Scariest place in NI?

My experience of poteen was extensive throughout my time in greenish clothing; first tasted in the Ballemena area, it destroyed many of my senses, but later, in S Armagh it was both pleasurable and useful. Forgive me if this is a retelling, but I knew a chap who was a fermer near ... Keady, who would bring out a glass or two whenever we had a late-night patrol to his house. His missus had a range of 'tastes' to mix, plus water (exactly as it was done in Saudi pubs), and we would blether til' sunrise, when I would catch a lift from one of the loyal cohort on the perimeter, and usually take back a couple of bottles for the Mess and the lads. On my first tour in the locality, I tried to get him to tell me where it came from, but he would always tap his nose and say something along the lines of 'need to know', which was ironic if ever there was ironic.

I left the Province for a tour in Berlin, but came back at the request of the Big Chief, and one of my first ports of call was the fermer, who dug out the good stuff immediately, and for another couple of years we would blether. I tried, at every opportunity, to find out the Source, but he was a brick wall on that subject ("South of here" - lying bastard). Finally, as my tour drew to a close, I became impassioned; I needed to know - not for any damned official purpose, but for my own satisfaction. It would not be passed on; promises on my Holy fecken Catholic grave. I was going, and wouldn't be back.*

He took me out to his barn. Inside was smaller than the outside (I'd never noticed). At the far end was a pile of hay, trash and junk, of the sort that nobody would normally even see. He lifted a lever and the trash moved aside; behind a cunningly hidden and excellently carpented door was the four or five feet depth of false wall, and in that space was his still; beautifully constructed, technically as good as could be made and dripping constantly. It was good stuff, and he made a tidy profit from it.

In later years, I experienced 'sid' in Saudi; it was grossly inferior to my pal's product, and I couldn't touch it, but I had a good source for JW Black Label there.

* Went back 35 years later and it's still good.
 
My experience of poteen was extensive throughout my time in greenish clothing; first tasted in the Ballemena area, it destroyed many of my senses, but later, in S Armagh it was both pleasurable and useful. Forgive me if this is a retelling, but I knew a chap who was a fermer near ... Keady, who would bring out a glass or two whenever we had a late-night patrol to his house. His missus had a range of 'tastes' to mix, plus water (exactly as it was done in Saudi pubs), and we would blether til' sunrise, when I would catch a lift from one of the loyal cohort on the perimeter, and usually take back a couple of bottles for the Mess and the lads. On my first tour in the locality, I tried to get him to tell me where it came from, but he would always tap his nose and say something along the lines of 'need to know', which was ironic if ever there was ironic.

I left the Province for a tour in Berlin, but came back at the request of the Big Chief, and one of my first ports of call was the fermer, who dug out the good stuff immediately, and for another couple of years we would blether. I tried, at every opportunity, to find out the Source, but he was a brick wall on that subject ("South of here" - lying bastard). Finally, as my tour drew to a close, I became impassioned; I needed to know - not for any damned official purpose, but for my own satisfaction. It would not be passed on; promises on my Holy fecken Catholic grave. I was going, and wouldn't be back.*

He took me out to his barn. Inside was smaller than the outside (I'd never noticed). At the far end was a pile of hay, trash and junk, of the sort that nobody would normally even see. He lifted a lever and the trash moved aside; behind a cunningly hidden and excellently carpented door was the four or five feet depth of false wall, and in that space was his still; beautifully constructed, technically as good as could be made and dripping constantly. It was good stuff, and he made a tidy profit from it.

In later years, I experienced 'sid' in Saudi; it was grossly inferior to my pal's product, and I couldn't touch it, but I had a good source for JW Black Label there.

* Went back 35 years later and it's still good.
I had the misfortune to get canned Irish whisky in Iraq, it smelled ok and it tasted just alright but probabbly one of the worst hangovers I have ever had but needs must. Around the same time I had reason to meet the biggest bunch of cnuts in the British Army and that was 2LI circa 2003/2004. Never had a bad word to say about any unit I ever met but in 19 years of TA service but them.
 
