chipper, Doyles butchers, Bolands which was also the Post Office and, of course, Dirty Aggies. There was a ballroom on the corner which later became Powers supermarket. I remember my parents going to dinner dances in the ballroom when my Dad was involved in running the Soccer Roads League.

There were no houses opposite the Gala and no shops between Grange Cross and the church roundabout. Hector Grey sold goods from a van on the waste ground beside the church on Sunday mornings.

I remember the excitement when the Elephant supermarket opened on Blackditch Road. There were no shelves. Everything was stacked in boxes.

As time went by and more shops were built, Ballyfermot was a good place to shop because there was so much competition – Quinnsworth, Gubays, Liptons (think I have the names right.)

The big Assumption church is where I made my First Communion and Confirmation. It was a scary place especially for Confirmation day. It certainly wasn’t a family occasion. Only priests and teachers were allowed into the church (and the bishop) and the doors were locked. It was terrifying hoping the bishop would not ask you a catechism question. I was only 9 because in those days you had your Confirmation in fourth class.

There were so many priests then and so many masses and they were always packed. I remember particularly the childrens’ service on Holy Thursdays. Fr Daly would be in the pulpit roaring at all the kids. It was a very unreligious experience. The altar was enclosed and the priest said Mass with his back to the congregation. Mass was in latin and participation was minimal. In St Dominics, we spent the first few weeks of a new year learning all the latin hymns so that we would sing at the closing of the forty hours adoration.

Back then, the Dominican nuns were not allowed to leave the school grounds. If a class taught by a nun had to go to a church ceremony then one of the lay teachers would have to supervise them. The Sisters of Charity were a different matter. I remember being terrified of Sr Colmcill in her big white bonnet. It didn’t seem to matter that you didn’t go to her school, she knew who you were anyway.

Canon Troy was another larger than life figure. He wasn’t too fond of St Dominics and its pupils. Flossie definitely didn’t like him because he once reversed into her car. We also wore the wrong coloured uniforms. He was a Kerryman and preferred the green and gold of Caritas College.

Before St Matthew’s church was built, we used to go to Mass in St Louise’s school. It was a bit odd! I still think of St Matthew’s as the new church even though it is about forty years old. My son was christened there and my daughter had her First Communion and Confirmation there. They were definitely more family oriented ceremonies than mine were.

Miscellaneous Memories
•Harry packing us in two to a seat in the Gala. At 9d each, it cost three shillings for my brothers, sister and I to go to the cinema. There was a matinee organised once a year by the church/schools. It was always a holy film!

•Travelling to work in Ballsbridge on the new 18 bus at a cost of 1s 5d.

•Visiting my cousin in Dr Steeven’s Hospital in what was known as the ‘Honda’ ward because so many of the patients had been involved in motorcycle accidents.

•Going to Irish dancing classes in a hall at the back of Bolands. The dance school dresses were red.

•Walking through fields to visit relations in Bluebell when Kylemore Road ended at the railway.

Memories of Marie Quearney Haughan 11th January 2014

Our dad was Irish and our mam Scottish. They met while dad was working in Scotland. Mam always said the reason we moved to Ireland was all the young folk left our small village to live Glasgow or London where there was more life.
Dad knew Jim Larkin and he got us our house on Kylemore Rd. With four small kids we headed by train first to Aberdeen then Glasgow where we got the Boat to the North Wall. Would have taken almost 2 days. From the day we moved my parents loved Ballyfermot. Mam took great pride in saying to people we met. " we’ve lived in Ballyfermot 48 years and never had the any problems and we have great neighbours. I had a very happy childhood went to a The Dominican Convent school. Had the same nun for 6 years while she was strict she was a brilliant teacher. In those days there was lots of unemployment big classes not all children had school books. But every child had to work no excuses for not doing your homework you did it or at least you had to attempt it. Which I think speaks volumes. As you got older 14/15 you had the club which was run by the nuns and lay people in the school from 7pm – 9pm . It was great we were taught Ballroom dancing, drama, games, ect. We made best friends forever in the Club. Your parents knew you were safe there three nights a week. At 16/17 years we got into football. Mrs Wogan (Wogie) was her nickname started the team named "Sinners United" twenty of us girls trained Tuesdays and Thursday hail rain or snow. We had the Privilege to know Kevin Blount RIP who trained us. A gentleman. Most of us never drank alcohol we weren’t interested in it. Most of us met our husbands through the football. We still keep in contact with each other a couple of times a year. Some of the girls are in Canada, Switzerland, Wales, Australia, and London. If one is home we get together and chat all night long. This is just a short version of life for me in Ballyfermot lovely memories.

