Going to Primary School in the Presentation Convent Youghal meant having four Rev. Sisters as teachers for the first four years of my school days. Sr. Bridget, Sr. Carmel, Sr. Angela and Sr. Coleman – all were very nice. They never slapped any child – but Sr. Bridget had her own way of dealing with the chatter-box inattentive boys. It was a mixed class – and she would borrow a ribbon from one of the girls in the class – put it on the boy’s hair – then sit him on the ‘gallery’ under the clock – so everybody looking at the clock would laugh. He would be slow to chat during class again. A few years later – it was 1 st . Class with Sr. Coleman – and she kept reminding us that we weren’t babies anymore – now we were boys. She was great at playing the harmonium – and had a percussion band that everybody in the class took part in. Just think of thirty-five boys (it was all boys at that stage) making a terrible racket playing tin drums, flutes, rattlers, tambourines, one-note bugles, castanetes, - and the Sister playing the tune on the harmonium. Was poor Sr. Coleman trying to instil a love for music in us?
The following year – it was across the road to the Christian Brothers School – a different ball-game altogether. We had been forewarned about the big leather straps that the Brothers carried in their large pockets. Those straps were made up of several layers of leather stitched together and were about a foot long. The blows from that were given usually on the hands – but sometimes on the bum – as you were spread over a desk. The system was operating on the ‘fear’ aspect –with everybody shivering when the teacher was in bad form. Sore hands and sore bums were common.
My late uncle – Denis Hackett – told a very amusing story about when he was in school long ago. A pal of his took the leather strap from under the teacher’s desk one day – while the Brother was dealing with a complaint from a parent at the door. He hid it in his school sack and brought it away when going home.
As they passed by the Bridewell Jail at North Abbey – he threw it over the high front wall – into the jungle of nettles and briars as it was at the time. There was consternation the next day when the strap was missed. The disappearance could not be solved! A new strap had to be ordered for that Brother and of course he felt very foolish at having lost it (or so he thought). It was ten years after that – when a man named Young bought the Bridewell Jail to make a garage there – that the strap was found as the nettles and briars were cleared. Gerry Russell (Senior) came from Conna later to take over that garage and it is now to become a community garden at the entrance to Texco.
We can’t get away from Billy Swayne – who was a shoemaker and did leather work at Browne Street. One day we discovered him stitching (repairing) a C.B.S. leather strap. Being in school – and having seen the ‘weapon’ used many times – we exclaimed shock that he was repairing it. His answer was that he was replacing the middle layers with softer leather so that it wouldn’t be too harsh. He didn’t fool us that time!
It was about 1952 – when there was a coalition government in power – that a scheme was introduced to give hot cocoa and an iced bun to the primary school children who did not go home for their lunch. John Hannon’s confectionary shop at Tallow Street got that contract – and every day about noon – his van would arrive with big trays of the lovely iced buns. We looked forward to that treat. There would always be buns extra – and they would be cut in half to give an extra piece to the friends of the seniors (who were the waiters)
Secondary school in the C.B.S. was in the same building – except that it was on the floor above the Primary – and was reached by an outdoor steel stairs like a fire-escape. We found it so very different from what we were used to: instead of the same teacher all day – we now had about six different ones – and some new subjects like Latin and science.
When 1957 came – it was time to celebrate the centenary of the arrival of the Christian Brothers in town. Great plans were made – including the formation of a school band – to which we were all encouraged to join. A few of us were given harmonicas to learn while the majority were on flageolets. Then – a few weeks before the celebration – some musical genius decided that the harmonicas were not in tune with the flageolets. So about a dozen would-be bandsmen were dismissed –and the good side was that we were allowed to keep the harmonicas. Special matches (with suit-lengths for the winners) were played at Copperalley – where Blackrock (Cork) played Mount Sion (Waterford) and Glen Rovers (Cork) played De la Sale (Waterford). The Regal Cinema was changed into a concert hall for the event – and famous artists like Chris Sheehan (singer from Cork) and Eugene Lambert (ventriloquist from Dublin) took part. The Christian Brothers were mainly from Dublin and they loved being here at the seaside. They had an open boat and would go out on the harbour fishing or take a trip upriver. One man named Br. Canden developed severe pains in later life and was confined to a wheelchair. Despite that – he insisted on coming back to Youghal on holiday and went upriver in the boat like old times.
