Morgan (Morgie) O'Connell

INTERVIEW by Jackie Elger on January 11, 2016
 
Interviewee
Morgan (Morgie) O'Connell  
Gender
Male  
Birth Date
1925  
Area-Townland
West Clare - Carrowreagh East  
Parish-Townland
Clondagad - Caherea  
Report Date
February 01, 2016  
Thematic Areas Covered
War of independence, 1916, Peadar Clancy
 
 
Time
Description
File 1 0:00:00 – 0:02:15 
BOG WORK – Morgan speaks of people walking up from the Terrace in Kildysart to the bog near Cranny. He worked in the bog, with a horse and car for a shilling a day. They got 25 shillings a week for six days work. The bog work was for Clare County Council. They needed turf for the hospitals in Ennis. This was during WWII when no coal was available.  
0:02:16 – 0:10:17 
BIANCONI – Morgan speaks of the landlord, Bianconi from Kildysart. He says his main house was Ballylean Hunting Lodge. Mrs Bianconi was a great horse woman and would hunt riding side saddle. He speaks of Jacky Casey, Bianconi’s driver. Bianconi had a railway from Kildysart Quay to his house in Lacknashannagh and another of the Caseys operated that railway. He had 1000 acres in Tipperary. He says he was born O’Connell and his father was a nephew of Daniel O’Connell. According to Morgan the first Bianconi that came to Ireland brought road transport to the country. He had 1300 horses at one time on the roads. He came from Italy with nothing. His daughter married Morgan John O’ Connell and they came to live at Ballylean. Morgan speaks of the O’Connells of Kerry. He says Bianconi had a flour and meal mill. He paid the men 2 shillings a day. He speaks of some of the houses he built for his workers. The Larkins of Lacknashannagh are mentioned. They were given some of Bianconi’s land by the Land Commission. Bianconi’s daughter was known as Molly. She went to Lack School and then to Laurel Hill in Limerick  
0:10:18 – 0:28:14 
PEADAR CLANCY – Morgan says Peadar Clancy was born in 1888. His father was James Clancy, who died in 1921. His mother was Mary Keane, who died in 1925. He was from a family of eleven. John Clancy, a brother of Peadar, emigrated to America. He then came back and bought land near Kilrush in 1944. Other brothers were: Bartholomew Clancy, who died in 1925 in America and James Clancy, who died in 1956. James Clancy and John O’Connell, from Knockalough, married each other’s sisters. James married Mary O’Connell and John married Susan Clancy. Morgan reads some of the names connected with the Clancys. Peadar Clancy’s father married into the Keane house. She was an only child. Morgan mentions Pat Shannon, a grand nephew of Peadars, who organised the Peadar Clancy Festival. Morgan says Peadar worked at Dan Moloney’s drapery shop in Kildysart. He then moved to Newcastlewest in Limerick and then on to Cork. He came back to Cranny in 1914 and set up a branch of the Volunteers. He says he was very active in the Rising in Dublin. When he moved to Dublin he opened a draper’s shop with another man and they called it the Republican Outfitters. He speaks of his execution. He says he was jailed in England after the Rising. Peadar’s father worked on the Berkley Estate. Mrs Berkley lived at Ballyartney House, Labasheeda. Her agent was Charlie Keane, who lived at Killofin House, Labasheeda. He was not liked by James Clancy. Another man, Donnellan would come before the next gale day was up. Mrs Berkley had a few hundred acres of corcass at Clonderlaw Bay and the tenants, including James Clancy were made by Charlie Keane to repair the corcass bank. Morgan mentions the Lillis family that bought Killofin House. Morgan says there was a man in Kildysart called Jacko McNamara, who was a tailor who worked part-time at the workhouse and he is thought to have influenced Peadar. Morgan speaks of Art O’Donnell. When they set up the Volunteers in Cranny ten or twelve joined on the first night. Jimmy O’Dea was appointed commander of the local battalion – Labasheeda, Cranny, Coolmeen and Kildysart.  
0:28:15 – 0:33:30 
MICHAEL BRENNAN & BLACK & TANS IN KILRUSH – Morgan says that Micheal Brennan came to flush out the Black & Tans from Kilrush, around 1920, with 32 men. The Fergus Islanders brought them from Rineanna to Crovraghan Pier. He says Brennan and O’Dea met at the Hilltop pub in Coolmeen. O’Dea thought it was too dangerous to go to Kilrush and Brennan stripped O’Dea of his command and a man named Paddy Clancy got the job. Morgan mentions Fitzgerald, Kennedy & Mick Falahee. Morgan speaks of the ambush. Brennan and his men where outnumbered ad he gave the command to retreat. They then had to walk back to East Clare.  
0:33:31 – 0:43:05 
EASTER 1916 – According to Morgan one of the Barretts was around Ennis wearing a uniform before the Easter Rising. Art O’Donnell was also wearing a uniform but they had received no signal for action. Morgan believes Pearse went ahead in spite of others. Morgan speaks of Patrick O’Neill. He says he worked in Kildysart and would have come under the influence of Jacko McNamara. He was prominent when the Volunteers were formed in Cranny. O’Neill had been notified that guns were coming from Germany. He speaks of the men drowned at Banna Strand in Kerry. He mentions MacNeill, head of the Volunteers. After the Rising they got a man named Pa Frawley to make forty pikes at 18p a pike. £3.00 for the 40 pikes. The Tans came looking for Jimmy O’Dea once and a man named Murty McMahon had a bullet in his door. Morgan says after that they put the pikes into the thatch.  
0:43:06 – 0:51:46 
MARTIN LYNCH – Morgan says that Martin Lynch lived near Coolmeen School. He became a Garda Superintendent in later years. He was one of the four men who set up the City Guards. He took part in the 1916 Rising. His father, Michael Lynch taught in Coolmeen National School.  
0:51:47 – 0:55:30 
HUGH O’HEHIR – Morgan says Hugh O’Hehir was Michael O’Hehir’s uncle. He was prominent in Dublin at the time. He had a lot of connections there. He came to Cranny the day the portrait of Peadar Clancy was unveiled in 1951. He is buried in Kilchreest.  
0:56:31 – 0:58:33 
PEADER CLANCY – Morgan says Peadar was a very determined man. He tells a story about him working at Dan Maloney’s, that showed is determination. He started work at Dan Moloney’s when he was 16. He was 32 when he died.  
0:58:34 – 1:03:37 
LOCAL FAMILY WORKING IN ENGLAND – Morgan speaks of the children of a local woman, who got jobs in England in the 1930s. One by the name of Greene got an MBE from the Queen for his work in ‘mental’ hospitals.  

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