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Coill Dubh: My story

I don’t really know where to start, but I suppose I will start by saying that I have lived in Coill Dubh for as long as I can remember. I was only two when my parents, Tom and Peg Mulreid, moved here from Celbridge. They were given the chance to buy house number 75 and they took it, and ever since we have not looked back.
I am now settled down with Tina Browne, from Timahoe, and have our own two girls, Rebecca, 10, and Abigail, 9. I can see the major differences in playing in the Village then and now. I can remember from about 8-9-10 the games we played; we all would gather together on the big green to play a game of rounders. Jaysus the craic we would have and we would only stop playing when we couldn’t see the ball anymore! Another favourite of ours was Cowboys and Indians, when there were trees out the back of our houses and loads to do out there. Climbing trees was a favourite. Lord I know that as I fell out of one and broke my arm!
Long before walls were built at the front of the houses we would start at Smiths house and run the Village jumping the paths which led to the front doors. Now that kept us fit. You could always tell when the big competitions were on the telly, we would be out playing the games: The Dublin Horse Show saw us breaking branches from trees and robbing clothes pegs from the mothers clothes line and making ourselves jumps. Just like the horses we kept it up till the next  big one came along, usually Wimbledon – that brought out the tennis rackets! There was nothing fancy about the games we played: conkers, kick the can, soccer and red rover. Technology was not needed, the only thing we needed was each other. When the summer came in, the forest was a favourite haunt, out jumping bog holes and annoying turf cutting men just to get an auld chase.
As I got a bit older Peter Daly (RIP) was trying to set up a Pitch and Putt club and I can remember myself and my dad offering to build one of the greens. There was 18 holes and different groups of people took on a hole. We got great satisfaction on the completed article and then to play on “Our” green….
In school we had just gotten a new principal, Paddy Hynes, who promised new things. Jaysus, little did we know that the new things would involve us (the school kids) out picking up stones from the newly developed pitch. Every afternoon after lunch we would all be out picking the stones up. It killed us, but the end product was a community field we are proud of. As a result we got a school GAA football team together and the school got involved in more sports, which is great in any world. Paddy Hynes started to change our school for the best and if you were ever unlucky enough to be on the end of his thumb and finger grabbing your hair locks and giving them a good auld pull ….. It made us respect the man even more and it did us no harm whatsoever.
One of my fondest memories of growing up in the Village was my Granny, Molly Hogan. I bet there isn’t a single person of a certain age who didn’t know my granny! Because my mam and dad worked I used to go to granny’s house after school, and on Fridays my good friend Tony Reilly and myself would head over to granny, because Friday was baking day! Myself and Tony would be covered in flour, but by god the scones would be top notch. I don’t know which was better, the scones or the smell in the house for hours after.
I wonder how many people remember my dad with his “Hippy” VW minibus? Every Saturday morning getting a load of us and heading over to the swimming pool in Edenderry for two sessions of fun? Ah, the memories!
Well back in 2003 we moved out of the Village to Clane, a much busier place than here and then in 2011 we moved back “Home” and we are as happy as ever, it makes such a difference when you know the people around you by their first names and everyone knows you. My kids now go to Coill Dubh school, just like me and like my mother before me. I hope their kids will follow on and also attend the school.  What more can I say? Coill Dubh is a friendly place to live, where everyone knows everyone….well nearly everyone.
Paul Mulreid
Coill Dubh
28 May 2013

Continuing our series on Coill Dubh's Gathering we feature Paul Mulread's memories of growing up in the Village. Our thanks to Paul

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