Memories from Paddy Banks 11th January 2014

Early 60s Ken, we would have been 12 /13, meeting at Casey’s wall top of Ballyfermot Road, near to Cassells shop, start of the road that leads to Cherryorchard Hospital, we would go into Cassells shop buy some stuff from Marie, I am sure that was her name, she would have been the sister of the triplets on the ballyfermot road, she or Mrs Cassells would serve you lovely people. we would then proceed to walk to the Canal for our swim which brought us up by Corrigans farm and the site now of the prison, on up by the old village on the left which was about 300 yards from the railway bridge, they were great Days , and great friends, Mattie Egan Paddy Casey, Ronnie Reilly (RIP) Cecil Johnson, Paddy Walsh, to name a few.A time lost but not forgotten

Memories from Anthony O Brien 5th January 2014
Gone for Ever
2014 in Ballyfermot as we knew, whats Gone for Ever……..Bolands Gone, 7 days shop Gone, Two Stew Houses Gone, Ritz Gone, Cannon Troy Gone, Elephant Supermarket Gone, Dirty Aggies Gone, Ploughmans Shop Gone, Roundabout on Main Road Gone, Coal Man Gone, Semprit Gone, Grave Yard Gone, Dump Gone, 7 Oaks Gone, Baldy Delaneys Shop Gone, Priest Houses beside Chapel Gone. Lido Gone, Liptons Gone, Glass Road Gone, Lynches lane Gone, Colly Van Kylemore Road, Charlie Selling His Sweets Kylemore Road……CANT THINK OF ANY MORE, CAN WE KEEP BRAINSTORMING AND LIST A FEW MORE

Brenda Farrell remembering Christmas Past 14th December 2013
Sitting here remembering Christmas long ago when we were innocent and so so young. All of us having a bath one after the other then into ours pj’s maybe watching a Christmas movie on TV. Ma would be in the kitchen cooking the turkey and ham that she had been paying off for the last six months in the butchers. The Christmas club they called it. Jesus they had it hard our ma and da’s trying to get Santa for six of us and all the rest. New clothes and extra food goodies and Santa. Looking back now I understand how hard it was and the Christmases we got very little. But every Christmas was special and we as children never knew how they done it. But that’s the way it was suppose to be. They made it magical. Just like to say a big thank you ma and da. I wish you were still here with us hugs and kisses to you both in heaven. Love you always. Breda

Louie Clarke memories 17th October 2013

Born Galtymore Drive Drimnagh moved to Ballyer age five new house Spiddal Road remember it like yesterday the roads were only getting laid then, used to sit in the park with the night watchman big coke fire Mary’s Youth Club, the Backers where the farmer grew his wheat. The Gala on Saturdays, Pathe News, Batman and Robin. Sundays spent down the lawns watching football. Aggies Shop couple of loose fags and a match then queue for the pics sunday night. the Stew House and the Turf Shed where we took our voucher for turf in winter time, and the old dump. Reading the e-mails brings it all back.,I’ve not lived there for many years although my family still do to this day in the same house, the names yourself, Phil Coleman. The Carneys on Spiddal they use to sell logs for the fire had a horse and cart. Eddie and Finbar Fury on Cladagh they used to keep there horse jampots in the garden, Larry the slop man and who can forget the queue on Fridays for Mario’s the chipper. Hector grey outside the church, the De La Salle School happy days. A couple of girls I use to hang out with Kathleen McCann and Margaret Donnelly I would love to hear from them if they are still around, does anyone remember the circus by the Gala I think it use to be on the ground were they built Nalty’s.

