29 January 2017
Memory: Visiting Carlingford
As child of 10 or 11 I visited my Uncle Pat Joe Kearney (my dad is Des Kearney) when he lived up the hill and we had a wonderful week visiting relatives and playing round the town. 3 real memories that stay with me are getting in trouble for trying to empty the well in the back yard and making it muddy, helping to ring the church bell, and going to church after visiting relatives who were harvesting the previous day and watching my dad kneel down and and leave two piles of wheat grain on the floor that had collected in the turnups of his trousers the previous day. All things that would never have happened in Blackpool. Your website has jogged so many ageing memories Thank You.More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
In 1995 Fr Ambrose Woods retired P.P. of Ashford Kent and who was born in Carlingford in 1913 wrote a letter to an old school pal of his- Frank Mc Kevitt, who had emigrated to Australia in his early 20s.
Frank was the eldest son of Danny and Ellen Mc Kevitt Newry St.Carlingford.
The letter is one of reminiscing of times past when they were growing up.
I don’t know how it got back here to me in Carlingford.
I will copy it as it reads
What’s keeping you ? You went up the Back Lane a couple of hours ago and you said you were only going to see “Hairy Jemmy” and Pete Cassidy and would be back soon. But you must have visited Bill and Jack Ryan and Bridget and Mary McCrogaragh (Gregory) and Peter Fearon as well – not to mention Angela Brennan and family.God rest them all.
There are not to many left these days; I am the last of my family alive: Willie,Lily,Annie, Thomas, James, and Peter have all gone to their reward. I became a priest in England for nearly 60 years. Your own family are a credit to your good mother and father and they have fine children.
Incidentally some 46 years ago in 1949 I arrived into a parish in South London as a new curate. The P.P. said to me “ I fixed no time for your Mass tomorrow. Go down to such and such a house and get one of the ONeill boys to serve your Mass tomorrow” Mrs ONeill said yes and as we chatted I picked up my ears at her accent.I asked her where she was from and she said “Co.Louth” “Where’’I asked. “Glenmore Cooley’’ she said. “I’m from Carlingford” says I. “Do you know the North Commons” she said. ( to myself I said now how does this Glenmore woman living in London know the North Commons) I looked hard at her face and said “ You’re a sister of Mrs Danny Mc Kevitt’’
She then said to me “ A woman lives in the house across the road who is from Newry and she has a brother in Carlingford’’ So I wet across the road and she was a sister of Bob. Adamson father of Jack,Fred Robbie, Leslie, Gerry,Elizabeth, Brendan.! The first 2 houses I went into.
Of the old times the following are alive Tommy O Hare (Skurricks), Mary Mc Kevitt Havestadt and her American husband Joe, my sister in law Eileen Mc Shane Thomas’s widow: (her cousin Maggie, Hughie Brennan’s widow,died recently): Maggie Keenan widow of Percy Woods from Boher lives outside Dundalk: Billie O Reilly and his wife Maureen Mc Cartan: Baba,his sister Grainne a retired St Louis Sister lives in California but has made several trips home in recent years. Sean Reilly,son of wee John the carpenter is the local Undertaker.Maggie Elmore (Mrs Murphy) lives in Alice Sheridans house in the Coastguard Station, her brother Tpommy Elmore married and lives in Newtown Mt. Bagnal (Their father was “ The Jock Elmore” who lived above Willie Donnelly the shoemaker. Danny Brennan, brother of Hughie alive and healthy, lives in Newry ( he was an engine driver on the old D.N.G.R.)
Edith Wright is married toa man called Wright,but lives in the North in Tandragee: John Murph who was J.P.Kearneys No1 man and then became a rate collector, is strong and hearty at 93 years and lives at the Bush.: Ownie Hagan younger brother of Paddy from the North Commons went to N.Wales and married a business woman he worked for and is well off living in Llandudno: Pat Fitzharris who became a British customs man in N.Ireland lives in Donegal. Pat Fitzharis’ father was an R.I.C.man and sometimes comes to see us. Do you remember Michael Meehan son of R.I.C. Sergeant Meehan.He lives in Dublin and also comes to see us: Henry Harolds sister Molly, Mrs Gribben still lives in Mountain Park.Henry and his wife Kathleen Clarke are long dead RIP.
