The first time I ever went to Tallaght was when my sister Joan moved there to St. Dominic’s Avenue. I thought it was miles away. Well I suppose it was. Two bus journeys, to the bottom of the Dublin mountains. I babysat for her all the time. She had three children
She used to leave fags for me on the mantelpiece when she went out. I was 15 then and mostly just smoked to show off and make out I was so grown up. Joan usually had no fags left the next day and would go looking on the mantelpiece to see if I’d smoked them all. She had a lovely new hi-fi radio and record player, and she had a colour telly, but only one channel. So I listened to radio Luxembourg when the national anthem was over.
I always stayed overnight. Sometimes I stayed for the whole weekend, sharing a bed with her daughter in the box room. We had lovely chats and sang songs in bed. I taught her the songs that I sang at home with my sisters. We’d kneel up on the bed and look out the open window at the neighbours houses and watch the goings on in the ones who left their curtains open.
Joan and Bren had no car back then. It took me ages to get home after the weekend. The buses were always very slow and there weren’t that many of them on Sundays.
I was sad to leave Joan, but happy to go home to my Mam.
I thought I was grown up, but still a kid really, and loved going home to my own house. My sisters would be raging because there was another pair of feet back in the bed. There were still seven of us in the one bedroom. There were only three in my bed because Joan had slept with us before she got married.
Over the years Joan had three more children and moved to a bigger house,still in Tallaght; but the memories of her first house in St. Dominic’s Avenue will always remain with me.