Livestock or parcel?
In that dim and distant past it was a fact that the Irish rail service had
different charges for different transportation of livestock. If an animal were
placed in the caged-off section of the goods carriage of a train it was treated
as livestock and the charge was five shillings.
However, if the beast had a label round its neck and was merely shoved in with
the rest of the mail, it was regarded as a parcel and the charge was only one
shilling. So it happened that a greyhound was sent to Mullingar by rail and the
one shilling was paid and a label stuck on its collar.
On opening the goods van, railman Rooney was knocked to the floor by the dog
which leapt out of the carriage and raced off down the platform. Gasping for breath
and dragging his twisted ankle, Rooney bellowed to the folk further up the platform:
'Stop that dog - it's a parcel!'