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There is a term in Castlebar, where a local person is referred to as 'aul stock'.  The term of affection is reserved for people whose families are Castlebar families.  Much debate takes place, usually in a pub, about what actually constitutes 'aul stock' and many families who have moved to Castlebar and their children born here, are they 'aul stock'?

Mick Byrne, one of Castlebar's most well-known publicans always says, "you can be called 'aul stock' only if you went 'through Fagan's Gates'.  People often ask him, "what are 'Fagan's Gates'?" to which he always replies, "if you don't know what 'Fagan's Gates' are, you're definitely are not 'aul stock!

Fagan's Gates are the original gates around the baptismal font in the Church Of The Holy Rosary in Castlebar (no longer there) and in order to go 'through Fagan's Gates', you must have been baptized in the church before the gates disappeared and therefore you are 'aul stock'.  The gates were manufactured by Messrs. John Fagan & Sons, Dublin

Local schoolteacher, Tom Higgins' used this great term for the title of his book on the history of the parish of Castlebar down through the ages.

The book is a gem for those with Castlebar connections or an interest in Castlebar's parish history.  It is available at the Castle Book Shop in Castlebar or online here:


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