‘Uncle’ Charley Cassidy, sitting at the Harbour in Kilkeel. After a lifetime spent fishing, Charley became harbour master in the late 1950’s.

1864 – Present Day

The Cassidy family has been involved with the Kilkeel Fishing industry for at least five generations both at sea and onshore. Charles Cassidy (senior) was in command of the fishing vessel ‘Cyprus’ which he co-owned with Alex Gordon, when on the 30lh May 1918 a German submarine boarded and scuttled 6 of the Kilkeel fleet, the “Cyprus’ being one of the casualties.

Charles’ son, also Charles became known affectionately as ‘Uncle’ Charley. He went to sea at an early age fishing on vessels such as the ‘Ellen Constance’, ‘Maud Chambers’ and ‘Harriet Ethel’.

Two of Charley’s sons also fished. The elder James (Jim) fished with various vessels before later working on his brother Harvey’s ‘Ocean Queen’. Harvey, as many others of his generation, had to juggle bad periods of the fishing with other jobs, mostly in public works. He eventually bought the trawler ‘Ocean Queen’ in partnership with F.S. Annett. Later his daughter Anne became company secretary for the well known fish sales firm of Richard Donnan.
Harvey’s eldest son John, in 1979 formed a partnership with his father which continued with the acquisition of ‘Ocean Quest’ in 1988. John works as the manager of Anglo North Irish Fish Producers Organisation, the Kilkeel based fisherman’s representative and fish sales company and owns a prawn trawler ‘Andrias’. His youngest son Andrew has served a cadetship in the Merchant Navy, hoping also to pursue a career at sea.

Harvey’s youngest son Ronnie, who had fished and worked as a fish salesman, established a partnership with his Aunt Anne to form C-Fish Selling, a fish sales company. Sadly Ronnie died at a relatively early age in 2009.
Today in 2011 Anne continues to manage C-Fish Selling with her son Michael, while her other son Charles fishes on a Pelagic Vessel.