Catherine Talty

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on April 16, 2011

Gender: Female

Birth date: 1916

Area: West Clare - Coor West

Report date: September 21, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:07:32 THE HARANS AND FLAX - Catherine explains the history associated with the Haran family who migrated from the north of Ireland to Clare in the 1600s. She speaks about the skills of weaving and looming, which they brought with them to Clare. She states that seven families arrived to west Clare. One of the families settled in Cloonlaheen. Three of the names were Haran, McGuane and Connolly. Some other members of the Haran family settled in Connolly and Tromaire. There is a field in the locality called 'Cnockaculeen' sic, (the hill of the flax). Catherine speaks about the tradition of flax in her own family.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:08:48 FLAX AND WEAVING - Catherine speaks again about the flax tradition in the Haran Family. She recalls her father, Joseph Moroney, speaking about Micky Mór Haran. She speaks about the methods used for flax locally. She speaks about cloving dances. She speaks about Tone Burke who was at a cloving dance in Cloonlaheen. He recalled that there were four cows tied at the end of the kitchen in a house owned by the Downes family. Tone Burke was born in the late 1880s so the aforementioned clove dance would have been in the early 1900s. She speaks further about the flax and weaving linen locally and referred to her grand aunt who used to practice it. Catherine speaks about colouring the material and explains how the local moss was used as a dye. Egg shells were also used as dye.
0:08:49 - 0:16:11 CATHERINE'S FATHER - Catherine speaks about her father, who was born in 1882. Her father was very interested in passing on stories and often spoke about Mickey Mór Haran (Married to a Kelly from Doolough Lodge). She speaks about the various things that she heard her father tell her. On one occasion, Mickey Mór Haran offer the land agent a seat in his cottage. The seat was a sow that was due to have 'bonabhs'. Catherine speaks about her interest in the oral tradition. She tells a story about lightening splitting the house of Mickey Mór Haran. She speaks about a Father Kelly who built the church in Kilrush. Catherine again speaks about the Haran and offered some ideas as to why they chose that part of West Clare. They arrived into Clare in 1662.
0:16:11 - 0:20:26 BOOLTACHS/SUMMER GRAZING - Catherine speaks about the tradition of the Booltachs (booleying) and the summer grazing. She recalls going into bogs to collect cattle. The cattle were let roam across hundreds of acres. Catherine recalls seeing patients from Our Lady's Mental Hospital in Ennis who were brought out to save the turf.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:02:58 MOUNT CALLAN SUNDAY - Catherine speaks about the history and tradition of Mount Callan Sunday (second last Sunday in July). There was music and singing and a lot of the young people from around the area attended.
0:02:59 - 0:08:37 ST. JOSEPH'S WELL - She says that in her father's time, they would meet at St. Joseph's Blessed Well and played games. She speaks about visiting St. Joseph's well and the rituals in her time. She speaks about a tradition that if you saw a trout in the well, your intentions would be granted. She states that the priests disagreed with the tradition of holy wells.
0:08:38 - 0:13:01 CALENDER CUSTOMS - Catherine states that her father and mother did not adhere to traditions around May Eve. She speaks about her grand-uncle Thomas Moroney who had knowledge of these traditions. She recalls him speaking about a 'dairymaid', (Siobhán Rua), who used to demand the men brought in the cows before midnight. Catherine speaks about the levels of belief in such traditions.
0:13:02 - 0.15.45 CURES - Catherine speaks about her great-grandfather (Seán Tubridy), who was cow doctor. She states that he was called on by a lot of people. She also states that there was a Murphy man at the Hand. He was able to quarter the foal or the calf in the horse of the cow, if the animal had died before birth. He was able to cut the calf up in the cow's stomach and take it out.
0.15.46 - 0.21.01 BIDDY EARLY - She speaks about her grand-aunt (Tubridy) and her husband James Garrigy, whose cattle were dying. They went in a common cart to Feakle to meet Biddy Early. She informed them that their neighbour was burying cattle in their farm, which was placing bad luck on them. Catherine speaks about buying a stripper cow (a cow in calf). The cow was born in October and the following May, Catherine was in the shed with the cow. Catherine found a piece of red ribbon in the cow's hair. Catherine's mother (Mary Moroney nee Burke) said that this was placed on the cow by the people who sold it in order to keep the luck with them. The family that her parents had bought the cow from were the same family who had been burying cattle in their neighbours land a few generations later.
0.21.02 - 0.23.18 CUTTING 'SCILLANES' - Catherine explains who Maim Driscoll who used to be hired to cut 'scillanes'. She explains the methods used. She states that Griffins house was built by the Land League and later used by the Driscolls.
0.23.19 - 0.26.54 THE BOOING MARCH - Catherine recalls the aftermath of the election victory of Fianna Fáil in 1931-1932. A group of the young men marched and stopped outside each house they knew were Fine Gael and shouted 'Up de Valera!'. She speaks generally about the lack of employment in the mid twentieth century. She provides an example of a young neighbour who emigrated to London and his experiences as an Irish immigrant.

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