Louie Clark

Kathleen Coates Currivan 13th September 2013

Hi Ken what we always called Killeen House was the house occupied by the manager of the paper mill.When we were small kids in the 50’s a Mr Montfort was manager and he had two daughters.. The main entrance to the mill was at the junction of Killen Rd .and the New Nangor, where Toyota is now and that was how you got into the house too. It was up behind the mill. You could see the house from Knockmitten Lane but you had to cross Cassells stream to get into it that way. There was a pitch and putt in front of it later on. It’s kind of hard to get your bearings there now, but somewhere around got into the house too. It was up behind the mill. You could see the house from Knockmitten Lane but you had to cross Cassells stream to get into it that way. There was a pitch and putt in front of it later on.It’s kind of hard to get your bearings there now, but somewhere around Diageo. A beautiful
house! The Cunningham’s were the last people that I knew of who lived in it.
Brian Cunningham came up from Waterford to manage IPP Products on the Naas Rd. but of course that burned to the ground in a colossal blaze in’ 69.We lost contact with them after that.

Kathleen Coates Currivan

LIKE A SOLDIER COMING HOME FROM THE WAR. Poem By Denis Kelleher 3rd September 2013

Like a soldier, coming home from the war.
we kids stood watch on our imaginary shore.
ballyfermot kids, playing in the California hills.
running wild running free, waiting for da, before our tea.

and we didn’t have no watch, we didn’t have no clock.
we knew when it was home time , our belly’s made us stop.
or when buffalo bill rode by, cause mammy called him home for tea.
or smoke signals from chimney stacks, in the sky we could see.

meanwhile John Wayne chased Annie Oakley, with the promise of a kiss.
and Tonto was giving the Lone Ranger, a pasting with his fist.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, were giggling in the bushes.
and girls with dirty knickers, were trying to hide their innocent blushes.

and, on the armchair run, boys and girls were having fun.
with old bits of lino or cardboard, beneath their bums.
daredevils one and all, under the ballyfermot sun.
ballyer kids with nothing, playing, having lots of fun.

like a soldier coming home, from the war.
we kids stood watch , on our imaginary shore.
as he disembarked below us, we let out a cheer.
and ran to him, like the wind ,just as the day before .

we were ballyfermot kids, in the California hills.
running wild running free, waiting for our da ,before our tea.
ballyfermot kids, with nothing but holes in our shoes and pants.
running wild running free, as we danced our childhood dance

Copyright. Denis Kelleher. 3rd September 2013

MEMORIES OF BALLYFERMOT – Poem by Joe Coleman 1995

It was summer time in ’54, well that’s what I was told.
I don’t remember very much, I was just six weeks old.
We moved into our new house, with rooms three up and down.
It was Spiddal Park, number two, four miles from Dublin town.

The first few years passed very quickly and I was nearly four.
Our neighbours came from Cabra, and Keogh Square in Inchicore.
New shops were built on Claddagh Green, a total lot of eight.
Ruane’s sweet shop, the veggi and Mario’s who always opened late.

I remember the penny snow cakes and the two penny chalk racing cars.
The yellow chicks from the ragman, for some old clothes and jar.
I remember the dolly mixtures and the penny lucky lumps.
The halfpenny cleeves, and the nancy balls you were sure to come up trumps.

A penny worth of broken rock, or a bag of hot fish crumbs
No matter what we got or had we shared it with our chums.
Those were the days when I was young, I’ll remember them forever.
But it is sad today when I look back, we’ve all changed like the weather.

I remember going to school and paying for the drill.
A penny for the black babies, I often wonder still.
I remember Fr Daly and dear old Canon Troy.
They would put the fear of God in you, when I was just a boy.

I remember Ballyfermot when I was just thirteen,
and joining Mary’s youth club across the road on Claddagh Green.
I remember all the fun we had and all the games we’d play.
Fair play to Mary’s Youth Club. It’s still going strong today.
I remember playing marbles and the gullies in the shore,
And this is the house that Jack built, you don’t see that anymore.
For those of you who do not know, it’s proper name was jackers,
and when we’d finished playing the game, we’d end up out the backers,

and backers was our favourite spot, we’d play there all day long.
Today you see it’s all built up and all our fields are gone.
If the kids today would learn to play like us in days gone by,
They would be proud to walk our streets, and hold their heads up high.

