Saturday, December 27, 2008

Matt’s Memories
Ballymore Eustace Historical Society
Talking to C.J. Darby lately, I gather he has received a large amount of written material and photos for the book the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society intend publishing. C.J. has put this material on his computer. Having seen some of the material he has, I look forward to the book when it comes out.
Ollie’s DVD
Going back to Ollie’s DVD (produced by West Wicklow Films Production), it had shots of my sister Margaret, my late brother Dan and my brother Billy. Regarding Dan, it showed him throwing himself at the line in a photo finish and falling in the process.
Field Day in Quinn’s Field, Coughlanstown
These shots were taken around 1957 and include: late John Headon; Tom Cahill; Joe Quinn; Mary Murphy (Dowdenstown); Patsy Conway; Claire Doyle; late Mrs Igoe; late Maureen Doyle (Sillagh); late Martin Murphy (Dowdenstown); late Maurice Barker; late (and smiling as usual) Ned O’Rourke; late Pat Nugent – caring for his donkeys; Phyllis Marshall falling in a three-legged race (not sure who was with her but I suspect I know - and if I’m right - she is now a Granny); late Pauline Whelan; Nuala Sullivan; Seamie Clarke – waiting for another race to run in; late Frank Tutty; Christy Nolan; Jack Fitzharris; late Tony Boylan; John Kelly; Will Hennessy; Paddy Conway (Dowdenstown) mounting a donkey; Tom Fennan holding Paddy’s donkey; late Jim Dolan; late Don Ryan and the Murphy sisters (Coughlanstown) – Margaret and Judy.
Performers on the DVD
While I enjoyed all the performers on Ollie’s DVD, I became hooked on the singing of Margaret Eustace. Margaret sang two songs on the DVD along with Ann Devlin and Patsy McEvoy. Patsy was another singer I particularly enjoyed his version of The Wicklow Mountains High. Shay Eustace did a lovely recitation about Ann Devlin. Mick Brady referred to a song he based on a letter written by his cousin’s mother when his cousin’s father died. I gather Mike Brady is a regular performer in Pat Murphy’s lounge. His cousin’s name was Peter Keogh. We had a Peter Keogh who I once knew from Coughlanstown and who lived in the house where the late Charlie Farrell lived most recently. Our Peter was into athletics before he immigrated to England many years ago.
The film acknowledges the contributions of the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society, Fr P. Dowling, Michael Kelly and Crena McGee.
Ballymore Eustace Historical Society Video
Seeing the West Wicklow DVD prompted me to have another look at the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society’s Video on which it was based. This Video was twenty-seven minutes long and consisted of six parts. The earliest part being of a Corpus Christi Procession taken about 1952. Others were all taken in 1957 by Fr Paddy Dowling: Sports in Quinn’s Field; Erecting Statue at the New School; Santa Claus parade to Old Band Hall; Party in the New School; and, Shake Hands with the Devil. The later was about the making of the film. The lower part of the village was transformed while the film was ongoing.
Corpus Christi Procession
The film of the 1952 Corpus Christi Procession had many Ballymore Eustace stalwarts in it including my brother James and Kevin Burke. The Video contains extra shots of the Field day not included in the DVD. These included shots of myself recovering after falling, face first, in the pit in the long jump. My sister Margaret and brother Dan were nearby at the time and are included in the film. Meanwhile, in the Video Dan is shown winning a race I had forgotten about. The late Jack Doyle, Sean Doyle (Seasons) and the late Mattie Kelly also appear in it.
I recently learned of the death of my former work colleague, John Jennings of Templeogue, Dublin on March 23, 2008 at Tallaght Hospital R.I.P. John was a Principal Officer with Dublin County Council’s Finance Department.
Handball fans will be sorry to learn Wexford’s Seamus Dempsey died in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on Saturday September 20 R.I.P. He was 69 years of age. His wife Eithne, children - Alan, Gavin, Padraig, Noel and Alison, brother Paddy, sisters - May, Betty, Anna and Kitty, grandchildren, son-inlaw, daughters-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law nephews, nieces and relatives survive Seamus.
Sorry to see from the last Bugle that Kathleen Cowley (nee Jackson - wife of the late Andy) of Bishopland passed away. Kathleen died on November 7 R.I.P. Her daughter Margaret, sons Andrew, Noel, Hubert and Declan, son-in-law Eddie, daughters-in-law Liz and Virginia, grandchildren, sisters-in-law and relatives survive Kathleen. Kathleen is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery. Coming so soon after the death of her sister, May Dennison, this must have been a great shock to Kathleen’s family.
Mícheal (Michael) Murphy of Whiteleas died on November 22 R.I.P. His wife Eileen, sons - Gerard, Michael and Alan, daughters - Mary, Angela, Colette, Therese and Lisa, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces grandchildren and relatives survive Mícheal. Mícheal is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery.
I wish all our readers - and those home for the festival - a very happy Christmas. Additionally, I would like to thank all those who assisted me in any way with my Bugle contributions during the past year.
© Matt Purcell (November 26, 2008)

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