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Dunmore East

Ritchie Fanning

Dunmore East is a small fishing village on the south-east coast of Ireland, 16kms from the city of Waterford. It sits on the western side of the Waterford Harbour Estuary, 4.8kms from Hook Head in Wexford.
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland

A Man You Don't Meet Everyday

As a child living in the Lower village during the 60's, I would often meet with Richie Fanning, either while out playing

in the square or out walking with my mother. Richie lived on the Lower Road , in the last cottage before Molly

Burke's house, with his mother. Every time that we met, he always went through his pockets and managed to find a

penny to give me for sweets. A kindly act for a man that did not have a whole lot for himself. I always liked Richie, as

he never seemed in a hurry and always had time to talk to anyone that had time to listen.

At some stage near the end of the 60s, his mother died, which left him to dispose of her belongings. To my father he

gave a Jacobs biscuit tin, which contained some Marietta biscuits and some cream crackers, also a Christmas cake,

which his mother had baked the previous Christmas. He didn't like the currants and figured it would only go to waste.

I remember eating all the biscuits, but not the cake, as I, being like Richie, didn't like the currants either.

After a few days the box was empty and I decided to play with the red paper in the bottom of the tin. When I took the

paper out, underneath was a 1 pound note and a ten shilling note. Images of a new Batmobile flashed before my

eyes, but when I showed it to my mother she said that it belonged to Richie and would have to be returned. She

reminded me of all the pennies that he had given to me on our walks.

That evening I went into the Strand and found Richie on his usual stool. I told him about the find and gave him the

money. It was the first time that I had ever seen a tear roll down a man's face. My mother later explained that he had

cried because he was happy. It was as if his mother had given him one final gift.

Von Rutter

Honourable Men and Women