Paddy & Kitty McGough

INTERVIEW by Tomás Mac Conmara on January 14, 2011
 
Interviewee
Paddy & Kitty McGough  
Gender
Male  
Area-Townland
West Clare - Einagh  
Parish-Townland
-  
Report Date
September 19, 2015  
 
 
Time
Description
File 1 0:00:00 – 0:02:57 
FAMILY ORIGINS - Paddy speaks about his family’s origins. He says that his grandfather, Patrick, moved down from Cootehill, County Cavan because things were rough at the time. His method of getting to Co Clare was walking. He says that his grandfather was a tradesman as was his father who gave him his trade  
0:02:58 – 0:12:42 
EARLY LIFE AND WORK EXPERIENCE - Paddy talks about going to Inagh school when he has five or six years old. He didn’t miss many days from school apart from the odd sick day. He finished up with school when he was 13 or 14 and didn’t want to go to secondary school. Instead, he started working with his father. This included construction and repairs. Paddy talks about windows and doors been built by hand at the time which he used to do in a small workshop with his brother. In 1930, he built the school in Inagh which was built because the previous school burned down. While the school was left derelict, it was used by the youth to hold parties. In 1937, lightning struck the church and Father Loughnane’s house. Paddy jokes about how Fr Loughnane’s sister, Kitty, saved the house by opening the front door and left out the lightning. Paddy states it was an awful night and goes on to talk about how Fr Loughnann was on a sick call and when he got back there was another sick call for Pat Carey in Ballybeg, (Inagh). Paddy says it was a tough job fixing up the church again. Most of the work was in the one area around the bell section. A big stone fell and caused most of the damage. The bell was lifted up by means of scaffolding, ropes and trees. Since most of the church was intact with most of the damage been in bell section congregations continued as normal.  
0:12:43 – 0:18:41 
THE CHURCH AND ITS TRADITIONS - Flan Garvey then asks him to talk about Michael Mac the parish clerk. Paddy says that during mass they would try to get you to look at them and they would pull a funny face. Michael Mac used to go around to all the masses and he would have great stories. Flan explains that Michael Mac would receive all the funerals instead of the priest and say the prayers on the first evening. The priest wouldn’t arrive until the following day. Paddy remembered the clay pipes that most of the people would smoke at wakes which were known as ‘dúidíns’  
0:18:42 – 0:39:40 
THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CIVIL WAR - Paddy says that his uncle was in the IRA with the Miltown Malbay brigade. One day he came to the house with a dispatch saying the house was going to be burned. Therefore everyone was evacuated but the Black and Tans never came. His uncle was in the Rineen ambush. Soon after the War of Independence he left for Australia so Paddy didn’t have many stories from him. Paddy remembers an event in the civil war when his uncle was staying in his house and an IRA member came to the house to shoot his uncle as he took the Free State side in the Civil War. Paddy remembers hearing about the Rineen ambush. James Meaney, who was involved in the ambush, came to the house around five when it was all over. The same man was the scout when Martin Devitt was shot. Paddy’s father was the one who shaved Martin Devitt and the body was left in Meaney’s. Paddy speaks of the Civil War says there wasn’t many skirmishes in the county along with only a few dug outs. Kitty says they were neighbours to Murt Moloney who was on the republican side of the Civil War and was killed. When asked what she remembers of the Black and Tans she explains how they use to search the houses from top to bottom.  
0:39:41 – 0:45:30 
INAGH IN THE 1970’S - Flan talks about coming to Inagh on the 1st July 1973 which was when running water and toilets where installed in Inagh School. He also talks little about local history.  
0:45:31 – 0:48:09 
THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Discussion on two Black and Tans that were caught and killed during the War of Independence.  
0:48:10 – 0:50:36 
HUNGER STRIKES 1917 - Paddy’s uncle was arrested and brought up Dublin in 1917 and went on hunger strike.  
File 2 0:00:00 – 0:04:14 
FOLKLORE - Paddy and Kitty briefly speak of the banshee. Kitty explains what would happen on May night. She also explains that if you came into a house while someone was making butter you would have to give it a churn or you had bad luck.  
0:04:15 – 0:11:19 
SICKNESS AND CURES - Paddy Hegarty’s sister came back from America in ’73/’74 to die because the best doctors in New York couldn’t cure the thrush. She got one at home which was breathing on milk and then drinking the milk. Kitty and Flan talk about ring worm, burns and there associated cures. Kitty also explains that leaves were used to heal bad cuts. Flan explains that a leaf located on the gable end of a thatch house was used to cure ulcers. It also helped to prevent fire.  
0:11:20 – 0:13:10 
BUILDING TRADITIONS - Paddy explains that a couple of coins would be put in the foundations for luck. His father didn’t do many building traditions as he didn’t believe in them. When a pub in Inagh was been knocked down, cows feet were located under the slates.  
0:13:11 – 0:20:50 
CULTURAL TRADITIONS - When asked about the ‘Wren’, Paddy says he used to ‘Hunt the Wren’. He used to go out with his brother who played the fiddle. They used to go around calling to houses where they would stay only for a short while and then go into Inagh. He remembers going into a bus before which was full and collected some money there. Only a few of them would dress up when they went out ‘Hunting the Wren’. Kitty states that people would dress up for the strawboys. Flan talks about the ‘wren dances’ where entry was free for women and men had to pay a shilling. Paddy then remembers one up at Bishop Connellan’s in Ballyea. Paddy and Kitty talk about house dances and what would occur at them.  
0:20:50 – 0:22:43 
MUSIC - Paddy says brother played the fiddle which he learned from Hugh Doohan, a musician in Connelly.  
0:22:44 – 0:28:48 
RINEEN MEMORIAL AND THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Michael did a bit of work on the Rineen memorial. He tells a story from the time he was working there. Micheal talks about the day the memorial was unveiled. Flan then talks about the unveiling of Martin Devitt’s memorial. Michael worked with Thomas Moloney on the Rineen memorial. He would never talk about his brother, Murt, getting shot.  
0:28:49 – 0:35:27 
CULTURAL TRADITIONS - Kitty talks about houses dances and the ‘cuaird’. Paddy talks about the time when men would come to the house on ‘cuaird’. Flan and Paddy tell some stories about match-making.  
0:35:28 – 0:43:05 
MARRIAGE AND SCHOOLS - Kitty says that she has been married to Paddy for 74yrs on the 24th April. Kitty explains that their wedding was a very simple affair. Kitty talks about the ‘picking the gander’. Father Loughnane was the priest who married them. Paddy and Kitty talk which schools they went to. Flan then tells a story about strike in Sixmilebridge school.  
0:43:06 – 0:49:35 
AIRPLANES - Paddy talks about the first time when he saw an airplane. Kitty says they were the first people on an airplane in Clarecastle and Paddy tells the story of how they got on. Flan talks about one of his earliest memories.  
0:49:35 – 0:53:06 
CHANGES IN IRELAND - Paddy says that there was great ‘heartness’ in Ireland before, which has now disappeared. He explains that you would always get help from neighbours and friends meaning you would never be ‘stuck for anything’. Paddy remembers building a hay shed with his father up in Lisdoonvarna and tells a funny story.  

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