Teresa Madigan

INTERVIEW by Eileen O'Carroll on October 17, 2009
 
Interviewee
Teresa Madigan  
Gender
Female  
Birth Date
17/01/1913  
Home County
Clare  
Area-Townland
North Clare - Burrenwee  
Parish-Townland
Carran - Carran  
Family
: Married with 4 children – husband deceased  
Occupation
Homemaker  
Report Date
November 10, 2009  
Period Covered
1840’s to present day  
Length of Interview
1hr1m8s  
Thematic Areas Covered
Seasonal customs, Change in society, Cures,
Description

See below Daughter Marie and Son – in – law Johnny Hollaran also present at interview.

 
 
 
Time
Description
0:00:00 – 0:00:16 
Introduction  
0:00:16 – 0:03:42 
Making black puddings, cleaning the intestines, washing in salt water over three days. Using meal, rise, onions, spices, lard in the puddings. Johnny interjects- turn them inside out, clean the outside. Boil them in water (Marie – boil them a couple of hours) prodding them so they wouldn’t burst, hang them off two chairs using a stick or the handle of the brush until they dry out. Killing of the pig in November  
0:03:42 – 0:07:56 
Traditions at Christmas – decorations, paint the house, decorate with ivy, holly, long thread and put it through the leaves, around the windows. Paper- making roses. White -wash inside and outside. Lime going into your eyes, lime bubbling. Most farms had lime kiln to warm the land. Geese at Christmas, sweet cake. Santa Clause bringing sweets and dolls. “Is it right at all fooling children?”  
0:07:56 – 0:08:47 
Visiting each others houses, “puss” music, set dancing. Johnny- danced his first set to puss music.  
0:08:47 – 0:07:10 
Story telling – fairy stories….turn in the road meet a dog and he’d be as big as a horse. Afraid and running looking behind you. Fairy trees or forts wouldn’t go near them. *Johnny – explains how he has one on his land, ring fort. Closed the hole as you could go in underneath. Marie asks what happened then. Describes a family death. Marie tells a story of hen crowing, Johnny adds that it brings no luck and links it to death.  
0:013:32 – 0:14:14 
Keeping hens and selling eggs from the shop they ran. Needed a license to sell eggs which were brought to England during the war years.  
0:14:14 – 0:17:07 
Making butter -set the milk into pans, cream come on top, skim it out into tub, use churn and Firkin which was like a barrel – describes what this was like. Churn to make butter, wash butter in water taking it out of the buttermilk, salt the butter, keep some for house and rest for market, Make butter depending how many cows you had and size of churn. Once a week….depends.  
0:17:07 – 0:18:48 
Market day on a Friday in Corofin. Fair day in Ennis and local towns, Walk cattle to the fair at four in the morning, Father walk cattle to Ennis, needed to meet the train, sell cattle in fair green,  
0:18:48 – 0:21:39  
First time got electricity, Marie – late fifties got electric in Carron, Discussion about oldest son and how old he was when he wired the house, Tilly lamp – paraffin oil, break your heart, couldn’t touch the mantel. Wireless radio – there wasn’t much comfort but had plenty turf.  
0:21:39 – 0:23:40 
Women and work – wash days were awful, washed cloths in a galvanized bath, steeping and use timber or glass washboard, hands torn if they slipped, sunlight soap, spring water – hard water, Marie asks when did the washing power come in? Sunlight soap and washing soda, Johnny describes washing blankets once a year, wringing them with his mother, hold one end and wring it, spreading blankets on grass to dry, homespun blankets,  
0:24:13– 0:27:29 
Spinning – mother –in-law did spinning, knitting socks, wool carded in Ennistymon, Knitted for her family. Marie tells story of how she knitted jumper until 3am so she could wear it to mass. Marie tells story of brother wearing short pants for confirmation, bits that were cut off two pants were made for other brothers,  
0:27:29 – 0:30:42 
Story about blanket from America – it was like fur, made two coats for Marie and her sister, Parcels from America – they were needed, money was scares. Patching cloths, darning socks, learned it in school, turning the heel of socks, treading needling in school, cookery at school – cooking dinner, pancakes, Mother used make potatoes cakes. Bread making,  
0:30:42 – 0:33:15 
German War years – De Valera encouraging farmers to put one more acre under the plough, ration books for cloths and food, everyone got so much,  
0:33:15 – 0:37:34 
Story about her grandfather, living in Dysert O Dea, landlord Synge giving out soup, soup had meat in it on Friday, wouldn’t drink the soup and family was evicted, not sure what happened to them, thought that they went away working, land divided between neighbors, Grandfather meet woman from Kilfanora…..her father and mother got the flu 1847 died, taken in by friends sent her out to work and the land gone (hands in air indicating this) Grandmother spoke Irish. Irish wasn’t much good to us  
0:37:34 – 0:39:50 
Emigration – Wakes for emigration, made things harder, story of girl who she went to school with who went to America, had a few sets at her house. Mentioned hardship and nothing for people in Ireland – a lot of hardship and war  
0:39:50 – 0:45:10 
Wakes – Drink and snuff, Johnny said used snuff to make the women cry……”I wouldn’t swallow that one”. Neighbor would lay out the body, undertaker came, and every locality would have someone to lay out people. *Marie indicates that she would have been asked to lay out a number of local people and tells story of laying out a neighbor, Digging the grave. Johnny tells wouldn’t dig a grave locally of a Monday didn’t know why, its tradition, if they needed to dig a grave for Monday they would redin it (?) take the scraw off it on a Sunday. Other traditions mentioned about Monday, people wouldn’t cut their hair,  
0:45:10 – 0:52:25 
Customs – May eve, May bush hang it on the door so any fairies couldn’t come in, protect the house, whitethorn bush, *Marie tells story about woman who would pull May bush in front of houses. May eve, sunset to sunrise, May water – take bottle of water got from spring well and take it into house, put it into churn. Marie talks about New Years day, unlucky for a woman to be the first visitor into the house, May water got at the well after sunset, needed protection as some people were doing all sort of things- pisrogues. Johnny tells a story of his aunt trying to make butter and a screw for the churn been borrowed by a neighbor, the aunt had difficulty making the butter but the neighbor could. Wren boys – dances in peoples houses, wine for he girls, dance sets, priests got upset and advised the girls not to go to the dance, always have the dance before the Sunday wouldn’t have time to be over about it. Collect money wren boys -  
0:52:25 – 0:55:30 
Dances – at the crossroads. Johnny talks about have dances outside the house,” An Tostal” , lights go off at poll at 12 o clock, Johnny would go up poll and open box to switch it on again, music, road full of people dancing sets and waltzes, Marie and Johnny have discussion about how long ago this would have happened – late 1950’s. Marie talks about house dances when she was a teenager, learned steps at the house dances. Mummers are the wren boys, singing and dance. Johnny refers to now and raising money for charity,  
0:55:30 – 0:53:10 58.42 
Cures – Marie mentions a man with the “Curtis’s Wash”, cut for a horse on his leg, Story of how Curtis had a cure – helped St. Patrick shod his horse when he was in trouble, put hoofs on back ways, he escaped – Curtis in Kilnaboy. Curtis wash for cut on a horse, she has it written down. Cure for Cancer – Marie reminds her about some one who had a cure for cancer. Girl who went to school Owen Heggarty man in Kilnamona used herbs to make up blasters. Cured her leg. Green plaster. Remembers other people he cured of cancer,  
1:00:59 – end 
Thanks  

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