I remember Ballyfermot and the old games we use to play
Kick the can, spin the bottle, knock on doors and run away.
There were no such thing as skate boards, when I was very small.
We’d play hide and seek, and blinds man’s buff, and over the garden wall.

I remember the wooden bridge where we’d sit and watch the trains,
and the fields were full of flowers, and the girls making daisy chains,
And the boys would all be in the swamps, and they’d be catching frogs,
And the bigger lads were with their dads, and they be cutting logs.

I remember Ballyfermot and the stories we were told.
Of banshees and headless horsemen in bygone days of old.
I remember Lynche’s Lane and Chapelizod down below,
And the pick-a-rooney special to the tip head we would go.

We did not have much money then, we all had empty pockets,
But we got by, I’ll tell you why, we all had Frawley’s dockets.
I remember Ballyfermot and me in my late teens.
I could get a sub in Tim Young’s pub and a pint in Billy Dean’s.

I remember Ballyfermot and Moycullen’s old tin hall.
It was over at the terminus, beside the backers wall,
and Spiddal Park was just a field and covered with green grass.
But today you see, believe you me, that too has come to pass.

I remember Ballyfermot and the California hills,
We’d go there every Sunday for all our spills and thrills.
I remember Ballyfermot and I remember Parker’s farm,
And I remember poor Ned Marlow, sure he did no one any harm.

and Downey’s pub, the holy hour you’d be locked up safe inside,
And Bannon’s on the 7th lock, well that was bonafide,
And Nalty’s with the swinging door, two of them I think.
There Ned went in one day on his horse to have a drink.

I remember the stew house where the Nuns gave out the dinners.
The bigger the pot, the more you got, you be sure to be a winner.
I remember dirty Aggies and the stuff she use to sell
Lose cigarettes and gur cake, I remember it so well.

I remember John Stonehouse and the church in Markievicz Park.
I remember the Pump on Blackditch Drive and road it was so dark.
Played conkers in the autumn, and dressed up on Halloween,
And so Christmas Eve at half past eight, no children could be seen.
For we were all put up to bed, and we’d think about our treats.
And on Christmas morning when we’d wake up, our socks were filled with sweets.

I remember Ballyfermot and the days that passed us by.
Noely on the buses – sure he was one nice guy,
And big Harry in the Gala, he’d stand right out at the door.
Larry the waste man, with his horse and cart, you see him no more.

Where I live now I used to play and it was really a trill
My friends have gone, new houses there, they call it Cloverhill.
I remember Ballyfermot and the way it use to be.
We had Cherry Orchard’s apples and they would all be free.

It’s not so long when I look back, when I was very small.
I remember walking through the fields and the trees were very tall.
I recall another member of the graveyard in the Lawn.
We’d sit there and reminisce, but now that too is gone.

I remember Ballyfermot and our hall the B.C.A.
President Childers and his good wife came to visit us one day.
I remember all the songs we sang, and all the nursery rhymes’
I do remember Ballyer in the rare old times.

I remember when the gas man called and we’d all run and hide.
For fear he’d find what we all knew, there was nothing there inside.
It was only a saving box you see’ for saving up some cash,
And when he’d gone we’d creep out slow for our bangers and mash.

I remember Ballyfermot, the neighbours really cared.
If could be down but never out, the neighbours always shared.
They would split a loaf of bread with you and say “you never mind”
That’s the way the neighbours were, it was a pleasure to be kind.

You see I’m 40 years in Ballyer and I love this wonderful scheme.
I’m only half way down the road, but I hold on to my dream.
God Bless you Ballyfermot and all her children here within,
And try not to change it anymore, cos that would be a sin.
Tell your kids the stories of the bygone days of past,
And tell them all about our days to make the memories last.

