Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kicking Teacher

It seems to have become fashionable to have gone to Belgrove National School despite its being located on the northside of Dublin.

John McGahern taught there and was sacked from there for having written a dirty book. Neil Jordan is a past pupil and I recollect seeing a load of other names quoted recently of well known people whose education started in this school.

I think I was there before before most, if not all, of them. That would have been around 1949 when I was living in Dollymount Park.

People are always writing nowadays about how they went across the fields to school, or to the shops, or to anywhere. Crossing the field has almost attained the status of a literary conceit.

Well, I went across the field to school and I'll bet there are very few people who have had as big a monument erected on their field as I have had on mine. A spanking new church, no less, named after the angel who brought the good news to Mary.

There was nothing wrong with Belgrove, I just hated school and availed of any opportunity not to go.

One day, I set out for school across the field and by the time I got to the other side I realised I had left my schoolbag behind. I turned around and set out for home. By the time I got home, about two minutes later, I had convinced myself that I was now so late that there was no point in going to school at all that day. My mother thought otherwise. But I dug in and refused to go to school. She grabbed me by the ear, or somewhere, and literally dragged me all the way to school.

She knocked on the class door, which class was now well underway. Teacher opened the door. My mother said "This fellow says he's not going to school today". "We'll see about that" said the teacher, making to grab me as my Mother handed me over.

By this time I was beyond all reason and kicked the teacher sharply in the shin. "Get him out of here" shouted the teacher.

My Mother reluctantly led me home, across the field, of course.


The teacher's name is being withheld at the request of the family. Not her family, my family, in case her estate decides to sue even at this late hour.

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