Returning to talk about the actual school days – we attended six days a week – including for a half day every Saturday morning. When one thinks now of the students who achieve so much just attending five days a week. Where did we go wrong? But then only the children of rich people went on to third level. One thing can be said for sure – that but for the Christian Brothers – despite their harshness – we would have had very little education.
See photo of Inter-Cert class of 1954. Front Row – Jacky Lupton, John Leyne, Sean O’Driscoll, Noel Pigott, Tadgh Kelleher, Brian Gaule and Noel Gallagher. Middle Row – Pat Gallagher, Richard O’Connor, Anthony Hannon, Paul Flynn and Oliver Broderick. Back Row – Michael O’Shea, Peter Power, John Riordan, Peadar O’Driscoll, Greg Forrest, Seanie Whelan, Tom Keane, Diarmuid O’Connor, Domi Keane and Michael Kelly. ... See MoreSee Less
Deirdre Potts a familiar face at the end of the front row!
Felicity 'Flip' Hunter - John would enjoy these x
Loved this. I was in presentation and Christian Brothers school in the 1950s and I'd forgotten about the buns. Thanks for the reminder. I do recall my mother sewing uniforms for the band. That was a big event in our house.
A lovely post and a great read on this Sunday morning, thank you
Brendan O'Connor your Dad would enjoy this his picture here in the post. Kay Twomey Margaret Murphy
How smartly dressed they were, my mum would have been around there as a 4 year old along with uncle Paddy
Beautiful style, colour great 👏
Super photograph 💚🎆👏👏
Absolutely Fantastic Photo
OMG, I always thought the "Youghal regatta" of the 1920s referred to English gents like Commander Arbuthnot sailing their yachts up and down the river. Jeepers. I'm surprised. Great photo.
Lol looks like they are trying to stop the imigration
My dad was 5 ..i wonder if he was there with his mother Emily healy
Kathleen O'Connor Mary Hickey I could be soooo wrong but the guy in the nearest boat holding the oar and standing has the same stance as uncle Richie and the guy holding the oar on shore nearest him has an uncle Maurice stance ?? Could I be right ?
YOUGHAL - LOOKING FORWARD - LOOKING BACK: A short film tribute to the town's rich filmmaking history.
A short documentary about Youghal, its Hollywood links and its future in film. This celebratory film features some of the town's well-loved landmarks, archival footage and photographs.
Films that were made in and around Youghal are Stanley Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon' (1973) with Ryan O'Neal. John Huston's 'Moby Dick' (1954) with Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart and Orson Welles, and Robert Knight's 'The Dawning' (1988) featuring Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Grant, Trevor Howard, Jean Simmons and Adrian Dunbar.
This was the introductory film at this years First Cut Youth Film Festival 2021. Thanks to Festival Director Mary McGrath – First Cut Youth Film Festival
The late Paddy and Maureen Linehan serving the happy customers in the old Moby Dicks Bar, Market Square, Youghal, County Cork. (circa late 1950s)
Notice the 'New Bedford' sign behind the bar. In the 1950s, most exterior shots of "New Bedford" in John Huston's movie adaptation of Moby Dick were filmed in Youghal, as New Bedford itself had changed too much in the intervening century to be usable for this purpose. ... See MoreSee Less
Ireland’s National Service Day - Sat 4th September 2021 A national thank you to the brave frontline workers who keep us safe every day.
