Carters and their drays have been a feature of Ireland's traffic for over eighty years and Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) has used them as an essential part of their delivery service in cities and towns.
Now CIE has decided to take the work horses off the streets of Cork and replace them with a fleet of tractors. There are also plans to withdraw the work horses from Dublin and other Irish cities.
The increase in traffic on the roads has made the horse and cart
Out of date and to many a nuisance.
According to Cork Area Manager Conor Cloone, the work horse is no longer an economically viable mode of transport. Mr Cloone tells Bill O'Herlihy about the economics behind the decision and says,
At the present time horses in city traffic are an anachronism.
Conor Cloone also says that looking after horses is now a dying craft and that the use of tractors will permit deliveries to continue in all weathers. The plan is to have removed all CIE work horses from the streets of Cork by the end of March. As for the carters themselves, most of them have been retrained to drive the tractors or have been redeployed into other types of work. Mr. Cloone insists that there will be no redundancies as a result of the changes.
The decision to take the horses off the streets will have big implications for long time stableman Andy Casey.
I'm very sorry to see the horses go... I worked here with them for 42 years.
Driver Dick Fitzgerald who has been working with the horses on the streets of Cork for 20 years is philosophical about the changes.
Well as the song says, the nearest and the dearest must part.
24 year old William Burke is one of the carters who will move on to the tractors. While acknowledging that the tractor will be faster and more efficient, he says,
I won't be able to speak to my tractor.
A 'Newsbeat' report broadcast on 1 February 1967. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.
'Newsbeat' was a half hour feature programme which ran on television from Monday to Friday from September 1964 to June 1971. Reporting on stories from around the country, 'Newsbeat' covered affairs of the day with contributions from print journalists and RTÉ News staff.