Later on, during the war, I joined the Home Guard. In the Home Guard they gave me a rifle and bullets as part of my outfit.
I had to work too! One of my early jobs was to ‘walk’ cattle.
One night there was a great bunch of lads in the house when Jim Lennon came to the door. Says he,
‘We’ve got to walk to Markethill with fifteen head of cattle in the morning and you need to be ready at 5.00 am.’
You see, you had to walk the cattle slowly and let them feed on the way. So Jim says,
‘Be up and ready at 5.00 am’.
So says I to Jim:
‘I’ll be ready!’ And I says to the boys,
‘Right! That’s it! Everybody out!
I have to be up at 5.00 am tomorrow morning.’
But they passed no remarks. It was then only about 9.00 at night.
I remember Terry Murray was sitting at the fire and Frank McCourt. I told them three or four times but nobody paid a blind bit of notice so at last I said:
‘Well! I’m going to bed! Shut the door behind you.’
I had no intention then of going to bed. I went up the stairs and loaded the rifle.
I walked down the stairs with my finger on the trigger but the barrel pointing towards the ceiling.
They looked gob-smacked but still held their ground.
Well! They scattered like frightened chickens, all roads and directions!
McCourt got stuck in the fence!
Terry ended up in the river!
They knew to heed me in the future.
But that was the end of me and the Home Guard!
… more Morrow to come …..