Tony's story (part 3, page 2)
Mourne Road and the surrounding areas housed many good honest hard working class people who were the salt of the earth. They would give you their last penny; I miss that kind of excellent community spirit that seems to be lost now. You could always leave your front and back door open; people would just walk in and have a cup of tea from the black teapot that was never off the gas and a chat was always them order of the day. Families tended to have lots of children. The lack of television sets around the community seemed to spawn in some cases 18 to 20 children per family, and the church did not allow the use of contraception since it was deemed to be a sin? Like eating meat on Fridays?
The local public house was the famous White Horse Inn located on the corner of Benbulbin Road and Davitt Road run by the Timmons family. Big John Timmons was the owner of this hostelry, and he ran it on a very strict basis. Minding bikes outside the White horse Inn was a great way of making money as a boy, nobody ever bothered to lock this mode of transport so us kids made a sixpence or two looking after the bikes. Saturday and Sunday nights were busy, and the best time for this venture.
The church played a major role in everyone’s life; the Parish Priest in particular in my day at Our Lady of Good Consul was Fr.Delaney, a man who was firm but fair to many of the boys and girls around the locality. I can remember his sermons on Sundays from the great ornate pulpit. It always appeared to me that he was looking straight through me when he was talking about people sinning and missing mass on Sundays. I was only eight and did not realise that it was the grown ups he was pointing the finger at. Weddings at the church were the best as you would always make money with the grush. This was the age-old tradition were the groom would throw money to the kids outside the church and their would be a big scramble to see who could collect the most from the ground. irish emigrant