Bord na Móna - Source Issue 6 - (Page 21)

Turf Development Board workers building Turraun camp, one of the earliest camps to be opened heritage corner a HEad For FIGurES For Bill Kiernan (82), a lifetime in accounts with Bord na Móna has stood him in good stead. He has been a central figure in his local credit union in Rathangan, Co Kildare since it started in 1971. “I started in Timahoe in 1951, then Boora, Blackwater, Timahoe again and moved to Ballydermot in 1956, where I stayed until I retired in 1989,” says Bill, who retired when he was 60. Over that time, the company changed from having 15 crew on a bagger on the bog to two, and from 21 crew on the sod collector to one. “Everything was done by hand at that time, we used to calculate the time sheets with a ready reckoner,” he laughs, no mean feat when you consider that 2,000 seasonal workers came on board during the summer. When he retired, he and his wife Mary, now deceased, holidayed twice a year in between games of golf. And he still works part-time in the credit union, having served as treasurer, director, chairman and its first manager. “I enjoy the friendship of the credit union, it’s like one big family,” he says, adding that he still keeps in touch with old Bord na Móna colleagues who are still alive. n extract from ‘Bog Gone days’ the story of Pat joe o’Halloran, reminiscing on life in a Bord na Móna camp. There was another Kerryman who was always into trickery and devilment. We were supposed to get a late pass if we were going to be out after 11.30pm, a few of us never bothered with this order, we were regularly at dances and pictures and never got a pass. One night we were coming home late with a good two miles to travel when we met a flock of asses. We got one each and took the weight off our feet on the way home. When we got to camp we got off the asses, there was a big drain between the road and the billets, about eight foot wide and six foot deep. Moss decided that we would drive the asses onto the green in front of the camp. He gave his ass a root, the ass jumped as far as he could but fell into the drain, which was about half full of very dirty water. Well, we pulled the ass out and there wasn’t a bother on him but he was soaking wet. Then I opened the billet door and Moss drove the donkey in, it was pitch dark and all the lads were in beds, which were only about six inches off the floor. The frightened ass ran down one side and up the other, jumping over the beds, the roars from everyone could be heard a mile away. We ducked into bed, shoes, clothes and all, well before the lights were put on. Well, a few weeks later we were out late again. When we came back to the camp we jumped the drain across to the green, then we saw Usher’s cat outside the billet and he rubbing his tail A up against us. I told Kinsella to put the cat in under old John’s bed, so he did, but he held the cat’s tail. The cat sunk his four claws into John’s bum and again we had to take cover quick. One night we were at a dance in the town hall and there were spot prizes galore. One lad with us, Johnny from Waterford, a teetotaller, won a bottle of port wine. Later we caught up with some lads out the road and they carrying Johnny between them. We thought that they were only acting so Moss goes up and gives Johnny a kick in the arse saying “give over your fooling” but sure the poor devil was footless, they were after drinking the whole bottle between them. Another night we were coming home and we caught up with two lads, well one was flutered and the other trying to bring him along. It was tough going, but didn’t one of the lads see a wheelbarrow beside a house so he went in and got it and put the helpless drunk into it. We wheeled him out the two miles to the camp and made him bring it back the next morning when he sobered up. Watch out for phase two of the Heartland website, coming shortly. If you wish to have your name as a past or present Bord n Móna employee listed on, please go to the Heritage page on the Heartland website and click on the signup/register icon, or alternatively, contact tony McKenna at or 045 439734 for a permission form. S Source | 21 HErItaGE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bord na Móna - Source Issue 6

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 6
A Round-Up of News From Around the Company
A Values-Driven Company
A Bright Future
Snowed Under!
Training & Development for Performance
Onwards and Upwards
Updates on Important Developments and Projects Around the Company
Heritage Corner
The World at His Feet
A Nationwide Spotlight on Special Occasions, Events and Achievements Across the Company.

Bord na Móna - Source Issue 6