Michael Keogh of Stranahely

In December of 2019 The History group visited Michael Keogh in his home to learn about his life growing up in The Glen of Imaal.  A lovely afternoon was spent in conversation and a lot was learnt about his early life.

Michael was born in 1935 in Stranahely and came from a large family of thirteen.  At that time the school had a teacher named Mrs Tutty and the school was at Seskin.  The class had six children and the school would have thirty or forty children attending. She was a very decent woman and would send her daughter to the shop in Knockanarrigan to get bread and jam to feed the children before they would be sent home.

Home life

The family house in Stranahely was condemned and the family then bought a house in the townland of Leitrim.  By the time they moved some of the family had moved away to work.  They lived next to the Cullen family and in 1939 one of the family called to the house to tell everybody that war broke out and then rations happened.  The family got three loaves of bread a week from Dalys in Donard to feed eleven children. His mother boiled potatoes and a couple of rabbits to feed the family.

Forestry work

As Michael grew up he worked in the forestry and there was 7 horses worked in the area. Pat and Tom  Hoxey worked two horses and Paddy Keogh of Coolmoney had a working horse and Ronnie McKeon worked for Mrs Allen in the forestry.  Allens left Seskin in 1959.


There was an eight acre nursery in Stranahely and up to twenty men worked, sowing seeds and transplanting and later sending trees all over the country.  The forestry came to the Glen in 1926.

Mick Keogh
Courtesy of Mick Keogh
Forestry workers
Courtesy of Mick Keogh
Mr. Toomey, Mick Keogh's maternal grandfather
Courtesy of Mick Keogh

Comments about this page

  • I often met him in Leitrim Graveyard when I was tending my parent’s grave. He had a lovely easy way about him, unhurried and soft spoken.

    By Pauline Flynn (22/11/2021)
  • A True Gentleman Mick Keogh. I am fortunate to have known him all my life. The picture of the forestry workers, my Father John Joseph Cullen is the third from the Left hand side. I have wonderful memories of the Glen of Imaal , as a boy and man over from England. There was and still is some Wonderful characters in the Glen, my memories of Stranahealy staying with my Grandparents Paul and Helena Cullen.

    By John Cullen (20/08/2021)
  • Many thanks Rachel. Hope you,re enjoying the website.

    By Oonagh McElligott (28/05/2021)
  • Thank you Rachel. It is great to have Mick’s memories recorded. Hope you are enjoying our page.

    By Oonagh McElligott (09/11/2020)
  • Lovely warm piece written about Mick Keogh, local life in the Glen of Imaal and the shops in Knockanarrigan and Donard, well done bringing those places to life.

    By Rachel (23/07/2020)

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