Jimmy Melody

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on June 17, 2009

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1925

Area: East Clare

Report date: January 5, 2010

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:06 HOME AND FAMILY - Jimmy spoke about being raised in Poulagower with three sisters in a thatched house with mud walls. Jimmy's father was a thatcher (Patrick Melody). He describes the house he was raised in and speaks generally about houses in the area. He speaks about his grandfather Patrick Melody who was born just after the Irish Famine. Patrick Melody had two brothers who went to America after the Famine and he never heard from them. He speaks about two Americans who arrived to trace their roots in 1959. He was married around this time. The people who came were descendants of Jimmy's great grand uncle who left after the Famine.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:02:37 EMIGRATION - Jimmy speaks generally about emigration and how people didn't generally keep contact with their families at home. Jimmy describes the open hearth fire in this home in Poulagower and speaks about the type of cooking that would have taken place.
0:02:38 - 0:05:03 THE TRADITION OF CUAIRD - Jimmy speaks about the tradition of 'cuaird' in the area.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:03:10 TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS - Jimmy speaks briefly about traditions and customs. He speaks about May Eve and the customs associated. He speaks about some of the 'pisreógs'
0:03:11 - 0:06:34 SCHOOL IN COOLEEN BRIDGE - Jimmy speaks about going to school in Cooleen Bridge. He speaks about going to school in his bare feet and states that the boots in his youth would last a couple of years. He states that there were three shoemakers in Scariff but a lot of people fixed their own shoes.
0:06:35 - 0:09:58 WORK ON THE FARM - Jimmy speaks about work at home on the farm and describes the different jobs that he had to do. He mentions 'cooring' with neighbours which was important for rural communities. He speaks about killing the pig.
File 4 0:00:00 - 0:01:14 BUTTER MAKING - Jimmy speaks about making the butter. His family did not adhere to the 'pisreógs' about butter churning but it was prevalent in the locality.
0:01:15 - 0:10:02 THE FAIR OF SCARIFF - Jimmy speaks about going to the fair when he was a young boy. He describes the fairs locally and how they operated. Jimmy speaks about his involvement from 1961 in bringing the mart to Scariff. He speaks about the transition and how it was difficult for a lot of people. It was opened first in 1964. He speaks about the opposition from publicans and others. There was similar opposition in Tulla when it was raised. He states that approximately half the pubs in Scariff closed down after the fair ended. There were twenty six pubs in Scariff before the fair ended.
File 5 0:00:00 - 0:02:07 PASTIMES - Jimmy speaks about pastimes when he was a boy. He states that there were local townland hurling matches and matches organised between schools.
0:02:08 - 0:04:27 MEMORIES OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Jimmy speaks briefly about the Irish War of Independence. He states that the teachers in school would not speak about the War of Independence in school but he would have heard about the Scariff Martyrs often. He states that the Black and Tans were seen around the Poulagower area. He states that the Nugents were very active in the Republican movement.
0:04:27- 0:06:41 CURES - Jimmy speaks about cures for ailments. He states that there was a Moroney man in Scariff who had a cure for ringworm. He also states that there was a man in Feakle (Canlon) who had a cure for ringworm.
0:06:42 - 0:10:47 HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTMAS - Jimmy speaks about Halloween. Maura states that they would play snap apple. He again states that his family did not have any great belief in pisreogs and the puca. He speaks about the changes to Christmas during his life.
0:10:48 - 0:12:35 FIRST TIME SEEING AN AIRPLANE - Maura recalls seeing an Airplane for the first time at Gooney's Cross. Jimmy also recalls seeing planes when they were not frequent.

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