Cill Chartha...Na Laetha A Bhi - a wonderful mix

A volume of wonderful photographs from Kilcar

The McGinley family from Umiskin

The McGinley family from Umiskin

I was delighted to be asked by Sean O’Beirne to launch “Cill Chartha...Na Laetha A Bhi” in the Aislann Centre a few weeks ago. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this volume of photographs is a wonderful example.
One of the attached photos shows the 1975 class in Carrick Tech which includes Sean O’Beirne and my sister Bernadette. (let’s hope the bellbottoms don’t come back into fashion!) .

While I was reminiscing about my days there, Nollaig Gillespie had the audience in stitches when she reminded them that “Frank’s immortal words on his first day there were ‘Where does one hang one’s coat in this establishment?” One found it!
The photograph of the McGinley family from Umiskin included the legendary footballer, James Patrick McGinley. James played his first game for Kilcar in 1924 and continued playing until 1947. He had a long and illustrious career with the county team playing in many positions from 1933 to 1946. An amazing feature and an indication of his fitness was that he did not have any injury during his long career and it is also worth recording that James Patrick may have initiated the solo run, at least in Kilcar, as he practised this skill as a boy and in his first game with Kilcar, when he went on a solo run the players from both sides stood and watched him scoring point after point when he got possession because this type of play had not been seen before.
The photo of Tom Carr on the hustings for Fine Gael reminds me of his great pub in Carrick. The Teelin lads, Frank and Tom always made sure there was plenty of room for them and their partners.
Once, while my father and I were there, a group of young backpackers were sipping a half-pint of Harp for maybe three hours at a table and Tom got a wee bit agitated. “Where are ye from?” he enquired.

“Ah we are from Switzerland!” they chorused. “Do you have laws in Switzerland?” Tom asked. “Ah ja we have many laws!” was the enthusiastic response.
“Well” says Tom, “ so do we...and one of the strictest ones is that you must consume at least three pints every hour...isn’t that right, Guard Galligan?” Pints were bought within seconds!
Josie Doogan was our ‘wee shop’ in Bogagh, “as decent a man ever stood behind a counter”, to quote my father.
He was very patient when the penniless weans asked him continually: “How much are the penny bars today, Josie?” When you said thanks, he always responded…”thank yourself now, thank yourself.” Whether it was dried hake, bacon, gobstoppers, brandy balls or paraffin oil, Josie’s was a real emporium.

Micheal Og McFadden
Micheal Og McFadden TD is pictured in the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry on horseback and a young John Joe McBrearty is pictured alongside my Granduncle, Canon Christopher McGinley and Bishop Doherty. John Joe and Pluto are also shown in 1973 and I remember then winning a big competition in Dublin and the nightclub being thronged with supporters. Mary B Gallagher has a particular memory of the gear I wore that night! One of the advantages of being born without shame glands. John O’Donnell, the fine tall man featured, was the owner and driver of the famous “Bogagh Bus Company” and the photo of the turf cutters in the Kildare bogs reminded me of a great story told to me by my father. He ‘breastcut’ turf there in the 1940’s and they lived in old army accommodation, billeted under corrugated roofs. It was tough going and food was a priority.

“The sausage was the lad!” he told me once in his Cavan accent. He became friendly with an illiterate lad from Connemara who had no English and who was homesick. He wanted to send money home weekly to his mammy, so dad would get the gist of what the young fellow wanted to say to his mother, and write a letter in English. He would post it (a few pounds included) to the PP in Indreabhan who would take it to the lad’s mother and translate it into Irish for her. 
This is only Volume 1 of the archive Kilcar photos...
I can’t wait for the next one.

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