Neighbours from Bannow Road                                                       


Chruch Street Temements from the Dublin National Archives of Ireland   Pictures.             

Dublin in the early twenty century had the worst housing conditions of any city in Europe. With over 23,000 families living in  single room tenements diseases and death for all age groups was a dayly reality. In 1914 the Dublin corporation appointed two well know English consultants to give their opinions on how the housing problem could be solved in Dublin. Their report was to advocate garden estates outside the inner city which were based on housing developments in England   They recommended a number of sites for these estates and one of them was Cabra. In 1914 the Lord Lieutenant held a competition at the invitation of the Civic institute of Ireland for the future development of Dublin. Five hundredth pounds was offer for the winner.

 Patrick Abercrombie an  English architect  won the prize and his plan or parts of his plan would be the template for the next thirty years on how Dublin would develop. With in this plan was the siting of an  housing scheme at Cabra. From 1929 to 1943  5000 houses would be built in Cabra.  The first schemes built were  the Christ the King houses around the Church and soldiers and salors houses on Quarry Lane. In 1931 the Beggsbourgh scheme was built with 600 houses. Annamoe park and terrace was also been built at this time.Six years later Cabra West was stated around 1938. The first houses built were on Dingle Road ,Swilly Road , Faussagh Ave and Bannow road .


 Bannow road was one of the first roads occupied in Cabra. It is a road of 200 houses and one side of it has factory on it. Bannow roaddeveloped over the decades into sections which became urban villages. These urban village developed from the interaction of the people who settle in the houses. Most of these people came from the overcrowded tenements of the inner city. There was also a sprinkling of country people who had come into the city for work.

   On Bannow road there was four sections or Urban villages. From the start of the road at Faussagh Ave to the start of Bachelors factory was the first section.. The second section was from the gate of Bachelors right up to the first little Bannow on to Carnlough Road. The third section was from little Banow at the old Fas factory  to the second little Bannow where the pigion club is.. The fourth section was up to the inter section with Brombridge road. Within these sections were blocks of four and six terrace houses. Family sizes at the time veried form families with eleven children to families with four.

 As  the decades of the fifties and sixties came along family numbers got bigger. Each section socially would inter act together or help one another economical  if there were problems with food or money. If people were working in factories or markets the children or their neighbours were look after if there was any items brought home. This created a  sense of community which gave these section a sences of shared indenity.


  The section of Bannow road this article is about is the section from the start of the road up to Bachelor factory. First thing to try and do is to list the names of all the residents who lived on the road from the start of 1940. On  the even numbers side at number 2 was the Crowley family, no 4  Kehoes, no 6  Bolton’s, no 8  Cameron’s,no 10  MaGarrys, no 12  O Connors, no 14 Doyles, no 16  McDonalds- Mackens,  no 18  Hogans, no 20  Kellys, no 22  Casssidys, no 24  Walshes, no 26  Downes, no 28  Cooks, no 30 Murphy  , no 32  Salters, no 34  Malones, no 36  Mulveys,  no  38  Nolans, no 40 Meehans,  no 42  Deegans, no 44  Comeskeys, no 46 Danher, no 48 Donahue, no 50 Sweetmans, no 52 Wards,  no 54 Branacht , no 56  Cooneys, no 58 Kellys, no 6o Maxwells,  no 62 Heaps, no 64 Knowals, no 66 Bradys.

  On the uneven numbers side ar number 1 was the Mooney family, no 3 Traynor, no 5 Callaghan, no 7 Dooleys,  no 7 Mahars, no 9 Keirns, no 11 Barrys, no 13 Mc Cartys, no 15 Dunnes, no 17 Cumeskey, no 19 Burkes, no 21 Logans, no 23 Mc Guinness, no 25 Kidd’s,  no 27  Keegan’s, no 29 Mc Donald’s, no 31 Coughlans- Tigh, no 33 O’Reilly’s, no 35 Jevins , no 37  Walsh’s , no 39 Laney’s ,no 41 Dunne’s, no 43 Dunne’s, no 45 Morrissey, no 47 Finnegans.


  With in these groups of families strong ties develop over the decades as their children  mix going to school ,playing on this section of road day and night and socialising to gather in the many activities that was happening in the wider Cabra area. Soccer teams Gaelic teams,seven a sides ,roads leagues were all activities that the childern of this section engaged in togather. This created a common bond between the childen which in turn bonded the familys to gather.  If people were stuck for food or cloths there was always some one in the group that they could turn to. If some out of the group of families got work and they were in a position to get some in to their job it came from the familes beside them.. Most of the families had some one in the house hold working.

The road was the assembly point for all activity. In the forties and fifties and sixties when traffic was not heavy the childrens  playground was the road . Games of lampers ,marbles,rounders, piggie beds, the moul, hoops, slides in winters and the trolles, were all past times the children engage in. Though times were rough economically there was a great energy of life which give great times to all who lived their.


Some of the girls from Bannow road B – r M Malone, P Cummiskey, M Salter, L Mc Garry, V Brady, B Mulvey, A Salter . F – r P Wright, B Wright. Taking 6 Sep 1962.

There were sad times too when some one died young or was killed working in accident at work. All the neighbours rallied around and gave great support to the families. Theses section of road was eventually knitted together and became urban villages which in turn fed into the general area of Cabra which to this day has a great sense of identity which matches any village in Ireland. Bannow road is seventy years old this year. 


  Most of the first peole  who came here first have pass on to the other world. Most of them lived long enough to see their grand children and great grand children. Over fifty per cent og the families still live on this section of road. Hopefully this trend will continue for another seventy years and keep the sense of community that the first number of decades had. In the cover picture is Josie Mc Donald and Mrs Dooly.This picture was taking in 1980 on the 100th birthday of Mrs Cassidy. Most of the neighbours had been living on the road since 1940. They were all great neighbours who looked after one another in every respect.Of the ten women in the photograph seven of them have passed onto the other world. Great women who knew struggle and kept the show of living on the go.In  the picture above, from left to right are: Rosaleen Dunne, Mrs MacGarry, Ann Bolton O’Brien, Mrs Dooley, Josey MacDonald, Rose Tyie, Mrs Mooney, Mrs Kehoe, Mrs MacCarthy and Mrs McGuinness.

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