Story from the Waterside

Lonely I wander through scenes of my Childhood. They bring back those memories of happy days gone by. Gone are the old folks and the house stands deserted, no light in the window, no welcome at the door.
I grew up in a quaint but picturesque village called Redford Atha Dearg. The name Atha Dearg came from a litter river adjacent to out house and land.
Memories of this river come flooding back as I think back on all our adventures and games and fun as we sat and played on the river bank on a summer’s day. Summers were warmer then.
The riverside was a meeting place for all our neighbours, we would meet these as a place of recreation. Bonfire night was a particular social gathering. I remember our neighbour reciting the five decades of the rosary and we reluctantly answering her wonderful tradition. Our other neighbour was a great violin player and how wonderful it was for us to dance a reel or a gig under the moonlight sky. Miss McClods reel was his favourite tune.
The river was a very popular place for young boys around the area for fishing at the weekends and needless to say we found excuses as teenage girls to sit on the bank of the river and admire their skills as fishermen. Their fishing tackle was very primitive in those days and their catch was mostly eels, trout and salmon. The fishing rod was made by the fisherman himself from sally rods with a string hook at the end.
Again, it was a great swimming river for the ducks and geese. We always had a flock of geese and ducks and it was a wonderful sight to see them clap their wings with joy as they relaxed after a swim on the green lush bank.
In the 1950’s all rivers were dredged and this was a very successful scheme by the Government but in my opinion it dried up the beautiful wells and ours was one gone forever. The good memory I have of the dredging was my mother found a lodger who worked on the river and caused a stir in the village. I am very proud that it was my dear grandfather who told the story to a neighbour who was attending National School in Dennylea at the time. He lived to be 94 years old. The river is a tributary of River Clare.