'But nothing daunted I pulled up my trouser legs and leaving my shoes and socks on the bank ventured into the canal '

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Dublin Core


'But nothing daunted I pulled up my trouser legs and leaving my shoes and socks on the bank ventured into the canal '


Harry Browne describes an incident in which he fell into the canal while retrieving his lost schoolbag.


Harry Browne


Trinity College Dublin




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Harry Browne

Is Part Of

Adolescence and Early Adulthood


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

North Strand, Dublin

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


My second experience in the canal was not so much a swim as a wading exercise. I was in North Strand Technical School. The journey from my house to the school took me along the banks of the canal from Jones Road to North Strand. One day in early January the snow was quite heavy and lay on a hill sloping down to the canal. On arrival at this hill I decided to slide down on the snow. This was such good fun that I ran back up to the top and slid down again. This went on through several iterations until I was afraid that I would be late for school. As I had left my schoolbag at the top of the slope and as I could not slide down and hold on to the bag at the same time I decided to send the bag on down in front of me. Sadly when it reached the bottom it continued onto the ice on the canal and out towards the middle where it fell through the ice, where it remained semi submerged. Now I was in trouble! But nothing daunted I pulled up my trouser legs and leaving my shoes and socks on the bank ventured into the canal. It was quite shallow at the edge and deepened as one went further out. Suddenly as I reached out to snag the bag I stepped into a hole and went in up to my waist. I retrieved the bag and went home as I was not in a fit state for school. My Mother was not impressed! She was ranting and raving loudly at me for my foolish behaviour when the front door bell rang. The Parish Priest was calling to talk about my Sister's upcoming wedding. 'Whats all the shouting about' he said. My mother who was normally quite pleasant to the clergy turned on him 'You would be shouting too if this gobshite had come home to you in this state' she said. He did not pursue the issue any further. A further consequence of this episode was that the schoolbooks were soaked and the ink on all the copy books was smeared and splotched. The aforementioned 'Batman' saw the state of my books and demanded to know what had happened. I told him they had fallen into the canal. He replied 'Its a pity you did not fall in after them' I said 'I did Sir'. I earned great kudos from my class mates for my ready wit and swift repartee but Batman was very unimpressed.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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