The day of the festival

‘Feck the feckin’ feck the feckin’ fecks got my finger.’

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The afternoon had started well but with Pat O’Mahoney’s burst of extravagant language the chairman’s heart sank .

One of the two nuns looked at her sister and shook her head sadly ‘Was that the ‘f’ word I heard in there?’

The sister had been listening carefully ‘No dear I think he managed to avoid that word he was only feckin’ the feck.’

The chairman cast his mind back over the afternoon.

Michael Noon had won the Turnip Throwing Cup, smashing all previous records, with the throw of a turnip grown by Edna O’Malley especially for the event. She claimed that a regular feed of rotten mackerel manure in the three weeks leading up to the competition gave the turnip an ability to sail through the air more quickly than turnips left to fend for themselves.

There had been some debate as to whether it was possible to extract enough manure to make it worthwhile feeding a turnip but Edna swore that she had her methods and that if you had a bucket to hand and squeezed them right as they came out of the water then a supply could be had. It was then a question of selecting the turnips for the feed. They only needed a few drops so it was no great bother.

Michael Noon put the win down to local knowledge of the hilly terrain from where he undertook the winning throw and the strength in his throwing arm to time well spent hauling in lobster pots, others whispered that it was time less well spent lifting pints that built up the muscle.

The Car Smash had gone a treat. Patrick O’Riordan had donated his old pink Mini Metro for the day and it had taken seventeen youngster, togged in goggles and helmets, to reduce it to a pile of broken and twisted metal, plastic and glass with a sledgehammer over the course of the afternoon. There were a few injuries but these had come about more from a misapplication of the sledgehammer rather than anything to do with the car. The hunt was now on for another Mini Metro that could be donated for next year’s festival.

The swim races and raft race and all passed off with no incidents. There had been acrimony in previous years with there being a suggestion that some of the youngsters were not as young as they claimed and there had been a manipulation of birthdates. There problem came to a head when two six foot lads with too much hair on their legs claimed they were eligible for the under thirteen freestyle across the bay. They had been allowed to compete but some of the smaller lads all but drowned in their wake. The Chairman’s bright idea that all competitors produce a certified copy of their passport had brought some order to the event .

A last minute replacement for the duck chase had been found and it proved to be eminently suitable keeping the competitors at bay for a good ten minutes and it was adept at getting away just has some lad was about to make a grab for its tail-feathers through the water. The winner had able to keep a hold of the duck without breaking its neck and there was general agreement that it should be kept available for next year.

There was a great deal that had been a success but now as an arc of bright blood smeared it self over the pier the chairman had to gird his loins in order to deal with the root cause Pat O’Mahoney’s burst of extravagant language

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