Pat O'Halloran

INTERVIEW by Tomás MacConmara on November 08, 2008
 
Interviewee
Pat O'Halloran  
Gender
Male  
Area-Townland
East Clare - Tulla  
Parish-Townland
Tulla - Kiltanon  
Report Date
December 05, 2015  
 
 
Time
Description
File 1 0:00:00 – 1:08:37 
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE RECOLLECTIONS AND ORAL TRADITION IN TULLA/QUIN AREA - Pat speaks about receiving a half crown from Maud Gonne at a commemoration in Clooney in 1932. He received the half crown because he was the youngest of the people at the commemoration. He speaks about the other people who were at the commemoration. Brian O’Higgins gave the commemoration oration. Pat states that O Higgins “had a fine delivery, articulate himself very well”. He states that “it was a beautiful fine day Easter Sunday 1933”. Most of the speakers spoke in Irish. Pat states that there was a lot of Republican activity around South Galway and that it ran into Clare. Con Hogan speaks about Brigadier Liam Mellows getting lost out near Slievanore. They got lost and came south towards Drumindoora and towards Ballinruan. They eventually came to Looghaun in Tulla. They were resting out on the mountain side when a local company IRA John Moloney and Michael Hanrahan who were looking after cattle. Frank Hynes from Athenry, Alfred Monaghan from Belfast. He was brought to Upper Ballughtra to a buthán (old shed). They stayed there for six months and all the dispatches were diverted to that house. Michael Hogan from Kilduff was looking for cattle wandered in by accident into the three republicans. Liam Mellowes held him up at gun point. He left the buthán dressed up as a clergy man. He drove in a horse and trap to the railway station in Ennis and then went to the United States. General Michael Collins delivered a speech outside Knockjames church in Tulla after mass. Note: Dan Ryan mentioned by Pat O’Halloran The military arrived to Knockjames church after mass and gathered men to clear road in Quin. Pat O’Halloran states that the IRA would cut and tie trees with ropes so as to be able to let it fall when it suited them. Con speaks about a gun battle with Seán Moroney and Pat Houlihan in Bohatch. Both men used rapid fire against the British and made the British think that there was a big contingent of men firing against them. They gathered reinforcements. Spotter aircrafts from Galway came down and swooped over Hogan’s house. The British stopped near Hogan’s house and saw smoke from the buthán. The met a local man and asked him who lived inside. He stated that was John Moloneys and he uses that house to fodder his cattle and he was probably boiling something for cattle. The British decided not to investigate. Pat speaks about the Glenwood ambush. He speaks about Jack Murphy whose father was involved in the Glenwood Ambush. He also mentions the Neighbour Mac, Pat Houlihan, Seán Moroney. Con Hogan states that his father collected volunteers from the Bodyke are using Powers car from Tulla. Tom Hogan was a driver for Michael Brennan. He speaks about a raid on Limerick house which was devised in Fenloe house in Newmarket. The Wyles cottage in Shannon was one. There was also a headquarters in Ballymorris. James O Regan lent his model T Ford for the raid on the Jail in Limerick. There were two people from Whitegate in Limerick jail (Solans from Whitegate). He speaks about the preparations and lead up to the attack on the jail. He speaks about his father driving to Limerick and the route he took. The men were admitted to the jail (Con’s Father was one of the three men). Tom Hogan pulled his gun on the prison guard. The guard told him he didn’t have keys to get him any further. Hogan brought him back to the gate and told the two men to get a 14 pound sledge hammer. They cut the phone wire in the jail. They burst the lock with the sledge and handed it to the Solan man. When they got out with the Solans, the car wouldn’t start. Con speaks about the county surveyor who was driving through Limerick. Tom Hogan took the car from the County Surveyor at gunpoint. Con describes the route they used to escape. A week later, Tom Hogan was in Limerick city. He found out from a friend that they had just missed the military by minutes the previous week. Pat recalls what he heard about the Black and Tans. He speaks about Civil War briefly. He speaks about Matthew Kennedy in Ballinruan (Meaneys are in it now). They used to have very important meetings during the split in that house. Pat speaks about the escape routes that the men had from the house in Ballinruan. There was another safe house in Ballinruan (Lougherys). Bulmer Hobson and Francis Teevin (Lost his hand at the battle of Mount Street during the 1916 Rising. (Liam Lynch is referred to but his name is not mentioned). Pat states that his parents spoke a lot about the Black and Tans. Tim Byrnes from the Four Roads was a very active member. The Quinns in Moymore (Paddy and Jack). He mentioned Con McMahon and Paddy Hennessy. Con recalled his father saying that one of the Quin brothers from Moymore participated in the Glenwood ambush. Pat states that they “were great Brennan men”. John Moloney’s house was raided and his hay was burnt because he was an active man. They ran the fixed bayonet through the hay looking for guns and men. Con thinks that the Moloneys was burnt. Paddy Carty’s (Sandy’s brother) was shot. Pat states that Mick McGrath’s uncle was shot herding cattle on a fair evening in Glandree. Con states that it was an RIC man who shot this man. Pat speaks about his Aunt who was a reverend mother in St. John’s Hospital in Limerick. She would get a tip from RIC men to warn the IRA of an immanent raid. She was from South Tipperary. Pat speaks about Con McMahon and Paddy Hennessy. He stated that it was ‘very bitter’. He states that they pulled off their finger nails looking for information on the movement. Pat states there was an annual commemoration for McMahon and Hennessy each year. Tommy O Meara would bring two lorry loads of people from Kilenana/Flagmount. Pat used to travel on this lorry. Pat states that the commemoration died down during the war and that the price of petrol was part