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The Local Forge – 1938

Collected by Kathleen Fallon from Patrick Fallon, Kinvara

Photo: Kresten Hartvig Klit Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Kresten Hartvig Klit
Wikimedia Commons

17th May, 1938
There is not a town or a village in Ireland that has not a forge. Forges are not as numerous now as they were long ago. Hardly any person uses a horse now except country people. Long ago horses were used for every kind of work such as travelling and ploughing. With all the horses travelling long ago work was very plentiful for the smith.
There are three forges in the town of Kinvara. One is situated on the south side of Kinvara and is owned by a man named Burke. The second is situated on the north side and the man who runs it is named Griffin. The third forge is owned by a man named Connolly. It is situated in the middle of the town of Kinvara.
Burke’s forge is situated on the roadside. It is like a shed from the outside. It has one window in the front and a large door. The roof is made of galvanise. There is one fireplace in the forge. The bellows are oval shaped and there are two wooden handles on them to blow. They are made of leather. The bellows are not made locally.
When the Smith is making a horse shoe he puts a piece of iron in the file. When the iron is red he takes it out with a tongs, then he hammers it until it is the shape he wants it. It is said that whenever the sparks from the iron fly towards a person that there is money coming to that person.
The Smith makes all kinds of farm implements such as ploughs, harrows, spades, shovels and axes. When the Smith is shoeing a horse he shoes the horse outside also. When he is putting a rim round the wheel of a cart he puts it on outside the forge.

Excerpt from the National Folklore Collection, property of University College Dublin held in trust for the people of Ireland.  Content  was collected by  children in 1937 and 1938, carefully transcribed under the supervision of their teachers and forwarded with great pride to form part of the Collection.

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