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My name is Micheal Reilly. I was born in 1948 in Carbury, Co, Kildare. My parents were John and Eileen Reilly. I was the first of four children - Mary, Sean and Ann following after me. My father John is deceased and my mother Eileen still lives with me in Timahoe. And I remember well moving to Coill Dubh from Carbury, when I was four years old, it was 19th December 1952. Our neighbours were James Gorman 155 and Eddie Byrne 153. My father started work in Bord Na Mona and continued there for the next thirty years until he passed away. When I started school, there was no school building in Coill Dubh, but we had the use of buildings belonging to Bord na Mona in Corduff, called the middle camp. The school building opened in Coill Dubh Village in 1956, and I remember well my first day of school as I had the pleasure of walking Joe Fox to school. The Principal at the time was Mr Dunne.
Along the road at the time from our houses there was a line of tall trees where I spent many a day playing on a swing we made from an old tyre and rope. My friends who played with me weere Mike Rooney, Mick Tracy, John Kenny, and Joe Fox. Joe was the baby of the group. At the age of twelve, myself, Mick Rooney, John Kenny, and Mick Tracy would walk the dogs for Robyn Cusack. We did this every evening after school and would be rewarded with a few shillings pocket money, and Mrs Cusack’s home baking. We had our own dog to look after and if he happened to  win a race we were rewarded with extra pocket money.
We had the pleasure of having the Rag Man who would roar, “ toys for rags and bottles and jam jars”. Then the dentist, he had a room rented from Michael Tracy who came on Saturdays between 12/3pm and on  leaving each Satruday he would throw two or three handfuls of sweets on the green and we would scuffle for them. I remember house number 8 and Blake’s shop being destroyed by fire. Blake’s shop used to be decorated for Christmas and the big tree Bord ma Mona would erect in the middle of the green.
After Coill Dubh school I attended Prosperos secondary school. As the years passed by I met my wife Marie who resided in Straffan. We got married in 1970 and had four children, John, Natalie, Aimee and Aoife. I worked in Donnelly Mirrors until my retirement. I love to meet my friends and reminisce about the good times we had in Coill Dubh. I now reside in Timahoe with my wife Marie and my mother Eileen an I am looking forward to the 14th September where I hope to meet many fo my old friends at The Gathering.
Thank you Willie for the Memories.
Michael Reilly

Continuing our stories from living and growing up in Coill Dubh we feature Michael O'Reilly's memories. Our thanks to Michael

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