JP Guinnane & Clancy Paddy

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on November 3, 2010

Gender: Male

Birth date: Paddy Clancy = 1925 JP Guinnane = 1942

Area: East Clare - Kilkishen

Report date: September 17, 2015

[bws_pdfprint display='pdf']

Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:12:51 SCHOOLDAYS - Paddy speaks about his memories of going to school in Kilkishen. He speaks about teachers in Belvoir and how when the 'average' in Belvoir went down, on one occasion the four Clancy's were transferred to Belvoir in order to keep the average up in both schools. The cigire (inspector) from the department came and found out that the four Clancys were in both schools and Paddy's mother lost three months wages as a result. Paddy outlines the teachers who he remembers from his school days both in Kilkishen and Belvoir. Paddy recalls what life was like during his schooldays. Each family had to bring a creel of turf once a year. Paddy's mother who taught at the school in Kilkishen would always have a fire on in her part of the school and would dry the children's clothes. In Belvoir each child would bring one sod of turf for the open fire in the school. Paddy recalled having races at lunchtime in the school. The prize was a mug of coffee made from milk. JP recalled going to school to Mrs. Clancy (Paddy's mother). JP remembers the various teachers he met while he was in school. Paddy recalls Mr. (Pat) O'Connor who would have the children say prayers each morning and evening. There would also be confession each Friday.
0:13:49 - 0:24:31 THE FAIRS - Paddy speaks about the fair days during school when the children would get the day off for the fair. He recalls his first day going to the fair. He walked to Tulla with cattle and having to bring neighbours cattle also with lanterns for light. He left for the fair at around 4.30pm in the morning. When they arrived in Tulla they would take their cattle to the wall of the graveyard. He speaks generally about his memories of the fair in Tulla. He speaks about other fairs in the area also. JP recalls hearing about a group of men including his father going to a fair in Tulla. While on their way, the Jock McMahon lost his pipe and while looking for it he saw a big light in the graveyard in Tulla and made off after his friends leaving the pipe behind. JP speaks about fairs all around the area that people from Kilkishen would travel to. JP speaks about fights that he heard about between the Moloney's and the Gleeson's at the Fair of Aonach in Kilkishen in the 1800s. The fair was called the Fair of Aonoch O Flynn.
0:24:32 - 0:27:42 THE IRISH ARMY IN KILKISHEN - Paddy tells a story about a section of the Irish army who were camped at Cullaun for three months cutting turf. They would march into the Kilkishen every Sunday for mass. After the three months, ten of the men stayed to celebrate before they left. The sergeant who was drunk insisted on driving back and five of the men were killed in a crash in Sixmilbridge.
0:27:43- 0:31:49 WORLD WAR II - Paddy recalled hearing about the outbreak of World War II. He states that the local people were terrified that they would be taken over. Paddy was in the LDF (Local Defence Forces) for six years. He speaks about his memories of going to Lahinch on training courses. He also recalls travelling from Ennis to West Clare on the West Clare Railway.
0:31:49 - 0:33:30 HOLIDAYS IN LAHINCH - Paddy speaks about his holidays in Lahinch when he was a child. They used to stay at Nan Mcs in Lahinch, (current 'Corner House' bar).
0:33:31 - 0:37:22 LOCAL DEFENCE FORCES TRAINING - Paddy remembers training with the LDF in Lahinch. He speaks generally about memories of the social side of training. A staff sergeant noticed that there were ten pioneers in the room and all of them were from Kilkishen.
0:37:23 - 0:48:18 LAND DIVISION - Paddy speaks about Jimmy Bingham and his connections locally. JP also speaks about Albert Bingham who was married in Broadford to Tomás Mac Donough's sister (Tomás Mac Donough was executed as one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising). Paddy's father worked as a carpenter at Binghams. Paddy speaks about how Studderts land was to be divided among ex British servicemen. A Fr. Burke organised a collection of money to offer to Studdert so that local men could keep the land, which he accepted. Paddy outlines how the land was divided. Paddy also speaks about how the hurling field was bought from Studderts. He also speaks generally about paying into hurling matches when he was a young man.
