Mar 14 2014

‘Happy St Patrick’s Day…’

Published by at 11:19 pm under News


Will I ever forget going into town with the Da’ and a few of his pals  to see the Saint Patrick’s Day parade? And there’d be a gang of other kids from the road trailing behind them. ‘Here Mister Coffey, me Ma’ said can we go with you to see the parade’? Now we never got the bus into town, we always walked. Now back in my time we didn’t have all the fancy green stuff that you can buy today. We just had a bit of dried out shamrock stuck onto our jumpers with nappy pins.

Before we’d leave the house the Ma’ would spit on the corner of her apron and wipe it all over my face to make sure I was clean, ‘In case of an accident’ she’d say. Can you imagine some ambulance fella on the day and he saying to his mate, ‘Eh, here Ernie, we can’t take this Young Fella to the hospital, his make is manky dirty’.

Then after a while the Da’ would tell all of the kids to walk in front so that he could keep an eye on them. I’ll tell you something, it was like a herd of cattle being driven down to the North Wall from the Cattle Market. One of the Da’s  pals started singing ‘Hail Gloria, Saint Patrick’ and all the kids joined in and you could nearly feel Holy God forgiven you all your sins.

Our main goal was to get a place on the Daniel O’Connell statue so that we’d all get a good view of things. Now, there was always millions of people there before us and it became a bit of a melee with us and them. You’d thing we were the Vikings storming Dublin Castle or something. Eventually however we’d all settle down and see something of the parade. And do you remember we always had to wait hours for the floats to come along and then it was only two or three at a time.  And there’d we’d all be, freezing with the cold because even though the sun was shining it was still cold.

Then you’d hear a voice coming out of nowhere saying ‘Cead Mile Failte…mumble mumble mumble……’ We couldn’t understand a word of what he was on about. And it was no good asking the Da’ because all he’d ever say was ‘He’s speaking in Arabic’. So then after a few hours or so we’d be well and truly fed up with the whole thing and we’d head back to the West. When we’d get to Phibsborough the Da’ would buy a bag of ‘Bull’s Eyes’ and share them out amongst all the kids. So that always made it worthwhile.

Well nowadays it’s all different of course and especially since we joined the E.E.C. I never miss the parade now. I sit back in the comfort of me armchair and turn on the ould telly. So with the controls in one hand and a Jam Sambo in the other I always wish Saint Patrick a happy birthday…PS: And by the way I think that’s me holding up the banner for all you Cabrarians living abroad who were unable to make it home this year. Thinking  of you all…MC



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