Personal Stories

Maeve Mooney’s Story

Maeve MooneyMaeve Mooney

Maeve Mooney was 11 at the time of the bombing, and living in Glasnevin with her parents.  Her Uncle Dick (Richard) Fitzpatrick, her Aunt Ellen and her two cousins Margaret (Madge) and Noel lived over the family butcher shop at 23 North Strand Road and were all tragically killed on the 31 May 1941. Maeve recalls the memories of the night, and stories her father later shared with her of searching for the Fitzpatrick family in Dublin’s hospitals and morgues.  She also addresses various rumours about  the deaths of the Fitzpatrick family which circulated in Dublin in the aftermath, and tells the eerie story of her Uncle Dick’s prize pigeons which were seen in the North Stand the morning after the bombing.

Listen to Maeve’s story here:

Duration: 00:38:21 mins


Project Name: North Strand Bombing

Track Number: 02

Date of Interview: 23rd June 2011

Name of Interviewee: Maeve Mooney (MM)

Also present at interview: Alan Mooney

Name of Interviewer: Marc Redmond (MR)

Place of Interview: The Lab Foley Street.

Name of Transcriber: Nicola Jennings; Eileen Gogan

Length of Track: 00:38:21

MR: This interview is taking place on the 23 June 2011 at the Lab, Foley street. Present are Maeve Mooney, Alan Mooney, and the interview is being carried out by Marc Redmond on behalf of Dublin City Archives. Maeve, Alan, thanks very much for coming in this afternoon. Thanks for taking the time. Maeve, can I begin by asking you your date of birth and what age you were in 1941?

MM: My date of birth is 25th of May 1930 so I was just barely 11. I was just hitting 11 when the week before, I was 11.

MR: What was your home address?

MM: It was in Glasnevin. Botanic Road, 187 Botanic Road.

MR: Were you living at home with your parents at the time?

MM: Oh yes, yes my father had the butchers shop there you see in Glasnevin.

MR: Did you have any brothers and sisters?

MM: I had one sister and one brother.

MR: Your father had a butcher shop. What are your recollections of the night of the bombing?

MM: Well the night of the bombing , there was a lot of activity going out. I was in bed at the time. And coming up, oh I suppose it would have been 12 or after 12, there was a lot of commotion, there was air raid warnings outside our house and they were telling people to get in. You could hear the drone of planes or of a plane. And we just, my father and my sister. She was twelve years older than I was. So she was well grown up. They went into the bathroom and looked down towards the North Strand. Our house would have been looking down that direction. My father said “oh I think it’s the docks that have got it.” So we had all anyway retired to bed. The next minute and there was an unmerciful knock at the door. My father got out of bed grumbling going down the stairs said “Who in the name of God was it at this hour of the night?” It was my cousin Dick to tell him that the North Strand had been hit and to come with him. He had a taxi waiting. So my mother and father they got dressed quickly. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. They went off anyway with my cousin. The next thing then, the following morning, my mother came in, my father wasn’t with her. She just, well she just kind of nearly collapsed on the chair. Her face, I will never forget her face. That’s one thing that stays in my mind.

MR: Your father’s shop was located somewhere on the North Strand?

MM: No, it was my Uncle, my Uncle Dick. He was Richard too. They had the butchers shop there. One of his sons had the jewellers beside him. So, I don’t remember seeing my father that day. I don’t know what really happened. But later on in the afternoon, my sister and my mother went down to the North Strand. There was this huge big crater in the middle of the road, right outside the shop practically.

MR: Just over the bridge there?

MM: Yes, yes, yes and, actually I think on one of the photographs you can see 28, where the house and shop was. So they, I heard then afterwards that, they’d gone around, that my mother, had gone around the hospitals. I’d say Dick was looking. They were actually; my aunt and uncle were found together in the morgue but Noel, my cousin and Madge, my other cousin, they were in different hospitals. Madge was recognised by, only recognised by a ring her brother had given her, on her finger. She was so badly ….

