Jan 26 2014


Published by at 12:25 pm under News

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Come here and I ask you, did I ever tell you about the time I fell asleep in the confession box? At the time I was about ten years old. Myself and four of my pals, Willier Kavanagh, Sambo Hyland, Luke Fagan and Frank Lyons used to got to confession every Saturday afternoon after our adventure. That day I didn’t realise how tired I was until I stepped into the confession box and went to kneel down but instead of kneeling I fell asleep in a heap on the floor. You see the thing is, that morning myself and my pals had met on the brow of Broombridge overlooking the canal and railway. We were trying to decide what kind of adventure to have. One of my pals told us that Geronimo had kidnapped his sister and was going to make her into a Squaw and when he did he wasn’t going to let her go to Mass because he wasn’t a Catholic. So we decided there and then that we’d better raid Geronimo’s camp and rescue my pal’s sister.

As we sat on our horses pondering which way to go Sambo Hyland got down off his horse and knelt on the ground. Now Sambo was a great Indian tracker and knew all the signs to look for. He had learned this skill from watching a Cowboy film on the Cabra Grand Picture House. Then he stood up and looked all around. Suddenly he let out a yelp and pointed in the direction of Reilly’s Bridge. Sure enough, there it was, a cloud of dust rising in the distance. ‘There they go’ he shouted as he mounted his horse. I had my rifle (A long stick I’d found on Ratoath Road) next to my saddle and the cap gun and holster that I’d gotten from Santy last Christmas strapped to my waist. I slapped my Palomino Pony with the reins and we all galloped off at a rapid speed down along the bank of the canal. ‘Yah, yah, giddyup’  we shouted at our horses as we headed off in hot pursuit of Geronimo and his band of savage warriors.

We finally arrived at the scene of the cloud of dust only to find three young lads kicking an old tin can around. Sambo said he was sure they were some of Geronimo’s men just trying to put us off the scent. We rested for a while to let our horses drink from the canal water. The Arizona sun was high in the sky and we all knew it was going to be a tough job trying to catch up with Geronimo. We decided to head south of the border and make our way down to the hills down by Fassaugh Avenue. We knew of course that there were plenty of Box Canyons from which we could be ambushed and especially along by the Bogey Fields where Geronimo was known to attack wagon trains coming down from Ventry Park. This was going to be a three day ride from Ratoath Road and we were running short of water to drink and already the going was tough.

At sundown the following day we arrived at Matt Whelan’s pub and stepped into the bar to quench our thirst. As we walked through the swing doors the crowd at the bar looked like they were gunning for a fight until they saw Willier Kavanagh with us. He was known far and wide as the fastest gun in the west, Cabra West. When Willier spat into the spittoon the crowd stepped back some more. Frank Lyons ordered us some Taylor Keith lemonade while Luke Fagan struck a match on the heel of his booth to light his cigar with. We were tough, really tough. The barman told Sambo that he had seen signs of Geronimo out on the Carnlough Hills. So we saddled up and headed down by the Dispensary on to Quarry Road. This was a relatively quiet area because of the Soldiers Houses on our right. However, we still rode with our guns at the ready. We knew we couldn’t be too careful.

As we rounded by the Picture House Frank spotted smoke signals from across the railway tracks. We dismounted from our horses and walked quietly with them up along the side of the Homestead. Willier Kavanagh suggested we tie up our horses and travel on foot across the tracks and up into the hills. After about a half hour later we came across signs of Geronimo’s camp. Two of my men went to the left and two went to the right while I advanced ahead. Suddenly, there was the camp with my friend’s sister tied to the Totem Pole. I was just about to break cover and rescue her when Geronimo appeared with a Tomahawk in his hand. It was made from an old Bachelor’s Beans can and had a stick shoved up inside for a handle. Geronimo brought the Tomahawk down on my head with a smack. He hit me several times on the top of my head. I looked up at him and told him not to be hitting me so hard or I wouldn’t let him play with us anymore.

It was then I had a great idea and diving at him threw my arms around his legs to try and knock him to the ground. With that he hit me on the head again but this time even harder than before. I looked up to let a roar at him and there looking down at me was the priest dressed up as Geronimo. He kept clattering me about the head and shouting at me for falling asleep in his confession box. I shouted back at  him ‘Bless me Father for I have sinned, I thought you were Geronimo Father…’ And with that another clatter. ‘…but Father Geronimo’s not even a Catholic’. More clatters followed until I finally managed to get up on my feet and run out of the church.

As I stood alone at the top of the church steps I looked around for my pals but they were nowhere to be seen. I reckoned that Geronimo’s braves must have chased them off. So riding alone into the sunset I headed up Fassaugh Avenue and home. I tried to tell the Ma’ all about Geronimo and the Priest but I don’t think she was listening…’

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