“I remember Ballyfermot and I just know I always will”

GROWING UP IN BALLYER – Song and Poem Ken Larkin 2001

I remember waiting that day for the Lorry to pull up.
We had our Furniture ready just to load up.
We were moving to a housing estate the year was ’55.
My Mother, Sister and myself our whole lives were to come alive.

We loaded our Furniture the bit that we had and we pulled away
from Buckingham street indeed I was not sad.
The new adventure was starting we did not know it yet.
As the lorry roared towards Ballyer and the night was very wet.

The lorry turned off Ballyfermot Road and on to the Drive.
I was guessing as to what house that we would all reside.
Then we stopped outside this house with 2 rooms up and down
Number 33 was on the door and it seemed miles from Dublin town.

We started in the local school and the games we began to play
Were Conkers, Marbles, Skipping and Piggy these games are
replaced with Computer today.
Our Communion and Confirmation came along and our
parents did us proud and we were dressed in our Sunday best
as we went out on the Town.

So we moved on to Mount La Salle this was the school to be in
The brothers and the teachers taught us all how to win.
They taught us gaelic and hurling and we played it after school.
They did not let us play soccer because they did not know the rules.

Then we did our primary cert, as we had to leave that school and
so we had to move on to the college or tech to start another renewal.
We moved into St John’s and had to buckle down.
As our teachers told us this was the best college in town.
We had to go in on a Saturday morning to Focus for our Inter.
We worked hard that September but lost heart by the winter.

I remember the Stew house where the Nuns gave out the meals.
Sometimes we would go there to buy the penny deals.
I remember the youth Clubs in Ballyer and Mount Olivet too
where I have many happy memories
of all that passed through.

I remember the Ballad sessions we had on a Saturday night.
When all the young people carrying guitars, would
assemble through the night.
Ballads would be sung Poems would be recited and all
the members remained very united.
Mount Olivet football club is where we played the Soccer.
We met and trained and played the game and we
were there for each other.
Hardy’s was the venue where tactics were discussed.
Plans and dreams were made there.
But often we fouled up.

Saturday was the Gala day where we spent our turf money.
We would head to dirty Aggie to buy our cleaves and goodies
And when we would get to the Gala door big Harry would
greet us with a roar.
Saying, “If you mess I will be here and you will get in no more”

As I drive through Ballyer and the memories come flooding back
I think of all the bygone days the lads and all the craic.
I try to tell my kids of the days that have gone past
So they can pass it on to make the memories last.

Sharon Molloy Ballyfermot Crescent 26th August 2013

when I left Ballyfermot to live in country I was ashamed to say I was from Ballyfermot, because I used to hear people say Ballyfermot oh that’s the place where they eat their young, so I used to keep my mouth shut, dident want them to look down on my children. but finding this page has given me the courage to say , I was raised in Ballyfermot, and had a brill childhood there, that may come as a shock , but I have meet many people from Ballyfermot who felt the same. I feel ashamed of myself now for denying my roots.

Billy Kavanagh

Do you all remember going up to the Gala on a Saturday afternoon, getting pushed into the crowd with Harry the Hippo’s belly, all in line for the Hammer Horror movies with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing? Wow! Boy did we hate Christopher Lee, he was one proper Bollix. And then we’d go home and could not go to sleep in fear of Dracula coming through the window or even hiding under our bed? And if they had so stupid movie with Tommy Steele or Cliff Richard, then we’d all pull up the seats and bang on th ewooden backs and make noise while Harry and the ushers would run and down the aisles trying to stop the commotion. It was the best entertainment to be had for a shilling. Oh lets go down memory lane…………………………….

