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Posted by BRIAN HOBAN on October 23, 2009 at 18:55:28:


This time of year we spent hours after school gathering conkers from the chestnut trees on The Mall.

Some times we would venture into the Church of Ireland grounds to gather some. We were half afraid to go into the protestant churchyard, as we were told we would be excommunicated for the Catholic Church for doing so.Not so much talk those days about ecumenism. How naive we were! Alas all the horse chestnut trees have been removed from here in recent years.

Simms in Spencer Park was another favourite haunt for gathering our spoils. We would venture the grounds of Marsh House in Newtown- then surrounded by a high wall in spite of the fact that Madge Feeney R.I.P. lived the life of a semi recluse here. We could also gain access to T.P. Flanagans( former Senator) fine orchard from here.

Next day at school we would compare and boast about the hoard of conkers we had collected the previous evening. Many times we got the cane or leather for disrupting our classroom activities at this idle pastime. How times have changed!

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