Aidan and Sarah enjoying a sunny day at the Liffey park in Newbridge last summer
I meant to write this piece a few weeks ago but life has been mental of late. We finally made the move and we are half settled in. We have a new home but I’m really going to miss the old one.
I first moved to Newbridge in 2008 when I rented a room in a house in Roseberry Hill. I then moved to Naas, but when it came time to buy six years ago I found myself back in Newbridge again. And what a wonderful place it is.
On one of our first evenings in our new home, I remember Daddy Chambers popping out to McLoughlin’s for diesel. He came back to tell me the man beside him at the pump stopped and made polite small talk with him. Quite the ordinary thing, I hear you say. However to him, it wasn’t. He maintains nobody ever made small talk with him when he lived in Naas. He pronounced Newbridge a friendly place and he hit the nail on the head.
Newbridge is just that; it’s friendly, it’s what I would call a normal, decent town. Yes, it has its issues but what town doesn’t? The people are great. The people are friendly. The people are ordinary decent people. What more could you want from the town where you live?
It was a great place to have kids in. People just row in behind you. As a parent you meet more people when you have kids. I was three months pregnant when we moved back to Newbridge from Naas. I quickly got to know my new neighbours and quickly realised I could rely on them, despite the infancy of our relationship.
We had the type of neighbours that were never in your face, but always there if you needed them. We had the type of neighbours that would always give you a dig out if you needed help with the kids. The women helped the other women out. Indeed, Jenny, Therese, Liz, Anne, Grainne and Mary, many a night you helped me out by getting me out for drinks, a chat and a laugh. I’ll miss those nights and I will miss you all.
When Aidan started pre-school in the Family Resource Centre two years ago I began to widen my social circle. Meeting other mams is great when you live in a town that’s not your hometown. And I met some great ones. Geraldine, a blow-in like myself, you’d struggle to meet a more sound woman. And lest I forgot the grannies — Rose O’Rourke, who dropped off her grandson Kyle most mornings, she’s a gem and I’ll miss bumping in to her and her daughter Donna and her husband Brendan.
And I’ll really miss the friendly face of Ciara Mangan too. Or maybe I should be calling her Ciara Moran now. Herself and Trevor got married last Friday in The Clanard Court Hotel and boy, did she look stunning. Congratulations, you two!
I can’t talk about the mammies from the Resource Centre without mentioning the staff there. You really left a lasting impression on both me and Aidan. He still talks about you all. Thank you for looking after him. Thank you for teaching him and thanks for being sound.
I can’t forget about the mammies I met at Naíonra Bhóín Dé either. Ashley and Mary, my playschool besties and dancing partners; I will miss your faces in the morning. Ashley’s mum, Alico, a lady, and a scream of a woman, I’ll miss her words of wisdom.
How could I forget the crew in Moorefield? What a club! Before we left they organised a special presentation for Aidan. His Under 6 team mates gathered round him on his final Saturday at training and wished him well. His two favourite players, David Whyte and Daryl Flynn, made a presentation to him and made his day and more! I’m told Philie Wolfe was the instigator of the whole thing. Cheers Philie. Cheers Daryl. Cheers David. What ye all did was a real class act.
And cheers to Shaggy and all the coaches who made my little man into a football addict. You were and are just brilliant. Hopefully we’ll be back down in a few weeks time to see the Moores win another Senior Football Championship title!
I hate goodbyes. I’m rubbish at them and I usually cry. I didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone I wanted to in Newbridge. The packing, the renovations and life got in the way. To quote J.M Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, ‘Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.’ Yes, we have all gone away but we will never forgot Newbridge and all the wonderful people in it.