Places, — March 8, 2009 11:16 — 0 Comments

Childhood accidents

As children we had our quota of bumps and bruises and weathered the usual childhood diseases.  I can recall three potentially serious accidents.

The first occurred when I was about three years old and I have only the vaguest recollection of it.  I fell into Katie Kieran’s well in Urker when my mother was visiting her sister Alice O’Reilly. I remember falling in but not how I got out; I believe my cousin John, four years older than I was, pulled me clear.


The second happening was a fall from my Uncle Joe O’Reilly’s taxi on the way to my Boyle grandparents in Tullydonnell.  I was in the back seat and somehow contrived to open the door while the car was in motion.  I remember tumbling over and over on the grass verge.  Luckily it seems that the taxi was going quite slowly at the time.


The third event happened when I was about eleven when I "borrowed" May’s bicycle and took it to the top of Annie McShane’s hill. This was a very steep, narrow and winding lane that terminated in a T-junction with the Glassdrummond Road at the foot of a short sharp rise. I was not a very experienced cyclist and had only recently learned to ride. Nevertheless, I took off from Annie McShane’s gate and freewheeled down the hill, gathering speed rapidly as I went.  


As I rounded the last bend and sped towards the facing stone wall on the Glassdrummond Road I seemed to be doing about ninety miles an hour and, to my horror, I realised that I could never negotiate the T-junction at the bottom.  In my terror I froze and forgot to brake and crashed straight into the wall.  Luckily in those days traffic was light or I might have encountered a vehicle.  


The bicycle was wrecked and so was my face. I was either extremely lucky or someone was watching over me as no bones were broken. I must have been quite a sight when I limped into the house a few minutes later with my mouth and nose pouring blood and my face swelling up like a balloon. The bike needed new forks and front wheel and I needed a good deal of tender, loving care.  Apart from a few loosened teeth I suffered no permanent damage.


… more later …

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