My main memory of my childhood was that it was happy. I was the eldest in the family and I had one brother and two sisters. There was only six years between my youngest sister, Breidge and myself. I believe that, because we were born so close together and, therefore, grew up together, we were good friends and thankfully we remain so to this day. I know that there are arguments in all families, but, honestly, I don’t remember us ever having a serious row. Although I am the only one still living in Newry, we are in contact on a weekly basis.
We lived in the centre of the town and the street was our playground. It could be transformed into Croke Park or Wembley Stadium, depending on the season. My sisters played skipping and wee shop.
The Water Street/North Street area was very much part of ‘old Newry’ and was densely populated. In the 1960s, North Street and one side of Water Street were knocked down in the name of ‘progress’ and the family were displaced. Now, sadly, there is only 1 person living in Water Street.
We didn’t have a lot of toys. We spent as much time as possible playing outside. I do remember a spinning top and a blackboard and easel, which came with a carton of coloured chalk. One of the best presents I remember was when my brother and I got watches for Christmas. We were the only boys of our age to have them.