Trades and occupations in Irish Street
The remarkable variety
of trades and occupations practised by residents in Irish Street
has often been commented on.
The Census of 1901 shows that this was evident at the beginning
of the twentieth century. Edward Wall and Michael Wall were
described as shoemakers, as also were Walter Thorpe and his two
sons, William and Robert; Thomas Ralph and three of his family,
Thomas, Joseph and James, and Sylvester Cinch.
Michael Bond was a harness-maker, while his father, William, and
brother Anthony were bakers.
James Shore was a basket-maker. Martin Quigley was a slater.
John and Denis Whelan were carpenters. George Bums, staying at
Martin Bymes’s, was described as a printer.
Catherine Murphy was a laundress. Denis Sullivan and Patrick
McDonald were gardeners. James Sinnott was a carman, and Thomas
Caulfield a car driver. James Nolan was a butcher. John Donnelly
was a cattle-dealer.
Among the shopkeepers were Anne O’Neill, a publican; Anne Kehoe
sold groceries and spirits; James Nolan, the butcher, also sold
provisions, and other shopkeepers were Annie O’Rourke and Anne
In Chapel Lane, off
Irish Street, Michael Fenlon was a tailor; Martin Breen was a
shoemaker; John Foley, a baker; William Browne, a car driver;
James Parkinson and John Barlow were clogmakers, and Stephen
Roche a harness-maker. John Walsh was a postman and James Kenny
a post office messenger, while Bessie Kenny, his mother, was a
cook. Kate Byrne was a green grocer.
In other streets of the
town some of these trades and crafts were practised. In Church
Street there were bakers, tinsmiths, stone-cutters, masons,
millers, fruit and vegetable dealers. In Dormer’s terrace, off
Main Street, there were bakers, a dressmaker, a whitesmith, a
sawyer and a shoemaker.
Half a century later
many of the same occupations were still practised in Irish
Street and its by-ways of Chapel Lane and Foundry Lane, the name
of the latter being evidence of another trade. Nolan’s (later
Jordan’s) slaughter-house was situated in Chapel Lane
On the east side of the
street were harness-makers Bill Bond, Bob Moorhead and Mike
Wall, and baker John Wall. A woman known as ‘Mother’ Roberts
used to make a soft drink popular with young people. On the west
side were Martin Nolan, blacksmith; Laurence Doyle’s ‘Monumental
Works’; Johnny Harris, basket-maker; two dressmakers, Becky
Thorpe and Annie Cahill (Née Sheridan); Ned Wall, cobbler, Mrs
Jim Breen, ice-cream maker; Nolan, butcher (victualler).
Stephen Nolan had a
forge in The Foundry Lane where his father, Martin, had a small
foundry in the nineteenth century.