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Tom Hennessy

My name is Tom Hennessy, born in Athenry County Galway in 1926. My mother, Elizabeth Dempsey, was from Blackrock, County Wicklow, and my father Patrick Hennessy from Garryduff, Gowran, County Kilkenny. My brother Paddy and my two sisters, Joan and Colette, were also born in Athenry. My father, who was a Garda, was granted a transfer to Kildare Town in 1936, where my brother Eamon was born. I got my Intermediate and Leaving certificate in St, Joseph Academy, in Kildare, and applied for work in Bord Na Mona. In 1945 I was appointed office helper to the camp superintendent in Derries camp near Edenderry,  County Offaly.
I then applied for a clerical position in Central Stores and was transferred to the clerical section Central Stores the same year, where I worked in headquarters organizing weekly payments for workers in County Kildare. The payroll was then brought to each hostel and the workers were paid by cheque weekly. In 1948 the centralization took place and staff were sent to reside in the various hostels to pay the workers and maintain stock in the stores. Most of my friends were sent to Timahoe, or Corduff south, as it was then called. I requested a transfer there which was granted in 1948.
A special billet was provided for staff until a new building with separate bedrooms and a communal sitting room was provided. I got married in 1953 and moved into a new bungalow on 29 May 1953 to  number 91 in Coill Dubh Village, which had just been completed. Sean Butler, Brendan O’ Mahony and William Finn, of the clerical staff, were in neighboring houses. My three daughters were born in Coill Dubh and went to school there.
In 1956 we founded the Coill Dubh Hurling Club of which I was their first chairman. I played left half back with them for two years, althought I had not hurled since I left Athenry in 1936. At that time most of the players were elderly, but what they lacked in pace the made up for in skill. Coill Dubh continued to improve until it became one of the better hurling clubs in Co. Kildare. Some of the players in those early years were, Mick Young, Tom Fanning, Tom Casey, Joe Harris, Luke Shinners, John Dee, Paddy Scanlan, Pat Geary, Micky Finn and ? Treacy.
I was also associated with the drama group, mostly painting the background scenes. In 1962 I was transferred as Stores Supervisor to Ballydermot, which ended my assiciation with Coill Dubh. I retired from Bord Na Mona in 1986 after 41 years of service.
Tom Hennessy
County Kildare


Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature Tom Hennessy. Our thanks to Tom

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