MR: At this family they would have been living, at the time …

MM: Yes, they would have been, they would have been my uncle and my aunt and my two cousins and another son who was out at a dance that night and it was like over the whit weekend and he was returning home and, when he came home he found, there was nothing really left of the house or the shop. They were searching for Paddy, the other brother but he was married and was living in Clontarf, lucky enough. But they thought that he was living over the, his, shop but it was, that wasn’t the case. But I heard afterwards then, because for a long time there was just whispering going on, you couldn’t, everyone was very quiet. They didn’t talk about it much and we discovered afterwards there was of course another sister in the house, Mona. And Mona was in bed, at the time and Madge had just come in from the Gaiety. She was to be married on, when, the following month in July and, she’d just come in. And Mona said to her, she says, “Goodness sake”, she says, “Would you get into bed!”, and with that the bomb just struck. So, Madge, at least Mona was found in William Street, bed and all, but she was very badly cut up but she, she lived. She survived. But for ages afterwards, I know they were taking glass out of her feet principally, for some reason or other. And well, like that was it. Another thing, another thing that, remains in my mind too, over the warden’s, hut, this hut and like a watchman’s hut. And there was a glass… there was, a basket, a wicker basket on top. Now Uncle Dick kept racing pigeons, prize racing pigeons and they had gone over, I think it was somewhere in Scotland and been sent and they were flying back. And in the early hours of the morning people could see the pigeons flying around in circles.

MR: Couldn’t find the …

MM: Couldn’t find, they knew they were there, but they didn’t know where they would land and it was through exhaustion that they finally, they practically fell from of the skies.

MR: That’s extraordinary.

MM: So that was, that was something, that was kinda never mentioned. And I don’t know what happened … well I suppose the pigeons were taken away and, somebody else had taken them and you know, but . That was one of the things that kinda was like, really sad, ye know.

MR: Of course.

MM: So the pigeons arrived home and nowhere to go.

MR: And do you remember much about the aftermath, yourself and the weeks or the days following?

MM: No, no because there wasn’t much, the funeral. Mummy and daddy, they were coming and going type of thing and I was you know just kinda kept quiet and my sister Síle, like was kinda minding me. I, I also had, of course, my brother but he wasn’t, he wasn’t, around that, at that particular time. So no I don’t remember really much like after that only that the stories then that I’d heard when they got over the worst of it but my father was never the same, three years, two or three years later he sold up the business, because they were very, very close, Dick and himself, Barney was his name and they were very, very close. And they only time that my father took a holiday, if you’d like to call it a holiday, was august weekend, when himself and Dick would go over on a Friday night to Bangor in Wales and be back on Sunday night so they could open up the shops on Monday morning.

MR: when you say your father, did he keep the business going long after the war, did he have to reconstruct it? Did he have to rebuild part of the shop or was he relocated to somewhere

MM: no my uncle was no my, no it was all as I said it was the family were, I mean four of them had gone

MR: yes

MM: and they never, some of the sons, Dick junior opened up a shop then, in, don’t know if it was Summerhill. I know he finally went to Manor Street and he opened a shop up there in Manor Street. And the other brother Paddy Jewellers, he opened a shop there too, in Manor Street. And we used to my father and I we used to visit them now and again you know

MR: part of my own father’s family lived on Manor Street at the time

MM: Yes, yes, Fitzpatrick and Paddy Fitzpatrick, yes the names get complicated because there’s Richards and Patricks all over the place. But no it was a strange time really but as I said it took an awful lot out of my father so then we moved, my father sold his shop in the, Botanic Road and we moved to the Botanic Villas and unfortunately my mother died about three years later after that.

MR: and in the period coming up to the bombing in the early part of the war was there much practice for air raids or was there much, much of a blackout?

MM: well I, there was certain, oh yes there was a blackout, there was a blackout and, because now and again there might be, you’d get a tap at the window where there might be a tiny bit of light that was showing you know, and you were kind of told to cover it up. But no there wasn’t no I remember having to go down to Iona Road to collect gas masks,

MR: right

MM: and of course we had ration books at that stage too, but otherwise well I suppose being the age I was I wasn’t taking that much interest you know. And we wouldn’t have been like now a ten year or eleven year old.

