Drogheda Independent

| 14.1°C Dublin

Book about town's past a labour of love for Ted

HE TERMS it a labour of love, and the final, finished product is truly an awesome read.

In early December, Ted Greene (pictured) will launch ' Drogheda - its place in Ireland's history' - a publication that will raise eyebrows in some quarters, offer intrigue elsewhere (' the Turks did come up the Boyne') but ultimately provide those with any interest in the town a complete guide to a remarkable location by the banks of the Boyne.

The almost 500-page book transcends the ages, from the very first people who created a hamlet here to those that came and built its proud tradition, sturdy walls and gates.

One main focus is on the special year 2012 will be for the town of Drogheda.

At one stage it was divided in two, Drogheda-in-louth and Drogheda-inMeath, both with separate corporations. The rivalry was often intense and battles erupted from time to time, leading to bloodshed.

Interestingly, there were tariffs on imported goods for ships if they docked on the Louth side of the Boyne, but not if they landed on the Meath side, again leading to friction.

Finally, in 1412, Dominican Friar Fr Philip Bennett decided to look at uniting the town, hosting a gathering of the townspeople in St Peter's Church and in a joint petition, the Archbishop of Armagh sent Robert Ball to meet Kinh Henry VI and returned with a charter, dated November 1st 1412, forming the ' town and county of Drogheda'.

William Simcock was the first mayor and it was 1899 before the town merged with County Louth. Given the role played by Fr Bennett in the unification of the town, Ted believes a statue or memorial to the local friar should be considered.

It's Ted's second book on Drogheda but takes a different path in many ways, fresh tales and angles dominate it and the stories throwing up interesting facts. Did you know? Captain Bligh of ' Mutiny on the Bounty' fame designed the beacons that demark the Boyne's channel. Shop Street used to be called Booth Street. A Drogheda man called John Malpas killed Edward Bruce, brother of famed Scottish leader, Robert the Bruce.

The Black Death entered Ireland via the Drogheda docks around 1348 and the town lost one third of its population. The Vikings and the Irish fought a battle at Tullog, a village neat Stamullen. A hoard of liturgical artefacts were found at Sheepgrange quarry in 1899.

Ballsgrove Gate was erected in 1801 to honour Edward Ball MP who opposed the Act of Union.

At the same time Lord Cornwallis wanted to be made a Freeman of the Borough and was told 'No!'

Jean Paul Espinasse, who ran a brewery in Dublin, fell from his horse during a trip to Drogheda and died. The brewery was bought by a man called Arthur Guinness!