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Eileen Doyle, née Sprague (b. 1907)

Eileen Doyle, née Sprague (b. 1907)

Killarney, Co. Kerry

2000

 

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Track 1: Eileen Doyle recalls growing up in Charles Street, Dublin, where she was raised by her grandmother. She remembers the week of the 1916 Rising, including the looting, the food shortages, and the unusual activity around Mountjoy Jail. She also describes the terrifying experiences in Dublin caused by the Black and Tans in Dublin, including the events of Bloody Sunday. She recalls the candlelit vigil outside Mountjoy Jail on the night preceding Kevin Barry’s execution. Later, during the Civil War years she remembers hearing stories about informers. Track 2: Eileen recalls the time when three local businessmen were shot in Summerhill - Mr Barnett, Mr Duggan and Mr Colley. She also describes the events of Bloody Sunday in Croke Park. Track 3: Memories of her schooldays and the street games the children played are provided and fondly remembered is Cooney’s sweetshop in Emmet Street, favourite of all local children. She calls to mind Matt Talbot, with whom she had a long acquaintance both before and after his involvement in the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. Track 4: Eileen explains that her grandfather, with whom she lived, drilled the local Volunteers which included Kevin Barry. Track 5: She describes street life in earlier days in her area of Dublin, including the routine of the ‘gaslight man’ and the coalman. She also recalls her days employed in Switzers, and being invited to their family home in Dundrum. She vividly describes the exuberance of the traders on Moore Street, and the women who worked as stallholders there in former times.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 56.06 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-22
Subject: A witness to events in 1916
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 61:00


Paddy Hurley

Paddy Hurley

Athea, Co. Limerick

2003

 

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Track 1: Paddy Hurley describes the occupations and businesses of his neighbours in the Athea, and of his father, a publican, whose family lived on the premises. He recalls his primary school and his secondary education at St. Michael's, Listowel, travelling there by pony and trap each day. Track 2: A descriptions of the publican’s business, the price of beverages, the busy days of Confirmations and other religious ceremonies, when it was customary for the women not to enter the public bar but to partake of sherry or port in the family kitchen. A noted thatcher and stonemason of the area, Dan (Bailey) Ahern, is recalled. Track 3: Paddy explains that Athea had five tailors - the Griffins, Moores, O'Connors, and two Shine families. He recalls walking cattle to the local fairs during the years of the economic war, sometimes starting out at 2a.m. if the fair was some distance away. Track 4: Having sung an old ballad, Mother Macree, Paddy discusses the various entertainments in the pub during the 1930s, and also mentions Kelly’s dancehall in the town. Collecting mailbags of feathers in the area is recalled, as are the women who were excellent pluckers. Track 5: The real fear and tension caused by the Black and Tans who would frequently visit the pub and demand drink, and on one occasion they shot dead his sister’s dog. Memories are stirred of his neighbours, the Colbert family, one of whom was Con Colbert who was executed in 1916 for his part in the Rising. Track 6: The high standard of education in the area and the excellent and inspiring teachers who taught him are recalled. He recalls the fit-ups and the plays that would travel to Athea and the circuses which visited, included Baileys, Powells, Duffys and Fossetts. Paddy Hurley concluded the recording with an old ballad, "My heart is in Killarney."


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 53.07 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-23
Subject: Life in a rural town in Limerick
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 58:05


Mike Christopher O'Shea (b. 1917)

Mike Christopher O'Shea (b. 1917)

Caherciveen, Co. Kerry

2003

 

