A Pound on Jack Corney’s Counter

Reproduced with kind permission of Mary Angland, editor of the Duhallow Diary.  This piece was published around 1989/90.  Thanks to Anna Collins who found the clipping.

by Humphrey Shine

Back in the 1940′s Stephen O’Keeffe, now of Ballyduane, gave the use of a field near Coolock Bridge for a sports meeting.  He wouldn’t take a penny for it so three of us on the Sports Committee decided to give him a day at the threshing in return.  It was during the war years and the compulsory tillage.

Going away that evening after the threshing, Stephen called me back and put into my hand a pound note.  “Go into town lads, says he, and have a drink”.  The three of us Michael O’Neill, Jamsie O’Keeffe ad myself were traveling bicycle.  We were delighted.  Michael O’Neill didn’t drink so we decided he wouldn’t come in with us at all.  I never had a pound in my pocket before.

Leaving our bikes at the West End we went to Jack Corney’s in Church Street.  Mrs. Collins – Hannah Mary, was behind the Bar, we came to know her well after – a fine decent woman.  We put the pound up on the counter.  “Two drinks there, I said, and we don’t want any change we are going to drink the pound”.  Jamsie and myself drank away and the pound was still on the counter and after about two hours Hannah Mary said, “lads yer pound is gone” and she took the note off the counter.

How many pints did that pound pay for?  You’d never believe it!  We had twenty four pints taken – that was twelve each – 10d a pint.  Hard to believe it today!  After that Hannah Mary stood us another pint each, so coming out we had thirteen pints each – not a bad pound!