The day Minister Albert Reynolds came to Town

Coincidence was bounding all over like a ball in an alley on a very special Tuesday in early November 1988.

It was the day on which the now, late and former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds came to town as the minister for industry and commerce to open the New Your Life / Nylerin Insurance Company offices on the Tralee Road Industrial Estate.

The momentous occasion involved every aspect and strand of the community here. The Presentation Convent Muire Gan Smal band members were in place a good half an hour before the minister’s helicopter touched down on the specially painted H on the yard of the Castleisland Co-Op Mart. The business leaders of the town looked their best and KCC crews worked miracles of Creamery Lane.

It was on the feast day of St. Albert. That didn’t escape the sharply political scope of the minister when he was introduced to teacher and band chaperon, Sr. Albert and it didn’t go unnoticed by her either when they met.

The Kerry County Council crew of the time did wondrous work on the cratered surface on Creamery Lane. This was on the route of the minister’s car as he was driven by Denis Foley, TD from the mart to his official business on the Tralee Road.

The NYL / Nylerin directors invited the members of the immediate households around them to the opening.

Among those who attended was Mrs. Mai Corkery-Hennessy took up the offer and went along with my mother, Kathleen Reidy and her cousin, Margaret O’Mahony who happened to be visiting from North Cork.

It transpired that a nephew of Mai Corkery-Hennessy worked for the very same company in New York and was known to some of the NYL / Nylerin top brass who attended the Tralee Road launch.

Of course, the foundations of his huge political legacy were laid in other fields. And tributes and special programmes are flowing all morning on RTE Radio 1. But the importance of his visit and the hope he brought to Castleisland on that beautiful, early winter’s day will always be remembered by those who were there.

It was the day the future Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds TD came to Castleisland to open an office with the potential to employ up to 80 people. May God be good to him.

© The Maine Valley Post  21-8-2014