Tom Flynn


Mr Tom Flynn came to Castlecuffe national school to talk to us and answer all of our questions and he gave us a very interesting talk and good answers. Everyone was in sir's room when Mr Tom Flynn came in.
He started off telling us about when he worked in the Co-op. We were told that if the pens of pigs got mixed that they would fight. Pigs are like people, they can gang up and kill one another. They usually pick on the smallest and weakest of the group or one that has been hurt.
When the pigs fought they had to be stopped. The only time that the pigs got washed was when they were being slaughtered. Pigs are really very clean animals.
If a pig gets a disease it is still safe for them to slaughtered. Clonaslee has a few brown pigs.
We were told that Clonaslee Co-op was recognised as a Co-op in 1962 but it had been talked about in 1944 in the local Vocational School, Mr PD Brickley from Main Street, Clonaslee was one of the main organisers.
Clonaslee Coop started off as a pig farm with around a hundred pigs and that was a great success. Then in 1980 it formed into a dairy farm as well.
When pigs were brought to the Co-op they cost around 7 pounds then when they were brought for slaughtering they were worth around 21pounds. There is a big difference now in the money for a pig being slaughrered which is now about E100.
It was a long working day for six days a week and three hours on Sunday and sometimes you had to stay at night for the weekly wages of £12.62. Mr Flynn even remembers having to come in on Christmas Day to look after sick pigs.
A sow can have ten or eleven piglets at a time. So many pigs came that they never got named.
After a while when Clonaslee was recognised as a Co-op it was bought over by Avonmore/ Glanbia. When it was formed there was a lot of pig farmers in it. They also got help from Donoughmore Coop and Roscrea Bacon Factory We were told that the first meal they got was from Rath Co-op. Then the co-op started milling their own food for the pigs in the 1970's . It was made in a special shed called the mill by the miller.
The first miller was John Conway (Sarah's granddad), from Coolagh, Clonaslee.

Mr Tom Flynn said that he enjoyed working with the pigs when he was working there and that you got used to the smell and the noise that he heard. He also said that it left him a little deaf.
They took in cows because of the good price you got for milk. They are going to hold onto the dairy a little longer.
The reason that they would not build another Co-op and this one is closing down shortly is because the land close to the Coop is sold for building houses and it would be very hard to get planning permission near a pig farm as people don't like the smell. You had to get permission from all the farmers around and also the people who lived close by to spread the slurry because of the smell of the slurry.
Pollution is a very big problem for farmers especially for pig farmers. A licence is needed for a pig farm. You can't spread slurry from the first of November to the first of March.
Mr Tom Flynn was a worker of Clonaslee Co-op for a lot of his life and was a great help to us with this story and gave us all the information that we needed.

By: Denise Guckivan & Sarah Conway.

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