Killing the Pig and Making Pudding

Martin Monahan

Martin Monahan 21st July 2017 Deerpark Social Services Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Killing the Pig and Making Pudding

Interviewer: Clare Doyle (CD)

Interviewee: Martin Monahan (MM)


CD: And did you ever see a pig being killed?

MM: I did.

CD: I’d say it’s an awful noise, is it?

MM: Ah, it’s cruel, but…

CD: It is cruel, but I suppose, that’s the way people had the meat at the time

MM: There was a special man going around, he had the tradition of killing the pig.

CD: That’d be his job?

MM: That was his job, he’d know how to do it. We used to put the pig up on a lorry, we used to call it

CD: Right

MM: With two timber wheels under it, and it’d go down on the ground and put the pig up then and I used to hold the basin in front and when you stick the pig the blood would come out

CD: Right, and you’d have to tie the pig down, would you?

MM: Ah, you would

CD: Or hold him?

MM: Hold him down

CD: Right

MM: And then when that’s over, you get hot water and pour over him and starting taking off the hair off the pig

CD: Right, and clean him?

MM: Clean him up, and when that’s done then. We used to take out the stuff and hang then him up in the rafters until another day and then when he’d come to the house again, we used to put him up on a table and then the man that killed the pig would come then to bone him

CD: Right

MM: So, he’d cut him up then and put the meat into a [inaudible] box, you’d call it, with salt and we used to give around, that was the tradition. After a person killing the pig they used to go round to the neighbours’ houses to give something from the pig. And we used to make puddings as well and we used to give the puddings to the neighbours

CD: So, you used to share him out?

MM: We used

CD: How would you make black pudding now, you used to hold the basin for the blood?

MM: Well, we used to put wholemeal into it, out blood…

CD: Right

MM: And then go into, the guts or something. We had to clean out them and pour in the blood

CD: Right

MM: Into the…

CD: Into the guts?

MM: Yes

CD: Into the case

MM: And then tie it and boil, cook it in hot water

CD: Ah right, you boiled it then, would you have to leave it hanging for a while or eat it straight away

MM: Oh, take it out and when it’s done then you can eat it

CD: So, you’d be able to fry that?

MM: You would

CD: You could have it with your fried bread and sausages from the pig?

MM: That’s right, and griscins, they used to call them

CD: So, you used to eat all of the pig then really?

MM: We used to…

CD: There was nothing wasted

MM: Nothing wasted at all. Sometimes people used to have two pigs, one for the winter… one for the summer and one for the Christmas. But my father used only buy one pig

CD: Right

MM: And one pig done us

CD: And how many was in the family?

MM: There was, mm, I had a brother and sister, three of us

CD: So, the one pig would do the whole lot of ye?

MM: It would

CD: And that would do you then for the year, would it?

MM: It would

CD: And how long would it take to bone a pig

MM: It wouldn’t take that long at all

CD: And you need what? You’d have a big, sharp knife?

MM: Or he’d have a saw too. As well, a hand saw for cutting the bones

CD: Ah, right. And would there be any bits of the pig left that you wouldn’t have to eat?

MM: No, I think we’d have the whole pig

CD: You’d nearly eat all of it?

MM: You would

CD: You could probably make a stew or something…

MM: Mostly, cook it, my father and mother used to cook it and …

CD: And you’d have chops and you’d have rashers and sausages…

MM: Well we used to have meat anyhow

CD: Yeah, so you were kept going with the pig for the whole year

MM: Ribs, ribs from the pig too, and liver and griscins and crubeens and the pig’s head

CD: Sure, a pig would keep you gong a long time then

MM: It would keep us going. That was always the tradition

CD: Yeah, that’s a nice story about being able to share with the neighbours

MM: That’s what we used, we used to bring out a pudding or maybe a few chops or …

CD: That would be a nice present to get from a neighbour if you didn’t expect it

MM: That’s right, because that was always the tradition, when you kill a pig you used always give them something and they would do the same as well when they killed their pig, they’d do the same thing

CD: And they’d share it out

MM: They would


This page was added on 07/08/2017.

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