We want to thank each and every service member out there, frontline, voluntary and emergency, for your outstanding efforts in serving the community especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured at Nealon's Quay in Youghal are the people from the various frontline services who gathered to mark Ireland’s National Service Day - Sat 4th September 2021.
Photos include: Blood Bank South volunteer riders Eric McCarthy and James Griffin; Members of the Youghal Coast Guard unit; Member of the Youghal RNLI and members of the Youghal Fire Brigade.
Congratulations and best wishes to Youghal-born author Colm Keane and his wife former RTÉ newsreader Una O’Hagan on their new book called "The Book of St. Brigid" which will be published on the 8th September 2021.
Feminist, farmer, abbess, bishop and miracle worker, St. Brigid has inspired Irish women and men down through the ages. She cared for the poor, healed the sick, and founded monastic settlements. She became patron saint of revolutionaries and women fighting for their rights. She is also credited with inventing the Rosary beads, brewing ale, and inspiring the first tiered wedding cake and Buy Irish campaign. Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, Lady Gregory and Maud Gonne MacBride regarded her as a guiding light. All of them, including Brigitte Bardot, are featured in this book. The book also describes her holy wells, St. Brigid’s Crosses, churches, miracles and cures – providing you with all you will ever need to know about this iconic saint. Colm Keane has published 29 books, including eight No.1 bestsellers, among them The Little Flower: St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Padre Pio: Irish Encounters with the Saint. Una O’Hagan is a former newsreader with Radio Telefís Éireann. Co-author of the No.1 bestseller, The Little Flower: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, this is her fourth book.
Price €14.99 Paperback 224 pages Capel Island Press PUBLISHED 8 SEPTEMBER 2021 ISBN 978-1-9995920-3-5
Picture: No.1 bestseller Colm Keane and former RTÉ newsreader Una O’Hagan.
Looking forward to it god bless you both Maura ( Perry)
Feminist, farmer, bishop, !
Every good wish and congratulations to Colm and Una - thinking back to all the great book launches that we had with yourselves and Sean. You are certainly keeping religion alive in Ireland. Keep safe and well- Mike H.
YOUGHAL CARPETS FEATURED IN NEW BOOK BY COLM KEANE & UNA O’HAGAN
Youghal-born author Colm Keane and his wife former RTÉ newsreader Una O’Hagan have discovered an interesting Youghal Carpets connection to St. Brigid which is featured in their new book, The Book of St. Brigid, published on September 8.
Their latest book – Colm’s 29th and Una’s fourth, many of them No.1 chart bestsellers – examines the career of a saint who was a feminist, farmer, abbess, bishop and miracle worker, and who inspired Irish women and men down through the ages. She cared for the poor, healed the sick, and founded monastic settlements.
She became patron saint of revolutionaries and women fighting for their rights. She is also credited with inventing the Rosary beads, brewing ale, and inspiring the first tiered wedding cake and Buy Irish campaign.
In the mid-1960s, Aer Lingus ordered specially-designed, deep-pile, all-wool, Youghal-made carpets featuring one of the saint’s best-known symbols for their fleet of Boeing 707s and BAC One-Elevens.
The carpets featured a pattern of small St. Brigid’s Crosses in grey on a background of two shades of green. Exclusively designed and manufactured by Youghal Carpets, they were chosen after months of consultation with the company’s chief designer, Cormac Mehegan.
‘Passengers such as Jacqueline Kennedy, who arrived at Shannon Airport for an Irish holiday at Woodstown House, County Waterford, in June 1967, not only travelled on an Aer Lingus 707 named the St. Brigid but she sat with Youghal Carpets-designed and manufactured St. Brigid’s Crosses at her feet,’ the authors note in their book.
‘The design was exclusive to Aer Lingus, and the order was given to Youghal Carpets as its products stood up to the rigorous tests required for civil aircraft furnishings. It says a lot about the quality being produced by the workforce of the company that it received such a prestigious order,’ the authors told YoughalOnline.
