I thought for a moment that I had made up a new word but I knew I had not. I had used it before but I wanted a precise definition. I reached for “The Times” dictionary but it was not there, I went into the next room and picked up “Collins” and it was not there either. The word was marketeer in the context of someone who sells on a market as opposed to the more common word marketer, someone who goes to a market. I eventually found it in the “Shorter Oxford” and was surprised to see the word was first used in 1832 in the US of A a long way before my time so my claim was vanquished before it hit the Publish button. However to get back to my original thoughts, marketeers and ad-men world wide have spent the best part of the 20th century and the ten years of this one, struggling with the idea of changing tastes and the fickleness of people. Well I can tell them now it is not true. People’s tastes remain on a level plain, they are not fickle, they have always known what they like and what they like has always been the same.
For example here in North Roscommon just a mile or two out of Boyle on the Carrick Road (the N4) there is a townland called Rockingham Desmesne within which is The Loch Ce Forest Park set in and around a picturesque bay on the southern end of Loch Ce. Since the birth of Christ and most probably for hundreds of years before that people have found that this place has such an innate beauty that it was a place to live and fight for, which means that for possibly 2500 years people’s tastes have remained the same, it surely is a lovely place.
The archaeological record shows that:-
1) There are crannogs galore in Loch Ce and the smaller lakes in the park. Watery summer residences for the rich and famous over 2000 years ago, retreats of last resort.
2) One of the finest bowl barrows in Europe, a massive burial mound of 3000 cubic metres of earth to honour some magnate 2000 years ago sits on a hill on the south side of the park looking out over Loch Ce.
3) Ring forts by the score. Dozens of these oval patches of land surrounded by an earth embankment which was not a fort but more a farm house and yard for the people from about 500 to 1000 AD.
4) Monasteries and churches built by the missionary monks of Premonstre in the 12th and 13th centuries.
5) The island fortress, moated site and market town encouraged by the fighting Macdermot clan from the 12th century on.
6) The various follys, church and buildings built by the King Family who were granted the land in the 17th century as an attractive way of developing the park and other West of Ireland beauty spots for the burgeoning English tourist trade. They left the park 60 years ago but roughly what you see now is what they left.
7) The governing bodies of Coilte Teorante, Roscommon County Council, The Irish Government, the European Union and Failte Ireland who all stepped in to boost the vacuum caused by the King’s withdrawal and build wonderful 20th and 21st century creations which might welcome but eventually put off the interested visitor.
So you marketeers only need to give it as it is, peoples tastes do not change. Spend your efforts selling tripe, chitterlings, tails, hearts, livers, brains and tongues because that is what people have always liked and will still like, and in their present reduced circumstances is all they can afford. Offal is the Rockingham of the culinary world, so eat away.
One last item has caught my eye. In the wake of the Murphy Report on child abuse The Garda Commissioner has announced the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny to re-examine the file on Bernadette Connolly, a ten year old girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered 40 years ago. There were witness reports saying a green van belonging to the Passionist monks from Cloonmahon Monastery had been seen on that afternoon in the area from which she had disappeared. However nothing came of it but shortly afterwards the case was reinvestigated and the evidence pointed again to this Passionist priest. The senior detective on the case later told journalists that he was told to bring this man in for questioning but the night before his inquisition the detective was told to forget it. The priest was then relocated to Africa immediately afterwards where he has since died. Bernadette’s mutilated body was found in the bog at Limnagh, on the north side of the Curlews, about three miles from Boyle, three months later. I do hope this time her three surviving sisters get closure.