“Half ton” Ownie Connolly worked in Liverpool and died a few years ago. I used to visit him in an old peoples home on my way home. Patsy died years ago but his widow Jinny who worked in Larkins and finally lived in the old Connolly railway cottage at the gates died last year.
“The wee band’’ as Phil. God rest his soul used to call it is going strong. It has won prestigious competitions and I had the privilege of accompanying it to New York and Boston a few years ago and marching with them in the Patricks Day parades.
Great improvements have been made to all the old buildings,The Dominican Abbey, King Johns castle, the Tholsel and the Mint. Our local Heritage Trust got big monies from the European Fund for Ireland and other funds, and great restoration works were done on them. Count Taffes castle, which is not a castle but a medieval town house has still to be done. The “Green” where we played football became tennis courts.
The drawing I am sending you was made by Paul O Hare, son of Martin O’Hare and grandson of “Wee” Willie O’Hare and Molly Martin (Riverstown Inn)
Mary Flynn married to Paddy Finnegan lives in what was Rice’s cottage in the Ghan next door to Chistina Smith. My nephew Kevin has built a nice house in the near end of the far field, the old football field and has a family of 9 (or is it 10 children)
I am sure you heard of the tragedy of Rory McKevitts 2 two sons, God rest them.
I wonder if you remember “Silly Johnny” ? Johnny Dullinean who use to follow Armstrongs Mill “Me boss mill” he use to say. And anything you said to him,like “How are you Johnny” he would reply “Ha ha funny boy How are “aself”. Some of the boys persuaded him to go to confession to Fr. Mc Ardle P.P. of Cooley, Fr Mc Ardle asked him “ How long since your last confession “? And Johnny replied “Ha Ha funny boy how long aself”
Well Frank this may stir up a few memories for you. There are lots more ! The McAllisters of course!! Dr Eddie Finegan used to say that when he visited “Mickey the Nuns” he didn’t know whether he was in Mickeys house or his own! And when
Fr. Finegan asked him what they were going to call the new baby he said “ When me and Bridget talked about it we decided to call it St Joseph after the Virgin Mary” In fact it was a girl which they called Patricia at her baptism.
God bless you and yours. You are all in my daily Mass
More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
I remember returning home with my father Anthony in 2005 to visit Glenmore where his own father John was born in 1905. I say returning home, as I had never been to Glenmore before, but when I was there I felt like a salmon feels when it finally reaches its destination after traveling thousands of miles across the ocean to where it was born. My father himself had only been back once before with granddad in 1938 when he was just 12 years old and they had walked the whole way from Dundalk station to Glenmore. My father stayed next door with the Donnelly family and remembers being very embarrassed at staying with a lot of girls! He remembers my Great Grandmother, Mary O'Neill (ne Reilly) sitting in the corner of the old house dressed all in black. My father also vividly remembers the old Glenmore church with it's arch and slabs of stone laid by his ancestors, so much so we spent hours driving round trying to find it! Only to discover it had been rebuilt and a car park was now in it's place. That's progress! He recalled to me walking to the top of Slieve Foy with two of his cousins, Jerry and Albert and remembered how he cried when he reached the top he was so scared. He felt he was on top of the world. When we finally made it back to the top together fifty five year later he laughed at how he had felt back then as a boy and also laughed to his cousins Jerry and Albert who were no longer there that he wasn't crying now! Instead he has brought me home, his daughter, Shelagh who had made my own special journey with him to be there. Home again. We went to see Mary Reilly who lived up from the old house and as soon as I walked through the door she said she felt like crying as I looked the image of my Great Grandmother Mary. I knew I had come home again. I had always felt so tied to Ireland but as my mother and father had separated when I was just three I had never known why. So many unanswered questions. Great Granmother Mary and Great Grandad Andrew had had eight children, Mary (Minnie), Tom, Alice (who died aged 8), Elizabeth (who emigrated to Australia), John, Andrew, Peter and James. All of the children were the best turned out children you could imagine and how Mary was able to do that in the little cottage they all live in will always amaze me. When I was taken to the house, now a just a shed, I stood and wept. How she must have felt seeing all of her children leave her and emigrate to find work must have broken her heart. I can't imagine it. I feel so grateful that I was able to make it back to Glenmore with my father and see where we came from before he passed away last November. We spent so much of our lives apart, but walking up that hill together we found not just each other but how our roots were so entwined with one another and with Glenmore which will always stay with me forever. More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
It is Friday morning 1st May 2009 and I have just received a text from my father to say that he will be live on radio LMFM at approximately 10:45am to promote his new website www.carlingfordpeople.com. I'm not quite sure where to locate this particular station as I am a regular listener to Pat Kenny who broadcasts between 10am and 12 noon.
