A Sunday Hunt

From the overnight rain the by road was wet
As by the cottage of Con C the hunting party met
All of them locals for a Sunday of fun
In rain coats and second hand clothes not expecting any sun

On a Sunday morning in September in the Fall of the year
The sound of the wind in the trees rather pleasant to hear
Across the face of Clara low fogs of rain did crawl
On a typical enough morning for the early Fall

The brothers Con, Jerry and Michael O’ Connor were there
In anticipation a chase of a fox or a course of a hare
Young tall and sturdily built Michael Murphy of Shannaknock with browny his cattle dog
Arrived for the hunt via a shortcut through the bog

The sons of Con D and Kitty O’ Connor Denis, Maurice and Con
And lively young Patie and foxy haired John
And Maurice O’ Connor of Shannaknock with a female black greyhound
One who knew the countryside for miles around.

Connie Tarrant of Liscreagh he was nine or ten
More than a dozen years from his prime days back then
One who had been looking forward to this Sunday hunt for awhile
On his carefree young face he had a big smile

Shannaknock’s young Robby Murphy from the house near the bog
Brought with him for the hunt his hunting and fighting dog
A star underage forward with Millstreet Gaelic Football he did play
Until his life’s destiny did take him to the U S of A

Donal Hickey of Inchaleigh as a hunter well known
With three of his fox terriers as earth dogs in a class of their own
To go to ground for fox or badger courage they did show
And good at flushing rabbits from thorny brakes and briery hedgerow

Jimmy Cotter of Murphy’s Terrace in Millstreet a hunter of Duhallow fame
Most of the fields for miles around he did know by name
He had with him for the hunt two three quarter bred greyhound
Dogs that could run all day without tiring over the roughest of ground

The sun it was hidden behind clouds of gray
As through Den Corkery’s fields the hunting party walked their way
The darkening rain clouds told of rain ever near
That it would not be a day for hunting to all it was quite clear

The gray clouds began to weep and the rain bucketed down
On the green countryside west of old Millstreet Town
To a shed in Pat Joe Hickey’s farmyard that to them was nearby
The hunters scurried to with their dogs they would not reach home dry

Their hunt ended for them almost as fast as it began
Less than an hour of walking in the fields in time just a short span
Of one course or chase they did not have to tell
But blame this on the weather it did not serve them well

A tale from the west of Millstreet Town many decades ago
And to the teenagers back then time has become the foe
A few who took part in the hunt are not living today
And time that rusts iron keeps ticking away.

A Sunday Hunt” is by Francis Duggan

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