Those of us lucky enough to grow up in The Meadow of the 50s and 60s had a number of McCrums as pals – I remember with fondness the late Eamon, with whom we’d play football in the Big Green – then there were Terry and Liam who were of an age with us, class-mates and pals, and there is Martin (altar-boy in St Bridgets) and Finnoula.
Geordie, their father still lives in Derrybeg Drive and has done for the past 58 years. Before that the family lived at 64 Canal Street. Geordie reminisces,
‘When we moved in, most of The Meadow houses – here in Derrybeg Drive and in Killeavey Road – were still under construction. There were no roads or footpaths. It was essentially a great building site. That of course suited me, being a tiler myself.
I tiled four houses in Slieve Gullion Road which was ‘complete’ three years before our row.
There was a great religious balance here. There were families up the road there called Bailey, the Barrys, McCandless and of course the Lindens who are still there.
Billy Russell was Pipe Major in the Frontier Pipe Band. People say Billy left the Meadow because of The Troubles but that is a complete fallacy. He had four children and he got a four-bedroomed house in Shandon Park. That’s why Billy left. The Meadow was a great place then. Still is. We never had any trouble or bigotry. Everybody respected everybody else.
……… more later …………