Posted by Bernard Halligan on May 15, 2012 at 15:12:07:
I was sitting here by my kitchen table reading Oliver Kileens epic story on his days spent in St.Patricks National School. My first thoughts were, my my, what a memory Oliver has for names. I myself went to this same school after spending close to two years in the convent. Why did I start off my schooling in the convent, you ask? Well that is a long story to be revealed perhaps in another posting. Like most boys of my age at the time, I became an altar server. After a year two as a server I volunteered to serve the 8.00 am mass every morning and I did this for about two years without ever missing one assignment. I remember the long trek from McHale Road to the church which in the winter could be quite a challenge. Come rain or shine I trudged off down to church with my surplus and sutan over my shoulder in my little black bag,
Now, as an aside to m story, I think it was Brother Dennis (anyone feel fre to correct me if I am wrong) decided to start a school band and I and my twin brother Brian wanted to be part of this historic group so we hounded our mother to give us the one shilling and sixpence (a relative fortune) to purchase the flagalette (possibly not the correct spelling). I remember the day the instruments arrived at the school and Brother Dennis handed them out to us. We were all pretty excited at the prospect of becoming miusicians. We all started to play but if course, a it was the first time we ever put one of these fine instruments to our mouths , the noise in the classroom could probably be heard in Westport. Anyway, Brother Dennis, had enough of our noise making so he tod us that we shoud scratch our names on the instrument and he gave us two choices,. Firstly, w could leave them at school r secondly we could take them home with us. My brother Brian and I, being from a large McHale Road family, decided to leave ours in the safety of the school classroom.
Now, to continue with my story which I started out with. One morning as I was on my way to serve the 8.00 am mass (it must have been close to winter) because the morning was dark. I left McHale Rad enroute to the church, but as it turned out this was no ordinary day. When I turned into Chapel Street, there was quite the commotion. All I could see was fire engines and hoses and activity everywhere. In fact, I had a hard time getting up Chapel Street to the church. When I got close to the church I saw the reason fir all the commotion . St.Patricks National school had burnt to the ground. Now, whilst to some boys of my age tat might ave been a gift from heaven but my first thoughts were, "oh no, what has happened to my flagalette ?) Well, when the dust settled and the fire was extinguished and the firemen sifted through the rubble to salvage whatever they could they found the metal cabinet, which contained the stored flagalettes. Eventually they were returned to us and they looked to be in perfect condition, saving survived the flames and heat of the intense fire. The band would play on, we thought, only to discover that while the instruments looked to be in good order, in fact they were rendered useless as the wood inside the area you blow into had disintegrated.
The irony of this whole story is that the fire occurred the very night after we got our musical instruments. That, my friends, was the end of my short lived musical career. Now, in later life I did learn to play the piano accordion but, my band career never materialized.
Can anyone remember the fire at St. Patrick's National School? What was the exact date of the fire? If any if my fellow classmates epread this and know the answers I would e grateful to hear from you.
[Photo Galleries ]
[Upload your Photos ]
[Main Castlebar Bulletin Board ]
[Nostalgia Board ]
[Go to Castlebar ]
[Photos from the West of Ireland ]
In submitting this post for publication I agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Disclaimer