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Meet Willie


“I’m originally from Bohernabreena, I was brought out there in 1938, then I moved to St Aengus’ in 1982 during the big snow. I’ll be 33 years there on the 13th of December which is the same date the parish celebrates 40 years of the church in St Aengus. I’m the deputy sacristan there. I was also the secretary of St Annes GAA club as well, I was elected in 1953 and was involved for 30 years until I moved away from Bohernabreena.

After I stopped playing football I went back to the drama which was always a big interest of mine. I am involved with the Glenasmole Drama Group and the we did a performance of the John B. Keane play The Field. I played the son and the fella that played The Bull was younger than me! I still love to go and watch drama. I also did a play with a group from The Shakespeare Theatre one time, The Saint and Mary Kate it’s called. In the opening scene I was in bed with a prostitute with just a shirt on me! It took place in the Shakespeare Theatre in town, on a Good Friday and all!

I’ve been coming to The Square since the day it opened, I’m here nearly every day. I meet the lads downstairs, it’s good aul craic with all the boys, we all call it the departure lounge. If anybody is missing we’ll say ‘did anyone check Fanagans?!’

I was employed in Torney’s for 28 years and I took voluntary redundancy in 1977 and got a job in the council working on the roads and I was there until ’98. I started working in 1948 and I finished in ’98.

“I’ve been married to my wife Lily 50 years last June, you only get 21 for murder! Lily and Willie, it’s very poetic isn’t it?! She was reared up in Bohernabreena, near the water works. I met her in The Irish Club which was a dance hall in town. I have five children, one died at birth, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We had seven grandchildren but my granddaughter Marsia was killed in a hit and run in Clondalkin in October 2005. She was only 16, she would have been 26 on 31st August this year. The woman who hit her only got 12 months with two months suspended.

Originally there were seven children in my family but they’re all dead now, I’m the last of the mohicans! I was adopted, I never knew my parents. I looked for information from the South Dublin Union and the information I got was my mother was Mary Murphy and she was only 19 when she had me. Her address was Mountjoy Prison, whether she was working there or she was a prisoner I don’t know because I never got anymore information. I often wonder if I have brothers and sisters living in Dublin. I’ll be 83 this month and I’m still very busy!”