GAA staples: Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and a ham sandwich | Picnic Times

August 28, 2015 - Picnic Time

I would contend picnics came to a GAA with a entrance of engine cars. On a day of a large compare there was always an early start. Nothing was to be rushed. Any place you’d see a dwindle or people, you’d hoot. You’d collect a mark and stop a car, customarily where there was a far-reaching margin, weed preferably. And afterwards a foot would be opened.

Men would be doing all a distributing of a sandwiches. They had to be done properly. They had to be done a night before. There had to be tea and divert for some people, in flasks. It was not a rushed dish by any means. Nice and easy. You’d notice all that’s going by and some people would like people to notice them and to maybe scream their name.

You’d be flitting a time gently: no pressure. Just expectation. There’d be a half grin on everybody. In a approach we consider it was a arrange of therapy. You didn’t have to compensate a clergyman to hearten we up, a whole eventuality would do that, and a thought that this could be a day that we’d never forget or a compare we’d never forget. All that was partial of it.

It was essential to leave on time. we remember a automobile from Dingle entrance by Listowel really early as people were entrance out from Mass and some people were arrange of surprised.

One male non-stop a window and said, “Don’t worry. We’re going to stop several times.” One of those times would be for a picnic.

When a kids were tiny we used to go to Kerry really early in a morning, customarily on a Monday as there’d be a compare on Sunday. We competence have left during 6am when they were really young. We wouldn’t stop to have a cruise until we got over a limit into Kerry. It was arrange of an arise to them to have landed in Kerry, and we would mostly eat before 9am.

The GAA cruise was a amicable instrument, if we could call it that. There’d be a accumulation of sandwiches. Ham was a genuine normal filling. Without mustard, since not everybody’s a fan. And copiousness of them and well-wrapped. There’d be some-more sandwiches than there were people. It wasn’t a day to be brief of anything.

There’d be beef sandwiches and egg. Apple spicy or whatever would be internal during a time. Everybody had a few apple trees. There was a good support in a early 1940s to grow apple trees. It was mostly group going to matches in a tallness of a cruise era. It has waned, with a trade now. It’s tough to find a place to park though being told to pierce on.

Another arrange of cruise was when we was a child. We lived maybe 10 miles divided from a nearest bogs where territory could be cut. Everybody in a village, Dún Síon, cut territory in a place called Com an Lochaigh, a poetic small hollow in underneath Mount Brandon.

On a turf-cutting day there’d be a meitheal: a group of neighbours who’d assistance any other. They’d leave in a morning during maybe 5am since it was 10 miles divided and we weren’t going there to idle. we remember myself and my hermit withdrawal with a neighbour’s donkey.

He was owned by a Kevanes, and always accessible to anybody who would have any call on him. We would be bringing a food, prepared a night before: sandwiches, maybe not always done into sandwiches though a good pile of bacon and a bread and a sugarine and a tea and boiled eggs. Tea in a canister.

With a dickey we’d be a small bit late arriving. You don’t rush a donkey. They don’t respond good to being driven. There’d be one mangle during noon and another during 4pm. A kettle would be brought. A glow would be illuminated and somebody would go to a really obvious open with a freshest H2O on God’s earth and move a kettle-full and put it on a glow and boil it.

Everybody sat down for maybe 45 minutes. I’ve a design of all a group afterwards smoking pipes. Then a male whose day it was competence contend something to get going again. Gach éinne ina bheirt – everybody now like two. Be confident during a finish of a good day’s work. To me that was a picnic: food prepared and taken elsewhere to be partaken of.






  • Two slices of beef from a just-boiled ham
  • Crusty clever bread (white or brown)
  • Softened butter


I always like well-cooked ham. It has to be only boiled, though well-boiled until a beef frequency even needs to be sliced. There was something about bread that had a crust: a bit of insurgency to it with good punch in it. It wasn’t a thing that crumpled like powder. That meant it was genuine. The pretence is to have copiousness of everything, though we never favourite too most butter. Soften your butter so we can widespread it thinly. Nowadays we cite brownish-red bread, though a same manners request about a good crust. Press your sandwich together well. we would never like a sandwich where pieces are descending out. It needs to be a awake sandwich. It needs to be means to mount on a possess dual feet.


  • We perceived a good response to a reader competition. A preference of a best entries can be found here. Congratulations to Holly Lynott (10) from Connemara, Co Galway, for her winning story, The Best Picnic Ever. She wins a two-night mangle for two, and picnic, during a Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow

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