About the Author
Pat lived at Peak, Barnaderg and was a man of many talents. He was a farmer, ballroom owner, athlete, storyteller and war hero. Pat fought in all wars back to the Boer War and won most of them single-handed. Pat cut turf in Poll a Chapall bog. We would ride with him in his horse and cart on our way home from school. The horse was slow so there was always plenty of time for a story. The following are some of his many stories.
Three for the price of one.
Pat heard the wild geese coming overhead. He loaded his gun, a muzzle-loader, forgot to remove the ram-rod and fired up the chimney. One end of the ram-rod got stuck in a goose. The goose flew on to Lissavalley and fell onto the Scardaun river. The other end of the ram-rod got stuck in a salmon. Pat ran to get his catch and as he pulled them from the water, he slipped and sat on a rabbit. (So he got meat, fish and fowl).
The Old clock
A lot of houses had an old clock; the type with weights and chains were popularly know as a wag-o-the-wall clock. The age of the clock was often discussed at the local pub. Pat claimed his clock was so old, the shadow of the pendulum had a channel worn on the kitchen wall.
A fight with a Tuam man
The man from Tuam, Tom, went to Mountbellew every week in a horse and spring cart to buy eggs on the open market. He didn’t like Pat and Pat didn’t think much of him either. One morning Pat had a tin basin of oats left out for his hens and Tom pulled the wheel over it. Not a nice or a wise thing to do. So Pat waited for Tom to return. He pulled Tom down from the cart and hit him 35 times with an ash-plant stick. When asked, “Did you count the blows Pat? he replied, ‘No, but my neighbour Pat Connor was coming out of Killererin church after confession and he counted them a mile away.’ Poor Tom.
The Big Tree
This story was passed on to me by the late Martin Greaney. Pat worked at a sawmill in England. He and nine others were sent to the wood to knock down a tree. They had a cross-cut saw 100 yards log with 5 men at each end. They cut for four days and on the fifth day, Pat walked around the tree to answer a call of nature, to find ten other men cutting in from the other side.
Tuam Krugers vs. Killererin – Barnaderg
Killererin always played their part on the football field, especially n 1998. Pat played football in a game between Tuam Krugers and Killererin – Barnaderg which was played in Parkmore, in Tuam. With two minutes to go, Tuam were a goal ahead. Killererin-Barnaderg got a 21 yard free. Pat took the free. The ball, of poor quality, hit the crossbar and burst. The leather cover went under the bar and the wind blew the inner tube over the bar, and the referee awarded a goal and a point. Killererin-Barnaderg won the match by one point. Our Killererin lads might try that one next year.
The House-trained dog
Pat had a dog very well house trained. Pat took an afternoon nap at 2 o.clock for one hour. One day he overslept until 3.30 to find the dog standing on a chair doing his ? out through the key-hole.