<p>View of Carlingford from the sea</p>

View of Carlingford from the sea


Ann Hanway nee Curran

29 January 2017

When I visited Carlingford in Summer 2008 I realised it was almost 50 years since I left to live in England.
So many changes (for the better) in the old town but I had plenty of memories from school days at the 'old' school beside the Church.
My granfather was James O'Hare, Dundalk St.(brother of 'big'Hugh O'Hare) My mother was Molly O'Hare Curran sister of John O'Hare who lives in Dundalk.
I lived in Dundalk St., with my grand parents, James & Minnie O'Hare, my uncles John & Jimmy, Aunt Lily. Aunt Gertie and my mother, Molly were away nursing.
I got to hear of your web site via a friend who lives in Birmingham England. I now live in Melbourne,Australia and scrolling through the photo gallery was a real treat.Thank you Kevin for your hard work and for the historical info ..brilliant More > (0 comments)

Kevin Woods

29 January 2017

First Communion
Miss Quinn had prepared us well for our first Holy Communion. Over and over and over again we repeated prayers before and after until they were word perfect. We had practiced everything in the classroom for the big day for weeks on end . She was the priest and the large iron cast fire-guard that surrounded the coke stove at the centre of the back wall was to be the alter railings. If you who don’t understand the reason why there were railings its important to remember that they were in all Catholic churches until decreed to be removed after Vatican Two.

We would line up, hands joined- there would be no interlacing of fingers - straight fingers only and thumbs crossed over to hold the position. We knelt down in a row on the classroom side of the fire–guard in deep prayerfulness and desperately tried to ignore the swish of the Masters cane on the far side of the partition. The “priest” Miss Quinn took the “ciborium” with the “hosts” to the other side of the fire-guard. We knew from the bigger boys that had gone before us that this would be a moment of sheer ecstasy. I watched from the corner of my eye and could see the long black skirt and black flat shoes move ever closer. It was important that you got your timing just right. Reverence demanded that you close your eyes and put your tongue out to receive the host. It took me quite a time to perfect this. If you closed your eyes too soon and put your tongue out and nothing happened, you could open them again put your tongue back in just as communion arrived . Disaster! I got it perfect on this occasion, eyes closed , tongue out and Miss Quinn laid a dolly mixture right smack in the middle of it.Wow! We loved this part of the practice.

The big morning arrived for me. I was suitably prepared, my soul sparkling like the cleanliness of day of my baptism. I was word perfect the final dress rehearsal had been inspected by the Master himself from next door. We had made our first confession and I had told the priest that I had stolen more buns from my mother that she had ever baked. I just didn’t want to get the number wrong.
As for cursing, the priest must of thought that I spoke nothing else but curses when he asked “How many times”. I was so glad there was a curtain between me and him and that he couldn’t see me and even if there hadn’t been, he would only have seen the top of my head for I had crouched down just in case.

I was suitably decked out for the big day with my new suit bought from Sean Burke in Earl St. Short trousers were the norm then with socks to the knees and black shoes, special white prayer book that included Latin, throw in a few aunts, Godparents, if your family knew a few nuns that would insure that you had enough rosary beads to last you a lifetime.
It is hard to image now but at that time my father had just bought a machine called a fridge. It measured about 3 frt. 3ft.It was used to store milk and butter.We had never seen the like of it before as up till this time these items were kept in “The Safe” in the scullery which was a number of shelves about 6 in all with wire mesh doors to keep the flies away. I loved milk. It came from the cow that we owned in Castletown. My Uncle Thomas milked it each day, we collected the milk, and he got the calves each year, a workable arrangement. On the morning of my communion I went to the new fridge door opened it and was amazed to see ice on the top of the jug where the cream should be. Without a moments hesitation I lifted the jug to my head and lowered the lumps of frozen milk into my mouth.It was at that moment that my brother Michael later to become a priest arrived on the scene. ”You broke your fast” he said “you can’t go to communion”.

At that time the rules were that you had to fast for 24 hours before receiving. Word spread around the house like wildfire. They all arrived to the scullery “ You broke your fast, you broke your fast”. I think my mother said that I shouldn’t been drinking out of a jug. We left Ghan House for St Michaels in silence.We arrived in silence except for the sobbing and sniffin of myself the sinner.The Master was there organizing everyone. I didn’t dare to raise my eyes to look at him. The saints sat in the front row of the church while I was in the middle of the congregation with my parents. The great moment came, the saints knelt the length of the rails, hands just right, eyes closed, tongues to receive, “Corpus Christi” and my moment was gone. The saints were congratulated on their great day and left the church for the customary group photograph. As a concession I was allowed to stand in.I have never seen this group photo in all that I have collected, it might be that it was torn up by everyone that had one for I must have looked a sight.

I made my first communion on the next Monday morning at the regular Mass, on my own with my family there. I am probably the only one that this happened to in the parish or maybe even the country. God made up for my disappointed that Sunday long ago, I got an extra day off school and no saint ever made as much money in 6d pieces as I did over the week as the news of my story spread. Thank you God.

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Kevin Woods

29 January 2017

Can the person who filled in the memory of Lizzie
Nicholson on the Castle Hill contact me at

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Pat Mc Kevitt

29 January 2017

The Circus
An annual attraction was the visit of the circus. Duffy's circus was the firsr one I remember and later Fossetts' circus replaced it. One memory is of Paddy McMahon from the Greenore Rd. riding the bucking bronco ( a mule or a jinnet )and ,to grear cheers holding on to the end without being thrown off once. The 'strong man' in Duffys' or possibly, Fossetts' was a man named Moriarty. While the visit of the circus was an annual event 'Pitch and Toss@ was a regular pastime and on Sunday mornings and on other suitale occasions was played with quite a degree of intensity just off the lane running down from the Tholsel.
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David McCloskey

29 January 2017

I remember when the Pipe band started, 1973 I think, Patjoe Kearney and Benny Fretwell were the instructors, as they were members of the old pipe band. I really looked forward to practise night when "you would get to " show off on the chanter" what you had learned from the previous night". Later when the pipes were blown up, there was a thrill ran through me to hear that sound, it still does.More > (0 comments)