MR: of course

MM: this year at the present moment would be much more advanced. As I said you were told certain things and you were not told certain things

MR: of course

MM: so that’s it

MR: and can you recall actually being fitted for a gas mask

MM: yes oh yes it was great fun (laughs)

MR: did you go down as part of school class or

MM: oh no, no the family went, the family went and we were all issued with our gas masks.

MR: and in the period, in the period after that I mean after that night and a couple of weeks after did you get the impression from people were worried that it was going to happen again

MM: well there was always that, there was always that threat because you could hear sometimes the planes. Now whether they were going back, cause there was a certain drone you couldn’t mistake it

MR: yes

MM: you know. And then of course there were very few planes at that time flying around so if you did hear it you knew what it was

MR: you knew what it was, and that carried on for months after?

MM: oh months afterward, yes, yes, yes

MR: and do you reckon

MM: well you were just a little bit nervous you know

MR: nervous

MM: but now I wouldn’t have been particularly nervous you know but you know our parent s and other people…

MR: and did that carry over you know in the sense that the blackout got more strict and

MM: no, no it didn’t; no not really

MR: and do you remember much activity like general military activity on the streets on Dublin at that time, was it common place to see ARP

MM: oh yes, oh yes, you’d see them they were all on the, on the prowl, they would be out the odd time, and if there was any like, I mean the search lights that was another give away

MR: do you remember seeing search lights

MM: oh the search lights, oh yes, yes, yes. I mean there was that’s why as I said my father thought it was the docks that got it because I mean the explosions and the colours and you know it was it was, but you know, but I was shunted off back into bed (laughs)

MR: and I believe they put air raid sirens on the roof of one of the buildings around there afterwards

MM: well there was, there was air raid sirens, I’m not quite sure where some of them were, but there were, even before that, even before the bombing. And we had air raid shelters too which I don’t think would have been much good they were in the middle of the various streets, particularly now along Dorset Street

MR: yes

MM: right in the middle of the road these just, concrete

MR: right

MM: blocks, that’s all they were, they’d nothing underground or anything like that

MR: was there ever anything like air raid practice or an air raid drill where you’d have to…

MM: no I think we were probably given a leaflet with certain instructions on it, you know to get under the table or some, you know or. Which I don’t think was really a good idea but I suppose if something caved in on you a table might save you, but

MR: that must have been a lot

MM: no, we had a lot of refugees of course too from England, who were yes, there was a few actually that

MR: this would have been children?

MM: this would have been children from England yes, and even from the North, although, I never remember any from the North. But certainly I knew a few that were just up the road from us that I used to play with or they’d come down to me and we’d play you know.

MR: did they ever talk about the war or did they ever, did they ever?

MM: no, no they didn’t no, it wasn’t no you see it wouldn’t be like no, because they wouldn’t have seen anything now you see you have it on television and

MR: of course

MM: you’d have it on the radio and news and that but in those days you didn’t you. You’d hear it on the radio alright but I mean children wouldn’t be particularly aware of really what’s going on. Actually its only in recent years that when I read of various accounts of the North Strand bombing that I kind of realise that it was. Well I think of what my mother and father and Dick, my cousins had to go through going around the hospitals, you know. Cause I didn’t at that time think people were that seriously injured, that they were practically blown to bits

MR: and I understand that the rubble in the area remained there for a long, long time after have you any recollection years later seeing,

MM: oh it did, ah yes well now then, well there’s, it was levelled alright and then I think then the flats were built at one corner

MR: the nineteen sixties

MM: don’t know now, I don’t know the dates, I suppose it would be if not longer and then there was a welfare or, place then was built there, a clinic or something like that. But it slightly altered, actually where that clinic is or welfare place is, it’s more or less where the shops were.

MR: right

MM: because it was one down it was at the side.

MR: so this would have been

MM: of William Street this was at the main road , the main street the North Strand and then you went down to William Street.

MR: would have been going into town on the right hand side

MM: yes the right hand side going into town yes, yes

MR: and did you, did you have any recollection of people that you knew from school or anyone you knew that had to be evacuated?

