Dolly Lynch

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on November 17, 2010

Gender: Female

Birth date: 1925

Report date: September 19, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:07:05 CHILDHOOD AND GRANDPARENTS - Dolly speaks about her early childhood. She speaks about her grandparents, the Hassetts. She recalls her grandmother (Heffernan from Sixmilebridge) who lived until she was 97. She states that her grandmother and her family were driven out of their house in Oatfield by the local landlord when her grandmother was a child. They then moved to a small house where the Millanes lived before moving to a house owned by the Parkers in Castlelake. Dolly states that life in her grandmother's time was very simple. She says that mass and the rosary was very important to them. Her grandmother went to school in Belvoir. Dolly speaks about how her grandmother's mother died young and how her grandmother had to look after her brothers. Her grandmother also lost a five of her own children in her lifetime.
0:07:05 - 0:10:54 LOCAL ELDERLY PEOPLE FROM CHILDHOOD - Dolly speaks about other old people she remembered from her childhood. She mentions 'Terse' Gallagher who was a carpenter. Mike Hogan states that he was the last man to repair Clonlea church. Dolly mentions a man called Shearan or Sheridan. He laid the tiles in the Catholic church in Kilkishen. Dolly explains how Terse Gallagher remained active until he died in his nineties. She also outlines his connections and relatives in Kilkishen, where he lived and died.
0:10:55 - 0:17:40 WEDDINGS AND MATCHMAKING - Dolly speaks about weddings in the past. She states that they were very simple affairs. John Lenihan states that it was like going to mass and Dolly agreed. Dolly states that there were better marriages. She states that a lot of the marriages were arranged and gives some examples. Mrs. Moloney (Pat Tierney's Grandmother) is given as an example of someone who was involved in making a match. Dolly states that there wasn't a local matchmaker but someone belonging to the family would make the match. Dolly provides other examples of local matches and explained how they could become very complicated and litigious. Dolly states that the contentment that was in marriages in the past has been lost in today's society.
0:17:40 - 0:25:17 TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS - Dolly speaks about how traditions and beliefs were formed. Mike Hogan speaks about people going on Cuaird and how this was used to transmit stories. Dolly recalls her grandmother saying that when a hen was caught in the rush then a funeral was coming. She states that her aunt in Kilmurry had a very strong belief in old piseógs. The Rye family were very superstitious. She even changed the name from Fitz to Windsor. Note: Dolly goes to check on her baking - Dolly states that the best Banshee story she ever heard was from Paul Madden! Paul Madden claimed that he heard the Banshee. He went to JP Guinnanes house and JP took him home. John Lenihan states that it happened near Tom Lynch's house. It is said that that it was actually Ina Mac's dog that made the sound. Dolly speaks about her Aunt's belief in May Eve. She would take a bottle of water and shake it on the land on May Eve. On New Years morning she forced her husband to get up and go out. He then had to come back in and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Dolly had not heard of the May Bush in her locality. Dolly recalled Mrs. Murphy whose husband was in a wheelchair. Mrs. Murphy would always give Dolly a bottle of milk. She would always be careful that Dolly would not take the luck of her cow. One day, Dolly asked Mrs. Murphy for the loan of her bike. Mrs. Murphy went out and placed a piece of wool on the bike in order to ensure that Dolly would not damage it.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:25:18 CUAIRD' & BIDDY EARLY Dolly speaks about the tradition of 'cuaird'. She speaks about people who would come to her grandmother on the 'cuaird'. She stated that they would come to her grandmother's specifically. Dolly states that there were not many good storytellers locally. She speaks about Martin Kennedy (The Poet) and says that he used to go to her grandparents house on Cuaird. He was a fine big man. He used to work for the gentry sometimes writing poetry for them. Dolly speaks about Biddy Early briefly and some of the local beliefs in relation to her.
0:25:19 - 0:34:52 WAKES - Dolly speaks about the wakes and describes how they were arranged. She described the saucer of snuff. She recalls taking snuff around at a wake in 1935 when she was ten years old. She also recalls the clay pipes and how they were kept in a hole beside the open hearth fire.
