‘I was sad to go, but it was time to leave’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A COUNCIL worker, who has seen significant changes in the landscape of South County Dublin over his 44 years of working for the local authority, celebrated his retirement in the Roadstone Social Club on Friday.

Clondalkin man Brendan Kelly (62) started working for South Dublin County Council in the 1970s, when he was 18 years old, and started his career as a general operative in the water section.

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Brendan and family, Pauline, Gavin, Alan, Orla and Hayden

 Since then he has worked across a number of sections, including household waste and roads.

In the early ’80s, Brendan went back to the water maintenance section and rose up the ranks to chargehand at the time of his retirement last December.

His retirement was marked with a party with family and friends on Friday.

Reflecting on what he has enjoyed about working for the council, Brendan said: “I was in different areas and doing a different type of job every day, and I was always meeting new people.

“I liked being in charge, around the ’90s I became a ganger and got my own team, where we would go out and do repairs.

“In 2004 I became a chargehand, which is basically being an assistant to the foreman, and I was in that role ever since.”

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Brendan with his eight sisters

The largest project that Brendan worked on was the installation of trunk mains that went under the canal at the back of Bawnogue, under Newlands Cross, the dual carriageway, Roadstone and up to the reservoir at Belgard, but what has stood out most in his mind is the changing landscape of the county.

“A lot of houses were built in the 80s,” explained Brendan, “but I never thought the county would get as big as it has – and it’s still getting bigger.

“If you went to Clondalkin in the ’80s and ’90s you wouldn’t know it now.”

As housing developments mushroomed in the county, Brendan and his colleagues were instrumental in installing water mains to service the new residential areas.

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Brendan with his wife Pauline

He looks back on his time in the council positively, but is looking forward to enjoying his retirement.

“I was sad to go, but I felt it was time to leave,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to going on more holidays with my wife, Pauline, but I’ll miss the lads I worked with and all the friends that I made. It was a great job, I really enjoyed it.”

Brendan is looking forward to his upcoming holidays to Lanzarote and Rome with his wife, spending more time with his sons and grandson, and getting a few games in on the golf course.

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