20 Jan 2022

Kildare memory lane: The way we used to shop in Newbridge

June Fest project yields some interesting stories form the past

Kildare memory lane: The way we used to shop in Newbridge

The famous Eddie O'Connor's Newsagents on Main Street was described as “a treasure trove of a general store with toys, sweets, newspapers, foodstuffs.” Photo: Ken McMahon

The ongoing June Fest local history project in conjunction with the Newbridge Down Memory Lane online forum and the Leinster Leader has thrown up images and memories of where locals used to get their weekly groceries.

Long before Aldi and Lidl, the place to go was Eddie O’Connor’s grocery shop on the Main Street or Malone’s butcher shop on Charlotte Street.

O’Connor's shop

Eddie O’Connor’s shop is roughly where Ladbrokes, Steve’s Daybreak and Kings Park Takeaway is today.

Bernadette Nolan recalled: “The Chinese restaurant was Moran’s shop first followed by O’Brien’s where they fixed TVs and bicycles (Ray O’Brien’s father).

“The Daybreak shop was Eddie’s — a treasure trove of a general store with toys, sweets, newspapers, foodstuffs. Great shop.

“Beside that was Kearns’ shop — sweets and more sweets and an ice-cream. We bought our Hallowe’en masks there too!”

Lynn Holden said: “My mother Phil Holden was born in the shop which is now Daybreak.

“My grandfather Mex Murphy and grandmother had a shop there and sold it to Eddie Ó Connor around 1952 and they then moved to Eyre Street where they opened the Lilywhite Laundry.”

Tom Malone's butcher shop on Charlotte Street, Newbridge

Tom Malone’s

Tom Malone’s butcher shop is where Best for Men barbers and Delicious café is now on Charlotte Street.

Pa Kearney recalled: “At the rear they had their own slaughterhouse, where we would go after school and watch Bud Kelly slaughter and salt the animals.

“Strange pastime when I think of it now!”

Lisa O’Malley said: “Trailers were reversed into the side gate on Eyre Street and let the sheep in.

“A while later blood would be washed out.

“I’m pretty sure sheep escaped out the front door one day too and went for a rundown Charlotte Street!”

The current Old Chartbusters building on Main Street was the former Seán Keegan Central Hardware Store.

An old photo from 1910 by Paul Cooke shows that buildings at this location belonged to the Farrell, Kavanagh and Kelly families.

Newbridge Main Street in 1910. Picture: Paul Cooke

Keegan’s Hardware

Áine Carey recalled: “Sean Keegan’s was like a treasure trove so much in it. You could buy some wood and a gift in the same place.

“I used to love going there and all staff were so nice to both adults and children alike. Sadly missed.

“Another special place in our local history gone.”

Frankie Boland said: “Before Keegan’s Hardware, I remember two shops there. Kitty Guiney’s Drapery on the left and Herterich Pork Butchers on the right.”

Hazel Watson recalled: “I remember this as Keegans, winding entrance with display windows and then early ‘80s with an arcade like front.

“I have memories of so many staff — Barry, Harry, Declan, Pattie, Mary, Teresa, Pat and the Keegan family to name a few.

“A great shop.”

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