The Book of St. Brigid, which goes on national release on September 8, includes stories about St. Brigid devotees Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, Lady Gregory and Maud Gonne MacBride.
Other famous people linked to the saint and featured in the book include Brigitte Bardot, Oliver Cromwell’s daughter Bridget, and Hitler’s sister-in-law Bridget Hitler, who came from Tallaght, County Dublin. The book also describes her holy wells, St. Brigid’s Crosses, churches, miracles and cures.
Colm Keane has published 29 books, including eight No.1 bestsellers, among them The Little Flower: St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Padre Pio: Irish Encounters with the Saint.
Una O’Hagan is a former newsreader with Radio Telefís Éireann. Co-author of the No.1 bestseller, The Little Flower: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, this is her fourth book. ... See MoreSee Less
Nobody was allowed to swim in the Blackwater river – from the sluice at the slob-bank – unless they had mastered the Dog’s Paddle. It was the first ‘stroke’ that learners accomplished – and the older swimmers ensured that all newcomers could use it to stay afloat as they moved across the five yards between the sides of the high walls.
The learning process began about two-hundred yards further out – on the inland side of the river bank. There was a small pool which was about two foot deep – and this was where we kept our hands on the bottom for our first imaginary swim. Then after many hours of splashing and frolicking – and kicking the water behind us – came a slight sense of floating. Bit by bit – for longer and longer – the hands would be taken off the muddy bottom – and a feeble attempt made at propulsion. This was called the Dog’s Paddle – as like a terrier swimming. It was moving the hands up and down near the chest – afraid to move them further away from the body – for fear of going under.
I could never understand how my mother refused to accept that all that swimming – maybe three times daily – could not make me clean. She maintained that there was no soap in that salt water to wash us. I borrowed the soap one day - so that I wouldn’t have to go into the bath that night. All the pals had a great laugh at me when they saw the big bar of soap – and they had a bigger laugh when I lost it in the water – you can guess I went quietly into the bath that night.
Having mastered the Dog’s Paddle – it was time to go over to bank into the big river – where all the good swimmers performed. That old sluice gap – with great cut stones jutting from the deep water on both sides was frightening to a small boy. At full tide – the depth of water could be twenty feet. Living at the north side of town – meant a walk of about two miles to the strand beaches – and this exercise was kept for Sundays. That was when the thousands arrived by train to join the holiday-makers – and that brought plenty of excitement. But on week days – the nearby river at the slob-bank was all we wanted - that was where the fun was then.
To dive from the top of the bank into the clear cool deep water was heaven for the better swimmers – while the ‘graduates’ from the small pool coyly swam over and back across the open span. The oldest swimmer was a Mr. Sheridan from near North Abbey Terrace – and he was over eighty years of age. He would slowly amble out along the bank with his great white beard blowing in the wind. It reached to his trouser belt. When he entered the water – he seemed to find new life and swam like a fish.
The way times have changed! No young fellow had a towel. To run out the grass-covered bank and back was our drier. It was the original blow-drier! The odd time that an old pal – home on holidays from England – would arrive with a towel – it would be savoured by all. Such Luxury! Towel –how are you? – what about the lads who had no swimming togs. They would openly ask for the use of somebody else’s after the swim. It would be rinsed and squeezed well before being put on wet. That second-phase lot would be ‘out-of-pain’ in seconds – better to be fully in the water than to be on dry land wearing a wet togs. The out-of-pain was a very apt expression. It could be painful getting into the cold deep river water – and the more one hesitated – the more the pain. Crawling down the seaweed covered bank was the slow way to start – and one had to be careful not to slip. Those who did – were into the water rather sorely. Brave and bold was any guy who would jump or dive from the top of the bank straight into the water. The shock would be terrible – followed by a few instinctive strokes back to the slanting side walls.