Frankie Carolin Memories

We moved to Ballyfermot in 1950, from camden street, there was a cavendish furniture shop in grafton street, so loads of mothers got new furniture from there on the never never for their new houses in ballyfermot, when we all settled in, ballyfermot crescent, cavendishs sent a poor unfortunate man on a bike out to collect the money owed on the furniture. well the poor man had as much chance of collecting money from those who had none as the vatican had of electing me as pope. i at 10 year old was sitting listening to school around the corner, a knock at the door, me ma who i always thought had xray eyes, said frankie thats the b"""""cks from cavendishes, go and tell him im not in. so i opened the door, and thinking im great, as all of us chisselers did then say the words that would make me the butt of all jokes for ever, me mammy told me to tell you shes not in,

Veronica Rooney Memories

We moved there in 1956 from parkgate street..remember my mother getting furniture there too and sloans

Kay Dentons Memories

We first moved to ballyfermot in 51 i was 3 we had to walk from caple st behind a horse and cart to 150 b/fermot drive mammy used to cut up lino in the shape of shillings for the gas meter .we had real neighbours then all looked out for each other mammy would send us to the pawn with dads suit and get it out on saturday our furniture came from drages in grafton we had to go in every week to pay we always remember mr doyle next door he had a row he ran down the road in just his shirt i ran in to tell my mammy he was running down the road with his guts hanging out we moved to 439 ballyfermot rd

Joe Gavin

Was born in Ballyfermot in October 1955, just five months after the Gala opened. My family left Ballyfermot when I was about 10 yrs old and I have not lived in Dublin for over
40 yrs.Reading the above article on the Gala brought fond memories flooding back. Every Saturday myself and my siblings were dispatched to the afternoon matinee in the Gala regardless of what film was showing. Looking back I think Saturday afternoons were seen as " Alone " time by my parents. We like most of the other Inhabitants of Ballier, had very little money, but every Saturday we were sent to the Gala, hail, rain or snow. We eventually had a family 13.I remember very well Harry the Hippo. He was a very portly man but he cut a fine swagger in His uniform and was a figure of authority to the hundreds of young boys and girls who formed a long, impatient line outside the Cinema. Harry would parade up and down the line , keeping everyone in check. If you were unfortunate enough to be caught "Messing " by Harry, He would catch you by the ear, and would remove you from your place in the line and frog march you to the very back, where he would place you before removing his hold on you ear. Writing this few lines has brought even more memories of Ballyfermot flooding back in my mind. I think I will just lie back for a while and let them flow freely.

Joseph Gavin

My Parents moved to Ballyfermot c. 1955. They were the first tenants at 12 Gurteen Park, which was then the newly built part of Ballyfermot. My Parents had married in 1950 in Crumlin, where both of their Parents lived. When they moved to Gurteen Park they already had three children, who had been born in Crumlin. I was the fourth child and I was born in the front bedroom of 12 Gurteen Park. I was delivered by the family GP, Dr O’Rourke who had his surgery on the first floor of a building , which was over a shop at the opposite end of the block from the Gala. I don’t remember the name of the shop, but there was a lane way beside it and the second shop on the far side of the lane way was " Dirty Aggi’s ".Two more of my sibling’s were born in Gurteen Park, after me before we moved to Cloigeen Rd. Just as a matter of interest, my Parent’s moving to Ballyfermot was a continuation of the clearing out of the Tenaments and general conditions of squalor in the City centre. My Fathers family had lived in ship street and my Mothers family were from Bow Lane – Jame’s street. Both families had been rehoused , I think in the 1940s in the new suberbs of Kimmage and Crumlin.

Gala Cinema Link

Recorded Interview with Liam Keogh on Friday the 30th November 2012 Copy of recording with Ballyfermot Library. By Liam Keogh, aged 91 years

It was in the mid 1920’s that I first became aware of the annual Lourdes Pilgrimage to Lourdes, organised by the Oblate of Mary Immaculate Fathers in Inchicore.

This was a time before air travel was available so the journey to Lourdes was a long tedious one. It entailed a bus transfer from Inchicore to Dun Laoghaire, a boat trip to Holyhead, a five hour train journey to a seaport in the south of England, another sea crossing to France and finally another train journey through France to Lourdes which is situated at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains in the south of France.

The Oblate Pilgrimage began with an early Mass in the Church of Mary Immaculate Inchicore which was attended by the Pilgrims and others who came to wish them bon voyage. There was great excitement as the travellers boarded the special buses to bring them to Dun Laoghaire.

It was mainly the more affluent people who could afford the cost of the pilgrimage.

