Turn left at the traffic lights before the bridge and walk along by the river – you are now walking along Castle Street – but very many of the residents of Ashbourne know this only as Ned’s Lane. Have you ever wondered who was Ned?
Ned was Ned Nulty and he was born in the long white cottage at the beginning of the lane in 1919. He was bom there and lived there all his life. Ned was one of four children – two boys and two girls. His brother Patrick owned the old Dardis and Dunnes premises where he was tragically killed in an accident in 1956. Records show that Nultys lived here on Castle Street as far back as the 1830’s.
Ned was a farmer. He loved people and animals and was always ready to sit and chat. He had a great interest in, and knowledge of the history of the area, which he loved to share with others. Ned once said that he got his love of local history from the schoolmaster Mr.Geraghty. School for Ned was the two roomed building which is now the parish hall where he was taught by Mrs Condon and then by Mr.Geraghty. The schoolmaster at that time lived in what is now the Ashbourne House Hotel.
Ned was known too as a generous man. It was he who was very involved in the clean-up of the old Killegland cemetery in the late 1970’s. The little wall standing now in the graveyard is not the original wall, but was built using some of the old stones from the ruins. Ned sold his land to Frank Dunne to build most of the Garden City estate in the early 1970’s.
Ned died on 27th May 1998 but his memory lives on in the popular name of the road on which he was born and in the stories he shared with so many.