<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>PICTURES OF PORTLAOISE</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY background="back.jpg" bgproperties=fixed bgcolor="99ccff"> <CENTER><FONT SIZE=5 FACE="verdana" COLOR=BLACK><B>OUR TOWN C. 1850-2000 <P> <TD><CENTER> <IMG SRC="millennium089.jpg" width=360 HEIGHT=500 border=2> <IMG SRC="millennium089a.jpg" WIDTH=320 HEIGHT=500 border=2> <p><b><FONT SIZE=2 color=black><CENTER> MAIN STREET, SOUTH SIDE</center></B> <P><table cellpadding="10" width=53%><tr><td> <P align=left><font size=2> This lane once led to a slaughterhouse where, sometime in the early 1960's, I witnessed my first and, thankfully, only, killing of an animal. It's strange, but what I remember most is the <I>thickness</i> of the rope that held the beast. Amateur Freudians among you will discern all sorts of symbolism there... And when I tell you that that the small building was once, apparently, a Penal Mass House - the ecclesiastical windows are still visible from the rear of de Brn's public house - you'll have a psychoanalytic field day.... :-) <P align=left> The advertised services were available through the door on the right and up the stairs. Over the years, the premises housed a wide variety of enterprises. In the 1930's, for instance, Mary Byrne's (the late Mrs Mary Dunne, New Road, mother of local journalist, Seamus) dress-making business. In 1969, the newly-formed Portlaoise Credit Union<sup><a name="1" href="#ftn.1">1</a></sup>: in the '70's, an insurance company and Thomas Coughlan Construction; in the next decade, the Folio Press, Printers and Publishers and, most memorably of all, Midland Community Radio (<I>Broadcasting on 260 metres </i>(sic) <i>to the heart of Ireland. A varied and interesting selection of programmes from 7 am to 1 pm</i>). I have vivid memories of carting armfuls of vinyl up the stairs where DJ extraordinaire Fergal Carroll and I produced programmes that were certainly varied and, to us at any rate, interesting! Somewhere in this room I'm typing in, unplayed for a quarter of a century, are cassette tapes of those enthusiastic broadcasts. I'm going searching for them now....<sup><a name="2" href="#ftn.2">2</a></sup> <P><CENTER>-----------------------------------------------</CENTER> <P align=left><sup><a name="ftn.1" href="#1">1</a></sup> In 1972, the Credit Union moved to new premises - a house owned by Odlums's Mill and long-since demolished - in Church Avenue. Subsequent locations included the New Road (office opened in 1981), Lyster Square (1986) and, since 2002, the present imposing building on James Fintan Lalor Avenue. <P align=left><sup><a name="ftn.2" href="#2">2</a></sup> Found them! At the risk of boring all but the most ardent of music archaeologists, these are the first three tracks I played on August 7, 1987: <BR>Roy Harper, <I>How Does It Feel?</i> <BR> Richard & Linda Thompson, <I> Back Street Slide</i> <BR>Kate & Anna McGarrigle, <I>Mendocino</i> </table> <table cellpadding="10"><tr> <td><A HREF="072ajflynn.htm"><img src="arrow.gif" border=0 ></A></td> <td><A HREF="074butcher.htm"><img src="arrow1.gif" border=0 ></A></td> <table cellpadding="10"> <td> <A HREF="index.html"><FONT SIZE=2> <B>HOMEPAGE</A></td> </BODY> </HTML>