Poyntzpass: Round squaring

There were four brothers in them days, Willie, Henry, Barney and Davey McSherry and they lived in Tullynacross. Henry and Barney worked at quarrying and did small road repairs. They used to go to Hugh Rafferty’s pub for a drink at dinner time.

I heard this story a hundred times! One day a young fellow from the South of Ireland was walking about the ‘Pass. He met Henry McSherry and he said to him:

‘I’m travellin’ through. Is there any chance of a bit of grub?

Do you know anybody lukin’ any work done? Any chance of a day’s work?’

Henry was quick at assessing the possibility of ‘takin’ a hand outa’ the young fellow.

‘Do you see that big man standin’ at the door of the pub?’

Hugh Rafferty was as usual, standing at the door of his pub with his apron on.

‘Well,’ says yer man, ‘Go down to him and tell him that I sent you down for his ’round square”.

‘Who is that man?’ the young fellow asked.

‘He’s Hugh Rafferty’.

‘An’ who will I say sent me?’

‘Tell him, ‘Henry McSherry sent you”.

So the young fellow went down to Hugh and he says,

‘Henry McSherry has just given me a day’s work (and he points back to Henry who’s smiling and waving) and he sent me down first to get myself a drink – give me a bottle of stout and a glass of whiskey.’

Now Hugh didn’t hesitate. He loved a bit of crack and he would have talked all day. After a while the young fellow said he’d have another bottle of stout and a packet of Woodbines.

Henry out on the street couldn’t understand what was happening. After about a half an hour he wandered down and into the pub.

When the young fellow saw Henry coming, he gets up and says to Hugh,

‘I’d better go now and make a start of the work. Here’s Henry coming. He’ll settle with you!’

He met Henry at the door.

‘Well’, says Henry, smiling,

‘Did you get the ’round square’?’

‘I got the round,’ says he. ‘You can do the squaring!’

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