Liam Phelan (O'Keefe) Covid Archive

What I missed Most


by Liam O’Keefe (Liam Phelan)


Going to Thurles on the train with Pat Dunny, Brian Newman and Michael Keogh for the races. The local history talks, the whist drives in Monastrevin, Kildare and Killinard. The poker games, Mass each Tuesday and Thursday inBeechParkand Ashley Lodge nursing homes, with the Carmelite Fathers from Kildare. Paddy Powers bookies for a little flutter. Sometime later, horse racing returned behind closed doors, but no bookmakers, no spectators. The big breakfast every three weeks with Noel and Jim Kavanagh in the Silken Thomas. The Savoy Cinema.

As the first lockdown was eased a little, the Government decided to impose an extra three week lockdown forcountiesLaois, Kildare and Offaly. As there were no bookies opened, I used to to toDublinon the 9.30am train on a Saturday and have my bet in Paddy Powers inSmithfieldand be home by 11.30am.


The Weather


The weather was exceptionally for six weeks as Fr Paul Dempsey, P.P., is supposed to have said to someone: “The Lord gave us a kick in the ass with the virus, but sent the good weather to help us cope.” Paul was later on made Bishop of Achonry.



T.V and Radio


The television programmes were all repeats. The Late Late Show raised millions for various charities but hardly a week went by without some rugby player on it. After twenty years of looking at the same “Reeling in the Years”, RTE invested in a new series. In “FairCity” people who died twenty years ago came back as different characters. One would get GOGGLEIED looking at the Gogglebox. No single women available inAustraliaas they are all married at first sight. “Banged Up Abroad” and “Air Crash Investigation” were good for late night viewing, and Niall Carroll and Lorcan Murray kept me going on Lyric FM.


What I Did


Went for walks. Visited Churches and cemeteries. Played cards on a few occasions with Brendan and Ann Dunne, and Eddie Doyle, just for two hours on a Friday night. We used chips and it was only a €5 each to play; the winner got €20. I gathered twigs from the hedgerows as they were great for lighting a fire. I wrote a few stories, listened to CDs of Queen, the Bee Gees and Neil Diamond. Did some gardening too. Watched a wren build its nest. Unfortunately our cat, Olive, caught it while it was drinking water. I did my usual three days of “meeting and greeting” in Nolan’s butchers in Kilcullen before the Christmas (I have done that for the last thirty years). I suppose I would be classed as a hoarder by nature, so I tidied up my files and discarded a lot of papers, etc, that I no longer needed.


© Liam O’Keefe (Liam Phelan) 2021