Fr. Sweeney (from the Donegal gaeltacht), the Superior of the Oblate Fathers would lead the Pilgrimage. He had a great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes and was appointed a Canon of Lourdes by the Pope.

Fr. Sweeney was a very idealistic man and he came up with the idea of erecting an exact replica of the Lourdes Grotto in the church grounds in Inchicore as it would create some of the atmosphere of Lourdes for people who could not afford to go on Pilgrimages. He sent Brother McIntyre (a lay Oblate Brother, who was an architect) to make sketches and take measurements of the Grotto in Lourdes and, on his return, he started on the project.

Fr. Sweeney was a wonderful orator and a preacher and he made just one appear from the pulpit. He had a plan to organise a scroll containing the name of every family member whose family had subscribed five shillings to the fund and this scroll would be placed in a metal box and cemented into the nitch under the feet of the Statue of the Virgin Mary.

The labour for the building of the Grotto was provided free. The tradesmen and general workers from the Great Southern Railway Works Inchicore came after finishing their day’s work at 5.15 pm would arrive at the building site with their shovels, spades, wheel barrows and tools of the trades at 6.00 pm and work until it got dark.

A metal structure was erected and this was covered by coloured cement which looked like stone and this was moulded into the exact contours of the Lourdes Grotto. After the building was completed, Father Sweeney made arrangements to have chiming bells cast. These bells were installed in the church and would ring out every fifteen minutes and every hour would ring out a verse of the Lourdes Ave Maria. The bells were installed just in time for the Eucharistic Congress of 1932. Later the statue of the Crowned Virgin was erected. Fr. Sweeney made an appeal for unwanted gold and jewellery to be melted down and made into the Crown for the Head of the Statue. This statue is at the entrance to the Grotto Square.

Every year, a Novena to our Lady of Lourdes is held between 2nd February and 11th February. There is early Mass in the morning, rosary, a sermon and benediction at 8.00 pm and the Novena concludes on February 11th with a torchlight procession.
The 11th February is the anniversary of the first apparition in Lourdes.

On one occasion during the 1940’s Fr. Sweeney organises a perpetual Rosary to be recited in front of the Grotto. This continued non-stop night and day for nine days and concluded with a Sermon by Father Sweeney, which was broadcast by Radio Eireann to the Nation. Work was slack in the Inchicore works and workers were on a three day week. He was praying for more work for the men. The day after the nine days Rosary was finished, the Inchicore Works received a huge order for new carriages and trains to be built and all the men were back working full time. They had overtime for months afterwards.

A wooden gazebo was erected to protect the volunteers who took it in turns to lead the prayers.

This is only from my memory as I remember the times.

.See website Link

Thanks to Francis Daniel McDonnell for her Memory

Those were the days….
Upstairs on the 78, the smell of Tayto and chewing gum, windows fogged up and sitting in a Fog of cigarette smoke.
The 18 bus to sandymount strand for Sunburn and SANDwiches.
A walk in the country. . . Up past the bungalow and cherry orchard hospital, out past the farm picking blackberries.
Fasting for communion for mass before school during lent.
Fizz bags and cream pies from dirty aggies
The backers.
. . . .on and on

A walk in the country.. . . . Up past the bungalow

Thanks to Brenda Farrell for her Memory.

God I remember the stew house. There was many a family fed there. If you brought old news papers you would get current cake to bring home. I hated going. But bellys had to be fed. All our neighbours used it at one time or another. Back then you could not afford to be proud. Hand me down clothes from one child to another. School books from one sister to another. Playing skipping Red Rover. Rounder’s. Hide and seek. All the old games out on your road till all hours of the night in summer. There was no fear of a car running you down. Or mad men running off with you. Everyone looked out for everyone. One mammy was everyone’s mammy. If you fell down two or three mummy’s ran to pick you up. If there was a fight all mummy’s stopped it. No such thing as your child’s fault everyone got a wollapp Ha ha we are all the better for being born in Ballyer. I have to say I’m very proud to be a Ballyer girl. Even if I live in Australia now. I will always have my memories.

Posted by Ballyfermot & St Marks Heritage Photos, Ken Larkin on 2013-10-15 15:56:19

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