0:48:19 - 1:04:37 IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - GLENWOOD AMBUSH - JP recalls hearing about the Glenwood Ambush at places like the fair of Aonoch O'Floinn (Townland of Enagh). He recalls hearing from his father John Guinnane about how he and and his friends were walking with hurleys near Fitzpatrick's. The man of the house told the boys to leave the hurleys in his house. That hurleys were burnt in that house by the Black and Tans later that night. JP speaks about his grandfather who was thinning turnips in Belvoir. He saw one of the Black and Tans who had escaped the ambush. The Black and Tan came down O'Halloran's avenue and hid under a bridge until Wilson Lynch took him into Sixmilebridge. JP speaks about Madgie Mc's, which was burnt. Nine bonabhs (baby pigs) and dogs were burnt inside in it. A number of young boys went down to see it burning. The grandfather (Sonny's Father) of the Mcs came up to JP's grandfathers. Jimmo Mc who was the son of the old man came in and the old man asked him 'Have you air a bit in the pipe?' Paddy speaks about his uncle Joe Clancy. Joe and the Neighbour Mac were very close. The Neighbour got his nickname in France when Joe Clancy described him as 'the neighbour from home.' Paddy speaks about a story about the Neighbour on one occasion staying in Hehir's house. Paddy Clancy got up and saw a leg polished in the distance (Black and Tan). Paddy explains how they escaped through a special escape window, which they had built. Paddy speaks about a camp in Cullaun that the IRA had built in the Creggs. Paddy claims that the Black and Tans knew they were there but did not dare to go in. Paddy states that Winnie Clancy (Paddy's Aunt) told him that because the Clancy's were so wanted that only one woman in Kilkishen (Tommy Macs mother) would talk to her. The Neighbour Mac told Paddy about a number of incidents. Tommy Hehir was a steward with the Studderts and he used to offer a safe house to local IRA men including the Neighbour. On one occasion when the Black and Tans arrived, the Neighbour waited inside the door with his revolver ready, said and Act of Contrition and waited for the tans to come in. One Black and Tan stuck his head in the door but didn't come in any further.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:02:29 IRISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - GLENWOOD AMBUSH - Paddy continues to speak about what he heard about the Irish War of Independence. He mentions Jack Canny was a local scout for the IRA in the area. Paddy Clancy (Paddy's Uncle) heard a story about Paddy Clancy, Neighbour Mac, Joe Clancy and Jack Hurley who were walking away from Jack's Place when they heard a 'click' of gun loading. Because they heard this, they got away.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:01:45 HUNTING - Paddy speaks about his memories of hunting with Tommy Meehan.
File 4 0:00:00 - 0:02:26 BLACK AND TANS - Paddy and JP speak about the Black and Tans. Both the Auxiliaries and Black and Tans were referred to as Black and Tans and the IRA was referred to as the boys. JP speaks about a Black and Tan that lived in Oatfield and owned a shop. Mikey Quinn was singing the Bridge in Killaloe one night and a Black and Tan stopped him.
0:02:26 - 0:11:11 PADDY AND JP DISCUSS CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS - JP refers to eggs being found around May Night. His father also found a square of bacon while he was digging spuds. The eggs and bacon was put there to put bad luck on your neighbour. JP speaks about a story from Kilmurry where the hare used to milk the cow and she was shot. They tracked the hair and found a woman. Speak about St. Martin's Eve when a hen was killed and the blood was sprinkled on the doors of the house. JP speaks about stories he heard about people who saw lights before people were dying. Paddy speaks about Winnie Clancy who was married to Jack Murphy. He recalled the night Jack died in the late 1940's and speaks about carrying the coffin down O'Connell street at around 5.00am. A post man who was organising his post saw the coffin and passed out!
0:11:12 - 0:21:16 FUNERALS AND WAKES - Discussion about funerals and wakes. Paddy stated that after a wake in the country after paying your respect, everyone would wait outside the house until the coffin was gone. A half hour before the coffin was brought out; a man would come out with an enamel bucket full of porter and would pass it on to each man. Paddy states that people didn't pay much heed to hygiene but no one died. Paddy speaks about funerals at Fenloe. He describes the customs of bringing a coffin into the funeral and explained the reasons for same. JP tells about people would throw water which they used to wash the corpse was thrown under the hearse before the coffin was taken. Paddy speaks about Tom Marrinan's funeral in 1943 when he carried the coffin for the first time. He had carried the coffin for a long distance before he realised it wasn't Tom Marrinan's coffin at all! Paddy tells two jokes about memory loss and Charles Haughey.
0:21:17 - 0:29:45 GOING ON CUAIRD - JP speaks about the tradition of cuaird. He speaks about the people who would call to his own house which was a cuairdí house. He tells a story that he heard about a man who went to Biddy Early for a cure and stole her scissors. He recalls a story about a man who had dreamt there was gold at Marrinan's Gurteen. When he was coming back from Oatfield he was pulled off a horse. When they were later digging for gold they were interrupted by a monster and they never returned to dig for the gold. JP recalls another story about Timsie Mc. He was going to Limerick and his saddle and bridle were missing. He found them folded up in a ball back the road. He could never explain how it happened. JP tells another story about a man (Doodle Hogan from Knockjames) who was going to Limerick early in the morning. Having no matches for his pipe he continued on hoping he would meet someone. After a long time he came upon a house where he saw a light. He went into the house and got a great welcome. However, when he called on the way home, the house was derelict. JP speaks about local storytellers. Timsie Mc and Tommy Marrinan were good storytellers. JP tells a story about a Torpey man who was walking back by Glenwood and met a big man in the dark. They eventually spoke and realised that there was no ghost in question.