MM: no they weren’t evacuated from here really, because, well there was, I don’t suppose people even thought about it you know, they certainly were evacuated from England and some from Belfast down here, but there was nothing to do with us being evacuated. I mean I could have been, I could have went down to an aunt which we had in County Wicklow if there, if it got out of hand you know. No there was nothing like that, I mean everything was reasonably normal.

MR: so your dad had to basically identify all of these people

MM: well I, I don’t , I’m not quite sure now who he identified, I think it was Noel and Madge, well he didn’t, he couldn’t have identified Madge because he wouldn’t have known it was only his or her brothers would have realised that, it was the ring that she had on her finger, so I’d say it was Dick, probably

MR: and do you know anything about the individual family members that died what ages they were or were they young children?

MM: well you see most of my cousins, they were all, they would have been in their twenties. I suppose the youngest would have been Gerry, that was the cousin that came at that dance that night and came home to find the place destroyed you know, bombed. And he would have been my brother’s…he would have been about 18 or 19 I would say.

MR: your cousin Gerard

MM: so that was the yes, he was or, he was out you see, he was, he wasn’t there

MR: so it was himself and his sister were the only two

MM: those were the only two yes, that were in the house, well they weren’t in the house but as I said, Mona was in the house all right, but she was the only one that survived the bombing at that stage

MR: and

MM: Dick was married you see

MR: and did Gerry at this stage still on his way home?

M.M: he was still on his way home I think it was two o’clock in the morning sometime, the early hours of the morning

MR: Gerry and Mona were the only two from that family that made it,

MM: well the others, there was Dick and Paddy, those were two brothers of Gerry’s. But they weren’t there you see as I said Paddy had moved to Clontarf, I thought he was married so was Dick married at the time, so they weren’t living there

MR: and that obviously had a terrible long term affect on all of you

MM: oh well it did, certainly as I said, my, my father was never really the same. He just lost interest in the business, and my brother wasn’t interested in the business, either so, he just let it go

MR: completely understandable under the circumstances

MM: yes

MR: did you have any relatives in England for example? Or did you have any relatives that moved to England to work there?

MM: no not at the time. Although my sister went over later on for a few years, I can’t remember when that was, wait till I see, it would have been around that period I suppose because she was married in nineteen forty four, I think around about that time. So she, she was, she was living here of course in Dublin though she eventually finished up in the Isle of Man.

MR: and though the adults may have spoken amongst themselves about the war in general, do you have any recollection of them for example listening to, listening to, news broadcasts on the radio about the war, that type of thing?

MM: They did, they did I suppose but the fact that we didn’t really have anybody living there at the time you know we had no relations in England. We’d a few in Armagh all right but they were, they were okay, I mean during the war, we were up and down to Armagh but not to Belfast

MR: So I believe on that particular weekend, Whit weekend as well it was a long weekend

MM: Yes

MR: there would be a lot of dances going on

MM: oh yes, yes, yes, yes

MR: do you think there’s a possibility that there were other people that were in that situation that were saved because they happened to be out a, a céilí, or, or were they dancing?

MM: Well I’d say, yes I’d say so particularly of the younger generation, you know? But, Noel now he was, he was connected with St. Vincent de Paul and the Sunshine Home and that and well he was, he used to perform various things. Although I remember him really when he was in when he worked for a while in Findlaters

MR: Right, right

MM: and I remember particularly at Christmas we would go down to North Strand and on Christmas evening and they would come up to us on St. Stephens’s evening and on Christmas night we’d, as I said I was eleven at the time and I’d be put into the kitchen the others would be playing cards, we’d play cards for a sweep stake, a sweep stake ticket, and then during the evening then Dick and Noel would come in. they would have been around the hospitals entertaining and they used to do, Mrs. Mulligan the Pride of the Coombe and they’d be still all dressed up, they would now. Those are things that kind of stick in my mind and I used to think of as terrific? (laughs)

MR: and if the family had two shops in the area they must have been very closely connected with other people in the community

