Mary Street Tales: Fabian

Fabian’s reflections on childbirth two generations ago are reminiscent of those of an earlier contributor speaking of The Meadow.

‘At our birth each of us was delivered in the front bedroom by Nurse Graham.  The top of the cupboard there was a virtual shrine with statues, crucifixes, candlesticks and holy pictures, while a Sacred heart lamp burned above all.

After the event each child in turn was ushered into the bedroom to view the newborn infant nestling beside our beaming mother.  She’d carefully draw back the tiny blanket to reveal the newcomer’s pink head.

Our Aunt Alice from Dorsey would descend upon our home to take charge.  She was a tall, stately, silver-haired and rosy-cheeked lady with a great sense of humour.  She needed it with her younger sister’s brood!

Another sense of extended family came with the occasional arrival of mother’s nieces and nephews calling in transit between their ancestral home and their new homes in England.  One of our cousins Molly Hearty was employed in the home of shipping magnate John Fisher of Dromalane.  Her spare time was spent in our house.  The same was true of her successor in this job, another cousin called Maisie Casey, a tall, shy red-haired girl.

We had one of the first radios on Mary Street.  On big race days like the Derby of the Grand National our house would be packed with excited neighbours, market traders and dad’s customers.  Saturday night variety shows on radio were much anticipated.  Another firm favourite was Micheal O’Hair’s gaelic football commentaries.  Never were these more important than in the early 60’s with the Senior Down team’s successes.

… Omeath Summers …

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