Should they be allowed to interbreed ?
an extract from
The Ballygullion Creamery
Thin Father Connolly comes forward an looks roun’ a minit or so before speakin’.
Most av his own people that catched his eye looked down mighty quick, for they all had an
idea he wouldn’t think much av what had been goin’ on.
But wee Billy braces himself up an’ looks very fierce, as much as to say ” there’ll no
praste ordher me about,” and Tammas looks down at his feet wi’ his teeth set, much as if he meant the same.
” Men an’ wimmin av Ballygullion,” sez Father Connolly he was aye a plain-spoken
wee man “We’re met here to end up the United Cramery Society, and after that we’re
goin’ to start two societies, I hear.
” The sinsible men av Ballygullion sees that it would be altogether absurd an’ ridiculous for Catholics an’ Protestants, Home Rulers an’Unionists, to work together in anything at all. As they say, the two parties is altogether opposed in everything that’s important.
“The wan keeps Patrick’s Day for a holiday, and the other the Twelfth av July ; the colours of the one is green, an’ the colours of the other orange ; the wan wants to send their Mimbers av Parliament to College Green, and the other to Westminster ; an’ there are a lotmore differences just as important as these.
“It’s tiarue,” goes on the Father, “that some ignorant persons says that, after all, the two parties lives in the same counthry, undher the same sky, wi’ the same sun shinin’ on them an’ the same rain wettin’ thim ; and that what’s good for that counthry is good for both parties, an’ what’s bad for it is bad for both ; that they live side by side as eighbours, an’ buy and sell among wan another, an’ that nobody has iver seen that there was twinty-one shillin’s in a Catholic pound, an’ nineteen in a Protestant pound, or the other way about ; an’ that,although they go about it in different ways,they worship the same God, the God that made both av thim ; but I needn’t tell ye that these are only a few silly bodies, an’ don’t riprisint the opinion av the counthry.
A good many people in the hall was lookin’ foolish enough by this time, an’ iverybody was
waitin’ to hear the Father tell them to make it up, an’ most av them willin’ enough to do it.
The Major was leanin’ back, looking well satisfied.
I Now,” sez Father Connolly, “after what I’ve said, I needn’t tell ye that I’m av the
opinion av the sinsible men, and I think that by all manes we should have a Catholic cramery,and a Protestant wan.”
The Major sits up wi’ a start, an’ wan looks at the other all over the room.
“The only thing that bothers me,”‘ sez the Father, goin’ on an’ takin’ no notice, ” is the
difficulty av doin’ it. It’s aisy enough to sort out the Catholic farmers from the Protestant ;but what about the cattle ? ” sez he.
” If a man rears up a calf till it becomes a cow, there’s no doubb that cow must be Nationalist or Orange. She couldn’t help it, livin’ in this country. Now what are you
going to do when a Nationalist buys an Orange cow ? Tammas McGorrian bought a cow from
wee Billy there last month that Billy bred an reared himself. Do ye mane to tell me that’s
a Nationalist cow ? 1 tell ye what it is, boys,”
sez the Father, wi’ his eyes twinklin’, ” wan can av that cow’s milk in a Nationalist
cramery would turn the butther as yellow as shutters av the Orange Hall.”
By this time there was a smudge av a laugh on iverybody’s face, an’ even Tammas an’ wee
Billy couldn’t help crackin’ a smile.
” Now,” sez Father Connolly, ” afther all its aisy enough in the case of Tammas’s cow.
There’s no denyin’ she’s an orange cow, an’ either Tammas may go to the Orange cramery
or give the cow back to Billy.”
Tammas sits up a bit at that.
” But, thin, there’s a lot of mighty curious cases. There’s my own wee Kerry. Ivery-
body knows I bred her myself; but, thin, there’s no denyin’ that her father if that’s the
right way to spake av a bull belonged to Major Donaldson here, an’ was called of Prince
of Orange.’ Now be the law a child follows its father in these matters, an’ I’m bound be it to send the wee Kerry’s milk to the Orange cramery, although I’ll maintain she’s as good a Nationalist as ever stepped didn’t she thramp down ivery Orange lily in Billy Black’s garden only last Monday ?
“So, boys, whin ye think the matther out, ye’ll see it’s no aisy matther this separatin’ av Orange an’ Green in the cramery. For if ye do it right an’ I’m for no half-measures ye’ll have to get the pedigree av ivery bull, cow, and calf in the counthry, an’ then ye’ll be little further on, for there’s a lot av bastes come in every year from Americay that’s little betther than haythin.
” But, if ye take my advice, those av ye that isn’t sure av your cows’ll just go on quietly together in the manetime, an’ let thim that has got a rale thrue-blue baste av either persuasion just keep her milk to themselves, and skim it in the ould-fashioned way wi’ a spoon.”
There was a good dale av sniggerin’ whin the Father was spakin’ ; but ye should have
heard the roar av a laugh there was whin he sat down. An’ just as it was dyin’ away, the
Major rises up, wipin’ his eyes :
” Boys,” sez he. ” if it’s the will av the prisint company that the Ballygullion Cramery Society go on, will ye rise an’ give three cheers for Father Pether Connolly ?”
Ivery man, woman, an’ child Protestant and Catholic was on their feet in a minit ; an’ if
the Ballygullion Market-house roof didn’t rise that night, it’s safe till etarnity.
From that night on there was niver another word av windin’ up or splittin’ either. An’ if
iver ye come across a print av butther wi a wreath of shamrocks an’ orange-lilies on it, ye’ll know it come from the Ballygullion Cramery Society, Limited.