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Seamus Claffey (b. 1931)

Seamus Claffey (b. 1931)

Ferbane, Co. Offaly

2012

 

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Track 1: Being a member of the fifth generation of the Claffey family to operate a business in the Main Street in Ferbane. Grandfather and great-grandfather were blacksmiths and also plough makers and farriers. Described the forge, a long, thatched building with outbuildings and stables. Recalled the stables which were used to rest the horses overnight. Track 2: Recalled a number of local tradespeople of Ferbane – tailors, harness-makers and coach builders. Memories of his father, a horse dealer during the years of the Great War. The high rate of infant mortality in the 1930s, which included a number of his own siblings. Track 3: Memories of ‘The Emergency’ in Ireland, food rationing, horse traffic only on the roads, business in general in Ferbane being stable, due to the proximity of the bogland and the need for farriers. Track 4: Discussed the time when his grandfather began an undertaking business, using horse-drawn hearses, as did his father. Seamus himself subsequently took over this business. Track 5: The general health and nutrition of people down through five decades of the twentieth century, and the outbreak of tuberculosis, which devastated the lives of so many.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 10.68 MB, 11.44 MB, 4.34 MB, 8.33 MB, 6.76 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Offaly county, seventh series
Product ID: CDOF07-01
Subject: Blacksmith, undertaker
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 45:14


Jimmy Corrigan (b. 1919)

Jimmy Corrigan (b. 1919)

Kinnitty, Co. Offaly

2012

 

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Track 1: Brought up by his two aunts on the outskirts of Kinnitty, beside Guilfoyles’ forge. Recalled Jack Guilfoyle, a gifted blacksmith. His apprenticeship to Jack at an early age. Using the highly specific terms of the blacksmith’s craft, he described the work and skill of this ancient profession. Track 2: The years of the Emergency and the large number of people who did business at the forge, the long hours and the intensely hot environment. The preparing and the paring of an animal’s hoof which was necessary before it was shod. Track 3: The art and hard work involved in inserting a band around a cartwheel. Working with Tom Fierhey, a wheelwright in Kinnitty, and admiration for his skill in wheelmaking. The prices charged for shoeing horses. Track 4: The skill of gate-making and the gates he made to order. Memories of Lord Deasy, the owner of Kinnitty Castle at one time, who employed Jimmy as farrier for his racehorses. The atmosphere of the forge, with its smoke and unique smells. Track 5: The skill required to shoe a Clydesdale horse; memories of ploughing a field with this magnificent animal. He retired from the business due to ill health, but subsequently was restored to health due to a cure. Track 6: Recalled his young days in Kinnitty, and membership of the local hurling team. An anecdote in which his team was required to travel to a match and had to ‘borrow’ an ass and cart, illicitly acquired!


Number of files: 6
File size(s): 4.57 MB, 10.61 MB, 9.68 MB, 11.72 MB, 9.88 MB, 7.11 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Offaly county, seventh series
Product ID: CDOF07-02
Subject: Blacksmith
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 58:18


Paddy Heaney (b. 1934)

Paddy Heaney (b. 1934)

Cadamstown, Co. Offaly

2012

 

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Track 1: His childhood on a small farm at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom mountains. The two blacksmiths who practiced in the Cadamstown area and his earliest memory of working the bellows at the blacksmith’s after the school day was over. Jodie Whitfield’s stables, where horses stayed overnight, and also the beer drays that parked here overnight. Track 2: Memories of the village cooper whose name was Connor. Recalled sitting on a hard stone at the forge, listening to tales of historical events of long ago. Track 3: Memories of his father who had been a local postman, who emigrated to New York in the early years of the last century, where he remained for a number of years, returning to Ireland in 1922 to take his part in the Civil War. Track 4: The caravans of Travellers, known as tinkers at the time, who would congregate in Cadamstown. Memories of hearing wonderful traditional music played by the Dorans and other great musicians. Recalled that his father, an uilleann piper, learned many traditional tunes from this group. Track 5: Memories of the great musician Johnny Doran and his mother, who was a member of the famous Cash family of musicians. Recalled tales of his father’s time in the Bronx, where he played the uilleann pipes. Memories of later years of his father’s life in Ireland, when he was visited by Captain Francis O’Neill, a famous collector of traditional Irish music.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 11.41 MB, 5.57 MB, 3.42 MB, 10.14 MB, 14.33 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Offaly county, seventh series
Product ID: CDOF07-03
Subject: Blacksmith, Traditional Irish music
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 48:47


Paddy Lowry (b. 1919)

Paddy Lowry (b. 1919)

Kinnitty, Co. Offaly

2012

 

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Track 1: Memories of Jack Guilfoyle, the Kinnitty blacksmith. Details of a blacksmith’s trade, part of which involved pulling teeth when necessary! Track 2: The types of animals maintained by the small hill farmers, including donkeys, jennets and ponies, and the variety of calling sounds used to summon these animals. The buying and selling of livestock. Track 3: The journeymen who would visit regularly to work with Jack Guilfoyle. A discussion of the Kinnitty Castle blacksmiths, who were relatives of Jack Guilfoyle, and anecdotes of their craft. A discussion of the folklore associated with the blacksmith’s trade. Track 4: Recalled a number of returned veterans who had fought in World War I. Fair days in Kinnitty, which were held on October 2nd and April 23rd. The prices given for animals at the time, the atmosphere of the fair, the hawkers and the day off for school children. The commonage on Slieve Bloom and the general sheep rearing practices that prevailed there.


Number of files: 4
File size(s): 13.75 MB, 10.57 MB, 11.42 MB, 16.19 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Offaly county, seventh series
Product ID: CDOF07-04
Subject: Blacksmith, Sheep rearing
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 56:37


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