A GANG of friends in their fifties and sixties are making a name for themselves as Cork’s oldest trick-or-treaters.
John A Murphy from Waterfall and Crosbarry man Con Prout revealed that after 40 years of Halloween house calls they have no plans to retire just yet. On the contrary, they began their doorstepping early today in the hope of “haunting” as many Cork families as possible.
The duo started trick-or-treating at 20-years-old but insist they are just getting started. In recent years their close pals Martin Murphy and Katie Duggan (known to friends as Ducky) have joined in on the fun, helping them earn as many treats as possible.
They say that threats to call the police and egg pelting hasn’t deterred them from their annual tradition.
“In some ways, it only makes us more determined,” John laughed.
Luckily, the majority of reactions to the lovable rogues has been positive.
“Now, we’re finding that people are complaining when we don’t call to the house,” John said.
“Some of them would be up all night waiting for us. We always enjoy bringing happiness to people.”
Over the years they have called to hundreds of houses, making lots of friends and only a few enemies!
“We’ve often called to the wrong house. One guy picked up the phone and said he was calling the Gardaí.
“That’s the kind of thing we like because it means we can tell a story.
“Others invite us into the house and offer us a tea or whiskey.”
At the beginning, it was only friends who received visits from the gang.
“When they’d arrive at the door we’d be on our knees so they thought we were children,” John said. “We wouldn’t say anything first. However, later we’d call back and complain that they hadn’t given us enough before jumping up and revealing ourselves.”
Katie, who works as a nurse, confessed she has dressed up in the past to cheer up her patients.
“If someone needed cheering up I would dress up as a nun and they all loved it,” she laughed.
“I have a couple of costumes. The first time I met John I was dressed as a leprechaun.”
John said they will continue trick-or-treating together for as long as they can.
“We don’t do it for the fame and fortune,” he insisted.
The friends are not afraid to be controversial. John revealed he once went trick-or-treating dressed as Jesus. Other years they have played it safe with Batman and Robin costumes.
“Years ago it cost as much to hire a costume as it does to buy one now,” John said. “Everyone dresses up now, but we were trick-or-treating before it was even a thing in Ireland. You might say we are the original trick-or-treaters.”