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Track 1: Stories are told of Caherciveen during its occupation by the Black and Tans and Mike Christopher O’Shea recalls his uncle who fought in the trenches of Flanders in World War I and was presumed dead until he returned to Caherciveen. Track 2: The buildings, the people and their occupations in the town of Caherciveen in earlier days are recalled, as is his father who had a tailoring business. Track 3: Memories of 1938, when he led the local pipe band to greet Steve Casey, a local sporting hero, and later Alfie Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin, who officially opened the church at Chapeltown, Valentia. Also recalled are the journeymen tailors, who would regularly stay in the family home. Track 4: 1933 is mentioned, when Valentia Harbour was considered as a suitable stop-off point for seaplanes, though subsequently the port of Foynes was selected. Track 5: Memories are recalled of social life in Caherciveen during the Emergency and some of the local ‘characters’, including ‘Parnell’. The recording concluded with a recitation of a poem which he wrote in honour of his hero, Michael Collins.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 51.67 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-24
Subject: The life of a tailor
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 56:23


Roy Mooney

Roy Mooney

The Doon, Co. Offaly

2004

 

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One spring evening in 2004 I made my way to The Doon, Co. Offaly, near Clonmacnoise to make my acquaintance with Roy Mooney. As I drove up the long avenue, and the lovely Georgian home of the Mooney family came into view, I had the feeling that this journey of mine would be very fruitful. Roy himself came to the door as I arrived unannounced, and bade me welcome. He became quite animated and very interested once I explained the purpose of my visit. At that time, Roy was ninety years old, and once we were seated, I began by asking him about his family background and about his earliest memories. As a very young boy he had a most frightening experience, clearly and explicitly recalled for me that evening at his home. During the occupation by the Black and Tans the soldiers would travel each day on patrol from Athlone to Birr, and generally, they were the worse for wear if not drunk, firing at random at the trees and ditches along the way. One day the Republicans knocked a tree across the road and dug a trench at Ballynahown, very close to the Mooney home. The Tans arrived on the scene, used planks of wood to cross the trench, and sped on, only to ram the lorry into the fallen tree. Panic ensued, with the soldiers firing indiscriminately. Roy clearly recalls the clamour of the guns and the bullets whizzing off the front of his house. Shortly thereafter, a further lorry load of Tans arrived on the scene, and such was the pandemonium that two of their number were shot and wounded by their colleagues in the first lorry. Eventually they retreated and all was quiet once again. That night a group of Republicans commandeered the house and demanded lodgings for the night, and Roy recalled being told that he had to give up his bed. A false message was relayed from the village that the Tans were approaching so the Republicans fled across the fields. A story from an earlier era was told to me by Roy. It concerned a visit to the house by Robert Emmet after the Rebellion of 1803 in Dublin. One evening, he came to the back door, dishevelled and exhausted, and asked to see the master. The servants brought him in and gave him a good meal, on their master's instructions, as he appeared to be in very bad shape. Roy's great-grandfather, who was the master of the house at that time always afterwards remarked on the excellent table manners and general politeness of the man, who thanked him profusely for his hospitality before departing. I continued to talk to Roy Mooney for several hours, and later returned, when I recorded him a second time, along with his gracious wife Kitty, whose memories, like those of her husband, make fascinating listening. Sadly I was later to hear that Roy Mooney had died not long after the second recording was made.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 44.43 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-25
Subject: Memories of the Black and Tans
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Una Keane; Maurice Barrett (1913-2005)

Una Keane; Maurice Barrett (1913-2005)

Camp, Co. Kerry; Scartaglin, Co. Kerry

2004

 

