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by Willie Joe Condon
I did some hurling when I was young.
In that time there were a few hurling fields around the parish.
There was a hurling field in Dave Flynn's farm which is now Pat
O'Conors. There was another down the Black Road at Kavanaghs.
There were also a few hurling teams.
I was in the village team. There was a team called "The Sledgers".
There was also the "Walshestown" team. I think there was
a fourth team also. We wore black and amber jerseys in those days.
I hunted a lot of hares in Father Roche's
time, every Sunday afternoon. He had a lot of greyhounds. Maurice
O' Mahony was another man that used to follow the dogs. The hares
were very plentiful then and the farmers would never mind people
entering their land. I snared a lot of rabbits and sold them to
Mortell's in Charleville and Lyons shop in Lisgriffin. I often sold
the same rabbits twice at Lyons. I used to take them into an out-house
and take them out again. I made the snares myself. There were several
people at this around Churchtown. The best man to catch rabbits
was Tim Mac. There was also a man with one hand called Bluett. Tom
Murphy from the village was mad for the sport also.
My family originated in Liscarroll
long ago. They came to Churchtown and they lived in Mick Egan's
house above the Community Centre. I saw the man at the center of
that hor-rific rail crash in Buttevant twenty years ago. I was the
man changing the rails that time. It was done by hand then. It had
a very bad effect on me for a long time after. But I stood up to
it all. It was awful to see the aftermath of the crash. It was the
worst disaster in years. It was a hard luck accident.
I must pay tribute to all the people
who sent me letters of sympathy after the accident. Fr Hallissey
from Mallow sent me a very special card. There were letters from
Dublin and all over Ireland. It helped me to deal better with the
I loved working in the railway. It
was the best job in the country. I had to walk the track looking
for faults. There could be a cracked line. There could be a loose
key and it had to be driven in. Then a rail could also warp and
that had to be reported. The men working with me were all very nice
even the inspectors. I was happy with the working conditions. I
worked up to the last day of my retirement.
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