September 21st 2009

Lonesome for Sligo

"I have no Sligo blood myself, but one of my teachers in primary school was a Dominican Sister from near Ballymote.  She was an O'Hara, and her mother was a Durkin as I recall.  She used to talk a lot about the Sligo area.  In later years I had some grand times in and around Sligo town.  I remember one Sunday many years ago I was in a Pub somewhere near the old Dominican Priory ruins.

I had been there a couple of times, and found it a nice place.  I was quietly drinking a pint and watching a football match on the Telly.  A young fella came up to me and aked:
"So you like the football, do you?" 
I said: :Oh, aye." 
He said:  "Well, me and  the brother are going to a match this afternoon.  Would you like to come along?" 
"To be sure" I answered
Then he said:  "But first we must go home.  My wife is fixing something for us to eat"

Sligo Hospitality
I protested, saying she would not be expecting me.  They would hear none of it, then took me home where his wife served a grand meal of boiled bacon and cabbage.  Then we went to the match and had a great time. Afterwards we went to their local for numerous pints following the win.  Now, my whole point in this long story is simply: 
Where else would a stranger find such hospitality, offered totally out of nothing but kindness to a stranger in their pub?
I will always remember it, but I am sad to say that today I no longer remember the name of the young man and his family!  What a shame.

Shite in yer mouth
Joe, you asked me if it would be okay to put this story up on your site. By all means, Joe, put up whatever ye like!  I am lonesome right now for Sligo, or any other part of Ireland!  It's a land of contrasts! One day a few years ago I was on my way out to Knocknarea, and passed a tinker camp where the kids were begging for a few shillings. I was right skint at the time and said "no".  As I walked up the road I could hear them calling after me: 
"Shite in yer mouth!  Shite in yer mouth!"
To tell you the truth I would even be happy to hear those traveller children again.

Who would ever think one could be homesick for such a thing!?"

(Seoirse MacDomhnaill, Madison, Wisconsin USA)

Odd that I remember that day so well, but cannot remember the names of the fellahs who were so nice to me.  They say the memory is the first to go!  The one thing I remember through the Guiness-induced haze of the post-match drinking session was that in these fellahs' local was a man with no  arms...looked like he had been born without them rather than losing them.  Anyway, to drink his pints he would grip the glass with his teeth and tilt his head back to drink!  He must have had a tremendous set of choppers to do that!












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