This Saturday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  It was traditionally a big day in the Maigueside town of Croom.  Mass was celebrate in St. Mary’s church and it was also the 8th of December Fair day in Croom.  The farmers brought their animals, cows, bullocks and heifers and weanlings to be sold at the Mill Cross.  It was a big day for the freight train at Croom railway station where the cattle purchased by the cattle dealers and transported to Dublin, and many parts of the country.  It was also a day when the farmers in the local area hired their workmen and women to take up employment in the farms around the area.  Today this type of signing up of staff would be called employment agencies in today’s commercial activities.  The contract would be eleven-month period and their term of employment would end on Christmas Eve. 


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