Francie Daly

Interview by Linda Quinn on February 12, 2012

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1944

Area: Ennis

Report date: December 13, 2015

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Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:15:14 EARLY LIFE - Francie was born and brought up in Decima, Lissycasey and Went to the tech' for a very short time. (Ennis Community College). Francie started his working life very early and his father started his own insurance firm when times were hard and built it up successfully. Francies brother took up the mantle on the death of his father and the company is still going today more than fifty years later. He has one brother PJ and a sister Maura. He was born into his fathers' family home. His father had three sisters and six brothers five went to America. His Uncle Jack had the Farm. Francie recalls assisting his uncle Jack on the farm. Francie speaks of home life, where he was reared and the social life of the times in the house. He went to live with Jack when he was ten years old.Francie speaks of the development of the church in Lissycasey and Fr. Hogan who developed it. He recalls the physical work that Fr Hogan did on the church, mixing mortar etc. and then going to the hall to sat mass. Francie went to primary school in Lissycasey. His brother bought him a bike to get to school. Martin Sexton And Mr Rourke were the teachers in the old school. He recalls lighting the fires in the school rooms with Seamus Hayes for years to have them warm for the pupils coming in.Francie was not that interested in playing sport; unlike his son, but concentrated on working on the farm. He recalls that a creel of turf would be donated by each family for the year. Francie speaks about his short time at secondary school and recalls one teacher there from Newmarket on Fergus by the name of Kevin Marren. And also talks about PJ Kelly's uncle Sean who later became a TD. Francie speaks of his mother working on his uncle's farm and also running the shop. She was a great worker.
0:15:15 - 0:22:20 INSURANCE - The reason that Francie's father began the insurance business was due to the lack of employment. He sold what was known as the 'green book insurance' for a shilling a week. He then approached people for life insurance as children were born, so as to have money for their future education. Francie began driving at eleven and his father had a ford prefect for his business around west Clare. His father worked for New Ireland insurance across from the Queens hotel. There were very few cars around at the time. When Francie's Dad retired he started a brokerage business from 45 O Connell street in Ennis and it is run today at 67 O Connell street. Francie would only drive around the local area and describes his father as a big man. The brokerage was set up at his own home whilst still working for New Ireland and his son PJ took over. (it worked on a commission basis) PJ's Sons are now operating the business. Francie's mother died in 1985 whilst enduring a long illness contracted in 1965. His father died at age 69.
0:22:21 - 0:32:55 HOLIDAYS AND CLARE 250 CYCLE AND GAA - Francie's family never went on holiday but would travel back to Kilkee at the weekend. Another highlight would be to visit an Aunt up in Mayo for one day. The trip up through Connemara was a highlight. Kilkee was a very popular resort at that time. Other interests for francie would be mainly dancing as he didn't have any interest in sport. Francie still loves his dancing but never went to Lisdoonvarna, He did like going to the Willie Clancy festival. Francie also would be an adherent of the Clare 250 mile cycle and has gone to Lourdes as a helper. Francie speaks especially fondly of Geróid O Sullivan a teacher in Lissycasey who passed on from cancer at the age of 54 in 2010. Geróid a Dubliner was a driving force for the game of football and as headmaster in the primary school he taught the young lads of the club including Martin Daley and Colin Lynch. Kilmaley and Lissycasey had an understanding that those who wanted to hurl played with Kilmaley and footballers played with Lissycasey. Francie speaks at length and pride on the skills and success of Martin Daley and also of Colin Lynch including Martin's goal in the 1992 Munster football final versus Kerry.
0:32:56 - 0:33:37 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Francie was not aware of much goings on within the war of Independence and the IRA but recalls the Barracks in Lissycasey was staffed by a Sergeant and three guards when he was young but doesn't know what was happening during troubled times.
0:33:38 - 0:47:42 FANNY O DEAS/OTHER LISSYCASEY PREMISES - Was a pub founded in 1790 but world famous for its egg flip. It was a drink made by the owner Mrs O Hehir but Francie being teetotal never imbibed. The owner is now Noel O Hehir but it was let out to a John Hehir. The only shop in lissycasey now is Talty's where Francie's daughter is married in. but he names a number of other shops in the area throughout the years. Francie speaks highly of the efforts carried out by Fás and a local committee on the upkeep of the village. Francie speaks also of the efforts involved in particular his wife on some developments especially walking routes. Francie speaks of the local loyalty and the life surrounding families today as regards to life in the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties even though people immigrate but many come back home. Francie speaks of the upkeep of the holy wells and also on the religious habits from past years including the rosary being said every evening in the home. There was a traditional upbringing with a goose being killed and stuffed. Francie still upholds the tradition of cooking the goose. Francie speaks of the usual tradition of children giving up sweets for lent but says it never lasted long. He does say that he did manage to give up smoking cigarettes in 1982 after many attempts and says that up to that he smoked more than eighty a day.
0:47:43 - 0:58:40 MOTOR TRADE AND CAREER - Francie worked initially for Mickey Lynch as a labourer. He took two days off to cut hay off to cut hay at home with the horse and had a bad accident where he was unconscious for ten days.Francie almost always worked for himself and would know a car fairly well mechanically and speaks of the type of cars around at the time. He went to Wembley in London for 3 months to see what it was like and hated every bit of it even though he was offered a full time job he couldn't wait to go home. He worked for Murphy's in Shannon labouring but used to do hackney and convey some friends from his area to work at a pound a seat. The only time he worked for somebody else in the motor trade was in 1978 for a year with Tom Hogan motors and worked on tractors with Christy McMahon a neighbour for three years. In 1982 Francie worked on the founding of the Lissycasey Water Scheme.Also in 1982 Francie opened a tyre and battery shop at the rear of Parnell Street in Ennis. He speaks of the location and the rent at the time and who owned it. He was there for six years until 1989 and moved to the limerick road when it became available. Michael Daley MD of Estuary Fuels wanted to sell petrol and Francie availed of the opportunity. He says that the rent was initially modest but he got into repairs and sale of cars. Maxol took over the lease in 2002 and sold it to Francie for forty thousand. Francie speaks of the service provided to the public and says he promises his customers full attention and treats them as well as he can akin to life years ago. Francie also speaks of his staff and the toughness of the trade.
0.040752314814815 MARRIED LIFE AND FIANNA FÁIL - Francie and his wife Mary Austen from Cross met in Ruan in a Marquee. They went out for a few years and got married in Cross village in 1972. Fianna Fáil was started in the house where Francie now lives. It was began by his father among others. Francie is the secretary of the Caherrae Cummann for many years and will always be Fianna Fáil. Francie tells a humorous story of the referendum to join Europe on the date of his wedding. The reception was held in the Queens hotel in Ennis and they honeymooned in Scotland. The family arrived with Francie living in his uncle's house which he inherited. Francie goes through a typical week travelling to different dealers and contacts that they have developed. He works seven days a week, loves his dancing but loves to meet people. Francie speaks of the customer base that he has. He never has had an issue with his neighbours and there is a real feeling of community involvement with his business. He also says that he was sceptical about the claims of Mohammed Ali being an ancestor but utilised it to bring out some of his customers and says it was good to have the people working for the community. Francie signs off wishing his family and friends to do well and quotes one of his friends Dick Robinson “yesterday is history, you have to live today and we can't talk for tomorrow”.

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