PJ & May Magner

INTERVIEW by Tomás Mac Conmara on January 12, 2012
 
Interviewee
PJ & May Magner  
Gender
Male  
Birth Date
PJ-1922, May-1919  
Area-Townland
West Clare - Ross  
Parish-Townland
-  
Report Date
September 19, 2015  
 
 
Time
Description
File 1 0:00:00 – 0:09:21 
THE IRISH LANGUAGE IN CROSS AND KILBAHA - May speaks about the Irish language in the Kilbaha/ Ross area. She says that when she was a child she hated Irish because she couldn’t understand what they were talking about. She states that her father’s generation were able to speak it. Mickey and James Hanrahan were noted Irish speakers in the area. She says that the school master Patrick Keating placed a lot of focus on the Irish language when they were in school. PJ speaks about the Irish language. He states that Master Crowley at Cross National school was not able to read Irish and therefore couldn’t teach it very well. PJ’s parents who were both from Killballyowen didn’t have any Irish. PJ states that Kilbaha was stronger for the Irish language than Cross. Speaks about the Carrigaholt Irish college. PJ states that Jimmy Hanrahan (now living in Ennis) should be recorded. May speaks about her parents. She states that her mother didn’t have any Irish because she went to Cross school. Speaks about Pádraig Ó Dwyer came to Ross to teach them Irish and songs in the evening. May speaks about her grandmother Bridget Keane from Killtullig who lived to be 97. PJ recalls this woman saying her prayers in Irish during the day. May speaks about Daniel Lynch who had been a monitor in Kilkenny. He would call to Magners at night time and would bring books of songs and would sing for them. May states that Maggie Lillis would call there to listen them. PJ states that Jamsie and Mikey Hanrahan had very little English and had some ‘fine Irish curses’. PJ tells a story about a man who came to learn Irish to the local school master. The school master sent him to Mikey Hanrahan. When the man arrived Mikey was leaving to cart turf so he went with him and spent to day at the bog listening to him speaking Irish. May states that her grandfather was drowned and her mother was born seven months earlier. PJ outlines some local placenames including Ailalitamór (sic.) which meant the ‘cliff of the big house’. This belonged to Roibeárd Rush.  
0:10:59 – 0:11:42 
FISHING - PJ speaks about fishing locally and recalls seeing ten or twenty currachs working in his earlier years. States that Tom McCarthy was the local currach builder. He states that he would be brought to Kerry to teach them how to build currachs for a few months at a time. May states that her grandmother used to bring her across the field to see the small canoes going out. PJ states that it was heavy work when they would have to carry the currach long distances. PJ outlines in detail the process of cleaning and salting the fish. May states that the supply of fish was useful because there were a number of fast days in the year including every Friday.  
0:17:01 – 0:20:26 
FARMING - PJ speaks about the changes in farming over his lifetime. He states that things hadn’t changed much since his parents’ time. Although he does say that in those times people travelled on horse and saddle ‘like the wild west’. He says his father Paddy Magner was a great saddle man. PJ’s grandfather died before his father was born. His matriarchal grandmother died at the age of 47 from cancer.  
0:20:17 – 0:23:56 
OLD NEIGHBOURS AND CHARACTERS - PJ remembers Marty McInerney who was an old neighbour. Marty taught PJ a song when he was a very small boy. He recalls Martin on his two knees with his pipe teaching PJ the song. He only remembers part of the chorus which went ‘I jumped into bed with my navy shoes on’. He says that he wasn’t encouraged to sing it again!! May recalls two local people from Fodaire who used to tell ghosts stories. Their names were Martin Fennell and Martin Gorman.  
0:23:57 – 0:30:16 
GHOSTS - PJ speaks about a local Protestant whose house was haunted. May tells a story about a man called Robert Keane who used to steal sheep and that his ghost was seen coming down the ‘bóthrín’ near where he lived. PJ tells a story about hearing and seeing the ‘Cóiste Bodhar’ locally. A neighbour woman told him not to go down a certain field after dark. He heard a ‘tingling’ which he though was the ‘Cóiste Bodhar’ but he continued on. PJ speaks about the lodge house where there were a lot of rats. They went into the room to drive the rats out with a hurley. He says that the rats disappeared and he noticed the shape of a person in the room. He also tells a story about his father going home from a funeral and seeing three dead men standing at the graveyard wall. The three men were connected to the woman who had just died.  
