Castleisland Donkey Derby 1950s? Can You Name the Boys ?

It is most likely that this photograph was taken at a ‘Donkey Derby’ during a carnival / bazaar in Castleisland in the late 1950s. The boys are from left: Seán Johnny Michael O’Sullivan, Pound Road; Mikey O’Connor, and Paud Fitzgerald of Desmonds Avenue. Mikey O’Connor, whose father was from Brosna, and the entire family moved to the UK in the late 1950’s. Thanks to Johnny and Seanie Broderick, Nor Nolan and Joe Martin for the additional information.

This is the most genuine ‘asking for a friend’ request you’ll ever find anywhere.

Because the label on one of the donkey’s heads reads ‘Castleisland’ the image was forwarded to me in the hope that we can name the boys.

We know the names of the donkeys.

It is most likely that the photograph is from a ‘Donkey Derby’ and highly likely that it was taken here in Castleisland in the late 1950s.

I’m Open to Correction

I’m fairly sure that the boy on the left is Sean O’Sullivan of Pound Road and a son of Johnny Michael’s. I’m wide open to correction on that and I have an idea about the identity of the boy on the right and none at all on the boy in the middle.

The ‘Donkey Derby’ was one of the staple events of summertime carnivals or bazaars up and down the country.

That was all in the carefree days before health and safety rules and laws crippled every such event everywhere.

Vital Cog In Farm Life

The donkey was a vital cog in the life of a farm at that time and they could be taken to town for a derby after a hard day’s work.

More often that not they made their feelings on the frivolity of the proceedings known and in a very public and embarrassing way.

Panel of Experts

Some would dislodge their jockey and others would head off down a lane or archway and anywhere but along the designated ‘track’ – which was usually from the library to the old post office in the middle of the town.

Anyway, it’s over now to The Maine Valley Post’s panel of experts to see if we can name the boys in the picture. I’m asking for a friend – you see.

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