It was a male only swimming area – and I can never remember a female in the water at the sluice. They weren’t discouraged – just that they never came. Needless to mention – it occurred occasionally that lads without togs – wouldn’t have the patience to wait for the second session – just watching their pals having fun would be too much for them – and they would strip off to dive in naked. This back-fired on a teenager one day when a man and his wife came walking their greyhounds along the bank – while he was still in the water. They knew him well and stayed for a good long chat with him. He was treading water a bit out from shore and hoping that it was not too clear. As they were leaving - the man’s wife remarked about how the swimmer must love the water – he was staying in it so long. Little did she know! Another incident like that was solved when a chap – who was perished in the water – pulled a few clumps of seaweed to cover himself as he climbed out. But seaweed is very slippery – and by the time he reached the grassy top of the bank – his cover was minimal.
No doubt – some of the best local swimmers served their apprenticeship at the sluice of the slob bank. Many of those later joined the Irish or British navy – and when it came to the swimming and diving tests – the lads from the sluice were tops. Others went on to become Merchant Seamen – and sailed the world.
One of those was Tom Bennett of Fleming’s Court – who was torpedoed during the Second-World-War – and spent a week drifting alone in a lifeboat before rescue. Not forgetting the people who would swim across the river from town and back again – on a summer’s evening. No mean achievement when you consider the width and force of such a great river.
The Slob Bank has recently been widened and resurfaced to become a lovely river-side walk of a mile in length. On the western side – you have the streams and pools – sheltering many seabirds and otters – while to the east – the broad river rushes between West-Waterford and East-Cork to Youghal Bay.
How many exiles in far away cities – while doing a few lengths of a nice warm pool – think back to their first Doggy Paddle at the Slob Bank. A place of so many happy memories!
- Mike Hackett.
The old sluice gap – with the great cut stones jutting into the deep Blackwater river at Youghal, County Cork.
The Slob Bank beside the river Blackwater at Youghal, County Cork. ... See MoreSee Less
I spent many happy days with my brother's swimming in the pool my dad spent his youth swimming from the sluice we never saw any female swimming there
Slob bank is a beautiful place to go for a walk
Claire Ballard Claire Twohig Declan Smiddy many happy memories of the pool and the slob bank 💕 Can still smell the muddy sides as we climbed out 😊😊
Did this walk for the 1st time couple of months ago-with my dog--absolutely gorgeus-
Thomas Peter Plante Paula Kelly Martina Plante Avril Marie Deirdre Plante Chloe Plante Nikita Savage Peter Plante what a great read Nans brother Tom Bennett the stories dad and Jan used to tell us about the slob 😍😍
When we were kids we lived in cork hill we use go to the pool past the sluice and that were I done my first dogs paddle back in 1964
We learned to swim at the "pool " and there was a small shed there that was used by the girls as a changing room . The sluice was for the older guys. I,m talking about late 60's early 70's
One of my favourite walks in the world. Every time I’m home it’s a must do. Walk to the end of the slob bank,don’t look back until you get to the end. Then turn around and look back. I thinking it’s breathtaking x
I learned to swim here
Now when I small in New Zealand I often think of those days
Great memories of learning to swim out at the pool in the 70s it was out bondi beach “too lazy to walk out the strand” I suppose when they started draining the town dump into the pool coupled with a few sad tragedies at the sluice gate in reasons yrs sad to see nobody swims there anyone
Swimming / hand paddling followed by sledging on cardboard down the bank Happy days.
A fabulous read of early childhood. Well done Mike.
I was onely talking to my sisters about it yesterday. Happy days 👏
Anne Buckley happy days…
Them were the days
Beautiful story lovely memories of the slob bank the good old days.
My favourite place love to walk there
Mike great to read all and Tom Bennett of that drove me to join the Irish Naval Service.
The magnificent Loreto Convent, Youghal, formerly known as Ashton Court. The building is built with the finest red brick but did you know that the red brick was painted over with a coat of white paint back in the 1950s era.
