McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

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jj.mccarroll
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:17 pm

McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by jj.mccarroll » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:27 am

The Pork Market

Up until about 1955 or 1956, there was a pork market on Wednesdays. Presiding over the sales was a Mr. J.J.Bulfin. He owned a shop in Corbo called Robb’s, which later became Bell’s He also had a shop, the remains of which still stand, in Ballaghneed. He came, originally from County Limerick. Bulfin received a commission from Buchannans of Derry, as well as 2/6 from the farmer for each pig sold. Bulfin was a stickler for weight, as is recalled in this anecdote:
‘John brought two hens over to him at the shop. And as Bulfin put them on the ‘oucels’, John speaks up – ‘Let them swing and don’t be mingey for you’ve the name of it.’
However, it would appear that Bulfin was not the only one who could be accused of being mingey since it was known for farmers to secrete a stone or pridie in the pig’s mouth to bring it up to the minimum weight of 1 ½ cwt 21 pounds. Another way of achieving this was to place the head of a bigger pig on the weighbridge with a smaller body in the abattoir in Omagh.
Around this time The Ulster Bank Ltd., Clogher, opened a branch in Newtownsaville because the farmers were paid a week in arrears. Bulfin was to earn the dubious title – “the late John Bulfin,” because he usually kept the banker later than the hour of twelve o’clock noon.

Pig Dalin’
Owen McCarroll, Lurgangalare, told us that his father had a contract to maintain ‘Bulfin’s Road’ (which is the road up past the Bridge Bar). It was a sideline job as he was a farmer and acted as butcher for the local pig breeders as well.
“I was a pig dealer myself,” says Owen, “I went with a load of pigs in the cart to Ballygawley, many, many times. I’d leave home at seven o’clock in the morning and I’d go up through Newtownsaville, on up the Long Line, down Ballinasaggart and into Ballygawley. I’d be there about ten o’clock. I’d sell the pigs and be home about four or five o’clock.
“The best pig dealers were Mrs. D… from Tempo, Celia H… from Aughnacloy and the Gibsons from Beragh. They would try and buy the best cart load of pigs. Most of the other buyers would only buy two or three pigs, whereas, the dealers would buy the full cart and they, in turn, would sell them out in twos and threes in the hope of getting their profit. Thirty shillings, or two pounds, was the price that time for a suckler.
“My father always porked ten or fifteen pigs. When they were ready, killed ‘n all and taken to the Pork Market in Newtownsaville you would have five pounds profit on each porker. We fed them on Bibby’s Meal and it was six pounds per ton.
“A pig dealer always had plenty o’ men who wanted pigs brought for them – stand by men. You see, sometimes you’d go to a market and buy two or three litters of pigs. If you sold them and got your profit straight away that was good, if not, your ‘stand by’ men at home would by them.
“Mrs. D… was a brilliant dealer who drove a horse ‘n cart and never missed a fair. She was an expert at her job, a real judge, no better. She dealed in cows, pigs – any damned thing. She was a very charitable woman who made money like hay and was notorious for her kindness to the poor.
“She’d be wearing, maybe three coats over I don’t know what else. She’d buy your pigs, then she’d put her hand away down and in this heap of clothes and she’d grope away, ach, through a layer of jumpers and God knows what. Eventually, her hand would return with a turnip seed bag and there’d be a real wad o’ notes in it. She paid and then you’d treat the buyer. Boy! She could drink her Guinness.”

NOTES: Suckler – young pig; Porker – a finished pig.

RonanL
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by RonanL » Tue May 12, 2009 4:17 pm

Hi,

Just wondering about the "McSorley" quoted in most of the topics here for Tyrone... I'm a McSorley descendant - my great-grandfather was Dan McSorley, the Trillick draper - so naturally all these mentions, one indeed of a Dan McSorley, have me interested!!

jj.mccarroll
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by jj.mccarroll » Sun May 31, 2009 2:40 am

Hello, it has been a long time since I visited this site (a crash left me out in the cold and I am just finding some of the hidden things that were culled). I saw your recent post and want to reply, but just to acknowledge it until I can find the book. It has been a year since I put it down.

