30 April-Fire at Hadden’s of Carlow

Hadden’s Shopping Centre is located on Tullow Street in Carlow town, Ireland. The Centre is home to Hadden’s Department Store and several other businesses. Hadden’s, one of the oldest businesses in Carlow has been in operation for over one hundred years.

The Hadden family business was established in Wexford town in 1848 by George and Francis Hadden. The family opened a shop on Tullow Street in Carlow town in 1909. In April 1984 the shop, which traded under the name of W G Hadden Ltd, was destroyed by fire. Smoke from the fire could be seen from a long distance and thousands of people came to Carlow town centre to watch as the business was destroyed.

The fire was fought by Carlow Fire Service. Assistance was sought from Kilkenny Fire Service. Kilkenny sent its snorkel and a water tender from Thomastown. It took almost two days to completely extinguish the fire. Nobody was hurt but the damage was estimated at the time to be well over one million pounds.

Haddens Department Store in Tullow St, Carlow was engulfed by flames and subsequently burned to the ground in 1984 On This Day.

06 April-Jimmy Kennedy

Jimmy Kennedy was a songwriter who was a native of Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He wrote over 2,000 songs of which 50 became all-time popular music classics. Though Kennedy usually wrote the lyrics for existing music he also worked with composers during his career.

Jimmy Kennedy was born near Omagh Co Tyrone on July 20th 1902. He was educated locally before attending Trinity College Dublin. Following graduation he worked as a teacher in England but in 1925 he joined the Colonial Service. Interested in writing poems and songs from a young age, Kennedy began writing for a music publisher in London.

During his career Kennedy became famous for songs such as ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’, ‘South of the Border’ and Teddy Bears Picnic’. He was the recipient of several awards and received and he received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster. He was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983. Kennedy was patron of the Castelbar Song Contest from 1973 until he died in 1984.

Jimmy Kennedy died at the age of 81 in the year 1984 On This Day.

If you go down to the woods today

Teddy Bears picnic


22 October-East Link Toll Bridge Dublin

The East-Link Bridge is the last bridge on the River Liffey before it enters Dublin Bay. The bridge was fabricated by Thompson of Carlow at its manufacturing plant in Carlow town Ireland. It is one of twenty four road, rail and passenger bridges which span the Liffey in the greater Dublin area.

The East-Link Bridge is officially known as the Tom Clarke Bridge. It replaced a ferry which had operated in the area between north and south banks of the Liffey since 1665. Having carried out studies of traffic over a period of years, beginning in 1960, it was decided that a new bridge was required in the area. Permission to build the bridge was given by the government in 1982. The permission contained the proviso that access could continue to be provided for shipping.

Construction began in April 1983 and took over eighteen months to complete. Apart from approach roads, roundabouts, a 6-lane Toll Plaza and other enabling works the bridge itself is 150m long. It has four 26 metre fixed spans and one 45 metre opening span. The opening span is a bascule (drawbridge) type which can open quickly and requires relatively little energy to operate. While the fixed spans are of precast concrete, high tensile steel was used in the manufacture of the opening span.

The centre span was delivered from Carlow to the site in June 1984. It had undergone rigorous mechanical testing during its manufacture in Carlow. X-ray tests were carried out on all welds. The centre span was lifted into place on June 7th 1984 by a crane which was brought from Rotterdam. It is claimed that up to then the central span was probably the heaviest weight ever lifted by a crane, which was operating off water, in Ireland.

The bridge quickly reached its target traffic of 11,000 vehicles per day. Today it is used by over 14,000 vehicles per day. The lifting system for the centre span is housed in a central pier. The centre span can be lifted in one minute. It is generally lifted three times per day to allow for shipping traffic.

The East-Link Bridge was officially opened by An Taoiseach Dr Garrett Fitzgerald in the year 1984 On This Day.

East-Link (Dublin) by infomatique on 2007-06-04 14:38:34



17 September-Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney while serving as Prime Minister of Canada visited Leighlinbridge Co Carlow, Ireland in July 1991. His ancestor Pierce Mulroney had left Carlow for Canada in the mid 1800’s where he settled in the province of Quebec. The 1861 census returns for Ste Catherine de Portneuf, Quebec list Pierce Mulroney age 53 from Carlow, his wife Ellen Buckley from Tipperary age 45 and their seven children ranging in age from sixteen to three years old.

Martin Brian Mulroney was born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, on March 20th 1929. His father Benedict Martin Mulroney was an electrician and later foreman at a paper mill in the town which was owned by Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune. Brian Mulroney was educated locally and completed his high school education at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Chatham, New Brunswick. He received a B.A. from Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, in 1959 and a law degree from Laval University, Quebec city in 1962. He began practicing law in Montreal in 1965

Brian Mulroney became involved in politics at university and was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada on June 11th 1983. On August 29th of the same year he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in a by-election in Nova Scotia. In the General Election of 1984 he led his party to victory winning 212 seats out of 282. It was the largest number of seats won by a political party in Canadian parliamentary history. He was re-elected Prime Minister of Canada in the general election of 1988.

During his second term as Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney paid an official visit to Ireland from July 10th to the 13th 1991. He visited the attractive and historic village of Leighlinbridge with his family during the official visit. The centuries old village is about 12.5km southwest of Carlow town. The village lies on the river Barrow which is crossed by valerian bridge built in 1320. It is reputed to be the one of the oldest bridges in Europe which is still in use. A feature of the village is the Vivaldi Garden, a section of which commemorates the visit of Brian Mulroney to Leighlinbridge

Brian Mulroney, whose ancsestor was a native of Carlow, Ireland was sworn in as the 18th Prime Minister of Canada in the year 1984 On This Day.

Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney at the NATO Associations 50th Anniversary Gala by NATO Association of Canada on 2016-06-20 14:21:46

November 1988 federal election rally in Calgary. Front row: Mayor Ralph Klein, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Premier Don Getty. Visible in second row is former Prime Minister Joe Clark by Government of Alberta on 2014-08-29 09:32:45


17 September-Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney while Prime Minister of Canada visited Leighlinbridge Co Carlow in July 1991. His ancestor Pierce Mulroney had left Carlow for Canada in the mid 1800’s. Brian Mulroney served as Prime Minister of Canada for nine years (1984 – 1993). He was sworn in as the 18th Prime Minister of Canada in the year 1984 On This Day

Brian Mulroney photo

Photo by Miller_Center