MM: oh they were, they were very well liked and they were very well known. And like they were, well I suppose they were like generous in as much as they’d never see, they helped people as much as they could and they would, like my father if anybody had lost their job or anything like that they’d always wrap up something else to give to them. You know they’d never say anything else about it but if somebody wanted half a pound of steak or something he’d always throw in something else you know and never you know bother about it. They were, they were a good,  tightly knit community I’d say down there, any of those cause it was only butchers in those days a butcher was a butcher

MR: I believe there was quite a lot of shops around that avenue of the North Strand

MM: Along, along that side yes, yes ,yes

MR: and can you recall any of the shops

MM: they were, well the only other, no not really but the Brown family which were beside uncle Dicks of course they were the whole family of them were wiped out, which was very sad

MR: that would be a little bit down from, from the…

MM: well I’d say like, Paddy’s, uncle Dicks and the Browns were beside them

MR: Right

MM: and there was, like it was strange in as much as just a little further down, the houses seemed to be fairly intact but I remember somebody saying at the time that the, when the bomb hit, or the land mine as somebody said it was a landmine and it hit a gas main. Well I still kind of remember the huge big hole and the tram tracks were just like this you know, coming, up, up in the air

MR: and the, in terms of , did your family get any compensation for losses or

MM: well my family didn’t but the others, but they, they, took years before they got anything you know because they didn’t want to take the blame, the Germans, didn’t want to take the blame. But they did eventually but what they got I don’t know.

MR: I’d heard stories that there was speculation at the time as people didn’t know whether it was the British that had done it and mocked up planes or whether the Germans had done it, there was a lot of debate apparently in the pubs

MM: well there was a lot of kind of stories going around at that time you know it was (laughs) I mean one of the stories was and I didn’t always until fairly recently that uncle Dick, went into the fridge and the door locked on him, which was absolutely ridiculous and that he was frozen to death but sure the whole place was completely destroyed and I mean that wasn’t the case at all. I mean somebody else got it mixed up with, the other man that he was decapitated you know?

MR: yes, yes,

MM: but people thought it was my uncle but it wasn’t .

MR: and was that rumour circulating around before you knew about it?

MM: ah there was all sorts, ah well no I knew about these, I knew about those alright you know because I remember it said, they were kind of denied by the family you know.

MR: and how did your parents break this news to you? Did they sit you down and tell you what happened or was it…

MM: well it was a certain amount now I picked up, you know with all these whisperings going on you know. Because they never spoke you know, or months afterwards you might hear another little bit and another little bit you know and then of course I lost kind more or less touch with my cousins, it was strange that I was more or less reunited with the two of them this year so you know its…

MR: and what happened to the survivors of those families later, were they rehoused somewhere?

MM: well I don’t know what happened all I can tell you is that Dick was ok he had his shop and he was out of the area and so was Paddy. Gerry then went into the butchering trade for a while and I’m not quite sure then we lost kind of contact with them and the next time that I met them which was years later was down in Butlin’s he was teaching , he was a red coat he turned a red coat (laughs) and because we were on the skating rink and that’s where we met up again

MR: was that an emotional experience? Did it stir up any memories?

MM: well it was, it was strange, it was strange. But then again we didn’t talk about it you know it was just kind of touchy subject.

MR: of course, of course

MM: and well of course then he was married at that stage anyway so the only other. Now, Dick and my father, they did have another brother he was a step brother and he lived in Drumcondra in our old home that would have been my great, my grandfather’s shop he came from well they had a shop in Glasnevin or at least Drumcondra road. And they also I think maybe when my father went into the butchering business he had a place down in Summer Hill and them he moved to Glasnevin opened a shop there

MR: and you must have had a great recollection of things like ration books?

MM: oh yes (laughs) yes we did.

MR: how did you manage a family with that, or obviously you had an advantage having a butchery business but…

MM: we did but, yes we were all right for the meat, but no your half a pound of sugar and half a pound of butter and four ounces of tea, well you just managed you know.

