Jimmy Hanrahan

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on April 12, 2012

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1923

Area: West Clare - Kilbaha North

Report date: September 19, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:03:44 CHILDHOOD AND HOME - Jimmy explains the meaning of his townland Clahánsavaun. He quotes a short poem about his townland and outlines some of its history. Note: Jimmy's mother (Mary Hanrahan, nee McCarthy) used to quote this poem Speaks about a castle that was in his townland during his childhood. The eastern gable end was still in existence Jimmy recalls seeing an eviction when he was a young child in the 1920s. He speaks about the 'boitín' boys, who were employed by the landlord in order to evict the tenants. He describes the evictions and explains how £4 was enough to take the evictees out of trouble.
0:03:45 - 0:14:57 THE IRISH LANGUAGE - Jimmy speaks about his uncle Mikey Hanrahan who was a great Irish speaker. He recalls when the 'cigire scoile' (school inspector) hit his uncle's dog. He recalls the curse in Irish that Mikey shouted at the inspector who was a Kerry man. The curse was 'Calar Dé ort!' (the curse of God on you). Refers to Master Keating, the local school principal. Jimmy recalls seeing the inspector coming into the school after he had killed the dog. Speaks about the Irish that his father (Jamsie Hanrahan) and uncle spoke. States that the Master Keating would come on 'cuaird' to his father. Describes this as 'dreas cainte' around the fire. Describes his uncle and states that when he was shouting people would say that he could be heard in the Domhanta Thiar. States that his grandparents were Irish speakers. States that there were few people in Fodera who spoke Irish and also a number of houses in Ross that spoke Irish. Refers to his mother Mary Ann McCarthy who had a lot of Irish. Her sister (Nora McCarthy) was a teacher. States that if they were 'searúsach' about someone they would use Irish to describe them. Speaks about Enrí de Bláca (Henry Blake). Jimmy initially refers to this man as Henry Keane. Describes him as a 'cainteoir'.
0:14:58 - 0:22:54 THE TOWNLAND - Jimmy describes his house and the houses in his townland in generally. Describes the open hearth fire briefly and the various uses. States that men came on 'cuairdíocht' or 'cuaird'. States that the lamp would be lighting for the Clare Champion to be read out. States that later when they killed a pig they would hold a gamble for the head of the pig. Speaks about a family called the Paddy Seamus Fearneys. States that the men from the house were great storytellers and entertainers. Names them as Paddy and Tommy. States that there wasn't a lot of interest in Biddy Early. Speaks about women who were in Cumann na Mban including the McGuires from Clohansaváns and the 'Dúnlógs' who were the Keanes from Kilcloher. States that some people admired them and others though they were foolish.
0:22:55 - 0:31:48 IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Jimmy tells a story about his father being arrested by the Black and Tans. He was brought to Carrigaholt barracks and interrogated him. Jimmy refers to the Fennells who were active members of the IRA. States that there was a suggestion that Studdert's cowshed was going to be burnt. This was proven to be false afterwards but was the reason the Black and Tans were looking for information. Says that the Fennells paid £5 to have him released. Says that when describing the Black and Tans that his mother 'gave them anything and everything except a blessing'. Refers to a road being cut at Moveen, which his father was involved in. Speaks about a man from Carrigaholt whose nickname was Shang. NOTE: This man's name was John Scanlon. Starts to tell a story about 'Shang' escaping the Black and Tans. Interview is interrupted by a telephone call
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:04:04 SHANG'S ESCAPE FROM THE BLACK AND TANS - Jimmy returns to the story about John 'Shang' Scanlon and his escape from the Black and Tans. Jimmy feels that there wasn't a lot of division after the Civil War in the area. There was no trouble in Clahánsavaun. No members of the IRA along the northern road.
0:04:05 - 0:10:18 1932 GENERAL ELECTION - Speaks about the 1932 General Election and the preceding lead up. Recalls the Fianna Fáil supporters marching around the area with a band. States that the people were very disappointed to hear he was going to the country in 1933. States that a man from Quilty accompanied Eamon de Valera to America. Refers to a rumour that de Valera collected money and didn't bring it back home. States that de Valera didn't come to West Clare much before the election of 1932 because there was more of a concentration of people in the towns. Speaks briefly about Frank Keane who would make speeches at rallies for Fianna Fáil.
0:10:19 - 0:12:54 A STORY ABOUT HIS GRANDSON - Jimmy tells a story about his grandson.
0:12:55 - 0:22:16 CURES AND HEALTH - Jimmy recalls when he badly hurt his knee when he was nine years old. He was out hunting hares on a Sunday. Speaks about Dr. Gallery was the Doctor that tended to him over the following two to three months when he was recovering. Speaks about the curative qualities of seaweed and also its use as a fertiliser. Note: Interview is interrupted by a visitor
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:13:46 THE SEA - Jimmy state that they would eat seagrass at home. They would also pick periwinkles and eat them. Speaks about the harvesting of kelp on the Peninsula. Glynns in Kilrush would take this and sell it. States that his father and the Keatings (Paddy Seamus Fearneys) had a currach between them. Recalls a story about men being out in a currach when the fog came down leaving them unable to find the shore. Jimmy's brother Martin and another friend got straw and a bag of turf on the shore (Ross) and lit it in order to guide the men in the currach home. Speaks about Tom McCarthy who was from Moneen was the local currach builder. Speaks about the tradition of currach or canoe building in West Clare. Speaks about John 'Cully' Marrinan who was a currach builder in Cusheen and refers to local musician from the area. Speaks generally about the fishing industry in his townland and local area. Speaks about the cliffs along the peninsula and outlines some of the place-names in the area. He recalls swimming the Poll Goirm below the cliffs. Speaks about the use of canoes and speaks about the canoe race in Carrigaholt and outlines the other aspects of the day.
0:13:47 - 0:20:21 MUSIC - Jimmy speaks about the tradition of music in his local area. Speaks about the Gearys. Names a number of the local musicians. Jimmy outlines how he learnt the concertina. Refers to Tim Griffin who was a great concertina player. Jimmy speaks about the House Dances and refers to a special flag stone which was put in to the floor of kitchens in order to make a sound when dancing.
0:20:22 - 0:24:38 REFLECTIONS - Jimmy produces a photo of the Keating family (Masters) and names the people in the photo. Jimmy reflects on his life and the move to Ennis. He speaks about his desire to move home the Loop Head Peninsula.

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