Abbey Street Businesses revisited.

 In History

Recently this columnist wrote an account of the businesses in Abbey Street and Joe Langan of the Men’s Shed in Ballina spoke to me about it and he offered to give me a fuller account of the many businesses that were in Ardnaree during his childhood in the 1950’s.  What passed was a delightful morning in his company in the men’s shed in Teeling Street where he recounted the many businesses – 40 in all – that were in the Abbey Street and Healy Terraces areas of Ardnaree including Bunree Road. Joe walked to school each day through Ardnaree on his way to primary school in Convent Hill and he recalled passing each shop en route. 

He also told me that there were two fairs in Ardnaree June and December and they would bring huge crowds to the town.  This did much to boost the commercial life of the hill of Ardnaree. He also told me that Jimmy Ralph’s shop was originally in Bunree Road and then he later moved it around the corner onto Abbey Street the shop was located close to where Heffernan’s supermarket is today. 

Later the post office would move across the road to the private home of the Glacken family and now with the fact of history repeating itself, the Post Office has moved back to its original place.  The fact that Hannicks had an ice cream parlor was novel for its time and it proved popular with people of all ages but the young especially. 

There was a garage there too indeed every type of business that one would find in a small town.  Of course the reader may be interested to know that Ardnaree was a separate and older town from Ballina and the town was located in Co. Sligo until the Local Government Act of 1898 and then it was included in the County Mayo in 1900 and has been there ever since.  This means that the Catholic Church was located in Co. Sligo before 1900 and the ancient Abbey that gave the street its name was there too and there was a constabulary barracks there also. 

Also the original pre- St. Muredach’s college was on Abbey Street. The present site was not open until 1906.  There were four Hackneys in the town in the 1950’s also among them you had Mick Lynn and Bill Kearney.  John Barry had a forge and was a blacksmith in an era when people still used the horse and plough and other machinery for farm work.  Ardnaree along with Ballina was a popular shopping spot with the country people from the surrounding areas.  This writer hopes that this is a considerable improvement on the recent article and that you enjoy this trip down memory lane for the older reader and that this will prove educational and interesting for the younger reader.

The following is a list of businesses that were Ardnaree between 1950 and 1960: 

Martin Loftus Barber

  • West’s Hardware                                                  
  • John Tom McAndrew
  • Dodd’s Abattoir                                                    
  • Mixer Crean
  • Campbell’s butchers                                                
  • John Forde
  • Eileen Molloy                                                        
  • Joe Fox
  • Durcan’s Second-hand clothes shop                    
  • Michael Garrett
  • Andy Forde
  • John Holleran’s Trailers                                        
  • Gaughan’s later Smiths
  • Finlan’s                                                                   
  • Charlie Gilmartin
  • Kennedy Public house                                          
  • Luke Dodd
  • Tuffy’s                                                                    
  • M.T.Durcan later Barrys
  • Mrs. Ruddy’s Private school                                  
  • Anthony Melody Undertaker
  • Mr’s Lavelle Nee Lynch                                         
  • Moll Roche
  • Josh Jennings                                                        
  • John Barry Blacksmith
  • Nina Roche                                                            
  • Murphy’s Drapery
  • M. Ferguson Tailor                                                 
  • Bill Kearney
  • Sean Carroll                                                            
  • Molloy’s Hardware
  • Marley’s shop                                                         
  • Munnelly’s Shop
  • Michael Lynn Hackney                                           
  • Hannicks Ice Cream Parlour
  • Martin Loftus Barber
  • Phil Kilgallon’s Shop                                               
  • Hannicks Merchants
  • Denis Gilmartin garage
  • Cannings Post Office
  • McNanamons Rubber plant
  • Murphy’s Store
  • Jimmy Ralph shop
  • Judges sold Garveys Bread

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