0:35:12 – 0:37:52 
The tradition of ‘Cuaird’ - May speaks about the tradition of ‘cuaird’ and states that since the electricity and television arrived the ‘cuaird’ has died out. May speaks about her father who would have gone on ‘cuaird’ to his neighbours and they argued over politics. Her father was a supporter of Fianna Fáil but their neighbours were Fine Gael.  
0:37:53 – 0:44:16 
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE AND CIVIL WAR - May speaks about the Civil War and states that her mother recalled seeing a Marrinan man from Kilkee, who was a Free State soldier, warning her as they passed locally in a lorry. She claimed that he saved her life. PJ states that there were two Sinn Féiners captured in his house by the Black and Tans. One of the Sinn Féiners had his jacket left on the chair. The two men were Mescall from Cooraclare and Dinny McGrath from Drumellihy. They were hidden under his grandmother’s bed. PJ states that an RIC sergeant prevented the Black and Tans from burning the house. The Black and Tans his PJ’s father into the face and marked him. PJ speaks about the killing of McNamara and Shanahan in Doonbeg. PJ recites the song about McNamara and Shanahan.  
0:44:17 – 0:51:55  
FIANNA FÁIL ELECTION 1932 - May recalls the Fianna Fáil election victory of 1932. She recalls chaning the word of a poem to reflect herself and her friends support for Fianna Fáil. She recalls bonfires and sods of turf steep in oil. PJ tells a story about a Fr. Culligan. ‘You have the button on my coat Gilligan but you haven’t my coat’. Seán recalls hearing Frank Keane speak locally during an election campaign. PJ tells a story about the 1932 Election. He speaks about a Thomas Lillis. He also speaks about an old man Richie Gallery. Thomas Lillis came with his pony and car to get Riche Gallery to vote. Speaks about the voting during which Gallery had to shout his vote at the polling booth in Cross. PJ recalls that it was cold February evening. PJ followed the march to Carrigaholt where there was a bonfire and speeches including Pádraig O’Dwyer. He recalls two big huge men Pádraig O’Neill and Tom O’Mahony who were both over six foot two. They ended up fighting with each other because someone threw a sod of turf at one of them and each thought it was the other. Note: File is interrupted by PJ and May’s four year old grandson Hugh who was looking for a sweet!!  
File 2 0:00:00 – 0:06:41 
FIANNA FÁIL AND EAMON DE VALERA - PJ speaks about a priest who was in Cross at the time of the Fianna Fáil election victory in 1932. His housekeeper was a Mary Loughnane was a Fianna Fáil supporter while the priest was a Cumanna na nGaedhal supporter. Frank Keane from Cross made sure that the bonfire and celebrations would take place across from the priest’s house. They then marched to Carrigaholt. He recalls the expectations of Fianna Fáil supporters at the time. PJ recalls Eamon de Valera coming to Cross when the church was opened. Fr. McKenna, a Tulla man who was friends with de Valera arranged it. PJ recalls giving the salute to de Valera’s car. May recalls hearing her mother speaking about Maude Gonne coming to Cross.  
0:06:41 – 0:10:21 
EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS - May speaks about the Eucharistic Congress of 1932 and explains that she was confirmed in this year. Most of the questions prepared for confirmation surrounded the Eucharistic Congress. May recalls her confirmation and tells a story about going to the church in a donkey and cart. She and Maggie Fennell (now a Nun) were sitting at the back of the seat when they fell out on the road. Their dresses got dirty but they made their way to the church where Bishop Michael Fogarty confirmed them.  
0:10:22 – 0:12:06 
THE ECONOMIC WAR - PJ and May speak about the Economic War (1933-3) PJ speaks about his father getting £2 for a bullock at the fair of Carrigaholt on June 1st.  
0:12:07 – 0:19:30 
PJ’S CONFIRMATION - PJ speaks about his own confirmation and recalls the preparation as well as the day when he was asked questions by Bishop Fogarty. He always was able to remember parables and was the only one who could remember the parable of the good Samaritan.  
0:00:00 – 0:01:12 
BEAN UÍ COSTELLOE - Paddy tells a brief story about Mary Costelloe/Uí Choisteala. Paddy Nolan who was a vet in Kilkee gave her a lift and ended up driving for a long time in order to hear a story in Irish that she started when she started. Here name was Mary Keane (later married to Costelloe).  

National Development PlanLEADERThe European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentClare Local Development CompanyDepartment of the Environment Community and Local Government