My experience of poteen was extensive throughout my time in greenish clothing; first tasted in the Ballemena area, it destroyed many of my senses, but later, in S Armagh it was both pleasurable and useful. Forgive me if this is a retelling, but I knew a chap who was a fermer near ... Keady, who would bring out a glass or two whenever we had a late-night patrol to his house. His missus had a range of 'tastes' to mix, plus water (exactly as it was done in Saudi pubs), and we would blether til' sunrise, when I would catch a lift from one of the loyal cohort on the perimeter, and usually take back a couple of bottles for the Mess and the lads. On my first tour in the locality, I tried to get him to tell me where it came from, but he would always tap his nose and say something along the lines of 'need to know', which was ironic if ever there was ironic.

I left the Province for a tour in Berlin, but came back at the request of the Big Chief, and one of my first ports of call was the fermer, who dug out the good stuff immediately, and for another couple of years we would blether. I tried, at every opportunity, to find out the Source, but he was a brick wall on that subject ("South of here" - lying bastard). Finally, as my tour drew to a close, I became impassioned; I needed to know - not for any damned official purpose, but for my own satisfaction. It would not be passed on; promises on my Holy fecken Catholic grave. I was going, and wouldn't be back.*

He took me out to his barn. Inside was smaller than the outside (I'd never noticed). At the far end was a pile of hay, trash and junk, of the sort that nobody would normally even see. He lifted a lever and the trash moved aside; behind a cunningly hidden and excellently carpented door was the four or five feet depth of false wall, and in that space was his still; beautifully constructed, technically as good as could be made and dripping constantly. It was good stuff, and he made a tidy profit from it.

In later years, I experienced 'sid' in Saudi; it was grossly inferior to my pal's product, and I couldn't touch it, but I had a good source for JW Black Label there.

* Went back 35 years later and it's still good.
Our Platoon got sent to Auchnacloy to help out a Bty of the RA who were short handed for whatever reason. The old boy that sold the poteen in that town owned the house right next door to the RUC station and he did his distilling in his shed.

They must have known he was distilling but I'd say they had bigger problems to deal with at the time.
 
Our Platoon got sent to Auchnacloy to help out a Bty of the RA who were short handed for whatever reason. The old boy that sold the poteen in that town owned the house right next door to the RUC station and he did his distilling in his shed.

They must have known he was distilling but I'd say they had bigger problems to deal with at the time.
I doubt bigger problems ever came into it, No 1 they were probably his best customers. No 2 he was keeping the locals damped down. No 3 with illegal suppy came movement of people and thier ability to watch thier movement. No 4 was watching who was taxing the distiler.
 

sore knees

Old-Salt
My company had a delivery lorry for parts for many years but I only can speak of the late 80's early 90's and the driver based in Belfast had his delivery routes throughout NI and if any of you have seen the tv show The Wire based on drug suply in Baltimore Maryland this man was the kingpin of poteen suply in probably most of NI. In 1987 I was 18 and that was the first time he sold it to me as he had some morals, I got a shoe box containing 4 bottles and it cost me £16. I sold them on for £6 each and had very happy customers for a few years and I was glad as it paid for a Friday night in the pub in them days. One thursday evening the old lorry driver arrive at my work with the parts that were not much that day but I looked into the back of the lorry and he had a tarp over what I would estimate was 2000 shoe boxes each containing 4 x bottles of product and then found that the old guy retired next day and this was his retirement present from the distiller. I always thought he was getting the poteen from around the Coleraine area but found out a few years ago it was made about 4 miles from me.
Just thought of this, they were always the large Lucozade bottles that used to come wrapped in the crackly yellow plastic when new.
There was an oul fella around Ballyclare / Ballyeaston who had a wee Still.
 
I'm still struggling to understand:

  • Why anyone in Belfast would want to go to (London)Derry.
  • Why anyone in (London)Derry would want to go to Belfast.
  • Why anyone in their right mind would want to go to Toomebridge, except at 400 feet and 400 knots with a full load of LGB and a laser fix in the middle of the town.
You would want to get away from Londonderry to escape the local passtime, they whine to Olympic standard as a hobby and are the most hard done by people on earth (in thier minds).
 
