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
Son of John Smyth Castletown Cooley
Many happy holidays over the years and memory's More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
Pastimes before the advent of Radio and TV.
The popular pastimes in the village in the 1940s and into the 1950s were football , standing at Bob Mc Garrell’s corner discussing world, national and local affairs; hunting rabbits and kibbing birds; chatting in Mc Shanes tea shop or, straight across from it, Rice’s; chasing (see below); competing in the annual regatta; attending, or performing in, concerts in the “Hall " as the Parochial Hall was commonly called ; playing billiards and playing cards, whist drives and Sunday night dances in the same hall; attending plays in the Wee Lane Hall and the parochial hall; badminton in the hall; first aid classes; Irish classes in Greenore: sports days in Wood’s field which usually included tug o war, the main rivals in this sport being Rathcor and Glenmore; drinking bottles of Guinness a minority pastime then; racing on four-wheelers (home- made from pram wheels and timber) down Mc Kevitt’s Hill, the Convent Hill and the Castle Hill, the roads during the war years being virtually free of motor traffic; robbing orchards; attending October Devotions and indulging in some larking about coming home in the dark; the occasional trip on Keenans buses to Dundalk or Newry to see a film and possibly treat oneself to fish and chips.
There was no TV, no video games, no CDs, no mobile phones and not much money floating about.
Carlingford in the 1940s was a TV free zone as was, indeed, each of the 32 counties. Only a minority of homes had wireless sets in the early 40s and crowds gathered the radio (powered by wet batteries) in the Parochial Hall on Sundays to listen to Michael O Heir’s dramatic broadcasts of big games in Croke Park and in various provincial centres such as Thurles. Next door the front window in Danny McKevitt’s front room would be opened to allow those gathered outside to enjoy O Heir’s lively commentaries. A point of interest here: wireless sets made in what was then the Free State listed a station under the title The Six Counties.
In 1948 a group of business men M. J. O Rourke, coal merchant, was one and the then head of the Kearney family of Wilville - JP or, if he was dead at that stage, his son Donal - was another) opened a cinema in Newry St. on a site created by the demolition of Kearneys store. Photos/stills of Hollywood stars adorned the lobby (June Haver was one of the stars on show) and the admission price for the body of the hall was 1 shilling and 8 pence with lower prices at the very front and higher prices for the few raised rows at the rear. The opening film, as far as I recall, was Wings of the Morning featuring a Sunny Tufts and horse racing and the voice of John McCormack.
The cinema was a big success for a number of years. Bill Boyd playing Hopalong Cassidy entertained the younger element and some senior citizens too, practically every Sunday. The operator was, as far as I recall, Leslie Adamson and possibly also, his brother the late jack Adamson. Others involved at the box office and as usherettes were, as far as I remember: Doris Hanlon, Margaret Boyle, Laura McKevitt and Billie Cunningham
Telafis Eireann opened on New Years Eve 1961, President Eamon de Valera presiding at the inauguration. UTV was available in the North East of the country somewhat earlier having come on air on 31 October 1959. The 1940s was a TV free decade and sometime in the 1950s UTV and BBC Northern Ireland were available to those few with TV sets but reception tended to be poor and clarity was denied by a more or less perpetual drift of snowflakes.TV sets were few ( later on Des Boyle abandoned his bicycle business â?" where Michael Thornton and Eileen now live on Newry St.- and got into the more lucrative business of selling TV sets as demands for them rose rapidly). Hugh OHare’s father of the late PJs had a TV in his bar and many gathered there to see the sad scenes shot at Munich when the Manchester United team lost many fine players in the air disaster in 1958.
Some of the pastimes mentioned above merit a separate short article each. Suffice here to explain about “Chasing”. This was an activity for after dark and involved the young participants separating into two groups: one or two did the chasing and the rest shot off to hide. The chasers tried to locate the various hiders. The game ender when all were located but as that was a rare enough event it was deemed advisable not to drag out the game pointlessly and the chaser/s would signal a new round, entailing new chasers/hunters by calling loudly “All in” “All in”. This sport nearly always began outside Rice’s shop (between the Centra supermarket and the Carlingford Arms or, at the time, Wood’s butcher shop and Bob Mc Garrell and those hiding did so within an area not more than roughly 200yards from this starting point.
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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
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29 January 2017
John J Murphy, son of John Murphy & Rose Fagan, and Mary Carne daughter of James Carne & Biddy Boyle all of Carlingford in early 1800's
emigrated to America in 1851 -
Have their history available
I'm the great-grandson of John J Murphy /
Peter R. O'Brien - email