It’s Friday and I’m bound for Galway city today. I want to say thank-you to Betty O’Connell at Kearney’s Bar for the lovely session we had on Tuesday. I have a coffee and chat with the lads.
Then up the town to say good bye to Kathleen at the Half-Barrel. I see the half price sign at the Mental Health Ireland charity shop so I call in. There’s John Reidy taking a group shot of the ladies. “Keep your hands on your wallets!” I say to slag John.
It’s a special thank you day and they have tea and brack (fruit cake). “John you must have tea (pronounced tae) it’s lovely.” “No I can’t but give some to Jay.” She makes me a plate and there are THREE pieces of brack. “It’s very nice. My friend Peggy made it.” “Reidy is it?” says I, “I know her.” And that is the benefit of returning to a place sixteen times; I’m not a local but I am familiar with the people and events.
I talk to Gina and Joan and the talk turns to the times of the Black and Tans (British police – infamous for their ruthless cruelty). The local library was burned by the Black and Tans. “So was my house” says Joan. I live in The Kingdom House below. My grandmother was the first person to receive compensation from the British government in 1920.
Then to the Half Barrel, heello and godd-bye. Oh I forgot my insulin at the farm. And after three pieces of brack. They’ve gone out but Margaret, their daughter lives next door. She has a tin full of keys and after much searching I have my insulin and I’m on my way.