I know before I look out the window what has happened, another car is trying to turn right at the bottom of the Back Road.
The drivers that use that road every day patrol this ‘no right turn’ with venom.
And the horns are blaring and exits are blocked until the offending driver is forced to do what everyone else does and passes around the nearby mini roundabout before they can continue their journey.
They have recently made the writing on the road twice the size.
‘ALL CARS TURN LEFT ONLY’ over the bank holiday weekend but it hasn’t made the slightest bit of a difference.The horns are still blaring this week.
And what was once known as the top of the old back road (where it connects in the Cathedral Rd) will now also have no right turn as it is to become a one way street.
Over the bank holiday weekend I took a walk through the ongoing road works.
It was a Bank Holiday Monday night and the town was quiet traffic wise. I could hear bagpipe players practicing in a yard of a nearby church hall tuning in the pipes before proceeding to play the ‘Dawning of the Day’.
A tune I learned to play on a tin whistle myself in the old boys school I’m standing outside now in the 1970’s.
I’m not a big fan of change but do see the massive traffic problems that once were only at school times but now seem to have merged into each other on most days in Letterkenny.
They have most of the outside kerbs of a new footpath in place, nearly twice as wide in places as the one it replaced. The old traffic island at the end of this road has doubled in size and now will serve to decide the one-way traffic that will make its way across for the cathedral.
The repositioning of this island tighter to the ditch on the Cathedral Road looks like the line of the old Back Road before it was widened, that old road hugged the old Convent wall with hawthorn country hedge and ditch on what once was an old football pitch before the present day Scoil Colmcille was built there.
I won my first and last cup as part of a soccer team in that old football pitch.
Playing for Glencar against Oldtown, we were behind at half time by a goal and looked very much like they were the better side, but in the second half playing down the pitch we equalised and went on to win the game.
I’m not sure we even had a set of matching football shirts on us but I do remember us being presented with the school boys cup and we walked out the top gate of that field and made our way down the Back Rd cup high above or heads singing away.
It was long before the days when parents had any time to go and watch a football match in the middle of the day.
We went into Maura McCauls pub at the foot of the town and she filled it up with McDaids Football Special and we thought we had won the FA Cup.
There is very little left of that old pitch now as they finish off the groundworks around the new extension of Scoil Cholmcille.
It was built new in 1974/75 and was one of the last 6th classes of that era that only went down to the new school for PE. Our primary education ended as the last class moved down to the new boys school.
Better known to us as ‘the Rocks’, Sentry Hill now overlooks the changing of the ways of traffic as it makes its way around this part of the town.
The high points on the hillside of Letterkenny were named after the lookouts who watched out for members of the British Forces as they went in search of the local congregation that attended Mass Rock down beside Rodgers Burn.
Today I’m more likely to be standing on Sentry Hill to catch a sunrise over Letterkenny in the quietness of a morning before the town’s traffic jams arrive.
This old part of Letterkenny has memories of growing up in Letterkenny, of going to school, all six in my case starting the Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal that boys went to, starting off in Baby and High Infants.
Then over to the Boys School and because of overcrowding before the new school was completed, we spent a year over in the old Monastery (Now called the Pastoral Centre) then down to the new Boys School for PE classes when it was first built, before heading to St. Eunans College for a few years followed by a few years at the old Tech.
All of these schools are in this old part of town where new traffic management and one way systems are hoped will improve the problems of getting to and from school in this area every day.
I’m sitting at the top of the Back Road in yet another traffic jam that is neither going up or down, I realise that this road is in the middle of an old Gaelic Pitch that we played and won our soccer cup match in all those years ago.
That day we came singing down the back road, but now nobody is singing and no one is even making eye contact with anyone in case they might have to let them out to join another traffic jam.