Mrs Cooney’s famous TV
Louth man Paddy Clarke, is the organiser of the ‘RTE TV 25’ week of events in the North-East from October 5th to 11th to celebrate 25 years of television. He works in RTE’s Public Affairs Division and is also the Curator of the Broadcasting Museum.
He joined RTE in 1963 on the technical side and for the past 10 years he has written, lectured and broadcast on the history of electrical communication in Ireland. He has, currently a series of 4 programmes entitled ‘Messages in Time’ being broadcast on Monday evenings at 9.40 p.m. on RTE Radio 1.
His first experience of living in a home which had television, came in Drogheda in 1957, when he was working with the ESB as an apprectice elecrician in the Lourdes Hospital, which was then being built. He stayed in Mrs. Cooney’s in Windmill Road, where there was an Alba 19 inch television set which had been supplied by W.E. Berney.
He remembers rushing from work in the evenings to watch the Wimbledon tennis matches and he also recalls seeing on that television the film of an Ireland v. England soccer match in which England scored a heartbreak goal in the last second of the match.
In the Lourdes Hospital he worked with ESB men, Brendan Coyle, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Gerry O’Farrell and Joe Ledwidge. Joe had been trained with Shane MacNamee in Navan and Paddy Clarke remembers him as being a highly skilled technician andd a talented musician, which is not surprising as Joe hails from the family of Francis Ledwidge the well known Slane poet.