Thank you to Gerry Kelly for submitting to our 500 words request.

D. 12  Memories – Reasonably Reliable, I hope

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ABOUT GERRY KELLY:  I grew up in Walkinstown, and most of my family and friends still live in that area. I have spent much of my adult life working with voluntary community groups across Dublin. I am tired of seeing our country run in a manner which would be unacceptable in any properly run club or organisation. I believe we must fundamentally change our democracy or we are doomed to continue failing and will continue exporting our people. I trust the people to know what’s best for our country. Please vote to improve, restore and upgrade our democracy.  Help make us a TRUE democracy and a REAL Republic.

4 walks to & from school each day. Weds & Fridays – comics Beano, Dandy, Tiger, Shoot, Whizzer & Chips.  England – source of all our troubles. Provider of employment  & football teams, comics.  Kevin Moran & the Sam Maguire & a half-day off !!!  Eamonn Coughlan – King of the boards.  Having to learn the words of “Mull of Kintyre”.  Going into “seco”. Wearing long trousers.  3 months summer holidays. Football morning afternoon & night. Every day hot & sunny.   Duffle coats & rain every winter’s days.  Piggy Ryan & the way he hated when Kerry lost…Being asked if we wanted to stay in school for lunch & finish earlier ( my first experience of democracy !!! )  One of my class preferred the old way ‘cos he got to watch “Pebble Mill at one” he was 12……. One of my class always wore a suit & spoke very posh. He became a solicitor & buggered off with €50- Million.  Niall Quinn played hurling. Then signed for Arsenal. Would you have “Arnold” for  3 years ????  Happy Days” & the Fonz.  Going to Paris – don’t mention the school trip of ’68….I got told not to come back after the Inter.  I went to Rathmines – loved it. Full of pupils also kicked out of their schools. One of the guys was the son a professional magician. One of the girls fathers managed a Department Store.  Girls !!! Snogs & the rest………..Later, Michael Carruth would win an Olympic Gold. The politicians & counsellors would all join in the celebrations. But Drimnagh Boxing Club still had buckets to collect the rain.

I see it now as a metaphor for Ireland. The bluntness, the honesty, the drive, the passion of the working people. The sense of community & looking out for one another. The guile & craft of the ruling classes. Our elders & betters. They “look after us”.  And now the children of the children of the children of “the Castle” await their turn to leave. While the elite stay where they are & we pay for their mess.  The more things change, the more they say the same…… The ‘50s, the ‘80s & now another lost generation. The “safety valve” of emigration. Safety for whom ?  My dream is of the day when the Drimnaghs & the Crumlins & the Walkinstowns of this island don’t need to beg favours from our “betters”. We have all we need within our own communities. Perhaps, as Nelson Mandela once said – our greatest fear is of our selves & our own abilities.

Gerry  Kelly – Independent, Dublin South Central.

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+

  1. Vera Hussey on Wednesday 23, 2011

    a pleasure to read. it brought me back! i can believe in you