Local History

In this section, we will feature pieces from local history on Oldcastle. First up, the Oldcastle Co-Op.

Picture courtesy of Ciarán O’Reilly

Oldcastle Co-Op Creamery Ltd.
The Oldcastle Co-Op was first registered in 1955 and shortly after
acquired a site at “sheep green” beside the railway station where
the Creamery and workshop were built and started operating on
1st June 1955.
In the early days, the Creamery operated as a separating plant
with the cream supplied to Annagelliffe Co-op in Cavan and the
skim returned to farmers for use as animal feed. Milk supply on
the first day was 400 gallons. ‘I remember farmers coming in with
milk in churns on the backs of trailers and tractors or in small
trailers hooked up on the backs of cars. Indeed I often collected
milk left to cool in streams … we were taking in 12,000 gallons a
day at one time.’ The first person to deliver milk into the
Oldcastle Co-Op was Leo Brady from Newcastle.
The Creamery Committee also set up a store to supply feed and
seeds to it’s customers and by 1959 had been granted a milling
licence to produced animal feed. A small mill was built – and the
Co-Op established it’s own ‘Castle’ brand. Initially they
manufactured pig rations, but the demand was such that they
went from 3 grain silos in 1965 to a total of 11 by 1980.

The Co-Op on the Square
In 1962 expansion of the store trade led the Co-op to
purchase the former premises where Porter Son & Co. had
operated for many years. They also purchased Lynch’s shed
(see aerial photo).
The Co-Op on the Square was both grocery and hardware –
grocery to the right and hardware to the left. For many years
a cashier sat in a specially constructed booth to handle the
The Co-Op moved to its current location at the railway yard in