Tom Radley at his Forge in the Square

A really wonderful audio clip has come to light recently, of Tom Radley who owned and ran the Forge in the corner of the Square, Millstreet until the 1980s.

It contains his nephew Seán Radley interviewing Tom Jack back in the 1970s, and this short audio recording gives a taste of life in a forge. The Millstreet accent is strong and rich in this one.

Click here to listen to the recording.

Pictured right is a photo taken outside the Forge in the Square, Millstreet back in the 1970s, where blacksmith Tom Radley had just completed placing four shoes on Dan Hallissey’s donkey (Dan lived in Coole/Drishanebeg).

Radleys Engineering, who built the Spire in Dublin (with John & Tommy as Directors), have their roots in this forge.

Below are three further photos of Tom in his  forge, taken in the 1980s.

Click on the photos to see them in full size and click at the very start of the black audio bar below to hear the recording while observing the pictures.



The photo of Tom & Jack outside the forge, with the audio was stumbled upon recently, when they were put online by historian John Tierney. We’d like to thank the Radley family for allowing this article to be published, and also to Seán for adding three further photos ofTom inside his forge in the 80s.

4 thoughts on “Tom Radley at his Forge in the Square”

  1. Sean: This really brings back memories. When I was growing up there were four blacksmiths in the town: Tom Radley in Minor Row, Tom Radley in the Square,Denny Hickey Main Street and Denis The Rover in the West End.
    They were artists who could design gates and other ironwork and make a replacement part for any type of iron farm equipment. It’s a shame that this profession too has been replaced by computers.

    1. Thank you so much, Pat, for your much appreciated comment and the memories our little feature on my late uncle, Tom Radley, has evoked. It was so fortunate that Michael Cashman accessed it from a History Website. The 1 min 46 sec audio clip is just part of a much longer (almost 45 min) interview which I recorded in the 1970s. I’ve heard from Tom’s Family in Dungarvan and in a similar manner they have also been delighted to hear Tom’s voice and the very special memories evoked. A very Happy 2014 to your good self and all the Lehane Family abroad….and thank you for being such loyal followers of the Millstreet website.

  2. i’ve been reliably informed that there was actually five blacksmiths in town at the time. The other being Denis O’Sullivan ( better known as Den Cooley ) who had a blacksmiths the bridge on Main Street.

    To get to his blacksmith workshop, you had to go under the archway at the bridge, and turn up to the left where it was at the rear of James Daly’s pub (which was first on the left of the arch) with a harness maker.

    see the arch:

    Denis O’Sullivan was the uncle of one of our current postmen – Jimmy O’Sullivan. He lived in the house to the right of what is now “Aisling’s Keys Gifts and Toys”, which he had purchased from a Corkery woman.

    a little more …
    Above him, (and second from the corner of Mill Land) lived Michael O’Mahony from Clara, an uncle of Jerry O’Mahony of Clara, and of course the O’Riordans (Babe Han) lived at the corner of Mill Lane.

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