John Redmond St
I am of an age such that I was not around or too young to have noticed the events regularly cited when people are asked as to where they were at the time – JFK shooting, and man stepping off on the moon. There are a few events etched into my memory.
I can remember the exact T-junction on the road between Athlone and Birr when I heard of the Ayrton Senna crash. News of the Bradford stadium fire was had in pub in Clogherhead, when we should have been studying. In April 1989, I was in my parents’ then house.
Growing up, my cousin and I were routinely dropped to our grandfather most Sundays and off we went to a match – Flower Lodge, Turner’s Cross, or down the Park (pre Pairc Ui Chaoimh). We would also have been brought to Killarney, to Thomond Park and to Lansdowne Road for an international match most years.
There was a feeling that when holding Grandad’s hand, you were safe. He taught us to stand in front of the crush barriers rather than behind at Lansdowne Road. Seeing the state of the crash barriers at Hillsborough after the disaster indicated the extent of the crowd pressure. No Grandad’s hand was protection.
I have been lucky also to have been in Canal End in old Croke Park and Blackrock end at Pairc Ui Chaoimh when the
pitchside gates were opened to relieve pressure. The matches on the field continued. Opening the pitchside gates at Hillsborough would have made some difference.
Publicity for the inaugural Mother Jones Festival last year was the first that I had heard of Mary Harris Jones. It was only a week ago that I spotted the plaque erected to Mother Jones on John Redmond St., then this week I read that
Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Family Support Group will speak at the Festival this year. My sport-mad past mixed up with my sign-mad present.
My diary now has an entry for 30 July 2013.