Memories of Mullaghmore in the 60s

editorial image
0
Have your say

Lord Louis Mountbatten and myself had one thing in common. We both spent summers at Mullaghmore.

Lord Louis Mountbatten and myself had one thing in common. We both spent summers at Mullaghmore.

It was the late ‘60s and I was a student in Dublin. Lord Louis stayed in Cassie Bawn Castle. I camped in a tent in a field. The field was owned by the late Fine Gael TD Jim White and his Austrian born wife.

Lord Louis lived in comfort while a friend and I subsisted in the field along with two horses. It was like a Bear Grylls adventure meets Celebrities in the Jungle without the TV cameras. Mountbatten wandered around and went fishing in Shadow V without any attention and we had a smaller boat.

All summer long a succession of characters we’d meet in pubs would stay in ‘our’ field. There was, for instance, Patrick a student from the Sorbonne in Paris. “You’ve heard of Paddy the Irish man, and Paddy the English man,” we’d say to people, “…well, this is Paddy the French man”! We employed him lobster fishing, while we spent the profits. Many stories can only be disclosed if we ever get a Truth Commission, but here’s one that’s not too bad!

One day a local girl, with whom I shared a romantic interest, fell from a horse. Derry’s Phil Coulter came on the scene, picked her up and drove her to Sligo hospital. I arrived there a day later but visiting was restricted to close family. “But this is her fiancé,” my quick-thinking friend told a nurse while I sauntered over to the bedside. I still cringe at the alarm caused to unsuspecting parents when they were told a “fiancé” had appeared!