0:34:53 - 0:39:26 MEMORIES OF SCHOOL - Dolly recalls her memories of going to school. She recalled Mrs. Roughan threatening to go out on strike if the new school was not opened. She recalled how once a year, each family would give a creel of turf for the school. Dolly speaks about her experience of different subjects in school. Mr. O'Connor (from Liscannor) was a good teacher of Irish.
0:39:26 - 0:44:35 WORLD WAR II AND RATIONING - Dolly speaks about the First World War. She recalls hearing about the war at her grandmothers. She speaks about the effects of rationing locally. She recalls her aunt going into Dowd's in Sixmilebridge where Jimmy Dowd stated that he only had irel coffee, a low grade coffee that was available during WWII. Dolly recalls the 'Wran' McMahon in Tulla who ran a black market during the rationing. The people of Kilkishen went to Tulla to McMahons during this time. The shop was based above the old Post Office (Murrays).
0:44:36 - 0:54:43 IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Dolly speaks about the Irish War of Independence. She speaks about her father (The Neighbour McNamara) and his involvement. Dolly mentions a Tom Dillon who was arrested and jailed with her father. She thinks that Dillon may have been arrested on the suspicion that he was Joe Clancy. Dolly speaks about her father and Joe Clancy who trained together in the Curragh before going to France together. She states that he had guns left after him and Jim McInerney used to look after them (Grandfather of the former Clare hurler Jim McInerney). She speaks briefly about her father's tragic death in Australia. He was struck by a bus in Melbourne after a funeral. Her father took the Free State side in the Civil War and supported Fine Gael. Her father also canvassed for Tim Smythe who was in Clann na Phoblachta. Dolly speaks briefly about the Brennan brothers. She mentions the Meelick ambush commemoration in 1948, which she attended with her father. They had been brought by car to the commemoration. Dolly describes her memories of the commemoration. Dolly claims that McCarthy (one of those killed at the ambush) was married. There was a dinner in Shannon after the commemoration. Bishop Rogers was there as was the Bishop of Limerick.
0:54:44 - 0:58:30 THE GLENWOOD AMBUSH AND CIVIL WAR - Dolly speaks briefly about what she heard about the Glenwood ambush. Dolly also speaks about the Civil War briefly. Her grandfather was a supporter of de Valera. However, her father was a supporter of Michael Collins.
0:58:31 - 1:02:40 SHANNON AIRPORT AND EMPLOYMENT - Dolly speaks about Shannon Airport and its effect on the broader area. She stated that Sixmilebridge provided the most employees for Shannon but not many from Kilkishen got work there. Dolly speaks generally about employment. Sergeant Deasy created a lot of employment in the area.
1:02:41 - 1:09:06 ELECTRIFICATION AND CHRISTMAS - Dolly speaks about the arrival of electricity into Kilkishen. She recalls Mass at 7.30am on Christmas morning. She recalled some paraffin lamps being used for light. She stated that the electricity was never put in to Mulvihill's house (a local gentry house - Sunville House, which was owned by the Hanley's before the Mulvihills) as it would be too expensive. She recalled going up to Sunville House to buy milk and butter. Dolly described them as a very industrious family. Mike Hogan recalls on Christmas eve that his father would have the role of lighting the Christmas candle at 6.00pm.
1:09:07 - 1:15:16 PRIESTS IN KILKISHEN - Dolly, Mike and John speak about the various priests in Kilkishen over her lifetime. Note: Interview breaks at 1.09:28 while Dolly goes to find a book about local priests 'Parish Clergy of the Century'. Dolly outlines here memories of various priests and their connections locally. She mentions Fr. William O'Kennedy who was involved in the republican movement during the Irish War of Independence.
1:15:17 - 1:20:34 HOLY WELLS - Dolly speaks about going to St. Senan's Well on August 15 each year. She stated that people believed there were cures associated with the well. Mike Hogan states that Tommy Flemming was the last person to tidy up the area around the well. Mike and John speak about a holy well near Derra in Kilmurry. Dolly recalled going to the Holy Well and stated that the Priest would never go to the Holy Wells.
1:20:35 - 1:26:43 PADDY GLEESON - Dolly speaks about Paddy Gleeson whose funeral was happening the evening of the interview. Paddy Gleeson was 106.

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