Old Drogheda Society
Nicola Cassidy with an enchanting account of last week's Walk & Talk with Audrey Smith. Nicola Cassidy wrote this for her blog LadyNicci.
Last night I took part in the Walk & Talk series organised by the Old Drogheda Society and Drogheda Millmount Museum. Like all good things, I’d read about it on Facebook and was quick to join up, as I’m mad into local social and cultural history these days, what with setting all my novel writing here. (Well they do say to write about what you know).
This week’s topic was Crime & Punishment and I expect many people turned up, because it had been promo’d on local news website www.droghedalife.ie as “Prostitutes on the Dublin Road / Murder in Shop Street”. Gagging for gossip we were. “Tell us about the ho’s,” I heard one elderly woman cry.
Our host for the evening was the engaging Audrey Smith and she began the talk across from the site of one of Drogheda’s oldest jails. The site (now St. Mary’s Church) was a basic hole in the ground with bars, and you were flung in there for years, unless somebody rich enough could get you out.
Here she told us about the prostitutes on the Dublin Road too. As this was the highway to Dublin (clue is in the name) there were many brothels and kip houses all along the the hill. Strangers used to wander into this part of town and be accosted by six foot tall, straw haired, love you long time types. “More about the ho’s,” shouted that elderly lady again as we made our way down to Scotch Hall to learn about the blueshirts and the riots they caused. Honestly some people just love digging dirt.