The McSorley account was an interesting one in that principal editor/author was alive (and I think she still may well be), and resided in Newtownsaville. The problem was that the ad hoc group that held the copyright no longer existed and in an attempt to bring snippets of this wonderful work of art to as many as possible I had to first obtain a copy (which she graciously sent me, having found it in Galway) and then correspond with her to let her know that I would like to do some exerpts. I tried to locate some of the organizations that had provided funding for the book, but to no avail. It took a while, but you did see the work that it represented.

It in no way is a complete copy of the book. There is one other in the LDS library where I found it after it was told to me by another person looking for his ancestors.

I will try and locate the book, and get back to this site when I do.

jj.mccarroll
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by jj.mccarroll » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:52 pm

The exerpts were from "A While With Your Own Ones."

It was authored by Patricia McSorely of Newtownsaville but I think that she would agree with me that it was more of an editor's job than that of an author. As Patricia stated, it was part of the great oral tradition of the Eskra's St. Patrick's chapel and its parishioners. The principal work was done by herself with a great deal of input and effort coming from Patricia Hackett. But it was a community book primarily, one begun in 1985 that took over three years to complete. Over that period of time Mrs. Hackett and Mrs. McSorley interviewed most of the persons mentioned and they began to cull through many of the documents, photographs, and memoirs.

In December 1989 the book was launched. Printed by Paddy Smyth of R. and S. printers of Monaghan the manuscript would have remained just that if it had not been for the assistance given by Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust and the Omagh District Council. But it was the founder members of the Eskra History and Folklore Group that kept the two Patricia's going.

kilnaheerygirl
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by kilnaheerygirl » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:09 pm

Hi there. I am a native of Eskra and although I was only 9 when the book was published I clearly remember the fun we had when it was launched - a picture of my father appears in the book. It's lovely to be reminded of the book - I must look out our copy at home. It is something I remember reading, but not really taking in. In fact it was where I learnt the Irish meaning of all the townlands in Eskra! It hard to believe that it is 20 years ago!

jj.mccarroll
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: McSorley introduces us to the Pork Market

Post by jj.mccarroll » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:00 pm

:D It is good to see that someone else is interested in Patricia McSorley's efforts to shed some light on the 1930s to 1950s. I have been a little bit lax in looking at this Clogher History site but the reason why was because of a computer crash that really took all my efforts away from the day-to-day efforts, as well as working with my companion dog Beamer. Now that it is back up, and finding most of those sites that I had visited when it was working, :lol: my attention can be directed towards some of those efforts.

As you know, in looking over all of those posts that I had so much fun doing, Mrs. McSorley and the "Eskra History & Folklore Group" have quitetly faded away into retirement. But it was her efforts, and those of her daughter, that found a copy of that book that she sent it to me when I could not find it anywhere. Actually, she said it was a copy that was found in Galway - a bit distant from Eskra. I told her that I was going to post a number of things from the book and asked her if there was a problem with the Group and the copyright. She led me to believe that the Group was no longer operative and that she did not see it as insurmountable to make the exerpts.

Computer crashes are just some of the things an old man like myself have to contend with. What with tweeter, or whatever, things just go along a lot faster than it is able to keep up. But, we attempt to do it in our own way.

I doubt if I will ever get back to Eskra again, because it is just too darned hard. But I do like to keep up with it all, and very much like to hear from those that are there now. :cry: Greenmount was my home away from home, and I visited often. Although my grandfather came to San Francisco a little over a century ago he returned to the area and brought with him my grandmother, Agnes Bridgid Gaffigan, who raised the family on Main Street in Fintona. Their place became Fancis McAtee's when my grandfather was very ill and had to sell it. I recall having gone over with Francis a lot of things that Michael McCarroll left at the pub when he passed away. Too bad I didn't make copies of them, or obtained them.

Oh well, musings of we ancient ones do bring back a lot of cheer!

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