LISTEN: Athlone's Oliver Reid on 'Vanishing Ireland' podcast
Memories school days in Coosan, becoming a waiter in Switzerland, and working in the bar trade in Athlone were shared by Oliver Reid in the latest episode of the Vanishing Ireland podcast series.
Oliver (81) was interviewed by historian Turtle Bunbury for the 24-minute programme, which is available now having been released on Friday last.
He shared a number of interesting recollections about times past, including attending what was then a two-room school in Coosan, where he had a run-in with a priest who had come to the school on horseback.
As a teenager he started his working life at Maguire's bar and grocery in Athlone. After a short time there, he noticed his wages had increased and asked the manager, Jimmy Connolly, if there had been a mistake.
"No, he said, you're worth it. That was the best praise I could have got," recalled Oliver.
After a brush with pneumonia - for which he was treated at the hospital in Athlone - he emigrated to Switzerland and became a professionally-trained waiter in some high-calibre hotels.
He then returned home and became a bar man in Athlone establishments. He took pride in the quality of service he provided.
"It sounds very egotistical but I was the best, and I worked hard to be the best," he said on the podcast. He also spoke about going on to work as a bank porter.
Oliver indicated that he was still living his life to the fullest. "They'll bring me out of here screaming. I'm enjoying it too much!" he laughed.
The Vanishing Ireland podcast series, supported by SuperValu, features 16 profile interviews with elders of Irish society.
You can listen to the episode with Oliver Reid here:
New episodes of the series are released each Friday.