Long ago every house had a dresser, but not like the ones you see in houses today. Then, they were just a few board tied against the wall. The table was a large box. Mugs were wooden and called noggins. No one used to sleep in the room below as that’s where the cattle were tied. The hens were in the loft every night and the cock had a place for himself. This arrangement is not long out of fashion. People thought that if the hens were left outside that they would not lay and that there would not be enough heat. One night in winter when it was very cold we brought the sheep into the house. We tied a rope to the rafter and hung oats up on it with seed handing down so that the sheep could eat it. The floor was very wet in the morning and we had to get shovels and put ashes on the floor to dry it. We swept it with an ash broom to get it dry.
Place: Gortnadeeve West, Co. Galway
Footnote: Duchas, ‘The Schools’ Collection’, www.duchas.ie
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