Guns, Bullets, Threats of Violence in1968 in Castleisland on RTÉ

A still of Lower Main Street from the RTÉ visit in 1968.
A still of Lower Main Street Castleisland from the RTÉ visit which was screened on this day, February 12th 1968.

Long before political correctness took hold, and at a time when Castleisland’s well earned reputation for ‘full and frank’ discussions at public meetings, comes this gem from RTÉ and Frank Hall’s Newsbeat.

Even the reporter, the late Bill O’Herlihy, indulged in the language of the day when discussing the travellers and the highly inflamed issues of the period.

Trip Down Memory Lane

For some it will be a trip down memory lane while for others it will be from a different world altogether – and that’s exactly what it was.

The building site in question at the start of the film was St. Stephen’s Park and the road was Pound Road – which was a traditional halt for travellers for generations.

Not all of the travellers featured on the clip are ‘strangers’ and locals of a vintage will recognise several of the faces.

Some Rare Clips

Included are some rare clips of the town at the time. You’ll also see interviews with the late Willie Lyons and Garda Mick Behan and a representative of the newly arrived travellers from the Galway / Mayo area.

I remember the evening it was broadcast on February 12th.1968 and our house was packed with neighbours. And that’s 50 years ago today. It was the talk of the area for the rest of that spring – at least until the bogs dried up.

Have a look for yourself with a click on the link here:


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