FELLOW TRAVELLERS – by Donal Kennedy


From 1948 to 1957 I travelled on the Hill of Howth tram from Baker’s Lane to Howth Railway Station

and walked from there a further mile to St Fintan’s Christian Brothers’ School on the Burrow Road

in Sutton. The route was on the north side of the Howth Peninsula with views of Ireland’ Eye and

Lambay Island, and on a fine day to the Mountains of Mourne.


There were other students going to the Protestant  National School in Sutton, the Protestant Secondary Mountjoy School in the City, and, also, in the City, O’Connell Christian Brothers’ Secondary School.

Girls going to Santa Sabina Convent in Sutton, travelled there on the south side of the peninsula overlooking Dublin Bay, with views of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains and to Wicklow Head.


University and other older students also used he trams,


On fine days I travelled on the top open deck.


In the mid 1950s I often found myself sat opposite a gentleman, constantly reading something and I

never heard him speak. I didn’t know who he was, and I imagine he didn’t know who I was.


He later wrote about the Irish Christian Brothers though he knew Sweet Fanny Adams about them.

His name was Conor Cruise O’Brien. Roy Foster, who wraps historical excrement in elegant prose

has quoted O’Brien’s piece verbatim without checking other sources.


In the 1980s I wrote “Schools of  Violence, Brothers and Arms” for THE IRISH DEMOCRAT a

had it reprinted as a BLOG here on 25th November 1921.



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