Wednesday 21 February 2018

Gallery: Ridleys' reunion is a right 'ole night for staff

Aidan McGuinness, Ard Easmuinn, Robert Fretwell, Forkhill, and Peter Woods, Belfry Gardens.
Aidan McGuinness, Ard Easmuinn, Robert Fretwell, Forkhill, and Peter Woods, Belfry Gardens.
Noelle Oliver, Blackrock, and Pauline Fegan, Kilkerley.
Fintan Sheridan, Ard Easmuinn, Bryan Oliver, Killanny, and Paul McCann, Crossmaglen.
Gerry Morgan and Gerry Morgan.
Gearoid Bellew, Bay Estate (centre), with Mark and Brendan Duffy, Belfry Gardens.
Olivia Neacy, Culhane Street, and Patricia Moran, Muirhevnamor.
David Noone and Caroline Smyth, Fatima.

On Friday night I headed for The Garden where the Ridleys Nightclub Gathering was taking place. The night was organised to bring together as many of the people who had worked, and still do work, in the popular Park Street nightclub and a good crowd had turned out specially to be there for this nostalgia filled night.

I wasn't long in the door when I met up with Neil Kehoe from The Meadows who was having a laugh with his mum Edel Kehoe also from The Meadows who were delighted to see all the old familiar faces again and were going to have a really great laugh.

Making my way over to a table, I got talking to Patricia Stewart from Bothar Na Feirme who told me she had worked in the club for a few years and she was there with her best friend Mary Ralph from Dublin Road who said she was delighted to recognise all the old faces and were really looking forward to an excellent night.

They were enjoying the evening with Marie Matthews, Joan and Gary Morgan all from Bay Estate who told me it was going to be a fantastic night.

Making my way through the crowds I then got talking to one of the original 'Dream Team' – none other than Noelle Oliver from Blackrock who told me she had been with the club for 16 years. She was chatting to Pauline Fegan from Kilkerley who told me she too had been there a few years ago and was delighted to be there on the night to see all their old workmates.

Also in their company were Philip Kehoe from Carlingford and Fintan Sheridan who was down from Lucan specially and told me he was part of the 'Original Crew' from 20 years ago. He was the main organiser of the night and told me the crowds were still coming in and he was delighted with meeting everyone again.

Not too far away I got a word with Barry Murphy, originally from Bellurgan who now lives in Nottingham, he said he'd worked for the club for eight years and had come over specially for the gathering. He was having a laugh with Gearóid Bellew from Bay Estate who had served ten years with the club and the lads told me they had only really come on the night because they wanted to see if Fintan was still sporting the jazzy jumpers and were delighted to see he was. They also wondered did he still have pockets full of raffle tickets, something he was renowned for back in the day!

Making my way over to another group I then got talking to Aoife Feeney from Dublin Road, who told me she had worked there for six years, Claire Halpenny from Darver, who is still working there, and Seana Connolly from Blackrock who has been part of the organisation for the last five years and is 'loving it'!

They were with a rather suspicious Paul Craven and Miriam O'Toole, both from Drogheda, and when I asked them had they been there long, Paul quipped he had lasted half an hour.

Not too far away I got talking to Sean Dawson from Pearse Park who is currently in action in the club and told me to give a big shout out to the 'best barman' – none other than David Halpenny from Darver.

Finally, before I departed I met up with Olivia Neacy from Culhane Street and Patricia Moran from Muirhevnamor who quipped they didn't recognise anyone, but it didn't matter, they were going to have a mad night out anyway!

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