As a child, Christmas was an amazing time in our house. Coming from a family of nine children, three of which were in and around the same age as myself and my twin brother, it was, to say the least, a time of great excitement and I can remember that unique Christmas feeling that used to descend on the house around the second week of November.

All the talk in the schoolyard was on what “Santy” would bring and everyone being on their best behaviour, for fear of the dreaded lump of coal instead of a shiny new “Action Man” or a new “Mitchel” reel. But like every Christmas, it came and went all very quickly and by about December 27, another long awaited event replaced the void that the Christmas had made in the anticipation stakes.

Back then, that day was January 1, which meant going out pike fishing with my brothers and my friends Jim Reynolds, Peadar Fitzpatrick, Dermot Logan and Fintan Reynolds….

Leitrim Observer 21/12/2014 Read the article ‘New Year the real festive treat