School Days, — May 18, 2009 10:46 — 0 Comments

More Cousins

The other cousins we went to see occasionally were Brigie and Anne Boyle. Uncle Falie (Felix) lived in the townland of Legmoylin (Leac Maoilinn – the flat stone on the hill brow), which is about a mile south of Silverbridge on the old road between Armagh and Dundalk. He was my mother’s eldest brother.

According to his mother-in-law, Biddy Fearon, the thatched, stone-built building had been a coaching house on the old road before they built the New Line and until she passed away she would not allow it to be replaced by a modern building.  Her husband, Peter, had a smithy at the foot of the hill which was in the ownership of my Uncle Mickey Boyle until the nineteen fifties when he gave it up and went to work for the County Council. Not a stone of it is visible today. I can see him still working in the dark interior of the smithy, sweat pouring off him in the heat of the summer and the fire, grimy with dust and smoke.


My mother was a regular visitor to Legmoylin and I went with her occasionally. Peter Fearon had been dead for many years but I do recall Biddy as she was a formidable presence who always had something to say.  Uncle Falie was small and wiry and with a placid disposition. In later years when I would call with my family to say hello he would insist on putting a large sack of potatoes in the boot of the car.


Auntie Katie, Falie’s wife – known as Katie Fearon in our house -was always welcoming. She talked very fast. In addition to her daughters, Brigie and Anne, Katie looked after foster children.


Other Boyle families lived in the townland, relatives of my grandfather, although I didn’t know this at the time and one of the families lived in a house that was purported to be haunted. It was said that the family was tormented in the night by strange happenings – pictures falling off walls, bedclothes being pulled off them and flying through the air. Neighbours who came to help left in terror. When the last of the family died the house was never again occupied and is currently in use as a farm outhouse.


… more later …

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