Jul 24 2012

Annie Burke from Broombridge Road

Published by at 8:28 pm under News

This is my grandmother Annie Burke, she’s the only grandparent I ever met. She lived on Broombridge Road in Cabra West. She transfered to that address in 1951 from Avondale House in Cumberland Street. She was one of the first people to move into those flats when they were built to house families out of the tenements. She transfered to Cabra with a man who made Paper Flowers and he was anxious to move back into town because he thought Cabra West was too far out in the country. One of the first things that my granny had to do when she moved into Broombridge was to take a pile of nails out of the kitchen and parlour floors that your man had nailed down to make his flowers with.

When my granny was about three years of age she lived with her parents and two brothers in a tenement room. While her parents were out one day a fire broke out in the tenement and the youngest boy in the family died. As a result the authorities placed my granny and her brother into state care. She ended up in an orphanage in County Tipperary and no one ever knew where her brother went. When she was 12 years of age she was given to a family who had a pub and shop in a small Tipperary village. This family were very good to her and looked on her as one of their own.

When my granny was 23 years old and unmarried she had her first child. She went to the Workhouse in Tipperary Town to give birth to her new baby boy. Three days later he was baptised in the little chapel adjacent to the Workhouse. Three years later my granny and her little boy finally returned to Dublin to live. She managed to re-connect with her mother and stepfather, her own father had died some years earlier. She also met her long lost brother Joseph and the two of them were inseperable until the day he finally passed away.

My granny died in England in 1964. She went away on her first ever holiday to my sister in Essex. On that particular summer morning they walked along Clacton seafront and by all accounts my granny was in great form. After a good old fashioned English dinner my granny lay on her bed for a nap and never woke up. She was brought home to Glasnevin for buriel.

Sadly I never really knew my granny because I was so young when she died. The one thing I do remember her for is that she would always give me a clout for doing nothing. One time two of my older brothers locked her in the Da’s chicken shed. They paid for that I can tell you. Well now if there’s one thing I’d really like to do it’s to sit down and talk to my granny about her time in the orphanage and ask her what it was like. And that’s funny really because I’ve met quite a few people recently who have said something similar about one or two of their own relations who have died. Well now I have most of my brothers and sister talking on tape about growing up in our house in Cabra West. I also have my Ma’ on tape but never had a tape recorder when the Da’ was around. So maybe if you have a little time on your hands you’ll start writing down all those things you remember when you were growing up or better still go out and buy a tape recorder.


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