Dublin jarveys and their horse drawn carriages make a comeback at the Phoenix Park.

A new initiative to offer horse and carriage trips was launched by Minister of State at the Department of Finance Noel Treacy. Nine horse drawn carriages ranging from landaus to Victorians will be plying their trade in the Phoenix Park throughout the tourist season until the end of October. A carriage ride will cost from between £2.50 and £4.00.

It has been almost 50 years since horses and carriages were used on Dublin streets. However one of the new generation of jarveys, Jimmy Kavanagh, comes from a long lineage of Dublin jarveys.

Two former jarveys Francis Wearen and Michael Sheridan attended the re-launch of the service. Michael recalls in the old days, he would be lucky if he earned four or five shillings for a day’s work.

If there were funerals, plenty of dead, that was the day you’d make a few bob, they called it the collar and tie.

Michael admits he misses the old days but knew to if he was to make a living he would have to move with the times and give up being a jarvey.

After the official speeches came the official ride through the Phoenix Park. Minister Treacy, who grew up on a farm in Gurteen, Ballinasloe, County Galway, demonstrated his skills by guiding his horse and carriage through the park.

Meanwhile OPW will be closely monitoring the scheme and the franchise will be reviewed in the autumn.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 April 1988. The reporter is Alasdair Jackson.