This photograph, taken by the late Mikey Roche, shows the painted building back in May 1953. A few years later ( Late '50's or early '60's ) the Loreto order purchased the building and converted it into the Loreto Convent secondary school.
The school closed down in 2006 and the convent is not at this location anymore.
Some of the previous tenants were: Justin Condon; William Dwyer owner of the Seafield Fabrics factory, and Martin and Edith Swarbrick also of Seafield Fabrics.
How long it was painted white no one seems to know but it must have been some job to bring it back to its former glory of red brick which it is today. ... See MoreSee Less
My dad denis told me this.When he was working in the building line 50s and early 60s the job to restore the building to red brick was put up to tender.All the local builders tendered but a complete stranger under priced them all.He applied something to the brick and after a while washed it off leaving the bricks spotless.The thing was though that he never told anyone what he had used.
DUMPED CARS LIKELY TO BE A LEGACY OF PAST PRACTICES (Story by Christy Parker) Suspicions that the dumping of used cars in a west Waterford river location was due to a questionable past practice have been strongly reinforced by subsequent developments. The unquantified number of cars were discovered last month by Irish Examiner journalist Dan McCarthy while kayaking close to Dromana bridge. The vehicles were exposed by low tide at a secluded spot where the River Finnisk meets the Blackwater. Mr McCarthy estimated there might be up to six cars involved; the truth is probably far more extravagant. The Fermoy-based Avondhu newspaper quoted a man who claimed the cars were dumped in a measure to combat erosion of the river bank. The man, who had asked to remain anonymous, estimated that over 50 cars may have been deployed in one area alone in the years preceding and including, the 1960’s. He described the Dromana location as “a flood plain” and said the actions had been repeated “umpteen times” in order to “hold the bank together” during flooding. He did not specify any responsible parties and there was no suggestion that the local authority were involved in the practice. The paper also said cars had been similarly deployed “several decades ago” near Ballyduff.
The American way
A quick scroll on the internet lends credence to the testimony. It reveals that submerging ‘junk yard’ vehicles was commonly pursued in several countries, including America and Australia, up to the mid or even late, 20th century.
The cars, sourced from a breaker’s yard ,would sometimes, though not always, have the engines removed in advance and would often be filled with rocks also or tied together with steel cables. The practice was considered much cheaper and at least equally effective as using soil or cement. It became known as the ‘Detroit riprap’ in respect of the American city most synonymous with the motor industry. One account records rancher Tim Holt, of Durango, Colorado, recalling how the most of the “junk yard automobiles” in his region had disappeared because “the river basically ate them”. He adds knowingly, “You don’t mess with Mother Nature!” The practice is apparently now banned across America and probably in most other countries. Its unclear when and how it became outlawed in Ireland but the 1996 Waste Management Act would pit paid to it anyway, while a 2006 EU directive on responsible disposal of end of life vehicles (ELVs) would drown it further.
Meantime a spokesman for Waterford Council concurs that,“it does appear that the practice of using end of life vehicles to provide erosion control on river embankments in the 20th century was relatively common practice prior to the introduction of legislation banning such practices”. The local authority says it has “inspected the site by drone and from the river” and has also “contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Foreshore Unit in the Dept. of Housing, Heritage and Local Government”.
Acknowledging that the cars “appear to have been there a number of years”, the spokesman was “not aware of any involvement by the council in works to protect the river bank at this location” and noted it “is not adjacent to a road or other council infrastructure that would have required the council to intervene”. Water samples from the area showed “no sign of ongoing pollution associated with the vehicles”, the spokesman assured. He said “no decision has been taken on whether to remove the vehicles”, with any work having to be “subject to an appropriate assessment screening to ensure that the works to remove the vehicles do not cause damage to the habitat”.
Puppeteer Pat Power and his band of puppets entertaining the walkers on the lighthouse hill in Youghal on Sunday, 29th, August, 2021. In the background is the former Loreto Convent which closed down back in 2006. Photo: Christy Parker. ... See MoreSee Less