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Arch Bar, Liberty Square, Thurles, Humming Last Christmas Eve

The Arch Bar in Liberty Square, Thurles, was humming on Christmas Eve. Present were teachers, civil servants, personnel from local shops and quite a few down from Dublin and from further afield; all returned briefly to celebrate Christmas with family and to restore past camaraderie with their once close friends.

Down in one corner of the pub were a noisy bunch of chess players, all bragging about charity games they had played earlier that week; “Very festive, Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer”, Mikey Ryan later jokingly remarked.

I myself had set a personal record this Christmas, by getting my bits of shopping completed three weeks ahead of the deadline of December 25th. With all my purchases back in the house; I was over the halfway mark in the gift wrapping stakes, when I realised my major error. Hadn’t I purchased the wrong wrapping paper from Thurles Shopping Centre, so there was no one I could blame. The paper I had purchased said, ‘Happy Birthday’.  Not wanting to waste it; I decided to just write ‘Jesus’ in a few required areas in heavy indelible red marker, on the back and front. Problem solved.

Christmas here in Thurles seemed to go reasonably well for most of our residents; well that’s if the people I consulted are to be believed.  On the other hand, when asked how things were going back home since his return to “the little woman”; Mikey Ryan refused to discuss same in detail, other than to inform me that, quote, “Marriage is a bit like a deck of cards. In the beginning it’s all about two hearts and a diamond, and by the end you wish you owned a club and a spade.” 

Mikey did have one small misunderstanding; the details of which he related to me on Christmas Eve night. From what I could gather, it seems that he went into Thurles Post Office, before Christmas, on the instructions of his wife, to buy stamps for Christmas cards.
“May I have 50 stamps”? said he to the busy female Post Office clerk.
The Post Office clerk stared, before asking, “What denominations would Sir like”?
“God help us”, said Mikey, “Didn’t I just know that when Fine Gael got into power in this country, that it would eventually come to this; give me 22 Catholic, 12 Protestant, 10 Jewish and 6 Muslim”.

So, that’s it, I have no further news; but from the Arch Bar, Mikey Ryan and myself; have a truly Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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