Francie Kenneally

INTERVIEW by Tomás Mac Conmara on February 01, 2012
 
Interviewee
Francie Kenneally  
Gender
Male  
Birth Date
PJ=1918  
Home County
Clare  
Area-Townland
West Clare -  
Parish-Townland
-  
Occupation
Farmer  
Report Date
April 16, 2011  
Period Covered
Life Interview  
Thematic Areas Covered
Seasonal customs, School, GAA, Sports,
Description
Francie Kenneally is from the Miltown Malbay region and has a strong belief in the tradition of storytelling and cuairt. He talks about hese topics in great detail but also explores other themes including the War of Independence, the 1932 General Election, calendar customs and the Fior Gortach (Hungry Grass)  
 
 
Time
Description
0:00:00 - 0:03:08 File 1 
DISCOVERY AS A STORYTELLER - Francie speaks about his own discovery as a storyteller by Tom Munnelly and Muiris Ó Rócháin. Francie’s father and his granduncle were good storytellers. Their names were Ned Kennelly and Paddy Kennelly.  
0:03:09 - 0:23:50 
BIDDY EARLY - Francie tells a long story about Biddy Early. He heard this story from his father Ned Kennelly. Francie outlines his knowledge of Biddy Early.  
0:00:00 - 0:04:28 File 2 
THE CUAIRD AND STORYTELLING - Francie speaks about the tradition of Cuaird and storytelling. He mentions a man called Seán Rua McKa(sic.). Speaks about the belief of the old people in the Banshee and the Fairies. Refers to a man from the Burren who spoke about going on Cuairt. His aunt taught him how to salute a ghost which was to say ‘in the name of God what’s troubling you?’ Speaks briefly about the Coiste Bodhar. Refers to the sighting of an ambush in Cork where the Coiste Bodhar was seen and the ambush was called off.  
0:00:00 - 0:08:08 File 3 
THE RAKE AND THE MARRIED MAN - Francie tells a story about a young married couple who ran away and got married and were thrown out of their home. They then moved into his uncle’s house in Miltown Malbay. The story continues that the husband went to sell turf between Miltown and Ennis. The story involves a man from the area (A rake) having an affair with the young man’s wife and how the wife warned off her lover when the husband came home unexpectedly. This story was told to him by Paddy Carroll (Pala) who was from Kilfarboy.  
0:00:00 - 0:04:14 File 4 
THE YOUNG BOY THAT JOINED THE BRITISH ARMY - Joe tells a short story about a young boy from West Clare who joined the British Army.  
0:04:15 - 0:09:39 
THE IRISH WAKE - Francie speaks about the Irish Wake and refers to the Waking Table. Refers to the Clay Pipes or the ‘Lord Have Mercyin pipes’. These pipes were kept in honour of the dead. Speaks generally about the wake and the various aspects of them. Refers to Tom Queally and a Doolin man who remembered women coming from the Arainn Islands to Keen at funeral. Francie’s mother remembered four women Made programme for folk cures, open fairs and horses for Maurice O’Keefe and states that a lot of the people weren’t happy with Maurice O’Keefe because he was selling the recordings.  
0:09:40 - 0:21:53 
THE IRISH FAMINE AND LOCAL FOLKLORE - Refers to Corney O’Brien who had a lot of folklore. States that Corney O’Brien’s father gathered 100 Sean Fhocail and got a shilling a piece for them. His father’s name was John O’Brien. States that the house that Willie Clancys father came out of heard a prophecy relating to the Irish Famine (1845-51). Speaks generally about life in the 1800s. States that Christy Curtin has a story from Francie about Rineen and the Famine…….Francie tells this story, which relates to seaweed, a stonemason, the yellow meal and the Irish Famine. It relates to the Buncuillea bogs (sic.)…… Francie speaks about the soup kitchens during the famine briefly. States that there was one woman in Miltown Malbay when Francie was a child who had lived through the Irish Famine. Her name was Bridgie Reidy. Francie speaks about some of the schools which were build after the Famine. Mentions that hrer was a Hedge School in Ballanoe. He refers to some people including his grand uncle who went to the Hedge School. Refers to a Gildea man who was a Hedge School teacher in Ballinoe and a Fenian who was later hung.  
0:21:54 - 0:28:39 
