Through the medium poetry Cashelman, Jimmy Doyle, Cathal Brugh Street recalls a time as a small boy when his family were evicted from their home on the Green, Cashel. They spent ten years living in what would for today be considered intolerable conditions before being rehoused in a council cottage in Rosegreen.
It wasn’t all bad however which will become evident as you read the poem, there are some happy moments in there as well. The time spent under galvanise has remained very much to the forefront of Jimmy’s mind for over sixty years.
Proud to be who I am
I was born and reared in Cashel, way over by the Green,
A lovely place to be brought up, the nicest ever seen,
The house was nice and cosy, and also very neat,
But on comes the bloody bailiffs, and we were dumped out on the street.
There was a nice kind gentleman, who gave us a bit of land,
The men my father worked with, came on to give a hand,
They came with sheets of galvanise, and timber by the load,
To try to build some kind of shack, to get the children off the road.
It was up the County Home Home boreen, that’s what we called it then,
They came with picks and shovels, like warriors from the glen,
For five long hours they grafted hard, without dinner or any tea,
And when the shack was finished, it was a lovely sight to see.
It was eight o’clock in that evening, they moved the family in,
It was grand to be off the street, a new venture to begin,
The shack was put together, without windows or glass,
There was no floor to walk there on, just a covering of grass.
But we were a happy family and also very poor,
And we always stuck together, that often helped us more,
When we came home after school, we would always help our mam,
Then she gave us all a big reward, it was a cut of bread and jam.
We would run down the boreen then, along the cobbled stones,
When we were small, we would often fall, and end up with broken bones,
But we had not very far to go, the county home it was next door,
It was grand to be in a nice hot bed, instead of sleeping on the floor.
So that’s a small reminder of what people went through then,
We ask the blessed lord above, that it will never happen again,
So now the bad days are gone by, and people have changed their ways,
We hope and pray, we are on our way, to see more happy days.
And then we got a lovely house, it was near the village of Rosegreen,
The whitewash on the gable walls, everyplace it looked so clean,
It was a big change for my mam and dad, to leave Cashel town behind.
I am very proud to be who I am, I will always bear that in mind.
Cashel, Bullock Park, Rosegreen, Cashel.