Those long summer nights in Ireland. Radio Luxemburg and Van Morrison. The distant sound of the Orange Lambeg Drums. The little stone cottage built by my great, great grandfather over three hundred years ago. That was Ballyknock. That was my home.
The old stone walls stood during the great famine and through much hardship and suffering. My grandfather, one of seven sons, stayed at home whilst his two elder brothers sailed for St Louis to find fortune and support the family.
They came home, minus the fortune. They gathered around the open fire and told their stories. They became my friends.
The Internet was still thirty years away. In Ballyknock it might as well have been three hundred years away. We didn’t care. Life was simple. There was little to fear – so long as we stayed out of Limbo, Purgatory and Belfast during the “troubles”.
And then it all changed. The old generation passed on – almost in a blink.
We arrived in Melbourne in 1968. Four years later the news came that the old cottage had been demolished. Ballyknock and the long summer evenings were a distant memory.
Fast forward to 2006. An aimless search on Google finds a trace, just a glimpse of the old Ballyknock. There should be more. such a rich history, all those generations. Couldn’t help myself. Logged onto GlobeVista to see if anyone had stolen www.ballyknock.com. Couldn’t believe my eyes – it was available! My childhood reality at Ballyknock was long gone. But now I had a chance to recreate some of those memories on the net.
And that is the plan. Time to dig out the old photos and get Ballyknock online. The old stone cottage has gone but Ballyknock wont be forgotten.