Rathdowney, a home to many, some of the best in the world one might say! It isn’t without its share of hardships but it was, and is a great place to grow up. And grow up there many of us did, oftentimes we all shared some of the same rites of passage that helped us all become the well-rounded people that we are. Here’s a list of things that most Rathdownians, Rathdowney-ites.. people from Rathdowney will remember:
- Hanging out in Frank Grincell’s chipper. The food was great but it was also the ultimate hang-out spot. It once had the tube shaped Jukebox (before the introduction of CDs and the mix of music on it was second to none, and who didn’t master their pool skills on the table down the back? Frank’s was a staple of the town for many years, and a fond memory for many.
- School Disco’s. Many were met inside with the question, “will ya shift me friend?”. And many did get their first round of tonsil hockey in Rathdowney Community Centre, how romantic? But, often times, it didn’t end there, a casual stroll up Pimm’s Lane after the National Anthem had sounded, hand in hand meant the snogging could continue for another while, at least until the parents were parked up in the square on the lookout to bring the kids home. The odd fight broke out but don’t they always with raging teenage hormones?
- Crashing somebody’s 21st in Peadar’s. Weeks of planning went into peoples’ parties, the cake, which DJ do we hire? DJ Danny? Dj Noel Brennan? or DJ Mick Glendon.. a very important question that took a lot of thought before the big night. Then, who do you include on the guestlist? More often than not, that last question didn’t matter…why? Because EVERYBODY almost always showed up anyway. Didn’t know the person? No! Did it matter? No! At least one member of your gang knew the birthday boy or girl in some way, maybe your dad bought turf off their dad 15 years ago, that was enough to justify going into the festivities anyway, anyway, the more, the merrier!
- Borris. What good night didn’t end up with a trip to Borris, or to be precise, the Aquarius Niteclub in the Hotel, but who ever called it that? Every Saturday night, by the time everybody was “on their way”, the same question abounded the pub.. ya headin ta Borris? Of course we were! Under 18? didn’t matter. Had a very poorly made fake ID, problem solved. Borris had value for money, a pound over and a pound back, 5 pound in and a ticket for your super, you’d be hard-pressed to find that nowadays. Even if you’d only a tenner left in your pocket before alighting the bus, you’d be safe in the knowledge that you’d have at least 3 pound left over to buy a can or pint, even if you were just going to nurse it all night!
- The swing in Wood lane. This was a hidden secret for many, a few knew about it, others heard rumours of its existence but it was any thrillseekers means of getting the adrenaline they needed. This was located behind the old delapided houses at the bottom of the lane, just adjacent to the golf course. A long piece of rope, a sturdy branch and a bit of bravery is all it took, each time people would push the bounds a little further, or jump off from a little higher, swing hard and fast over the shallow river. Good times!
- Followin’ Often pronounced “follyin”.. A simple game of chasing, usually taking place around the Terrace, the hurling field and the old textile factory. Side effects included; breathlessness, tiredness, bruised legs, and deflated egos. Of course, those who’d an indepth knowledge of the terrace had the upper hand when it came to shortcuts, hideaways, and then, the odd time you’d have some little bollox that started to play, ran into their house, and told no-one, leaving everybody else to go chasing after somebody who was inside their warm sitting room watch the Crystal Maze! Not mentioning names, here’s an initial.. T.K.
- St. Fergal’s It’d be easy compile a list with just bits from secondary school but here’s one most will relate to. Think back, you act up in class, who didn’t? Teacher says, “right, off with you to the Principal’s Office”, to which you’d probably still have a smug grimace on your face upon hearing, the teacher would spot your grin and say, “wait, no, actually, go to Mr. Daly’s office”. Smile and self-satisfaction…. gone. Now, you were in trouble!
- Serving on the Altar What proud parent didn’t want to see their dear child looking all angelic on the altar? At first, it was just the boys but things change and soon we saw the little ladies of the town donning those off-white robes, furnished with a dark brown wooden cross and those red thick stringy things to break up the colours a bit. Early morning mass (8am) was the dread of many! I didn’t sign up for this!! Funerals and wedding were sometimes a profitable affair, trying not to snigger while sitting on the pew and being tasked with ringing the bell at those 4 all-important times was a big deal! And god help whoever had to carry the incence burner for the funerals, depending on how many spoonfuls were put in, it was a balancing act to keep the incence from overpowering our little lungs and keeping the coal embers as far away from our robes as possible, one wrong move and the whole church could go up in flames.
What a time to be alive?!?!
What a time to be alive?!