Con McCarthy (b. 1937)
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Con McCarthy (b. 1937)


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Track 1: Con McCarthy grew up above the family business – W. J. McCarthy at The Mall, Tralee. His grandfather began his business there in shoemaking and Con’s father started his radio and amplification system business there prior to WWII. Con explains that he trained in the radio and the early television system in Cambridge College in 1959, returning the following year to take over the family business after the death of his father. Track 2: He recalls working with his father in early years on the amplification of a speech by Éamon de Valera in Castleisland. He also mentions other events for which he supplied amplification over the years which included the Carnival Queen Festival and later the Rose of Tralee Festival, and also the Ballybeggan Races. He also remembers his work for Tralee UDC making announcements around the town regarding the availability of water when the Curraheen Reservoir was not operating. Track 3: The first Tralee Development Association Trade Exhibition at the Theatre Royal, for which he supplied amplification, is recalled as is the fact that the Exhibition was later held at Ballymullen Barracks, changing its title to the Kingdom County Fair. Track 4: Con remembers selling and installing the early televisions sets around Kerry and he mentions the fact that his main source of business was the rural population. Track 5: The families which lived over the business premises in The Mall and the Bridge Street areas are mentioned, as is the free market trading in The Square. Track 6: He recalls the Big Flood in the 1970s and the diversion of the river by the Council, resulting is major disruption to trading in the town. The possibility of the establishment of a casino in the Bridge Street area, and the deputation by local people to the UDC in an attempt to block the granting of a licence is mentioned.

Additional information



Audio series:

Reflections on the Urban District of Tralee Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

5.51 MB, 7.93 MB, 4.26 MB, 7.34 MB, 7.73 MB, 17.58 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Early public address systems in Tralee

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore