You are never far from my thoughts. It is six years since I last visited you. I had planned to see you in 2020 but the nasty Covid-19 virus sweeping the world, prevented me from travelling. My fondest wish is see you one more time before I leave this earthly world.
My father’s family lived and worked within your ancient boundaries. He was born in your bosom and died there too. He always wanted to take his last breath in the place where he was born. He was granted that wish, which would have made him happy. Although born in Trim, he was wrenched from his home before he reached the tender age of five due to the death of his parents. It was another deadly virus that took his mother from him in 1918-the Spanish ‘flu’.
Despite growing into adulthood in a different locality, his heart was always with you. All through my childhood he took me to visit you several times each year. We would go to the ruins of your historic castle on the banks of the Boyne River. He would tell me some of its history, informing me it was the largest Norman castle in Ireland and was built in 1172. We would eat the lunch we had taken with us, within its thick stone walls, feeling as though we were dining at a banquet of the former owners, the de Lacy’s, de Geneville’s or the Mortimers.
Next we wandered round the Yellow Steeple that had been part of an Abbey founded in the sixth century. The steeple was a refuge for your people from the Vikings. Because the Boyne is navigable from the coast to Trim, it was easy for those invaders to arrive at your beautiful setting to loot and plunder.
Then my father would take me to the cemetery searching for his parent’s graves, lifting fallen headstones, trying to decipher the faded and eroded text. We never did find my grandparents final resting place during those forays.
Next we went to see the Duke of Wellington monument. My father’s family home and business was close by. The monument was part of his early childhood. Unfortunately the buildings that belonged to his parents have now been demolished to make way for a car park. That makes me sad.
Arthur Wellesley, whom the monument honours, is your most famous son. He was born in Dublin but his family lived in Dangan Castle, close to you and he was educated in one of your schools. He twice represented you, Trim, as a Member of Parliament in Westminster. Defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on Sunday, 18 June 1815, was his greatest achievement.
In 1699 Dean Jonathan Swift became vicar of Laracor on the outskirts of your township. He lived in the Glebe house there. Years later, when he was living in London he longed for his garden at Laracor and ‘the beauties of the locality’. You have a way of holding on to the heartstrings of those who love you.
Our last destination for the day was the establishment that his parents had once owned--a Public House and grocery shop. I would sit in the ‘snug’ with a glass of orangeade while Dad would have a couple of pints at the bar and chat to some of the old-timers who may have known his parents. Afterwards we would get on our bicycles and begin the long journey home.
I too, was born in your hospital and baptized in St Patrick’s Church, but regretfully, I never lived in your historic town. I have always felt I belonged to you and I love to go to see you whenever I can.
♥ Elizabeth Kearns.