1920s Irish hiring fairs
This DVD is about the hiring of farm servants in Ireland which was common up until the beginning of World War 2. Men, women and children as young as 7 would stand in the market place hoping to find a farmer who would hire them. The wage would be about £6 for 6 months.Irish hiring fairs had become well established by the eighteenth century. Hiring fairs where places young people looking for work and would gather in the centre of the town. Wealthier farmers found their farm hands for the next few months at these hiring fairs.
This dvd "The hiring fairs in Ireland" Based on the memories of Sam King, Maggie Faulkner and Jim McAuley who attended such hiring fairs in Ireland were hired themselves during the 1920s and 30s. This history dvd traces the fortunes of 16 year old Mary Mullan and her brother Jimmy who was 8 years old. Mary and Jimmy were hired for six months to a rich farmer from Co. Antrim.
A reinactment of such hiring fairs is shown in this dvd showing the farmers inspecting the children to see who would come to work at thier farm.
Tragic stories are recalled of how the parents of the hired children felt having to hiring their loved ones to pay the rent. Also a few comical stories are told of young men taking advantage of the farmer at the hiring fairs, nostalga, heartbreak and laughter is combined in this dvd of the hiring fairs showing an intricte part of irish history.