Monday, February 22, 2010

From Dundrum to Murroe

February Fog lies heavy around the frozen
Sycamore tree at the Holmes' family farm

The following is a recollection of a story that my wife's brother told us during a recent evening at Power's Pub in Abbington, County Limerick, Ireland.

Stepping outside of the dance hall in Dundrum, County Tipperary, some time in the 1980s when Mike Holmes was 18 or 19, he stepped outside with his three friends to begin the journey home in his black Hillman Avenger. Several other friends had gathered around the small family style car and wanted a ride, and Mike thought for a second.
"Okay lads, we can fit six in the back seat," he said. "And two in front next to me."
That left two more. So, Mike stepped to the back of the car and in went two more in the boot. "Just hang on to the bar here and you'll be grand."
"No problem," the two lads said crawling in and positioning themselves as comfortably as possible for the 30-minute drive home.
Eleven young men in the small car caused it to ride a bit low, but Mike had no problem as he drove down the winding bumpy roads of rural County Tipperary. As they approached a crossroads, Mike noticed a Gardai (police) check point.
After he stopped, an officer leaned into the window, saw the crowd in the car, stood up to take a breath, then leaned in again.
"Where are you coming from and where are you going?" he asked Mike.
"We're coming from a dance in Dundrum and heading home to Murroe."
The officer leaned in closer.
"How many people are in this car?"
Mike thought for a moment. "Well, there's three in the front and I haven't counted the back yet," he said.
Eventually, the officer let Mike go.
"Drive on," he said.
Just as he thought he'd gotten by, the two guys in the trunk rose up.
"Goodnight, officer," they said.
Mike had to pull over again and unload all the passengers. The officer said he could drive away with only four passengers. The rest would have to walk.
But Mike took a moment to whisper to one of the six who were left behind.
"I'll wait for ye down the road," he said.

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