Terry Adams on his home town of Tullamore in the 1960s

Offaly History blog had a huge response to Terry’s memories of Tullamore town and the pool. When he was in Tullamore in June 2018 to launch his Verdun to the Somme book of poems we asked him to send us more material for our readers. Here we publish one of his poems ‘My town’. We added the pics. Enjoy. We have big news next week with our 100th blog.


High Street,Tullamore in the early 1960s
High St., Tullamore, early 1960s

Terry was born in Cormac Street, Tullamore, to parents Terry and Kathleen Adams. He has spent all but two of the last 34 years living abroad. Living four years, 1984 to 1987, in the United States and, since 1990 in Luxembourg. He began writing after the death of his father in 1976 and has penned novels, collections of short stories and books of poetry. His true passion is poetry, a passion passed on to him by his father. Terry’s interests include history, politics, hurling, rugby, traditional music and singing. He is married and has three daughters. Now retired he is enjoying his life in Luxembourg.

Many of my poems describe my memories of the most influential people in my life. Parents, immediate/extended family, and friends, all provide continuous inspiration. Most of these people are/were from Tullamore and much of my work is based in around my early years during the 60’s in the town. I believe that often in life the earliest influences are the most poignant and permanent.


My Town

Born in a placid midland town, dominated by dabs and browns
A home, the best of homes, my own
How to amuse oneself in such a place where life moved at a slower pace
No videos, PCs, TVs, no rat race
Leave the house hinged on O’Moore and Cormac Streets
Come and view, through a sixties hue, what a ten-year-old boy might do
Left out the door to Lloyd’s field
A child’s haven, no adults intrude
Fruit trees in summer laden
Iced lake in winter for risking
An avenue of overgrown unruly hedge
Led to a forgotten little summer house
Not used nor the whole garden
By others than us on our discovering


001504 McGinn's pub and bakery, High St. Tullamore
McGinn’s bakery
Back down the road left by MaGinn’s
Whose cakes we devoured with wide grins
In school as a Christmas treat
Then ramble by the shells of neglected Crow Street


The Brothers yard tested our soccer skills all the while avoiding Giffney’s prowls
If he discovered the nature of our game any excuse to him would sound lame
In summer the pool was the place to be
Witness the games of tig and sea
Home on bikes in a large peloton
Stop at O’Reilly’s for a fresh baked tasty bun


The Swimming Gala in Tullamore in 1950s
Tullamore Swimming Pool Annual Gala programme
The Market Square a barrel wonderland
Leap from one to the next ignoring wasps
We never knew who provided our rotund casks
We never cared that much to ask
Tire of the danger from our barrel folly
We’d take off for sport to the ball alley
A game of handball harder than a rap
On the hand from a Brother’s leather strap
Searching for conkers in the late autumn rain
With my younger brother Fergus, by name,
Kicking idly through the dead leaves deep
Outside the Court House and the Jail’s keep
On wet winter’s short grey afternoons
We’d often dream of Cowboys and Injuns
Ensconced in the glitzy Ritz
Prized films created fantasies before our eyes


Fergal MacCabe's Grand Central Cinema and Market Square
Grand Central Cinema and Market Square, by Fergal McCabe
A horse ride home up High Street
We’d gallop on our self-powered steeds
Gun in one hand, whip in the other
Chasing imaginary Indians and one another
On Charleville Lake in the deepest winter cold
Under Dad’s watchful wing we’d skate
Excavated long ago to build Hop Hill
Where the Anglican Church stands still
Come Halloween to the graveyard we’d go
All shaking with night fright, suddenly a yell
‘Look at that grave with the head protruding
 With face anguished like it’s back from hell’
With shrieks and screams we’d scatter and run
And not stop again till safely back down the town
Sixties Tullamore is no more, my memories remain safely in store
Some from so long ago my own children consider them aged folklore


Terry Adams, Book Titles/Year Published:

Copies of almost all in the Offaly History Centre Library. Some are for sale on our website shop.

 APT Miscellaneous Musings, Poetry (1989)

A SIFFO’s Scribblings, Short Stories (1998)

A SIFFO’s Poetry, Poetry (2000)

The Eleven Ages of Caolán, Novel (2002)

Family Memories, Poetry/ Stories (2004)

Two Tales, Novel (2006)

Irish Poetry from the Duchy, Poetry  (2006)

Buy you the Moon, Poetry/Stories (2013)

A Sunny Day near Mexico, Poetry (2014)

Paddy Alone, Novel (2016)

Verdun to the Somme, Poetry (2017)