by ehistoryadmin on April 22, 2022

The Leinster Leader 25 September 1965

Tanyard Demolished

When workmen began work last week to demolish buildings in Ballitore tanyard and clear the site, there was much speculation in the district about the purpose of the work. Rumors that a new industry was being established were rife. A well-informed source, however, told the reason for knocking down the buildings as that they had been considered dangerous.

Opened in 1801 by the Cullen family, the tannery was for over 125 years a thriving industry employing up to 30-40 men. The leather it produced was held by experts to be as good as any obtainable in the world.  During the history of the tannery Ballitore had a population of about 800, which was equal at that period to the population of Baltinglass. The village was a beehive of small industries. These included bootmakers, harness-makers, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, and tailors. Today Ballitore knows no such craftsmen, except for Mr. John Wright, a tailor who lives near the tannery gate.

Close on 30 years ago the Cullen family sold Ballitore tannery to Portlaw Tanneries, who in turn disposed of it to Messrs. Woodhams & Moore, Dublin, the present owners. There has been no production in the tannery since before World War II.

Re-typed from the original by Roisin Brannock

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