independent

Saturday 2 August 2014

Piseog is going way of the Dodo

'13' HOLDS NO FEAR THESE DAYS

DÓNAL NOLAN

Published 09/01/2013|10:20

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THE piseog is going the way of the Dodo in Kerry.

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Following changes to lessen the impact of the number 13 appearing boldly by itself on car licence plates, The Kerryman carried out a straw poll of public opinion in Castleisland on the subject.

The verdict was unanimous - nobody has much time for that sort of thing.

2013 will see the year divided in half for those purchasing new cars. Instead of 13-KY, the State has provided for all new cars being sold in the first half of the year to carry the tag 131-KY; and 132KY in the second-half of the year.

Despite the fact the number 13 will still appear, the motor industry appears to be pleased. It says fears among dealers that people will put off buying new cars this year over superstitions concerning '13' have been allayed by the measure.

Cllr Michael Healy Rae was among the public representatives of the country to call for the change last year, saying many people would be completely put off buying cars for that reason.

However, many are wondering if the motor industry's desire for a twin-period year has more to do with giving buyers a chance to get their hands on newlylicenced cars twice a year. The final months of the year see a significant fall in new-car sales as people wait until the following year to buy, rather than drive a new car for a handful of months.

It will remain to be seen if the change will allay fears of any prospective car buyers who might genuinely fear the number 13. But it is likely a twin-period year will result in more sales with a surge halfway through the year.

Whatever the case, it seems that superstitions are pretty much a thing of the past. Castleisland respondents to our questions were unanimous they have no mind for piseogs ( see our vox pop right).

Once upon a time, piseogs were attached to every aspect of human behaviour - from decorating the home (holly was a strict no-no in the month of May) to burying the dead. If a robin flew into your home, it was bad luck. If you met or came upon a red-haired person on your travels, it was time to turn around or risk peril, and so on.

It appears we don't attach dark connotations to ordinary occurences much anymore. For instance, if a red-haired person crosses a car dealer's path in 2013 - a pretty likely risk in this country, let's face it - they might just interest them in a new car.

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