Archived Messages - May 2014    

from Eucharia Varty - 12/05/14

Dear Mr O'Connor,

I am writing to say how much I have enjoyed your wonderful book. You brought alive so brilliantly life in Dublin in those faraway days, and I couldn't put the book down. In particular, to me an emigrant to England in 1959, it was a poignant journey back to when I lived in Ireland.

My uncle, Richard Magill, owned Magills of Johnstown's Court, which you mention, and yes, it was a fascinating place to visit. It was the first delicatessen in Dublin, and a great success. Even though my uncle insisted on giving me a 'treat' every time I went in there as a child (a lump of crystallised ginger which I hated but too polite to say!) it was meant well. I always loved looking at the hams and sausages hanging from hooks. Magills is still there, though round the corner now and smaller. My uncles's manager bought the business and name when my uncle died.

Another name from the past was Peggy Dell, who was a great friend of another uncle, Freddie Doyle, who was in musical comedy on the Dublin stage. Peggy played the piano at my parents wedding.

Also of interest to me is the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. My grandfather joined and was honourably discharged (disabled) in 1917. One of the lucky ones!

I was brought up in Sandycove and went to Dominican Convent, Dun Laoghaire. We left in 1959, when I was 16. A huge wrench at that age, but no choice in the matter as my father's business failed and to England we had to go.

I still visit Ireland once or twice a year and my English husband can't get enough if it. My best friend lives in Bray. I love walking around Sandycove, which has not changed a bit. Last June we we went to Blooms Day in Sandycove. This only started after I left and I have always wanted to go. We had a brilliant day, dressing up in Edwardian clothes, and the atmosphere was terrific.

Very many thanks indeed for sharing your memories. They brought back things I had forgotten -(who over here would know what the heel of the bread' was?!). Great stuff - there is nothing like the Dublin sense of humour!

I hope that maybe you will continue with you memoir. If so, will look forward so much to reading it.

With all good wishes and thank you again.

Eucharia Varty


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