The fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the ‘New’ Youghal Bridge.
It was on January 23rd 1963 that Neil T. Blaney, Minister for Local Government was to cut the ribbon on the magnificent concrete structure that would take lorries weighing forty tons. This was a big change from the metal structure downstream that could only take loads of ten tons – and then they had to wind slowly in and out through the sand-filled barrels to slow them down on a bridge that was rusting away underneath.
But Neil Blaney got sick on the day before the opening – and had to be replaced by Donagh O’Malley, a Parliamentary Secretary at the time, who then performed the ceremony. Seemingly the plaques had been prepared and installed (one at each side of the bridge) before the day arrived and they can still be read clearly today saying (wrongly) that Neil T. Blaney was the man who did the honours.
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