This game, sometimes called Hinny was frequently played by Skerries boys about fifty years ago. It had the distinct advantage then of needing very little in the way of equipment or playing facilities.
The object was to hit an airborne small stick with a larger stick and get it as close as possible to a target. The bat was something like a blackthorn walking stick, sometimes with a knob on the end and about 2 ½ feet long. The little stick, 6-8” long was placed across a hole in the ground to begin the game. The player used the bat to raise it into the air and then struck it in the direction of a pre-arranged target.
The little stick could then be made airborne again by placing it across a small stone or another piece of wood. Sometimes a short pointed stick was used and by striking down on one end, it would fly up and could be struck back in the direction of the starting point. As many players as wished could take part in the game.
Apparently this game was also played around Garristown and Oldtown, but was called Ginny. (pr. like guinea)
In Leenane, near Killary Harbour, Connemara, there was a similar game called cad (pr. to rhyme with lad) which used the short pointed stick.
Thanks to Larry Carr – Skerries, Tom Moore – Garristown and Damien O’Leary – Louisburg, Co. Mayo for the above information.
John Harte (SHS, 1995)