Pat Power duellist

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From Schools Folklore, U.C.D., Belfield.

A famous duellist, Pat Power of Darrigle (near Portlaw) was a fat, robust man, given to intemperance. He once fought a fire-eating companion named Bob Briscoe, but as he was his friend he only shot off his whiskers and the top of his ear.

When the Duke of Richmond was in the South of Ireland he knighted many persons without much regard to their merits. Among .his knights was a lieutenant. Power spoke ill of him in a coffee shop, not realising that he was present. When he realised his blunder he went to an attorney who drew up his will for him. The attorney told him not to worry as the terror of Power's name would deter the knight from making any moves against him. This, in fact, was the case.

At the time it was fashionable for Englishmen to hold Irishmen up to ridicule and expect them to behave as they were portrayed on stage. Power was touchy therefore when a group of Englishmen sent a waiter to him with a gold watch. Power sent his servant for his pistols and presenting the watch asked to whom it belonged. When nobody was willing to own it, he gave his servant his own silver one, gave the company his name and address and said he would keep it safe until called for. It was never claimed.

On another occasion, he ordered supper. After some time the waiter laid two covered dishes on the table. There were two dishes of smoking potatoes. On investigation he discovered they had been sent by two gentlemen. Power made his supper of the potatoes to the great amusement of the Englishmen. His servant, on his instruction, brought in two more covered dishes, one of which he placed before Power and the other before the gentlemen. The dishes contained loaded pistols. Power said that if one of them fell he would give satisfaction to the other. They rushed out without waiting for a second invitation.


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