May Eve bonfires

By Ted Heaslip

My memory

My Father moved to Limerick and moved with Mother into Limerick Corporation Housing development in 1939, (Janesboro), the development was on the edge of the city boundary, most of wage earners would in today's terms be skilled people (blue-collar workers) and from an urban/rural background. The development is 200 houses or so.

Each avenue had its own bonfire and there were 9 avenues. Our avenue has 26 houses and we were in the middle, no. 15. The fire was about 6/7 meters away from our front door and 2 meters away from the front gate. I don't know how the fire was started or what made the fire.

I think we had soft drinks and biscuits and sweets. My Mother played the button accordion and there was a general sing-song. The fire was started at 7/8 O'clock. There was no traffic and the fire was on the edge of the road and the black marks were visible up to some years ago. The adults were very much in control.

At the end of the night my Mother and the neighbours brought shovels of the bonfire embers into the house and placed them in their own grate. My Father at some stage scattered the ashes in the back garden.

When did this happen?

1940s

Where did this happen?

Limerick city

This page was added by Eorann Kavanagh on 01/05/2012.