Horse Whisperer


Part 2

But, cycling home from school one day a bee flew up her sleeve, and stung her. She was buried a week later. A huge crowd of devoted crying children, and ex-pupils, attended the ‘two days.’ Moral: for every flogging demon there was at least one gentle angel.

Also close to Kells villa ge were the Comerford brothers – ‘Tonni’ and Paddy. When Paddy left school, he was discovered to have a great talent – an unusual affinity with horses! Boys from worker’s cottages seldom saw anything of the gee gee, except his rear end – as the equine lad dragged the plough or harrow. But P Comerford was a real ‘eye opener!’ As a chap, he’d wander down the village when the local Hunt crowd were having the ‘Stirrup Cup’ – a naggin of whiskey or brandy, generally. Maybe the tasty ‘jorum’ gave them a bit of courage to face the heinously high ditches and fiendishly broad deep dykes of the times.The tipplers would, of course, be saddle-seated. That was the form. The haughty horses under them would be rather bored with the wait for action, and sometimes would give one another a crafty nip, or a polite swift boot. The doghounds would just sleep or go around roaring.

Paddy C would appear on the scene, as a young teen. Nothing special about him – but fine shoulders for a lad. As soon as he showed up, horses would start behaving themselves, and all would neigh ‘g’day’ to the youth. He’d tickle the cheeks of the most brutish of the beasts, and said savage gee gee would start whickering with delight. If they were doggies, they’d have their forelegs on his shoulders, licking his face, for sure! No beastie was immune to this young lad’s charm. You could even sense equine jealousy if he spent too much time with one bronco. When the Stirrup Cups had been emptied, the fine mounts were reluctant to leave the village, stealing sideways glances at their little ‘pal’ as they went. Paddy’s way with the animals didn’t go unnoticed by the {mostly wealthy} riders, and very soon he was working for lads like Mick Costello of Goodwinsgarden – a fine fellow indeed; I worked for him myself as a youth. Treated everyone well, did Mick – as did his sweet wife Ellen – mother-in-law to the late, great, Willie Duggan

I remember well that Mick had a horse called Patsy Fagin. A snotty beast, he’d always have a toothy snap at you as you passed his half-door – upon which he lounged, cool as a breeze. But he could jump, and gallop like a rocket. His love was split between Costello and Comerford. I was a nobody in that nag’s lofty opinion. Didn’t know which C he loved most – But I was a distant 3rd

I knew Paddy C quite well. But most of my info on his young days came from three local men: ‘Big Jack’ Quigley – main drummer in the famous Kells Pipe Band – ‘Cully’ Walsh of the Crab Lane – and Della Power of Upper Haggard, just past Daphne Hutchinson’s estate. I don’t know how Paddy C finished up. But, being a bachelor and liking a gamble – old age would have been a problem.

He has a nephew still around. Pat comerford of ‘Flower Power’ in Kikenny City.


Ned E



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