0:33:23 - 0:41:20 HOUSE DANCES AND ENTERTAINMENT - Paddy describes his memories of house dances that were held locally. He describes how the gramophone was used and how people danced until midnight. After midnight, they would take off the shoes and dance in their socks. Paddy states that there was no drink at the house dances. JP speaks about a house dance in Pollock when tricks were played by people outside the window. Paddy and JP speak about the travelling plays and groups that would come and entertain the locals throughout the year.
0:41:21 - 0:42:41 THE BODYKE EVICTIONS PLAY - JP recalls seeing the play about the Bodyke Evictions in the hall in Kilkishen. A man hurt his hand when the sheriffs were coming to evict the tenants.
0:42:42 - 0:43:52 LOCAL PLAYS - JP recalls a play that the local people put on in Kilkishen when he was a young boy.
0:43:53 - 0:48:15 THE MARQUEE IN KILKISHEN - JP and Paddy speak about the Marquees in Kilkishen. JP recalls going to the first one was in 1958. They discuss its development over the years. Matt Donovan outlines some of the band that played over the years. JP states that a book by the IFA outlines the different bands that played at the Marquee.
0:48:16 - 0:52:14 ALL IRELAND QUESTION TIME - Paddy and JP speak about Palkie Hannon who was part of a team that one the All Ireland Question time in 1959. Pat O'Connor, Seán Hehir, Dr. Houlihan and Liam Jones were also involved.
0:52:14 - 1:06:58 HURLING - JP recalls his memories of the Intermediate Hurling Championship in 1968 when O'Callaghan's Mills won the county final. He outlines the years in the lead up to the 1968 championship and describes the matches during that year. He also speaks about the celebrations after the final in Kilkishen. JP also speaks about other O'Callaghan's Mills victories that he heard of over the years. Paddy speaks about the various hurling clubs throughout the county and how they could not come together to make a good county time. Paddy recites a poem that was composed by Pat O'Connor, the local poet in Tulla.
File 5 0:00:00 - 0:13:23 CONTINUES FROM FILE IV (HURLING) - Paddy speaks about local hurling rivalries in the past. JP speaks about an incident in 1962 between Sixmilebridge and Newmarket when there were graves dug in the pitch the night before the match. JP speaks about the 1954 County Final in which O'Callaghan's Mills and St. Josephs. He speaks about the semi-final between Tulla and St. Josephs in which Tulla were very lucky. JP states that Jimmy Smith was the best Clare hurler he ever saw. Paddy states that Fr. Jackie Solan was the best hurler he ever saw. JP and Paddy speak about other hurlers they remember including Pappy Callaghan and Naoise Jordan and Tull Considine. JP speaks about an incident when Gerry Riordan and Pappy Callaghan were marking each other. They both spotted a shilling in the square and the two of them started fighting over the shilling. The crowd had now idea what they were tussling over. JP speaks about Mikey O'Grady and Bodyke's Hurling victory in 1947. Mikey O'Grady told JP that they would have won nothing without Pappy Callaghan. Pappy had transferred to Bodyke in 1944. John Lenihan speaks about a comment apparently made by Fr. Jim Minogue about O'Callaghan's Mills and Bodyke. All present speak generally about hurling in East Clare and the people they believed to be the best hurlers including Danno Doyle of Whitegate. They also speak about some of the fields that hurling was played on locally. JP recalls a day that in school they were not allowed to play hurling. He recalls one day when the master was away and Mrs. Clancy was in charge, they played a hurling game. JP and Paddy speak where they got their hurleys locally.
0:13:24 - 0:23:30 BIG HOUSES AND THE GENTRY - Paddy speaks about some of the gentry houses in the local area including Castlecrine. Paddy worked in thirteen of the big houses in his time. Paddy and JP speak about local tradesman including Pecker Roughan. Paddy speaks about local traditions surrounding red water. It was reputed that when landlords buried cattle with red water it would stay live under the ground for 100 years and would disease cattle. Matt Donovan speaks about an old man in Tulla (Ryan) who buried a cow that had died for a man. They only buried the cow in a shallow hole so that they could dig it up later and eat it. Paddy speaks about Billy Walsh who had an uncle who worked in Lough Cutra. When the Lord and Lady would come back from holiday, the horses were taken off at Lough Cutra gate and the staff pulled them in.

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!