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- Irish Directions
- Irish Racing
- Irish Vestry Story
My personal involvement with Irish humour came when I went on holiday to the west coast. I soon got lost in Lahinch and I wanted directions to get to Lisdoonvarna, when I asked a local he said. If I wanted to get to Lisdoonvarna I would not start here, I would start in Ennis.
Racing is a national pastime, I soon got accustomed to the Reverend fathers, rushing past me to get a bet on at the race track. My mate Trev spotted one Reverend father
making a big fuss of a horse in the parade ring. Amazingly the horse went on to win the next race easily.
We took great interest when we saw the same Reverend father bless
another horse in the next race, blow me, this horse won too. Well we were hot on the Reverend father's
coat tails for the third race and as soon as he patted a horse called Foxy Loxy, we raced off to get
the best odds we could with the bookies.
Foxy Loxy was well up with the pace on the first circuit, but down the back straight for the second time, Foxy Loxy dropped to the rear.
Then to our chagrin it dropped dead by the water jump.
When we went back to the bar we fell into conversation with a local, and told him the tale of the Reverend father.'
he said, 'you have to learn the difference between when Reverend Murphy is blessing a horse and when he is giving it the last rites'
The hospitality in Ireland is legendary, and I soon fell into conversation with the landlord of the pub in Lisdoonvarna where I was staying. On the third day the landlord Bill
bemoaned the fact that he was running out of change, and the mobile bank would not be in town for another 4 days. All lunch hour he would talk about nothing else except shortage of change. So I came out
of holiday mode and put my thinking cap on. Then in a moment of inspiration, it came to me - all the change goes into the Church collection (this was back in the 1970s).
I think you have hit the
nail on the head, said the landlord, here is a £50 note go up and ask the Reverend O'
Reilly in the church for some change. Well it just seemed natural and obvious to go and do as he asked. I arrived
in the vestry and sure enough, there was the Reverend father.'
Bill from the Rose sent me to see if you had any change, 'I said.'
Of course, of course he said I'll break the £50 in
change for you'
. Now I have seen some three card sharps at the race track, and I have seen people riffle chips in casino, but I have never seen anything like this Reverend father count out £50 in change.
lost me in the count after the first pile of £10's
worth of 10p coins.
It flashed through my mind what had happened, Bill and the Reverend father were in this con together. Bill used autosuggestion to
make me think of going to the Church, the Reverend father would give me £30 in change, and I would have to make up the difference out of my own pocket. What could I do, I could
hardly ask the Reverend father for a recount, by the way he counted the money the first time, I would probably be none the wiser.
After weighing up all the options I decided to play dumb and see what happened.
When I went back, Bill asked innocently, 'what did you think of Reverend O'
Interesting man'I said neutrally.'
Here is the change he gave me 'Well Bill just threw the coins in the
till without counting them. I felt ashamed there was no con. Then I remembered this is Ireland, this is how they are friendly and amazing people, I soon cheered up. 'Well done Guy, great idea
getting that change from the church, have a pint on the house'