Apr 06 2018

‘Cattle Sticks…’

Published by at 3:33 pm under News

‘There was nothing we liked better as Young Fellas than getting our hands on a real Cattle Stick. We’d be after keeping a sharp eye out for cattle trucks like the one in this photograph because the Cattle Men that travelled in these trucks kept spare Sticks hidden in a little place underneath the bed of the truck. While they were busy off-loading the cattle we’d come around the other side of the truck and sliding on our backs underneath we’d see if we could spot the Sticks. They were always long and skinny, like the ones the Teacher’s had in our school, they hurt you the worse. To us little fellas the Cattle Market was our ranch like the ones we’d see on the Pictures. We had all the smells, noises, shouts and screams of the Cowboys  right there and then, except our Cowboys weren’t on horses. Some of them came by train with their cattle up as far as Broombridge. Some came by trucks like this one and others walked for miles herding the cattle along. We’d often ask the Cattle Men who were heading off to Finglas with their cattle if they wanted us to give them a hand herding the cattle up through the roads of Cabra West.  There were also sheep and pigs in the market, they mostly came by truck. At times you might see a whole pile of sheep coming up through Manor Street and in through the Market gate in Prussia Street. The odd time you might even see a great big black Bull breaking loose and galloping away down Manor Street and all the Oul Ones roaring and screaming with fright. The Cattle Drovers would take off after it, cursing and screaming at the top of their Culchie voices. “Come back here you blasted hoor” they’d shout out but we never knew that was cursing. Over across the road at Hanlon’s Pub you’d see all the rich farmers and well-to-do cattlemen dressed in their finest three piece tweed suits and their tan leather boots shining in the sun. The older brother often brought home a Billy Can of fresh milk to the Mammy. Those were the days alright…’

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