independent

Saturday 23 September 2017

Helen and days of Glenmorgan Cafe in Drogheda

Hubert Murphy - The Diary

The death of Helen Campbell recently at her home at Riverstown on the Cooley Peninsula might bring back some memories to older readers.

Born in 1921, she was the last surviving of eight children of the late Joseph and Mary Donnelly, and was aged 95 at the time of her passing.

As a young woman she went north to work in hotels in Bangor and Belfast but subsequently moved to Drogheda where, with her sister, Margaret, ran their own business, the Glenmorgan Café.

In 1957, she married Matt Campbell, from Lower Rath, Riverstown; and for a short time continued to run the café.

The Glenmorgan was situated in Stockwell Street and was famed in its day.

It was a haunt for business people, bankers and writers, not least a certain legend of the business, the late John McGahern.

Journalist Joe Kennedy, who worked in the Drogheda Argus in the '50's, once spoke about his initial meeting with McGahern.

'The first time I met him, he had arrived into the Glenmorgan Cafe in Stockwell Street to meet up some fellows he knew who lived there. The guys were known collectively as 'The Bull with the Hard Hat.'

'They worked for themilk board as cow inseminators. They were a lively lot, bright, educated fellows,' said Joe.

'The Glenmorgan was home from home for young men who worked in the banks, insurance, teaching and such. It was also a great place for football discussions at our daily lunch rendezvous. I was a junior reporter with The Argus and I lived there. John had digs elsewhere in the town,' Joe explained.

Mr McGahern was a primary school teacher at St Joseph's CBS in Sunday's Gate at the time in 1953.

No doubt there's more stories out there about the life and times of the Glenmorgan....

Drogheda Independent

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