Christy Roe

Christy Roe was one on Newrys characters.  He was a man of simple pleasures – a flutter on the horses and a pint were his pastimes in later life.

His two favourite pubs were Felix Larkins and Nan Rices.  You could enter Larkins by one of two doors, either from the Francis Street or the Dominic Street side. 

One of the stories from Felixs was the time Christy was challenged that he wouldnt streak out through the door in Dominic Street and in through the door in Francis Street.   Always one to rise to a challenge, he accepted the wager and stripped off, in full view of the all-male clientele assembled there at that time.

Filling his lungs, he charged off out the Dominic Street door. As he streaked out the door, the lads inside locked the door from Francis Street. Then his so-called friends turned and locked the door from Dominic Street where he had just exited! 

To make matters worse, it was a Saturday evening and people were streaming out of Mass at the nearby St Catherine’s Church.   What the pious congregation was confronted with was certainly not a pretty sight!

Then there was the tale of the fairy tree in Francis Street.   Christy was often seen going over to the tree and talking to the fairies, after a few pints of course.  Worse still, when he had had a few more than that, Christy would lead people with him over there to be introduced to the fairies.

He had his own peculiar manner of speech that became legendary. 

He liked to talk about his favourite films. His all-time favourite, he said, was, ‘The Birdman of Albatross.’

He took a shine for a young girl working up at Daisy Hill. Asked what she did, he replied, ‘Ah, she’s an artillery (Auxiliary) nurse.

She’s concerned, he noted, about my overweight and she told me to go to the hospital to get my collateral checked.’

Of Felix Larkin, he remarked that he had ‘killed two elephants with one stone’.

When someone got one over on Felix (the pub owner) Christy explained:  ‘Your man pulled the wig over Felix Larkin’s head.’

He took a trip abroad by aeroplane, and was recounting all the ills that befell him.

‘If on’y I’d went be boat, Id be flying naye!’ he concluded.

Christy passed away a few years ago.

He is sadly missed.

This offering from Anthony Carroll – like all the Reminiscence stories of June, and all those coming in July – was part of our recent Reminiscence competition.

We are grateful to Tom Kelly, local businessman who kindly sponsored this event just to help Newry Journal to survive.

We will not feel the need in future to so flag each Reminiscence Story!  Take it as read, please!

… Kitty Kelly …

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