Gallery: 'Tool' gang back in town
Published 10/09/2013 | 05:40
HE was the first ever apprentice at Tool & Gauge.
Former Mayor of Sligo, Martin Keaveney, joined the Tubbercurry factory as a 17-year-old in 1956.
Martin was among more than 250 Tool & Gauge employees who 'Gathered' for a special reunion in Tubbercurry.
He said: "It was great to go back and meet old colleagues again.
"I was delighted to get the apprenticeship in Tool & Gauge and it served me very well."
In 1969, Martin and ex-Tool & Gauge workers, Joe Hunt, Billy Gaffney and the late Hubert Rainey established Atlasta Tools in the Market Yard.
He then set up Sligo Tool and Dye in the Cleveragh Industrial Estate in 1983.
The factory is now run by his son, Fergal.
Gurteen native John Giblin also worked in Tool & Gauge in the 1970s.
He eventually left for London.
Despite being in Sligo recently on holidays, he returned for the reunion.
John said: "The impact of the factory on the area was huge.
"It gave people jobs and stopped them emigrating.
"It was great to see many familiar faces and to recall our time together."
Padraic Neary of Tubbercurry was a designer at Tool & Gauge.
He recalled how an old black and white film 'A Night To Remember' about the Titanic helped him overcome a design problem.
Padraic said: "When the water started to flood into the ship the doors to a compartment began to close.
"A lever system was used and when I saw this it was the answer to what I was looking for a particular tool.
"I left the cinema, went back to the office and put my thoughts down on paper and the issue was resolved."
Mary Teresa Toolan from Coolaney was Secretary from 1961 to 1966.
She told of using a manual typewriter and carbon paper in the office.
Mary Teresa said: "There was no tippex then.
"Accuracy was of the highest importance."
Reunion Committee member Billy Kilgannon described the event as "a great success."
He said: "We were delighted.
"People thoroughly enjoyed it and many, many stories were retold."
The weekend began with a 'meet and greet' in Killoran's.
There was a golf outing at Tubbercurry Golf Club and a coach tour of County Sligo.
A Mass for deceased members of staff was held in St. John Evangelist Church, followed by a buffet and social in Cawley's Hotel.