The Warrior Carty: Irish Christmas Story PodcastI grew up in a small pub in the west of Ireland, where every market and fair day, a cadre of old IRA men held fort at the corner of the counter. Known as ‘The Boys’, they were our local heros, the men who fought the British at Rineen, Monreel, 81 Cross and other hotspots. I once saw a picture of them taken in 1919 and was struck by how young they seemed back then, they looked like boys who’d just left school.
After ‘The Boys’ had a few drinks, conversation turned to the ‘campaign’ and who did what and who didn’t do that. Sometimes it seemed there was unfinished business from the revolution being settled in the pub. One man, Murt Hynes, used thump the counter and my father would have to tell him to take it easy. In the late afternoon, Murt often challenged his mates to take up the cause again and ‘finish the job for once and for all.’ They stared at the floor in silence, finished their drinks and went home. Alone, Murt would sing a few rebel songs and then my mother made a plate of ham sandwiches to fortify him for the journey home.
The Warrior Carty is set on the day of a fair around Christmas time. The character is not directly based on any of ‘The Boys’, but I have always felt he was one of them. The music is by Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.
I’ll post another Christmas Story, ‘Time Passes’, in a week or so. Please pass on the links to anyone interested in Irish stories, spoken word, music etc.
$2 to download. Click here: Stories from Ireland
Books by Eddie Stack