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Re: Mc Hale Park Development

Posted by bob on November 24, 2008 at 21:13:38:

In Reply to: Mc Hale Park Development posted by ger mc greal on September 09, 2008 at 20:44:04:

Extract from the McHale road Birthday magazine

Sacred to so many GAA fans, yet treated by us as our own playground, the ease with which access could be obtained to the ‘First Pitch’ depended entirely on the success of our County Team in that seasons championship. Of course at that time the fences designed to keep people out of the field were never real problems, but that’s not to say that there aren’t still a few remaining scars compliments of the two top strands of barbed wire. Once the sacred confines were breached, the preferred sport was either rounders or soccer, watchful eyes were kept for the caretakers, Michael Flynn RIP and Martin Lydon. Whatever difficulties may have been encountered entering the field the sight of either of these two gentlemen would certainly increase the speed with which the fence would be scaled on our exit.

Returning to the Road we would be greeted by the familiar sights and sounds that were as much a part of growing up on the Road as was the aroma of the bacon factory (particularly on a Friday when trucks of squealing pigs would be delivered). The open doors of the houses with people leaning against doorways and hanging over gates discussing the events of the road, Town or World. The weekly exodus of women with clipboards to Bingo in the town hall or further, the daily troupe of women to evening work in Davitt house, the unmistakeable sound of the theme music from Coronation Street eminating from the open doorways. Patsy O’Malley RIP standing at his gate having a kind word for everyone that passed and Nora Coyle RIP letting her dog out to the garden for his required time.
At this time of the evening the younger ones of us watched with envy the soccer skills of Joe and Terry Donoghue, Brian and Ollie Roach, Joe and Kieran Redmond, Declan Murphy, and sometimes one or two of the Ruanes as they were displayed at the gates of Mchale park. The banging of the football against the gate caused many sleepless nights for the younger members of the Creshams, Clarkes and Scullys and led to many complaints to the young Zicos at the time from the residents between numbers 36 to 40.
As the day drew to a close the following days activities would be planned, hunting trips to the Travenol forest, bonfire collection or possibly dangerous expeditions to the Curragh, Maryland or Saleen.

Many a night was spent drifting off to sleep with these thoughts and the background sound of a ball banging off red gates.

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