Above picture is of Mr Eamonn Dobbyn aka “Badger Boy” with one of his Glen of Imaal Terriers.
Mr Dobbyn was the man behind the famous Knockroe prefix that produced some outstanding Glen of Imaal Terriers. Mr Dobbyn was born in Cork, Ireland but in the 1940’s. Mr Dobbyn’s family moved to the outskirts of Limerick City, Ireland. Where he attended St Patricks boys national school and where all of his school mates kept a pet. His father was given an Irish Terrier bitch called Rose. When he took her hunting, he discovered she was able to catch rabbits with ease with her great speed.
So he promised all his school mates a puppy from Rose but he could not find a pure bred dog to mate her with. One of his friends suggested he get one from his big brother who was a member of The Army stationed at the Curragh Co Kildare (but on manoeuvres at The Glen of Imaal in nearby Co. Wicklow). This lad told Mr Dobbyn his brother could supply an Irish Terrier for 5 shillings but would not be back in Limerick until August. This gave Mr Dobbyn a few months to raise the money. This was a small fortune to a ten year old schoolboy whose pocket money was 2p per calendar month if he were good, 1p if he was not so good and sometimes nothing.
However, a school mate knew how to solve this problem and mentioned to Mr Dobbyn that horse owners who worked for Limerick dockyard Guinness Mc Mahon timber merchants would pay 3 pence per week (6 days) per horse. This meant getting up at 5am daily, running about 3 miles or so to the fields where the horses grazed, rounding up the correct horse, galloping horses home to each individual owners yard, tack up horse and place nose bag full of oats ready for the horses. If he could manage ten horses per day for 4 weeks, his income would be 10 shillings. This would be enough to buy a dog, plus a collar, lead and some food.
So during the summer holidays the two lads decided to try it out. In mid-August Mr Dobbyn had a knock on his front door and a dusty, sweaty, soldier greeted him. Mr Dobbyn handed over the money expecting an Irish terrier, however he was given a bow legged small terrier. He said to the soldier “ this is not an Irish Terrier, I’ve never seen bandy legged Irish Terriers before ”. The soldier replied “if you marched 150 miles plus you too would have bandy legs”. This was Mr Dobbyn’s first Glen. The Glen was pure bred but like many dogs at the time it had no pedigree or I.K. C. Papers. He did however turn out to be an outstanding working terrier that Mr Dobbyn called “Badger Boy”.
This was the beginning of Mr Dobbyn’s involvement with the Glen of Imaal Terrier… Unfortunately Mr Dobbyn passed away earlier this year on the 20th June. R.I.P Sir