‘TWAS a black day for me I ever mentioned the word Ballaugh. I might never had mentioned it at all had it not been for the fact that an Abbeyfeale woman wrote to me some years ago out of the goodness of her heart heart expressing concern at the fact that there were no marriages in Ballaugh. That was the start of it.
The following week I mentioned that there were a large number of bachelors in Ballaugh. The week after that the Pound people stuck in and attacked the Ballaugh bachelors.
And so it went. One week there would be a letter in favour of the Ballaugh boys and the next week there would be an attack from the Pound or some other place.
The upshot of all this is that I have received an ultimatum from a Ballaugh bachelor who signs himself “Crazy Horse”.
“Let us live in peace,” he urges, “or you will know the reason why the next time you come within range of Ballaugh.”
Isn’t that nice thanks after all I did for the Ballaugh bachelors.
I brought their plight to the notice of the public and I highlighted the fact that these men and boys were willing and able to marry. Friday after Friday, I pleaded for them, and now this.
I wonder what will the Pound girls have to say about it. Eaten bread, as the man said, is soon forgotten.
Crazy Horse has more to say in his letter.
“Is Ballaugh the only district in Ireland, “ he asks, “with a bachelor problem?”
Of course it isn’t, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
John O’Keefe of Moyessa which is at the Lyreacrompane side of Ballygrenane Hill owns and maintains a dog whose name is Bruno.
Now please remember that Bruno is no Banana the Fifth. He is, however, in all other respects a most respectable and most remarkable dog.
Bruno was first brought to my attention some years ago by Frank Pierce who is an authority on dogs of all kinds.
After that I followed Bruno’s career with great interest and was delighted to hear, only the other day, that the dog can now sing.
I don’t mean singing in the conventional sense. I mean dog singing.
Bruno sings two kinds of songs, sad ones and gay ones.
There are no words, only a mixture of humming and hawing and whining and yelping. The overall effect, however, is highly effective.
I have gone to hear the dog more than once and have always been most agreeably surprised.
The real test of Bruno will come on Thursday night next when he has an appointment to meet Banana the Fifth at Canavan’s.
When asked if he would listen to Bruno, Banana replied in typically generous fashion: “I was a pup myself for God’s sake.”
Was in Athea one night last week where I met my old friend Willie Finucane. Willie’s friend who used to mistrust and dislike townies has gone to England and expects to be married shortly.
Willie has a novel suggestion for bachelors, particularly those ones who have been a long time on the lookout for women who have the forties safely put behind them.
You know the type I mean. He’s gone beyond dancing and all to that and he doesn’t shave only the odd night and he has the longing written across his kisser like a banner.
“Look,” said Willie, “what’s to stop these fellows from leaving their hair grow long and carrying a guitar or a banjo around under their arms?”
Apparently Willie saw some of these long-haired gazebos in Ballybunion over the August weekend.
“They weren’t washed or cleaned,” Willie told me, “and you could smell them from the Castle Green if you were standing on the Black Rocks.
“The hair was down as far as the waist by some of them. A lot of them had banjos and guitars. More of them had tin whistles, and the odd one had a tambourine or a fiddle.
“They didn’t seem to have any money. Some looked hungry and more wouldn’t get out of the way of cars or people. But there was one thing they all had,” and here Willie became serious, “one thing each of them hairy lads had and that was a woman.”
Willie’s idea is that the bachelors of Athea and Knockanure should start appearing at the creameries with long hair and maybe an odd guitar.
“I don’t know what it is about these long-haired chaps I saw,” said Willie, “whether the smell or what it is that attracts the women. Whatever it is, there’s always a woman hanging off them.”