John McCullagh June 25, 2004
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‘When the school holidays came,’ Fabian went on, ‘we would set off by pony and trap to Omeath.  My father operated a jaunting-car to Calvery and sometimes even to Carlingford at the weekends. 

 

The weekend over, the rest of the family would settle down in their holiday home while dad and I returned to work in Newry.  My job was in the greengrocery and the second-hand business in the market.  We’d both attend auctions and then push the handcart laden with furniture across town to the market.  My other chores included minding the store while dad had a meal or enjoyed a well-deserved drink in O’Hare’s public house opposite the market gates.

The other major influence was the Clanrye River which washed against our back walls.  Through a little door in the walls we could trail our fingers in the water and imagine we were on board ship, seagulls above soaring and diving for scraps of food.  There was a dark side.  Spring tides flooded those little homes, destroying furniture.  We often had to rely on neighbours for meals.

Some years before dad’s death we renovated the old cottage in Omeath to spend summer holidays there.  My brother Larry, Marie (O’Hare) his wife and my father stayed together.  Dad was in his element, regaling us with stories of his boyhood, reminiscences of the ‘rare ‘aul times’ and sharing a few pints in Daveys. 

Michael Boyle was a hard-working, honest, decent, humorous father, generous to a fault.  He is fondly remembered by many, even outside his family.’

… Boat Street characters …

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