The village of Castleconnell is a very famous place
‘Twas known as “little Paris” that’s surely no disgrace
They came from over Europe to fish and taste the Spa
And the general proceedings left many a one in awe.
The Hoggs made the Enright fishing rod world famous was the case
John Enright set world records-‘twill not be seen again
Hartigans Hall and the Shannon Hotel at wonder they did stare
And many’s the one that fainted at the antics of Lord Clare.
Enough of that now we’ll proceed to speak of recent times
I’m speaking of when I was young around eight years or nine.
The place was more or less the same as my small but lively feet
Would carry me quite quickly to Ryans at the top of the street.
‘Twas the greatest shop in Ireland-just three ladies on the staff
Kitty, Madge and Annie, always good for a bit of a laugh
Small boys like me were greeted just the same as great big men
And all the ladies of the place, they loved to ramble in.
‘Twas really very small you know, if you doubt me just ask Madge
In the front there was the main shop, at the side there was the fridge
The fridge was our attraction, inside there was ice cream
For two old pence, we’d get the best, ‘twas every young lads dream.
The greatest thing about the shop were the things they had in stock
Syrup of Figs and candles, jam and sticks of rock
The best of ham and rashers, butter, bread, milk, cakes and tea
Big jars of sweets and bull’s eyes, fresh eggs, tomatoes, cream.
From a needle to an anchor Ryans had it in the shop
They’d pluck it from a shelf so high and never let it drop
Rows and rows of jars and tins piled high upon the shelf
When the order was completed-“Here’s one for yourself.”
But the best of all was Christmas I can see it all so plain
We’d rush to see the fairy lights with the nose stuck to the pane
Inside were decorations festooned like Tara’s Hall
And the heater in the corner gave a welcome warmth to all
We’d gaze upon the goodies- Roy Rodgers guns and hat
The latest thing in cap guns-“Santa is bringing me that”
Ludo, Snakes and Ladders to pass away the hols
And for little girls a great big choice of Teasets and sleeping dolls.
They tell me that we have progressed since I was eight or nine,
Today we have the great big shop under many a different sign
‘Tis super this and super that, each is an enemy camp
They think they are doing a favour with double green shield stamps.
They have no time to listen to the different tales of woe,
Or to share the happy news there is of Paddy, Mick or Joe.
They have no time to talk to kids who bustle at their feet,
Like they did at Ryans that was known to all as Ryans at the top of the street.
But Ryans they have retired you see, and I think quite wisely too,
For years and years they served us all without any great to-do
We miss Ryan’s shop and I often think-“wasn’t it a lovely treat,
To be sent to get the messages at Ryans at the top of the street”.