Mar 18 2017

‘1966 and life was great…’

Published by at 9:32 am under News

Could this be me

Martin Coffey 1967

‘Could this be me I wonder?…This photo was taken in Woolworth’s in Grafton Street in July 1966. I was in town one Saturday evening with Tony Norton and Georgie McCluskey. Earlier that day I bought some new gear, black shirt, white tie and black suede boots. We went for a stroll into Stephen’s Green at around 7.30pm. At some stage or other we heard a woman screaming and we laughed at the idea of it being some Hippy out of her head and dancing around. As we came to the Duck Pond we saw this woman standing next to a tree and screaming “He’s dead”, or maybe it was “She’s dead”. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a little figure lying face down in the water about 200 yards out. I ran and jumped into the water and waded out to it. Now, I have to tell you that at that time I couldn’t swim an inch to save my life.

I remember lifting the little limp and dead figure up into my arms and making my way back to the edge of the lake. I could see that my two pals and a group of people had gathered around the screaming woman. As I came near to the edge I didn’ t realise that there was a cemented slope underneath the water and slipped face down with the little child in my arms. I smashed my forehead on the cement and I remember watery blood running down my face.

My two pals reached in and helped pull me and the little tot out of the water.One man held the child upside down to drain any water out of it. I put the child lying on the grass and applied Artificial Respiration that I had learned in the Cabra Tech. Now, the child was dead when I took it out of the water, with no sign of life. Suddenly the little soul came back to life and started screaming it’s lungs out. A woman told me to take off my new suede boots and she handed me her head scarf to dry my feet with. I remember turning around to see how the child was but both mother and child had gone.

The Park Attendant came over and started giving me loads about I’m not allowed to be in the water. Tony Norton told hiim what had happened and he suggested we go to the hospital down the road to get my clothes dried out. We did that alright but the hospital boiler was turned off because it was summer time. We travelled home to Cabra West and me soaking wet but when the Bus Conductor heard of our story he wouldn’t take any fare from us. The Da’ told me I’d get a big reward and that it would be in the papers. But I never did hear anymore of this incident and over the years I often wondered how the child fared out. So when I came across this article in the Newspaper Archives I just wondered…

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