Horse Owners at Historic Shamrock Stables Rally Against Eviction
By Ben Fractenberg
MIDTOWN WEST — Carriage horse owners rallied at the Shamrock Stables Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to avoid eviction from their historic digs.
About 25 Central Park carriage horses will soon be without a home following an eviction notice issued by the city in January. The property has been sold to developer Gotham Construction, who plans to build a luxury apartment complex.
Tenants at the 41-year-old stable, located at 522 West 45th St., now have until the end of the month to find a new home.
“This is my livelihood,” said Colm McKeever, who has been driving carriages for 21 years. “If I don’t have a stable I’m out of business.”
McKeever, 40, is one of 25 carriage drivers and stable hands working out of Shamrock.
Co-owner Ian McKeever (Colm's brother) said the carriage drivers are hoping that the city steps up to help them find an affordable new location. The owners’ feel the stable’s original home at East 61st Street would be ideal since the space is now vacant.
“It’s been a big part of the city for many years, even before the motor vehicle,” said carriage driver Colm Glennon, who has worked at Shamrock for 15 years. “People come to New York to take a carriage ride.
Irish immigrant James Campbell incorporated the stable in 1968. He ran the business until he died 10 years ago and his brother, John Campbell, took over.
“I’ve been through a lot of tribulations in my life,” said 75-year-old Campbell. “I just hope this will work out.”