Views on Irish History


By the time I was attending secondary school, it became obvious that we were all being taught differently about the history of Ireland.  Catholic friends regaled me with horror stories about what the landlords and the English forces had done to the Irish over the centuries and I became fascinated by accounts of what had happened to poor Oliver Plunkett.

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The Pillars


The Pillars were a soccer team of Newry/Bessbrook some sixty years ago. Sadly the majority here have passed on. But still very much alive and the donor of the photograph, is Dickie Rodgers, third from the left at the back.

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Putting one past Pat Jennings!


A once-in-a-lifetime memory from Peter Hughes, who works as a librarian in Summerhill, Co Down . . .

‘I was born on 26th March 1967.  I grew up in the town of Newry in Northern Ireland during the height of the ‘troubles’.  It was just like any other working class town anywhere in Britain (apart from the noise and large military presence) and like other kids in these areas, we played football every day after school in our street.  There were a lot fewer cars to contend with in those days so we normally had most of the street to ourselves.

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Dog Tracks


There were no factories or offices on Greenbank Estate in my youth. There was The Showgrounds, or soccer ground, but there also was – wait for it! – TWO dog tracks! Owners, bookies and punters would travel from far and wide to ‘go to the dogs’ in Newry.  During the summer, race days were Wednesdays and Sundays, leaving Jack Mullan’s track after the first meeting and then into Matt O’Hare’s. In the winter months it was Sundays only but both tracks, so again it was out of one and into the other. 

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