I did some hurling when I was young. In that time there were a few hurling fields around the parish. There was a hurling field in Dave Flynn’s farm which is now Pat O’Conors. There was another down the Black Road at Kavanaghs.
There were also a few hurling teams. I was in the village team. There was a team called “The Sledgers”. There was also the “Walshestown” team. I think there was a fourth team also. We wore black and amber jerseys in those days.
I hunted a lot of hares in Father Roche’s time, every Sunday afternoon. He had a lot of greyhounds. Maurice O’ Mahony was another man that used to follow the dogs. The hares were very plentiful then and the farmers would never mind people entering their land. I snared a lot of rabbits and sold them to Mortell’s in Charleville and Lyons shop in Lisgriffin. I often sold the same rabbits twice at Lyons. I used to take them into an out-house and take them out again. I made the snares myself. There were several people at this around Churchtown. The best man to catch rabbits was Tim Mac. There was also a man with one hand called Bluett. Tom Murphy from the village was mad for the sport also.
My family originated in Liscarroll long ago. They came to Churchtown and they lived in Mick Egan’s house above the Community Centre. I saw the man at the center of that hor-rific rail crash in Buttevant twenty years ago. I was the man changing the rails that time. It was done by hand then. It had a very bad effect on me for a long time after. But I stood up to it all. It was awful to see the aftermath of the crash. It was the worst disaster in years. It was a hard luck accident.
I must pay tribute to all the people who sent me letters of sympathy after the accident. Fr Hallissey from Mallow sent me a very special card. There were letters from Dublin and all over Ireland. It helped me to deal better with the situation.
I loved working in the railway. It was the best job in the country. I had to walk the track looking for faults. There could be a cracked line. There could be a loose key and it had to be driven in. Then a rail could also warp and that had to be reported. The men working with me were all very nice even the inspectors. I was happy with the working conditions. I worked up to the last day of my retirement.