Jan 20 2012

Dollymount Bridge.

Published by at 12:04 am under News

Do you know what it is…if I had a penny for every time the Ma’ and Da’ walked us across this bridge I could afford to pay for my television licence. Now this is a photograph of the refurbished bridge, it’s not the original one that had the big wide spaces between the planks that you were always afraid of falling through. Wasn’t it great all the same all those years ago as kids when we were taken out to old ‘Dollyer’ for the day. Be the jakors the excitement was great altogether. There’d be a big scramble getting out of beds that morning after the Da’ had come into the bedroom roaring and shouting ‘Hello Dollymount, here we come’. That was the first hint we had that we were heading off for the day to the seaside. I remember hopping out of the bed and putting the brothers shoes on instead of my own. ‘Here, get your smelly feet out of my shoes’. ‘Da’, he’s wearing my shirt’. And of course us boys didn’t wear underpants then either. And we all didn’t have swimming nicks either, we had to wear the sisters knickers instead. Honest to God what would kids today think of us back then?

Downstairs the Ma’ and the older sisters were going like the Hammers of Hell at the sandwich making. And of course the Da’ had his ould Primas Stove all packed and ready to go. ‘There’s nothing like a good ould cup of tea at the seaside’. So the Ma’, the Da’ and nine kids headed off down Killala Road to the bus stop on Lower Carnlough. You know the one that was nearly facing Drumcliffe Road? I can still see the Da’ pacing up and down cursing under his breath at the absence of any sign of a bus. There he’d be smoking his cigarette while the Ma’ was spitting onto an old hankie and jamming it into my ear. ‘I could make candles out of all that wax in your ears’.

When the bus finally came along we all hopped on and ran upstairs but the Ma’ and Da’ always sat downstairs on the long seat at the back. Looking back on it now I think the Da’ only paid the fare for half of us kids. And then we were only on the bus and we had to get off again in town. We were like stampeding cattle out of a John Wayne film as we charged along to the bus for Dollymount. Imagine the excitement of getting two buses to the seaside in one day. With our little faces pushed up against the glass of the bus window we eagerly awaited in excited anticipation for the first glimpse of water as the bus trundled along Clontarf Road. Good God I’m even getting excited writing this…‘Come on gang, last to the bridge is a monkey’. Oh what great memories. With all of our little feet running across the old wooden bridge we sounded like an old locomotive train coming out of Amiens Street station on its way to Bray.

I think my family must have been in Clontarf with Brian Boru chasing the Vikings into the water because we’ve been going there ever since. The Ma’ and Da’ went there when they were chiselers as did their parents before them and so on. Sure I’m nearly sure that half of Cabra was there along with King Brian too. And didn’t we take that battle up to Cardiffsbridge to fight the Vikings from Finglas. You see, these are all the kind of things that go through my head anytime I walk across the old wooden bridge to Dollyer. I’d be even talking to myself when I’m walking across it and people would be looking at me kinda quare, you know what I mean? Sure half of them are only ‘Blow Ins’. Ah yes, God be with the days alright. I think I’ll half another sambo and a cup of tea now and close my eyes and pretend I’m in Dollyer…

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