In the past I have written about Homesteads, Shops, Businesses in and around Athenry in the past. I will now write a few stories about some of the people who inhabited these premises.
The first person that comes to mind is Joey O’ Flynn who Joey ran an electrical shop where Martin Maloney’s shop is now. Someone told Joey that if he got a bonham he could use up all his left overs from the house, so off Joey went and bought himself a bonham. After about 3 or 4 weeks a man came into the shop and he heard the bonham searching behind the back door, he said to Joey, “ that bonham out there is hungry,” “Well”, said Joey, “I can’t understand that because I gave him a saucer of tea this morning.”
Joey sold a radio to two brothers who shall be nameless. The radio at the time was run on two batteries, a wet battery and a dry one. They bought the radio from Joey and he duly delivered it to them and left it up on the table, put a wire out the window, connected the batteries and turned it on. The news came on and of course at that time R.T. E, was only on from 1 o’clock to 2.30 pm. So come 2.30 R.T.E. went off and of course with all them old Radios it started to whistle. Joey of course didn’t tell those men how to turn off the radio and they knew nothing about it and so the radio was never switched off.
It whistled away from 2.30 – 6.00 pm when the station came on again until 11pm and then whistled away all night until 1 pm the next day and whistled away from 2.30 to 6 pm and again all the following night. After about 2 days the batteries started going down and at about 3 o’clock in the morning the two boys were in bed and one of them said to the other “Mike it’s easing off a bit”
This next story is a personal experience of my own. I lived out in Newford and it was one of our past times when we were young to write down the numbers of the cars as they passed on their way to the Galway Races. I was about 18 years of age before I went to the Races myself. We used to do that when we were about 12- 14 years of age. This would be about 1940-43.
I was only thinking of those days on my way into Galway lately, meeting lines of cars going in and coming out and they all ﬂying. But back then we would spend hours writing down the numbers of the cars. How times have changed.
My final story is about the plane that came down in the farmyard during the second world war. Now the American crew had not a clue where they were or what country they were in. They got out of the plane and the first person they met was Tom Healy one of the employees of the college. They said to Tom, “where are we”? Tom said, you are one and a half miles from Athenry”.
Written by Jimmy Somers
Published here 09 Mar 2023 and originally published Summer 1998
The Athenry Journal
The Athenry Journal was founded and edited by Finbarr O’Regan (and later Conrad… Here some recent records:
St Mary’s GAA Club Athenry Report November 1996
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