of the reason. Pat speaks about an armoured car getting broken down between Melody’s cross and O’Meara (Link road). John Melody who was a councillor told Pat this story. Melody was cycling to Drumcharley mass. There was six inches of snow on the road. He came on the armoured car. He saw two soldiers asleep in the car. They had two revolvers laid on the hood. Pat speaks about an incident near Drumaleege Hill (near current Mushroom factory). The British rounded up men at Knockjames church to bring stones from where the mushroom factory and spell out God Save the Queen. They state that Matt Clune “would be a fine man if his legs were cut off at the knees”. Con recalls how his father was driving Sparlings van a week after the Scariff Martyrs were murdered. The Auxiliaries stopped them and found a whistle, a songbook and a bandage on Capt. Tom Hogan. He was brought into the barracks. The soldier who arrested him took out his revolver, placed it at his head and said “make one more and your dead”. Mr. Sparling was released and Tom Hogan was kept in the Barracks. They took him to the back of the barracks and told him to start walking around the field and not to stop. They kept him walking all night. When dawn was breaking, he could see the top of Slieve Bearnagh. Note: 0:51:00 – 0:59:00 (Interviewee speaking). Pat states that a John Conway married a Curtin girl from Clondrine in Tulla. Conway’s son is the Principal teacher in Quin school (may be Enright?). Pat states that John Conway knew something about the murder of the Scariff Martyrs. He lived above Killaloe (near a saw mill). Note: 1:02:47 - 1:05:24 (Interviewee speaking) Pat speaks about the Hennesseys who came to Tulla who are related to Patrick Hennessy (Miltown). May Hennessy is in the Lakes Nursing Home in Killaloe. Pat states that after Glenwood, the Auxiliaries drove out by Mount Charles and shot dead a young boy.  
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:10:56 
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Con Hogan speaks about a meeting house for Clare County Council during the War of Independence. He speaks about the discussions about the treaty in Clare. He speaks about a meeting at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. He states that Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha and Richard Mulcahy were there. Con recalls digging potatoes with his father in Ennis. He saw two men walk by walking in towards town. The two were WT Cosgrave and Bishop Fogarty. Con speaks about the meeting in Ennis and that after Michael Collins spoke, Frank Barrett proposed to agree with the treaty. When de Valera came down later, Barrett went with him. Pat speaks briefly about the bitterness in the Civil War.  
0:10:56 - 0:12:23 
CAVES IN TOOMEEN - Pat states that Liam Lynch and Rory O’Connor stayed where Paddy Canny’s house is now. They were then moved into the caves in Toomeen. Pat speaks about the bridge crossing to Toomeen (Leading to Capt. Moloney’s house). He states that John Clune (Martin’s father) was involved in blowing up the bridge.  
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:03:10 
HOUSE - Pat speaks about the Grogan and other families around Affick in Tulla. He speaks about crossing the fields to go to school in Tulla. He describes the house in Affick, including the open hearth fire and the whitewashed walls. Paddy Grogan was a great man to kill a pig.  
0:03:11 - 0:11:06 
FARMING - Pat speaks about farming and that he regrets that he can not farm now. He showed cattle all over the country including Omagh and other areas across the county. He states that he has a suitcase full of rosettes from shows that he won over the years. Pat speaks about an ex Army dodge that he used to use to transport turf around the county. Pat and Con speak generally about Clare history and in particular Marcus Keane (landlord).  
0:11:07 - 0:15:14 
KILTANNON HOUSE - Pat and Con speak about the history of Kiltannon house. William Beresford Moloney appears to be the last owner of Kiltannon House. Con speaks about the generosity of Moloney and that a lot of farmers benifited from his generosity. Capt. Moloney’s house was burnt in 1922.  
File 4 0:00:00 - 0:07:10 
WILSONS BELVOIR - Pat speaks about Pat Hill (grand uncle of interviewee). Pat speaks about the gathering of volunteers in Wilson’s lawn in Belvoir. Tom Clune told Pat about the gathering and that Pat Hill was there. Con and Pat speak about Wilson’s lodge which at one time was 10,000 acres in Clare, Galway and Mayo. They describe the lodge and various dimensions of the estate.  
0:07:10 - 0:11:46 
TOOMEEN CAVES - Pat speaks about the Toomeen caves and that John Moloney told him that it was possible for a person to walk full height if you got in the aperture a short distance. Pat mentions the Keehans who are the experts on the area. Pat and Con speak about Kiltannon river.  
0:11:46 - 0:12:53 
FISHING - Pat mentions fishing as a young man. He describes how they would hold a lamp along the bank of a river and listen for the male salmon or crook. When you saw him, you would dazzle him with the lamp and another man would stick him with a fork.  
File 5 0:00:00 - 0:05:05 
REPUBLICAN MEETINGS/DANCES/GAMBLES - Pat recalls Pat Hill and Tom Clune tracing about being at Glenwood (Belvoir). Pat was a member of the Republican movement. Pat speaks about where the Grogan’s came from originally. The house was up in Derryncreithe up outside Tulla. Republican meetings were held there. Affick was noted as a great spot for country dances. Pat refers to a gambling dance. There would be two houses. The gamble would be in one house and the dance was in the other.  
File 6 0:00:00 - 0:04:20 
ON THE RUN - Pat speaks about a Joyce and Concannon (Republicans from Longford). They were on the run and ended up in the Tulla area. They would stay and Mrs. Dinan’s house. They brought tune with them and introduced it to the area. The tune was used for years later in the East Clare area. Con states that Liam Mellows had a violin when he stayed in the Buthán in Tulla. Liam gave it to Tom Hogan. It was lost over time.  

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