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DkIT Host a Trip Down Memory Lane

24 March 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were delighted, and heart warmed to host a trip down memory lane for some of the ex-employees of PJ Carrolls.

The Institute acquired the PJ Carrolls building back in 2002 and has been utilising it for educational purposes since. The building or cigarette manufacturing plant as it was purpose built for, has been in Dundalk for over 50 years and was opened in 1970. This iconic building and stand out piece of architectural design has a lot of deep connections to hundreds of retirees in Dundalk and the PJ Carrolls organisation was a huge part of the fabric of the town and its history.

Niall McCooey, Lecturer in Electrical Trades in DkIT (And previous ex-employee of Carrolls) said

“The tour of PJ Carroll’s came about due to the present renovation of the last part of the old factory, which was primarily the “Leaf Preparation area”. I happened to be talking to an ex-employee (Ken Ramsey) and informed him of the current renovation that was happening, at which he expressed an interest to see how DkIT had changed the factory. This then expanded into a general interest by ex-employees, some of whom had never seen any of the internal changes that the Institute has made”.

The ex-employees who attended the tour consisted of management, engineers, trades and general operatives. They were extremely interested in seeing the old part of the factory before it was renovated, and this tour brought back a flood of happy memories. As they moved into the previously renovated section, they all had lively conversation as to where exactly they were in relation to the factory layout. They all enjoyed looking at the displayed framed photos of the old factory, but some expressed a pity that there weren’t more recent factory photos included. They really enjoyed the fact that there were so many windows and skylights added, as it made the space seem larger. The engineers had an in-depth conversation in relation to how the roof was jacked up to create the two-story office pods.

The tour was facilitated by Niall McCooey and Padraig Mc Keown who currently both work as lecturers in the Electrical Trades sections of DkIT, both also served their time (4 years) in the PJ Carroll’s factory.

Niall & Padraig would like to offer a special thanks to Gerard Galligan (Head of Electrical and Motor Mechanic Trades Section) for arranging the tour, and to catering for providing the tea, coffee and pastries which everyone enjoyed along with the numerous chats after their walk around.

The ex-employees who visited on the day included Liam Mc Callion, Gerry Hamilton, Gerry Kearley, Jacinta Duffy, Ann King, Antoinette Bennett, Jimmy Mc Geogh, Colm Mc Keown, John Murphy, Rosemary Mc Namee, Patricia Mc Gailey, Ann Mc Parland, Ken Ramsey, Pauric King, Mickey Morgan, Veronica Sheeling, Maureen, Harry Morgan, Artie Mc Manus, Paddy Mc Mahon and Jim Mc Ardle.

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