Posted by Bernard Halligan on July 20, 2009 at 21:59:42:
As I prepare for another visit back to the town of my birth, in late August of this year, I cannot help smile as I recall a previous visit many years ago when I was accompanied by my two Canadian born sons, Michael & John. Like any father I was proud to show my boys their roots, and I took them all over the town and showed them all of the places where I had played as a young boy. We stayed with my sister Breege, at #33 McHale Road, where I was reared until I left Ireland those many years ago.
During our visit I recall there was a football match at McHale Park, on the Sunday and I decided to introduce my boys to the world of Gaelic football. I went over to the entrance and was about to pay the entrance fee for both myself and the 2 boys, but before I handed over the entrance fee, I told the gentleman on the gate that I had lived on McHale Road for many years and that I had attended many matches and other events in McHale Park, BUT, this was the first time I had ever paid to enter. I told him that as a youngster, I had obtained entry by climbing over the wall, under the wall and other methods but that paying the entrance fee was NEVER an option as we did not have the money.
Well, believe it or not, as I was about to hand over the money the gentleman, refused to take itfrom me as he said he "did not want to be the one who would spoil my long standing record of never having paid to enter McHale Park".
I insisted that he take the money as I said to him that "I want to be able to say that I paid to enter McHale Park, on at least one occasion in my life". We had a good laugh about it and he finally very reluctantly took my money.
My 2 sons have since been back to the town on a few occasions and they also are very proud to have Castlebar as their roots.
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