Real Dockers

The timber boat men were there along with Micky and Francie McGuirk, Robbie McKee, Martin Havern, Artie Green (RIP) and one great worker Smigsey Smith (RIP).  As this was my first time Francie McGuirk told me what would happen.  

The meal would be lifted from the hold of the boat on a hoist. There would be six one hundred weight bags in one hoist.  This was dropped on to a platform and we had to go forward, lift a bag on to our shoulders and drop it on to the elevator and then it would go on to the top of the building where it was unloaded again.  It was the hardest work I have ever done in my life.  Come to think of it I remember being sent up to the top because I kept missing the elevator at the bottom. My legs kept giving way every time it was my turn lifting a bag. 

But my main memory of that time was watching Smigsey Smith working.  He would just walk over, lift the bag on his shoulders and drop it off as if it was a bag of feathers.  It looked so easy watching him.  At lunch time he came over to me and told me not to worry, that it would all come together in time.  He went through the same as myself.

But no way!  I finished my day’s work and never went back.

It was the last time I worked dockside as I had enough money to head to England but I still remember how hard those dockers worked unloading that boat.

I can still see them walking over and lifting a two-hundred-weight bale of cloth, walking back and with a casual shrug of the shoulders place it where it was meant to go. Then they would rejoin the line to start all over again.


They were dockers.


…  Doran Brothers’ heroism ….


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