EVICTIONS, O' CALLAGHAN WESTROPP AND QUESTION TIME - Francie speaks briefly about the Fenians. Refers to the Bodyke Evictions and Canon Hannon. Speaks about George O’Callaghan Westropp who he met during his involvement in the Farmer’s Club. Refers to Joe Hogan, who was a head master in the Technical School. Hogan brought a number of speakers about various aspects of farming including fluke. Francie states that the male fern boiled was a cure for fluke in the old days. Refers to O’Callaghan Westropp participating in Question Time in Miltown. Francie shows a picture of the All Ireland Question Time team and names out the people who participated. He also has the cup that they won for the All Ireland. Francie speaks about ‘The Brain of Clare’ and mentions Martin Murphy from Cahermurphy who won the competition a number of times.  
0:28:40 - 0:30:39 
THE HOUND OF TOOREEN - Francie speaks about the Hound of Tooreen. He refers to Fr. White who was helping tenants and saw the hound in Tooreen and hit him with a whip. States that Michael Frawley was involved in the Land Court.  
0:30:40 - 0:40:36 
BLACK AND TANS AND THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Francie speaks about the Black and Tans briefly and speaks about the Rineen Ambush. Also refers briefly to the case of Captain Lendrum in Doonbeg. Mentions Ignatius O’Neill and explains how he was injured and how Dr. Hillery looked after him. States that O’Neill was first taken to Clancy’s of Islandbawn. Speaks generaly about the War of Indpendence and refers to keeping ‘The Boys’. States that two Black and Tans were taken prisoner in Connolly and brought them to a country dance, where one of the Black and Tans marked a chair with a pen knife. They later escaped and one of them was caught and killed with a spade. The other went to Dunogan castle to hide before ending up back in Mitown and they later went back to the house where the country dance and burnt the house. The man who killed the Black and Tan ‘didn’t have much luck’. States that the support for Sinn Féin was very strong. Refers to his father giving Sinn Féin £1 in 1917 and that it came back years later at £1.8. Refers to the Sinn Féin courts and gives an example of a story. He mentions a judge Crowely at the Sinn Féin court. States that where the creamery is in Miltown is where the Sinn Féin court was held. Speaks about de Valera’s Election in 1917. States that men stopped people with hurleys and told them to vote for Dev.  
0:40:37 - 0:43:17 
1932 GENERAL ELECTION - Recalls the Fianna Fáil people burning an effigy of W T Cosgrave in Miltown. Speaks generally about the impact of the Economic War. ‘Vote for de Valera and sell your bullock for a pound’ Speaks about Eamon de Valera generally and the varying opinions on him. Speaks about the various election slogans including ‘No more light beer for Clare’ and ‘Don’t vote for the calf skinners’. Speaks generally and refers to the division generally between the Blueshirts and Fianna Fáil.  
0:43:18 - 0:47:31 
CALENDAR CUSTOMS - Speaks about the St. Bridget’s Day Fair in Miltown and Mary of the Gael. SHROVE TUESDAY - Francie sings a verse of a song Ollie Conway (Singer from Mullagh) sang. States that Tom Queally has matchmaking songs. Refers to Chalk Sunday and Jam Crock Monday. Jam Crock Monday was only in the town (Miltown Jam Crock Night). It was ‘never in the country’.  
0:47:32 - 0:55:49 
MAY NIGHT - Tells a story about a man who lost his milk and went to Biddy Early (His name was Ned Malone). Francie states that he still brings in the May Bush. His father used to bring in the Furze bush. Francie speaks about other Calendar Customs including St. John’s Night, St. Martin’s Night (In Mullagh, they wouldn’t roll any wheel. Francie’s sister was in the Convent and on St. Martin’s Day, the girls from Mullagh didn’t come to schoo). Francie also speaks about Garland Sunday. When speaking about Garland Sunday, Francie refers to the many rows that happened there.  
0:55:50 - 0:57:38 
FACTION FIGHTING - Francie speaks about faction fighting and the Garrihys, who were a local family known for Faction Fighting. States that the saying ‘Hit him again, he’s no relation’ comes from the Faction Fighting.  
0:57:39 - 1:02:33 
THE FIOR GORTACH (FEAR GORTACH OR HUNGARY GRASS) Francie tells a story about the Fear Gorthach in Kilcorcaran townland. States that a number of people have got the Fior Gortach on the spot where two young men died during the Famine. States that his father used to always bring ‘a crust of bread’ in his pocket in case he got the fior gortach. Speaks about a local man who got the fior gortach near The Hand in a place called the Rake Whale(sic).  
1:02:34 - 1:02:48 
SUGAN MAKING - Francie speaks very briefly about sugans. He then leads the interviewer out to a hayshed to show him a twisting bow (used to make sugans). Note: Interview ends as Francie gets up to go out to the hay shed.  

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