Kieran Retires from the Street after Topping 40 Years of Service

Kieran McGaley retired from his Kerry County Council post as street cleaner on Thursday after a four decade span in the job. Photo by John Reidy
Kieran pictured with his wife Catherine, daughter Alison and son-in-law Adam Repton and grandchildren Henry and Oscar Repton at the Kerry County Council office party to mark Kieran’s retirement. Photograph Courtesy of Kerry County Council.

Kieran McGaley was one of the most familiar figures on the streets of his native Castleisland over the very most of the past four decades.

Kieran joined Kerry County Council in 1990 and spent a couple of years on the roads of the area with the work gangs.

When the late Donie O’Shea of Riverside Drive retired in 1991 Kieran applied for the position and he got it.

Kieran was one of the first in town to hear news good and bad and he couldn’t avoid it.

Go to Man

He was the ‘go-to-man’ here when people lost money or valuables while they were up and down the street.

Only a couple of months ago he found a very valuable ring in the library car park and he had it reunited with its North Cork owner in a matter of days through the power of Facebook.

Kieran took a few days out recently as his retirement day approached and he went to France where he linked up with his son Shane Óg and they took in the Ireland V Scotland in the Rugby World Cup game.

Fondest Memories

As for memories of the days on the street, Kieran said that the craic and the laughs he had with the everyday characters of the town will remain his fondest memories.

“Going back to the lost items I’d find there from time to time, the best help I ever got was from the people I met on the street every day,” said Kieran

“Someone would always spot something or know of someone who was looking for that item and it was always a great feeling to be able to give these things back to the people who lost them. The look on their faces is worth anything,” he said.

The Fountain Damaged 

Kieran got a right land one morning around this time last year as he arrived into town ready for work. There was a jet of water spraying away up in the air below at the fountain. A car had somehow mounted the plinth around the ancient monument and severely damaged the head and broke the pipe. Kieran alerted the relevant department and the water supply was shut down and the facility has since been repaired.

Mark of Appreciation

The local Kerry County Council office pushed out the boat for Kieran on Thursday morning with a mark of appreciation represented by a cake and a little party for him and his family.

Kieran intends to spend more time with his grandchildren now and do a bit more gardening.

Three people have mentioned to me over the past few days that the town should honour Kieran for his four decades of service in some way.

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