Siblings Darrell, Oein and Trina
Oein De Bhardúin – A Christmas Memory
The story I am going to tell is one of my most vivid memories of Christmas.
I grew up near Tirboy on the hinterland of a place called Cluain Tuatha …. Beside this was a hill called ‘Tinkers Hill’, near a winding road my grandmother lived on called Gilmartin Road. And one of my strongest memories is getting up on Christmas morning … looking back now we were in a place of absolute poverty but we never felt poor, because of loads of connections, ….I remember being so excited to bring a gift that I had gotten down to my grandmother. It had snowed heavily. That’s the last time I ever remember having proper snow at Christmas and we were the first people to be heading in that direction, because for instance there were no footprints ahead of us…so I remember looking back towards home and seeing all our little paths in the snow, which in my mind are so romantic and lovely
and warm, and just childhood freedom. What I had received was a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle costume, that it turns out years later that my grandmother had made for Christmas. I was Donatello. I remember going down and being so excited, and she was so excited, she was giddy that I was giddy you know.. and I was giddy because she was giddy.
Her home was unusual because it was a house that was built in the 1930s, and she had heavy ivy on it, and the ivy had broken through some of the parts of the house. If you go to the front door there is a stairs to the right and the first room that must have been a bedroom once upon a time, but she turned it into a small cozy room, then you had a living room and a small extension at the back where the kitchen is. In the little cozy room the ivy had come in through the corner of the wall , and she had decorated it with tinsel and Christmas baubles, because she didn’t want to cut it.
So that is one of my strongest memories of Christmas.
Transcribed by Áine Furey, Museum of Childhood Ireland Músaem Óige na hÉireann, December 2023 .