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Ballyferriter is the birthplace of Una Keane, who is now 95 years old. She resides at Ocean View Nursing Home at Camp, near Tralee. When I met her in 2004 she told me she spend her younger days in the lovely village of Ballyferriter in West Kerry, and went on to describe for me an incident which has remained etched in her memory from those far off days. When she was about ten years old, she would often see the Auxiliaries' lorries on the roads around the village and on the occasion of a meitheal at her home place, she and her mother were bringing tea to the men in the fields. As they walked along the road, a lorry of Auxiliaries appeared, and a flock of geese scattered ahead of the lorry. One of the British picked up his gun and aimed and fired at one of the geese, killing it, before driving off leaving mother and daughter traumatised and distressed, and as Una told the story it was obvious that she could still see in her mind's eye that occasion of mindless violence on a country road so long ago. In the summer of 2000, I was searching out a house in the locality of Scartaglin, Co Kerry, when I stopped to ask directions at an old cottage with an open front door. Maurice Barrett was sitting inside by the fire, and I was invited to come in and sit down, which I did. It was not long before it became obvious that I should get my recording equipment from the car, because before me was a man with recollections rich and rare. Maurice Barrett was born in Limerick in 1913, and shortly afterwards his father, who had been working in the mines in England, met a tragic death. At the age of three years his mother brought Maurice back to her home place at Castleisland. He remembered and described the real fear he felt while going and coming from school in case the Black and Tans would pass him on the road, as "they were lawless and drunk day and night." He recalled a terrible day when two Black and Tans came to the house searching for Republicans. They were armed with rifles with bayonets, and they proceeded to ransack the house, stabbing the bayonets into the beds in their search. He recalled agent Sam Hussey of Edenburn House, Ballymacelligott, who was under constant guard by RIC in case of attack, and he also mentioned Lord Herbert of Currow who was shot in 1882 in earlier troubled days. In May 2005, I was sad to hear that this fine gentleman had passed away.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 36.87 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-27
Subject: The Black and Tans in Kerry
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Eddie Walsh (part 1)

Eddie Walsh (part 1)

March 2003

 

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A fireside chat with Eddie and his friends. Topics included the Black and Tans, wakes, the Famine and farming traditions.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 71.34 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Clare county, second series
Product ID: CDCL02-06
Subject: The folklore of Caherdubh
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Length: 56:00


Eddie Walsh (part 2)

Eddie Walsh (part 2)

May 2003

 

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A continuation of stories and memories, recorded with Eddie and his friends.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 30.30 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Clare county, second series
Product ID: CDCL02-07
Subject: A tour of Eddie's farmyard
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Length: 33:00


MAURICE CURRAN, AGE 94, BALLINSKELLIGS

MAURICE CURRAN, AGE 94, BALLINSKELLIGS

February 2007

 

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Maurice Curran was born into a large family, and he declared that his mother was a very patriotic woman. He remembers her standing up to the Black and Tans, on one of their raids when they came looking for her son, brother and a friend, who were then in the Volunteers. His mother was a fluent Irish speaker, and composed poetry which she did for each one of the family when they finally left home. Events which took place locally during the Civil War were spoken about in great detail, including a story about Maurice's brother, and a friend and neighbour, who were on opposite sides, after having fought side by side in the War of Independence. The interview concentrated on the Kerry football teams who played in the 1920s and 1930s and who travelled on to New York to play against many of the emigrants who had left the locality in previous years.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 59.82 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Kerry county, fourth series
Product ID: CDKY04-17
Subject: A woman's compassion and strength
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Length: 65:29


Batt Brosnan (b. 1913)

Batt Brosnan (b. 1913)

Mastergeehy, Co. Kerry

2000

 

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Track 1. Batt Brosnan describes his background, and recalls his schooldays, his teachers and the school books used, reciting from memory. The War of Independence, the ambush at Tureengarrive and the burning of houses in the village of Ballydesmond by the Black and Tans are recalled. Also described is his time in England, working on building sites in Bath for one shilling an hour, from 1935. The poor conditions in pre-war days and his work in a munitions factory are also discussed. Track 2. Batt returned to Mastergeehy in 1947 where he built his own house in stone. He recalls the introduction of electricity and pumped water and the slow disappearance of life from the countryside. He also talks about the craft of thatching and the materials used. Track 3. Local characters, the superstitions, pastimes, house dances and the game of handball are discussed. Pádraig O’Keeffe, the fiddler, is remembered with some anecdotes included, and also recalled is blacksmith Tim Hickey. Batt gives his views on the recent troubles in the North and finally, the workings of a lime kiln on his land is described. ?


Number of files: 3
File size(s): 11.09 MB, 13.61 MB, 18.47 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Kerry county, seventh series
Product ID: CDKY07-01
Subject: Sliabh Luachra
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe - Irish Life and Lore
Length: 47:09


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