MR: I believe there was a lot of coupon swapping going on as well between families

MM: Ah stop. well, like funny enough we were lucky enough because as I said we used to go up North to Armagh, and another cousin of mine up there, he was he worked in Liptons and he used to have the odd little you know quarter pound of tea, little packets you know, we’d always have a little bit of the tea you know we weren’t really stuck you know. We managed we had cocoa and a thing called shell cocoa cup which was horrible. It was just shells that you boiled

MR: I believe my mother often mentioned carrot tea as well

MM: no I never heard of carrot tea.

MR: grated, grated carrots.

MM: well we used to I tell you what for butter you could make a mixture of corn flour and was it banana? I think it was banana, no, no parsnip, parsnip yes.

MR: somebody said that to me earlier actually

MM: and Parsnip and corn flour.

MR: was it butter a butter.

MM: and you know that was the butter

MR: butter substitute kind of

MM: actually it was quite nice it wasn’t bad at all (laughs).

MR: and other, other things that would have been going on at the time would you have any recollection of things like the pawn shops, it would have been an ongoing currency thing among people at the time.

MM: hmmm, well I suppose, that would be in the city you know. It wouldn’t have been so much outside. I suppose it did go on all right you know but it was, well the only other thing I kind of remember was the gas rationing

M.R: oh the glimmer man

M.M: the glimmer man

MR: did you have any bad experiences with the glimmer man

MM: No but you were always on tenterhooks, you know you were at a window yes, no you’re alright.. go on go ahead (laughs) and use it. But there was all sorts of little things like that. Then I mean buses that were all off at half past nine, that’s when I would have been in my late teens at that stage because even after the war we were still in the emergencies as they called it in those days

MR: and would you have remembered other things like for example Lord Haw Haw that type of thing

MM: oh I remember we used to listen to him yes, yes

MR: and was he kind of popular around with people of the time or was he curious

MM: “Germany calling” (laughs) “Germany calling”, oh yes I remember all that

MR: it was a curious kind of figure

MM: yes, yes ,yes he was he was a funny character

MR: and your own house in

MM: I was born in Glasnevin I was born in the house

MR: and you evidently didn’t have any damage or anything up in the house.

MM: oh no no no it didn’t it was more or less south circular road I think and round the Summer Hill area and as I said the North Strand well that was the worst, the North Strand was the worst.

MR: that area around the bridge, is there anything else you would like to mention about that period, anything else that springs to mind.

MM: no no I think I’ve mentioned the couple of things that kind of needed straightening out more or less you know. One of the things was the pigeons. Funny enough a few years before that before the bombing my uncle and aunt had moved out to Sutton

MR: yes

MM: Aunt Helen she was lonely out there because which she was used to the shop like my own mother, they helped in the shop and that, and anyway she didn’t like it out there at all so they moved back. They sold the bungalow my mother used to say, if they had stayed there, they wouldn’t have been killed you know. And another she had about the pigeons was that pigeons were unlucky so these are strange things that you know just blame things on but sure that’s life.

MR: I’m trying to think of things you would you know as a ten year old that you would have been familiar with things around the war time. What were your memories of things like birthdays or Christmas’s that type of thing

MM: ah well they were very quiet a birthday was you were lucky that you’d have a cake and that you’d have tea or maybe you might be brought to the pictures but there was no big birthday party in those days, well you couldn’t, you couldn’t have anything like that you know, so Christmas as I said seemed to be the, the important part.

MR: and I suppose as well that he working in the butcher business your Dad would have seen evidence of real poverty around the North Strand as well.

MM: oh there was poverty yes, yes, yes and even I mean at times in around our area in Glasnevin too, no I mean there were poor families, now they wouldn’t have been all that poor you know but maybe the father would be out of work and of course naturally there was no social welfare in those days, so if you were out of work or ill or anything like that it was just too bad you’d no money coming in.

MR: and there was no support services at all?

MM: No, no support services, well there would have been St Vincent de Paul I suppose

M.R: or the, or the nuns or something like that?

MM: yes, something like that yes, yes, no the nuns now did a lot. I went to school in Mountjoy Street, St. Joseph’s in Mountjoy Street and, which is a bit of a trek from Glasnevin, but they were the Sisters of Charity and they used out go out and bring food to various people around like Sean McDermott street and, well not Sean McDermott Street, but where the Black Church was around that area, what’s the name I can’t remember the name of it? The name a big round

MR: Portland, Portland road direction?

