Don’t stand downwind of them!

There was an awful bunch of old-timers used to stand at the corner in those days in Poyntzpass – Eddie Magill, Hugh Rafferty, Paddy Watters, Billy McGivern and the like.

Usually a young buck like me wouldn’t have stood with them! A lot of them chewed tobacco and if you were told to go, you went, for they’d think nothing of spitting in your eye!

It didn’t matter how cold or wintery the night was, they’d be standing at one of the four corners – which ever one was the most sheltered.

They would go up to McCavanagh’s Pub on a Saturday night for a couple of bottles of porter. The pubs closed at nine o’clock in them days and they’d come back down to the corner: it was too early to go home! Then there’d be a great night’s craic.

They tolerated me because I was a sort of little orphan and errand boy. I’d stand in at the back and it was sheltered. 

But when they’d had a few pints and had their pipes going, it wasn’t such a good idea to be ‘down-wind’ of them, if you get my meaning!

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