I used to wonder why the Car park at O'Neills was never surfaced.
Turned out it was an easy source for stones to chuck at us when we passed by.
Also the empty bottles were always left for the convenience of the locals.
The o'neil arms had a makeover a few years ago and thier car park etc was fixed, the deep sea fishing club I belong to had thier annual diner/prizegiving in it and I had one of the best steak diners I have ever had there. The following year it must have changed chefs as it was shit.
 
My experience of poteen was extensive throughout my time in greenish clothing; first tasted in the Ballemena area, it destroyed many of my senses, but later, in S Armagh it was both pleasurable and useful. Forgive me if this is a retelling, but I knew a chap who was a fermer near ... Keady, who would bring out a glass or two whenever we had a late-night patrol to his house. His missus had a range of 'tastes' to mix, plus water (exactly as it was done in Saudi pubs), and we would blether til' sunrise, when I would catch a lift from one of the loyal cohort on the perimeter, and usually take back a couple of bottles for the Mess and the lads. On my first tour in the locality, I tried to get him to tell me where it came from, but he would always tap his nose and say something along the lines of 'need to know', which was ironic if ever there was ironic.

I left the Province for a tour in Berlin, but came back at the request of the Big Chief, and one of my first ports of call was the fermer, who dug out the good stuff immediately, and for another couple of years we would blether. I tried, at every opportunity, to find out the Source, but he was a brick wall on that subject ("South of here" - lying bastard). Finally, as my tour drew to a close, I became impassioned; I needed to know - not for any damned official purpose, but for my own satisfaction. It would not be passed on; promises on my Holy fecken Catholic grave. I was going, and wouldn't be back.*

He took me out to his barn. Inside was smaller than the outside (I'd never noticed). At the far end was a pile of hay, trash and junk, of the sort that nobody would normally even see. He lifted a lever and the trash moved aside; behind a cunningly hidden and excellently carpented door was the four or five feet depth of false wall, and in that space was his still; beautifully constructed, technically as good as could be made and dripping constantly. It was good stuff, and he made a tidy profit from it.

In later years, I experienced 'sid' in Saudi; it was grossly inferior to my pal's product, and I couldn't touch it, but I had a good source for JW Black Label there.

* Went back 35 years later and it's still good.

Al lot of still's were very very small volume producers.
Sometimes family and friends only, they tended to be the best ones.

One of the tricky bits was when advised to "avoid" certain derelict properties as they had a still hidden in them, sometimes it was a euphemism for having a weapons cache and sometimes it really was some old boys still (sometimes just a stockpile of poteen)
 

Stabwedge

Clanker
There was an oul fella around Ballyclare / Ballyeaston who had a wee Still.
In the 70s, 80s and 90s? He had several nicknames. My Dad was former RUC and knew him well. Said his product was very good!

Having said that, there was probably more than one fella at it round there but the one I'm thinking of stands out.
 

Carbon 6

War Hero
In the 70s, 80s and 90s? He had several nicknames. My Dad was former RUC and knew him well. Said his product was very good!

Having said that, there was probably more than one fella at it round there but the one I'm thinking of stands out.
The nickname I knew him by was 'Keek at the Moon', due to his one upturned eye. His 'wee still' was consider the best in County Antrim.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I never asked any questions at all re sourcing, but E3A had access to the very finest poitin I've ever tasted. I *suspect* TCG(S) may have been involved in the supply chain, somewhere.
 

Stabwedge

Clanker
The nickname I knew him by was 'Keek at the Moon', due to his one upturned eye. His 'wee still' was consider the best in County Antrim.
That's him. Also known as 'Sidey'.

Plausible anonymity and PERSEC intact as he's long dead, I believe!
 
I never asked any questions at all re sourcing, but E3A had access to the very finest poitin I've ever tasted. I *suspect* TCG(S) may have been involved in the supply chain, somewhere.
I think I posted upthread, that I was advised from the get-go always to be sure there was a polis man in your supply chain before letting the stuff wet your lips :thumleft:
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I think I posted upthread, that I was advised from the get-go always to be sure there was a polis man in your supply chain before letting the stuff wet your lips :thumleft:
Very sound advice. I also heard, from a usually reliable source with good access, that Fenians made the best poitin.
 

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