Flan O’Brien

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on October 1, 2008

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1927

Area: East Clare - Tomgraney

Report date: September 21, 2015

[bws_pdfprint display='pdf']

Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:01 HUNTING THE HARE - Flan speaks generally about the various people he knew in Ballymalone, Ballyvannon and Caherhurley. States that Dinny Moloney was called the Tongser and speaks about hunting around 'The Commons' with Dan Treacy (Caimin Treacy's grandfather) and Dinny Moloney. Flan recalls seeing traffic on Sléibhín Hill from the Commons. The trees have obstructed this view now. Flan recalls the banter between the three of them when they'd be out hunting. States that there was a track for a horse and car from the Sléibhín side.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:06:31 MICHAEL MINOGUE AND THE POPE - Flan speaks about the Pope coming to Ireland in 1979. He remembers seeing the airplane when he was working with Michael Minogue when the pope came. He recalls when Michael Minogue, Paddy Long and his wife Ettie died. Speaks about Michael Minogue and recalls visiting him in hospital in Limerick and their conversation about milking cows with Michael's mother. He recalls standing in the yard when the Pope's helicopter passed over Ballymalone.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:06:40 MEMORIES OF JOE VAUGHAN - Flan recalls his general memories of Joe Vaughan getting stuck with his tractor after watching a boxing match at Flan's house.
File 4 0:00:00 - 0:08:35 I ALWAYS LOVED DEBATING' - Flan recalls his love of debating with people and in particular arguments over Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera. Speaks about Jack Kelleher (Former IRA man) and Tommy Dowdal. He recalls working when Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon were shot dead in Brookbourough in 1957.
File 5 0:00:00 - 0:06:34 GENERAL REFLECTIONS - Flan speaks about his Fianna Fáil heritage, reflections on change over his life and the changing population in Ballymalone and Ballyvannon.
File 6 0:00:00 - 0:05:26 RAMBLING HOUSE - Flan recalls the changes in his home over the years. He recalls eight couples dancing in the old barn outside in their yard. He names out the people who would come to dance their and describes the house. He states that his father was from near Mooney's Cross in Ogonnolloe and his mother was raised in Ballyloughnane. He recalls many of the people that he knew who died over the years. He speaks about how his house was a rambling house and recalls the turkey dances.
0:05:27 - 0:06:40 SCHOOLDAYS - Flan speaks briefly about going to school over the mountains to Ogonnolloe. Some of his family went to Tuamgraney.
0:06:41 - 0:09:43 TRACING - Flan traces families including the Bolands (one of whom was a teacher), the Moloneys, Jimmy Briens, Ellie Moloney, Des Carroll and others.
0:09:44 - 0:15:03 HURLING, TURF CREELS AND LIFE IN BALLYMALONE - Flan recalls the Ballymalone men challenging the Caherhurley men in hurling. They would go to Brady's field when they'd play in Caherhurley. Refers to Mrs. Brady, a noble concertina player. He also remembers her father who was Dinny Moloney, a brother of Malty Brady. Speaks about Eddie Brady, who would go to Limerick twice a week with a creel of turf. He would leave at 3.00am on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. Speaks about the open hearth fire at home the changes made over the years.
0:15:04 - 0:16:17 OPEN HEARTH AND THE CHRISTMAS BLOCK - Flan speaks more about the Open Hearth fire and the Christmas block, which was a huge block brought in for Christmas.
0:16:18 - 0:18:05 HURLING - CAHERHURLEY VERSUS BALLYMALONE - Flan names some of the men he used to play townland hurling with. They would play in Bradys in Caherhurley and Palkie Moloney's in Ballymalone.
0:18:06 - 0:05:26 WORLD WAR II AND WORKING IN THE BOG - Flan recalls working in the bog in Caherhurley in 1945 when he was 18 years old. Bob Riordan was the ganger. Recalls how Patsy Ryan would make the baskets that would be put on the asses to carry the turf. Flan describes the process of cutting turf. Mentions Joe Tuohy and Johnny Doyle who were great tin whistle players. He names out the men who would work at the turf. Mick Grady (Pat's Father), John Pa O'Brien, Michel Hogan from Tuamgraney, Joe Noonan, Paddy Treacy, Ben Geoghan were some of the men.
0:21:37 - 0:30:19 RAHEEN AMBULANCE, MIKE THE BUS BRIEN AND THE HILLS (THOMAS AND PAT) - Speaks about a Touhy man who used to drive the ambulance in Raheen. Speaks about his brother Mike 'Bus' Brien getting the job as an ambulance driver for Raheen. He recalls covering Mike on one occasion. Speaks about the two Thomas Hills, Old Thomas and Young Thomas. Recalls him wearing a gabardine coat with a rope around it.
0:30:20 - 0:31:45 THE TELEVISION - Flan speaks about his dislike of the television and how he preferred to read.
0:31:46 - 0:34:43 GOING TO MASS AND MATCHES - Flan recalls the death of his wife Ettie, going to mass and hurling matches briefly. He speaks again about the impact the television had on the home.

Archive conditions of use

Cuimhneamh an Chláir provides access to these transcripts / recordings on the understanding that they are for personal use.  If you wish to use the material in any form of research, publication or presentation online or in person, you will need to specify that use and seek specific permission from Cuimhneamh an Chláir at [email protected]


Your request will then be reviewed by Cuimhneamh an Chláir and will be subject to a licensing agreement (at no cost).


Please enter your email address here to indicate your agreement to the above conditions. We will retain your email in accordance with our privacy policy.


Enjoy the archive!