|Ballyhack circa 1970 courtesy of Brendan Grogan
According to Jimmy, he’d been over to visit his auntie Anne (White) and her family dozens of times, hoisting the flag was the method by which you called over the ferry to cross the expanse of water that separates Waterford from Wexford, Munster from Leinster. I have to admit I had my doubts. Standing on the quay, feet shifting nervously, conscious that the “sharks” of Passage didn’t take kindly to us Cheekpoint lads coming into their patch (not that it would any different if reversed), disparagingly referred to as “mudlarks” by some or shortened to “pointers” by most. Voicing my concern Jimmy was all bravado, shur wasn’t his cousins the Heffernans of Passage and everyone knew Sean Heffernan would break them in two if the looked crooked at his younger cousin.
Community Notice Board
Don’t forget the Beat the Ferryman event Saturday 23rd June. As good a spectacle as anything you will see, and a great day out. Cheekpoint Fun day takes part the following day Sunday June 24th.
|Deena getting some fascinating info from Bob Doyle on other off the beaten track sites to visit.
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Arriving home that evening in the 1970’s I must have presented a tired, bedraggled and hungry sight in the Mount Avenue. Coming in the gate my father, who was in the front garden, asked where I had been and laughed to himself when I answered. My mother hearing us came out, I suppose she had been worried, but it of course never entered me head. “Where we ya” she asked. “The buckos went gallivanting to Ballyhack” was all me father had to say before he cleared off to let me mother do the chastisement. He was probably making a mental note of the large bottle he would owe Jim Roche the next time they met on the high stool.
Last week Deena and I needed to raise no flag as the present Passage East Ferry sails like clockwork between the two villages, in everything except the most exceptional of weathers. For €2 pp we walked on and off and this time Ballyhack Castle was open to the public, fully restored and really a gem of tower house to visit. It’s free and is open Saturday-Wednesday all summer from 9.30-5pm. Bob Doyle, Maria’s brother in law, is one of the guides, and if you like talking history, you’ll enjoy a chat with Bob.
Thanks to Maria Doyle, who grew up with Ballyhack castle in her garden, for helping me with the details of this piece. Maria’s mam, Anne White nee Fortune (RIP) was Jimmy’s aunt and, coincidentally, a great friend of my grandmothers.
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