DCSIMG

Down Memory Lane in Cashel

Se�n and Ann O'Dwyer, pictured with Mayor Dr. Sean McCarthy, and John Murphy, at the launch of Se�n's book ' My Life and Times in Cashel' which was launched by Dr,McCarthy in the Cashel Palace Hotel on Saturday night.

Se�n and Ann O'Dwyer, pictured with Mayor Dr. Sean McCarthy, and John Murphy, at the launch of Se�n's book ' My Life and Times in Cashel' which was launched by Dr,McCarthy in the Cashel Palace Hotel on Saturday night.

A PASSION for place, language, culture and sport was recalled at the launch of a new autobiography by renowned raconteur and Cashel wit, Séan O’Duibhir, at this month’s Cashel Arts Fest.

A PASSION for place, language, culture and sport was recalled at the launch of a new autobiography by renowned raconteur and Cashel wit, Séan O’Duibhir, at this month’s Cashel Arts Fest.

Mayor of Cashel and old friend of Séan O’Duibhir’s, Dr Séan McCarthy, told guests in Cashel Palace’s Long Room that the book sums up Cashel’s storied history of the past few decades and all the characters who have passed through the town.

“It’s a real tour of Cashel, its surrounds, clubs, interests,” said Dr McCarthy. “Séan is a true Cashel man, and has tremendous pride in his town. He’s been a wonderful businessman and he extended his business facilities to anyone. No patient was ever left without medication after hours. Séan O’Duibhir could regale anybody with stories about travel, GAA, or any topic”

Dr McCarthy recalled the heady days of Andy Fogarty’s pub on the Main Street, where he would often enjoy a yarn with his old friends John Doyle - winner of eight All Ireland Senior Medals - along with Séan O’Duibhir and Andy himself. Séan O’Duibhir also distinguished himself in the Cashel Dramatic and Choral Society and the many plays and theatre productions over the years, and takes a great pride in the local Cashel King Cormacs GAA Club and Irish language.

Oliver Corbett said he first “trod the boards” with Séan through the Choral and Dramatic Society in Cashel back in 1974 in the Old Convent Hall in Cashel. “From there we moved down to Halla Na Féile. Our first play there was Knocknagow. We really have wonderful memories of Séan playing Phil Leahy as a Tailor in that particular production. Séan is a terrific character actor. One of more recent parts he played was Eulick in the play ‘Moll’ by John B Keane. He only had one line in it. But every night he came on and there was a spontaneous round of applause.”

Mr Corbett read out a short excerpt from the chapter ‘Characters’. “One such charismatic individual was the colourfully renowned Jerry Ryan of Cathal Brugha Street,” said Mr Corbett. “He was both a legend and an institution in his own right. One of a number of incidents that most immediately and readily spring to mind for me was Jerry’s appearance at Clonmel District Court for the ‘crime’ of overstaying his time at a parking lot. Despite his not guilty plea the Judge convicted him of the offence and imposed a monetary penalty. When asked if he had not exceeded the time limit as his watch was most accurate and was never known to be one second out.

“An unimpressed Judge said that in the event of Jerry refusing to pay the fine he (the Judge) would be left with no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence. Jerry unapologetically responded that as a man of the highest principles he would accept his punishment. Flanked by two uniformed garda officers Jerry was then transported by taxi to Cork prison to serve his sentence. Just think of the enormous expense incurred by the State in this one exercise! As the escort vehicle neared Cork city Jerry asked the driver to ‘step on the gas’ as he didn’t want to miss the TV programme Dallas which was a major favourite of the viewers at the time.

“He shared a cell with a younger man from Waterford. On enquiring what he was in custody for, Jerry’s cellmate replied, ‘I killed my mother with a hatchet.’ Needless to remark Jerry didn’t close an eye that night, but mercifully he was released the next morning - minus a good night’s sleep”.

Séan O’Duibhir said the book is very much a personal memoir, containing yarns and anecdotes, and his long association with local clubs and societies. “I’ve always been great advocate of remaining active, whether retired or not. I am delighted to have this book printed here in Cashel, and I’d like to compliment Lion Print on the excellent job they did, and especially Donna Harding and Bridget Gleeson. Should you happen to like the book, spread the word, and if not, kindly remain silent.”

Ghost writer, Examiner Journalist and larger than life character himself, John Murphy - aka ‘The Merryman’ - said writing the book was a genuine labour of love. “I was working with a man whose very heart and soul are an integral part of Cashel. I’ve been in journalism for over half a century, and I unhesitatingly recommend this book to the people of Cashel.”

 
 
 

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