MM: well it wouldn’t be quite it would be around the Rotunda Hospital, you know between that and Blessington, Blessington Street. But oh no, they were like tough times, you really had to work

MR: and can you remember how you received news about the funerals and things like that

MM: No no I think that’s where, as I said I don’t remember seeing much of my father at that time, so he was probably with his nephews at that stage and trying to, well help arrange things, because it was well over the week kind of you know it was stretched so the four of them were buried up in Glasnevin and my father and mother are and…

MR: and how long after the war did your parents pass away

MM: My mother died in 1947 and my father died in 1960…I think it was 1969 he was, he was, 79 when he died my mother was only fifty, fifty two.

MR: and you feel that the experience certainly affected them?

MM: Well it affected my father too because you know my mother died fairly soon after he losing his brother, so when you’re, well when you’re in your teens like that you don’t kind of realise what people are going through you know and they kind of bottle up an awful lot that you don’t know about. As I said people are more forward now and they will talk about these things but in those days you didn’t.

MR: and before the bombing what would your recollection been of the shop, did you spend much time down around the shop there did you get to know any of the local children.

MM: when, in the North Strand?

MR: in the North Strand

MM: No, no we wouldn’t have but I remember he’d (her father) want to see Dick over something or other and they’d say come on we’ll go and see your uncle Dick and we’d go down by the canal and we’d walk up to Cross Guns bridge and walk right down at the canal because when you got to the bridge all you had to was go all down

MR: on the walk ways

MM: yes there was a walk way all the way down Whitford Road or you could just go down by the canals

MR: there’s a couple of bridges down “___”

MM: yes, yes, yes you’d never dream of, you see you did an awful lot of walking in those days you didn’t bother about buses, (laughs) or trams for that matter

MR: I believe they had a pretty extensive tram system.

MM: oh they had a terrific, yes and I remember as a child you know if anybody asks me now you know I might have been only four or five maybe I don’t know and they’d say “well where do you live?” and I’d say Botanic Road where the tram stops (laughs) because it used to practically stop outside the door. Ah then I remember the first buses that came, after the after the trams. The trams went the buses, there was a well we used to call it the washer woman hills, a tram overturned at some stage or other I remember hearing about that. Coming down the hill it was quite a steep hill. So there’s lots of things that come back to you, you know when your mind gets a little jolt now and again

MR: and the, well certainly the glimmer man I can remember my parents talking about the glimmer man and the pawn shop

MM: the pawn shop yes

MR: bring a suit down to the pawn in the middle of the week and it would be taken out again on Saturday to have it for mass on Sunday and it would go back in on the Monday

MM: Yes I have a feeling my brother used the pawn shop a couple of times himself but that was between him and the pawn broker (laughs)

MR: it was kind of a normal thing back then

MM: oh it was it was well there was kind of I suppose kind of lived in hope you’d be able to manage it just got you through maybe pay the bill or something like that and it’s amazing.

MR: but you were alright ..for meat anyway.

MM: oh well we were all right now and I must say well you weren’t over the top about anything but now we were very we were quite comfortable, you know as far as that was concerned.
So that’s it

MR: Maeve that’s fantastic thanks very much for coming in

MM: no not at all you’re welcome. I was really glad to do it.

MR: that’s brilliant

MR: and I’d like to conclude the interview now so thank you very much for coming in

MM: thank you very much thank you .

Interview ends

One reply on “Maeve Mooney’s Story”

Richard was my great grandfather. He also had a surviving daughter, Anne (Fitzpatrick) Savage (she passed in 1999), who was my grandmother and lived on Richmond Rd. (She was married at the time of the North Strand Bombing) I think back in 1991 or so you did an interview with her and her step-brother (of which neither of the two knew the whereabouts of the other) and you brought the two of them together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview. I recently traveled home for Christmas, from Canada and visited the memorial on the North Stand. Very touching.

Yvonne (Savage) Hansen
Winnipeg, MB. Canada

Leave a Reply