St. Patrick’s Day

16th March 2018/Work

On and around St Patrick’s Day was traditionally the time that Bord na Móna would start production of sod turf by rolling out the baggers on the bog.Of course it also depended on the weather but the plan was to get started around that time. The photo shows a bagger at work at Timahoe sometime in the 1950s.

Earlier in the 1940s, St Patrick’s Day was a big occasion in the hostels as the men were usually returning to get ready for the production season and after the long winter, the hostels were full of activity again. Usually, in the camps, the men were presented with shamrock in the morning before they were transported to mass. After lunch, the afternoon was spent either playing football, cards or other games. Listening to the Railway Cup hurling and football games on the radio was also popular since the men came from all over Ireland there was a lot of rivalry in the various hostels. The Railway Cup games drew huge crowds to Croke Park at the time and this interest was reflected in the workforce.

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By Tony McKenna

My name is Tony McKenna and I grew up working on the bog, helping to cut our turf every year. I’m from Newbridge, Co. Kildare and joined Bord na Móna in 1973. Part of my career here was spent in our Technical Information Office,but the last decade I’ve been part of the Communications Department. I look after the company’s archive material, mainly technical publications, historical data and old photographs. My hobbies are history, reading, DIY, gardening, running and also supporting Sarsfields GAA club and of course the Kildare GAA team.

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