New York Life staff member, Tom O’Connor, Ballymacelligott showing the company’s up-to-the-minute technology to Minister for Industry and Commerce, Albert Reynolds, TD and Denis Foley, TD after the minister had officially opened the offices. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
Margaret and Eugene McMahon, Keel, Castlemaine were in Castleisland to welcome Minister for Industry and Commerce Albert Reynolds, TD. when his helicopter touched down on thw mart yard in November 1988. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
Castleisland Presentation Convent Muire Gan Smál Band members, Margaret O’Connor and her sister Mary with ??? with: Bernadette Leahy, Marie O’Connor, Denis Foley, TD; Minister Reynolds, Eugene McMahon, Castlemaine; Sr. Albert, Celia Regan and Senator Tom McEllistrim. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
Castleisland Development Association chairman, Brian O’Connor (right) welcomes Minister for Industry and Commerce, Albert Reynolds, TD on touchdown on the mart yard. Included are from left: Senator Tom McEllistrim, Kieran McGowan, IDA and Denis Foley, TD. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
Neighbours of the New York Life / Nylerin offices were invited to the official opening in November 1988. Margaret O’Mahony, (left is pictured with: Kathleen Reidy and Mai Corkery-Hennessy. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
The Castleisland Presentation Convent Muire Gan Smál Band played to welcome Minister for Industry and Commerce, Albert Reynolds, TD when his helicopter touched down on the mart yard in November 1988. Included are Sr. Albert, Celie Regan, Marie O’Connor and Bernadette Leahy ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
Minister for Industry and Commerce Albert Reynolds, TD cut the ribbon on the occasion of the official opening of the New York Life/Nylerin offices on the Tralee Road Industrial Estate in November 1988. Included are from left: Cllr. PJ Cronin, Senator Tom McEllistrim, Jimmy Deenihan, TD; Frances Pare, Nylerin director; Kieran McGowan, IDA; Denis Foley, TD, Dermot O’Callaghan, chairman, Killarney UDC and Dick Spring, TD. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
New York Life / Nylerin staff members from left: Kay Cullinane, Brosna; Bríd O’Grady, Castleisland; Breda Horgan, Ballyfinnane and Eileen Fitzgerald, Castleisland pictured on the occasion of the official opening by Minister for Industry and Commerce Albert Reynolds, TD. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
On arrival on the purposely painted ‘Heli-Pad’ at Castleisland Co-Op Mart, Minister for Industry and Commerce, Albert Reynolds TD was welcomed by mart manger, Richard Harnett (left) with mart board members: John Roche and Jeremiah O’Connor. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-11-1988
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