Jack Flanagan

INTERVIEW by on February 08, 2011
 
Interviewee
Jack Flanagan  
Gender
Male  
Birth Date
06/06/21  
Home County
Clare  
Area-Townland
West Clare - Dough  
Parish-Townland
Kilmacrehy - Dough  
Family
Two daughters  
Occupation
Factory worker (Kodak, England), Carpenter/Builder  
Report Date
November 10, 2011  
Period Covered
Jack talks about different experiences throughout is lifetime  
Length of Interview
1hr 8mins 12secs  
Thematic Areas Covered
School,
Description
Several different themes are explored throughout the duration of this interview  which include aeroplanes, farm life, World War II and the Doolin Mines, pass times, working in ireland and his book 'Kilfenora, A History by John Flanagan'
 
 
 
Time
Description
0:00:00 - 0:05:25 
AEROPLANES - Jack talks about the first time he saw a train and an aeroplane. In 1930 he was travelling with his father on a horse and cart. When they came to the railway bridge at Lahinch a train was passing by and this was the first train he saw one. They stayed in Moloney’s house which was a safe house during the War of Independence and after the Rineen ambush several IRA lads went there to hide. Dr. Hillary was brought to them to attend to their injuries. In 1934, Jack was studying in Kilfenora and it was when he was walking home he saw his first aeroplane. He talks about the plane which landed because its undercarriage was damaged. It was one of the first planes to cross the Atlantic.  
0:05:25 - 0:08:14 
FARM LIFE - Jack finished school when he was 15 and he ended up staying at home helping on the farm. It was around this time that the local relief schemes were introduced which repaired roads and extended them. The chores that Jack was responsible for at this time included cutting turf, saving the hay, tillage and so on. He would also do a few odd jobs for his neighbours because he loved wood work.  
0:08:14 - 0:29:58 
WORLD WAR II AND THE DOOLIN MINES - Jack talks about the outbreak of World War II and Ireland’s neutrality. There was a constant fear of a Nazi invasion at the time and England put a lot of pressure on Ireland to give back the Treaty Ports. Jack talks about the opening of the Phosphate mines in County Clare which happened the ‘20s. Bobby Foster while out fowling in Noughaval saw a piece of black rock. His brother in law Michael Comyns had it analysed in Dublin and found it was Phosphate. He later got the mining rights in County Clare. At the time it was believed there was no natural occurrence of phosphate in Ireland. He also found the phosphate mine in Doolin. He tried and failed to get the government interested in it. This is because the relatively new Irish government didn’t have much money and were focused on the Shannon Scheme. When the war started in 1939, the import of phosphate ceased immediately. This lead to surface mining starting in Doolin and the foundation of the Mineral Exploration and Development Company Ltd. Wages for working in the mines were very low at the time and worked out at 9 pence an hour. Jack worked in the quarry in Noughaval. There was very little machinery there at that time and Jack talks about the daily occurrences in the quarry. One of the lorries working on the quarry was steam operated. Along with the mine Jack worked on the farm at home. On Sundays he would go training with the LDF and he says there was a great training camp in Lahinch. There was a month long officer course in Cork. When the war finished phosphate was again imported as the quality was much better than that in Clare. This eventually ended up in the closure of Doolin mines. A lot of the old workers emigrated when they lost their jobs. Jack goes on to talk about a few building jobs that he did the years after the mine closed with several years being spent in Dublin. He worked with Captain Ffrench Davis and later spent several years working in Kiliney Castle Hotel where he remained until 1953.  
0:29:58 - 0:35:21 
PASS TIMES - Jack says that going to the pictures was a big pass time while he was living in Dublin. You would also go to see matches in Croke Park and visit the museums. Jack joined the Antiquities Society in Dublin. He also enjoyed shopping in the second hand book shops which were present along the Quays.  
0:35:21 - 0:49:04 
ENGLAND - Jack then talks about meeting his wife and moving to England with her. England hadn’t fully recovered economically after the war but despite this Jack got a job with Kodak and spent 25 years working there. He first worked in the cardboard department and after six months he was moved to the wood work department. Jack explains that back in those days Catholic Churches had to be hidden away. The one he used to attend was in the back street and was an old WWI hut. When voluntary redundancy was made available in Kodak, Jack was the first to take it in 1978 and returned home.  
0:49:04 - 0:54:25 
WORKING IN IRELAND - Jack’s explains that the land he ended up living on originally belonged to his grandmother who left it to his mother who then left it to Jack. He wanted to sell some of the land that was left to him and then build himself a house. He found it very hard to sell the land so he started building a house for another man. Cycling was his only means of transport to the site 8 miles away. Construction took nearly 8 months with the assistance of Jack’s brother.  
0:54:25 - 0:57:59 
AMERICA - Jack had a cousin who was a priest in America and he goes on to talk about going on holidays in America for three weeks. He spent most of his time in Boston and also visited New York.  
0:57:59 - 1:08:12 
BOOK - 'KILFENORA, A HISTORY BY JOHN FLANAGAN' Not long after Jack returned to Clare, Anthony Edwards founded Clare Historical Society. Jack joined this group it was the members of this group who believed he should publish some of the work he done on the history of Kilfenora. Jack then goes on to talk about his book been published in 1991 with 500 hundred copies been made in the first printing. Later on, a special Millennium Edition was printed. The book was called ‘Kilfenora, a history by John Flanagan. At the time of publishing Jack was known as John. After talking about his book, Jack talks about some of the local history in Kilfenora. Note: Interview Ends  

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