a life jam packed!

Published 14/09/2011|14:00

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They were Christy McKenna, Benny Smith, Anthony Rooney, Bernard Everitt, Shay Hughes, Patsy Floody, Willie Healy and myself.

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'I had boxed as a schoolboy with Drogheda Amateur boxing club in the early 60s and remember Johnny Connor and Paddy Matthews.

'The Club was in Stafford's Stables on John Street, then it was upstairs in Eustace Bros paint shop which was next door to the Black Fellas pub', recalled Jim.

In Holy Family Jim served as PRO, secretary, treasurer and is now chairperson for the past 10 years.

'There were some great pubs in town back then – The Black Fellas, Jimmy McKeown in The Thatch, Barber Callan in Flynns (now the Pheasant), and Maggie Sampsons in The Top Shop/Millmount House.

In 1962 Jim went to work in Bellew's/McNamara's Mill in James Street. In 1970 he moved to WC McDonnell and stayed 20 years.

'The Margarine Factory was a great place to work. We had summer factory outings to Bray or Glendalough, and ended up with a dance in the CIE social club in Inchicore.'

The Margarine was wonderful for sport and social activities, with factory football, rugby, cycling, athletics and It's A Knockout team.

'We won the Factory League Football a few times. I was a selector with manager Mick O'Neill. We had rugby teams too', said Jim.

'It's A Knockout tournaments were held in O'Raghallaighs Gaelic Grounds and the Factory League Athletics were held there too or in the Lourdes Stadium.

A cycle team sponsored by factory took part in the Co-Operation North Maracycle from Dublin to Belfast every year, and we also had a tourning pleasure cycling group.'

Greyhounds are another passion for Jim who currently trains 10 dogs and goes by the racing prefix 'Sol', which incidentally is after a very pleasant stay in a Sol Hotel!

He races dogs in tracks around the country and his grandchildren are proud owners and regularly lead the dogs around the parade ring!

Jim moved in 1990 to Boyneside Haulage driving trucks. In 1995 he moved to Irish Cement Plattin, and in 2009 he retired.

'I worked for 47 years so it's nice to retire in my health and enjoy my family and grandchildren', he said.

'I'm now mainly involved with training dogs and the boxing club, although I am involved with training a team for a charity cycle event', said Jim.

'I try to keep fit, swim every day in Aura, walk my 10 greyhounds, and run round after my grandchildren!'

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