Excitedly, I dash into the office, with Jason, my 16th month old hot on my heels and do a quick search on the internet. I return to the kitchen and tune in my radio accordingly. It is only 09:45am so I busy myself with various things to do conscious not to venture too far from the vicinity of the radio lest I miss his moment!
Dad has been retired now for just over 4 years and spent the first year engaging in one of his most favourite past times - the garden! He has always been a forward thinker and so threw himself into creating a garden at the back of our house which would be both his and Mums whenever they should decide to sell "Shalom". Some years prior to his retirement, he had a back operation from which he never quite fully recovered but despite this he was not prepared to sacrifice his passion for gardening. The pains however threatened to get worse and some months later he found himself back in the Mater Hospital undergoing a fourth back procedure.
Having slowly recovered from his operation Mum insisted he take things easy and perhaps in hindsight slightly regrets the notion as she was soon to find her husband taking up permanent residence in the kitchen, perched comfortably on his newly acquired leather swivel chair, eyes fixed on the screen in front! With the prospect of a new and exciting idea on the horizon, the garden had to take a back seat, however is consistently and carefully rescued from neglect by Mum who gives it the attention it needs and deserves.
As I wait for the DJ to announce my father, I am drawn to the website and decide to record a memory. I am stiffened at the realisation that none come to mind and am left feeling a little distraught that perhaps I have none to share. I abandon the PC as I hear Dads voice over the airwaves.
He begins quietly with hesitation in his voice, stumbling a little over his words. I know that although he is a more than competent orator the anticipation of such an interview would have tied many knots in his stomach. As the interview progressed, my sense of his nervousness dissipated as he found his stride. He spoke of days of old and people that has passed but had not been forgotten. He talked about community and the importance of it and family. I felt a sense of pride as the interview came to a close.
As that day progressed, my mind was filled with on ocean of memories from my first kiss in the Queens Garden of King Johns Castle to the Oyster Festivals of old, from Pope John Paul’s visit to Drogheda to my first and only year in St. Michaels College Omeath (now The Tain Village) with Father Kenny as principal .
I will at some future date enjoy recounting in detail some of these memories but for today this memory of my father is the one I would like to share.
Monday, May 18 2009 - 11:08 PM
More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
My memory of Carlingford was PJ O'Hare babysitting me. Let me explain!!
My dad was Henry Murphy he was a Rent Collector but also was a Home Assistance Officer for the Cooley Peninsula. ( Fancy word now Community Welfare Officer ) He had two jobs and now its divided into three! Wont comment on the Public Sector here Ha Ha.
Anyway I use to go to Irish Dancing in Carlingford, he was always late collecting me, so I had to wait in PJ's bar, the sweet area mind you on a high stool. PJ's gave me hot orange every week without fail.
He use to encrypt words and each week I had a task of figuring out the townland of the Cooley area. Prize was a Cadburys bar of chocolate each week.
God to this day I still love plain chocolate.
So thanks to PJ I now have a chocolate addiction! :)More > (0 comments)