Last day on the tolls
It was an emotional farewell for Charlie Campbell (66) from Broadmeadows as he served his last customer at the toll booth on the M1 slip road.
Charlie has become a familiar and much loved face to many over the past 14 years, renowned for his friendly demeanor and cheerful gait.
His popularity was clear to see as loyal customers came to say their goodbyes over the past week with gifts, cards and chocolates to show their appreciation to the man who oftened brightened their day, whether on their daily commute or on frequent trips out of Drogheda.
'He's a great character, everyone loves him. They're always posting pictures on Facebook of him saying how helpful he is,' said colleague Vivienne McGrane.
'He tells all the customers jokes and takes time to chat to them. Maybe someone pulling up to the toll is having a bad day and Charlie will always make it a better one. We are all just heartbroken he's going but I'm sure his wife will be delighted to get him back!'
Charlie worked on the Donore Road sliproad toll alongside colleagues Vivienne and Bernie, with Charlie working the early shift from 6.30am to 1.30pm.
Friends and colleagues marked his retirement with a celebratory lunch in Katie's Kitchen where Northlink CEO Gareth Brown made a special presentation to Charlie.
'All the people from Northlink, who manage the motorway, have been down to wish him well and one of his colleagues form years ago, Denis, who used to work with him when he first started was here as well so it was a great party,' said Vivienne.
'We went to meet him when he finished his last shift, it was emotional fro him serving his last customer. They all knew him, people have been coming up to him the last few days giving him boxes of chocolates and cards and little presents. He's the type of employee tha the company would always have got emails saying how nice and helpful he was.'
His colleagues on the toll presented him with a special Galway Crystal plate which they have engraved with a picture of the Boyne Cable Bridge on it and his name and the date of his retirement to mark the special occasion.
'We had a fantastic party to mark the occasion, we gave him a great sendoff,' said Vivienne. 'It's the end of an era.'