Maggie O’Halloran

Interview by Geraldine Greene on February 17, 2010

Gender: Female

Birth date: 1918

Area: North Clare - Kilnamona

Report date: December 30, 2015

Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:02:06 FAMILY - Maggie was born in Ballyteigue, Ruan, 3 miles from Ruan village, Corofin, Crusheen & Tubber & 9 miles from Ennis. Family: Maggie - youngest of family of 5; Mary was the eldest; 12 years between eldest & youngest; 2 sisters (Bridie was 8 years older than Maggie); Maggie has many nieces & nephews in USA - one niece is 80 years old; Children not spoiled then; good memories of growing up in Ballyteigue Emigration: Her two sisters went to America in 1926 & 1927 while Maggie still living in Ruan; their mother missed them, lonesome without them especially after receiving their letters; one has passed away in New York; Mentions her grand-daughter Marie who is in Australia for few years; got her hurley & gear sent out (great camogie player, ex- club & county team).
0:02:06 - 0:02:26 SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC & DANCING - Recalls house dances; mentions Barron, the travelling dancing master at their own & neighbours' houses People enjoyed the country dances; Maggie danced sets from age 10; music from the wind-up gramophone; mentions Barron, the travelling dancing master at their own & neighbours' houses.
0:04:17 - 0:04:27 HOUSES & NEIGHBOURS - Recalls people going & coming “on cuaird”; Mentions houses in Moyree & area - mostly empty now as people are deceased; refers to John Joe Cullinan, fiddler & singer; most of her age group have passed away; always having visitors on cuaird at night; people happy then - all “in same boat”.
0:02:26 - 0:03:37 FAMILY & FARMING - Walked three miles to mass in Ruan; in later years her brother John got a horse & cart; recalls hard work & farming; her father died when she was young & still at school; her brother John took over the farm; had a donkey then he got a pony & trap; recalls tilling & ploughing with the pony; her brother John trained horses; work was hard; no electricity or running water - water was got from the wells in tin cans - used a cord onto the bucket & lowered it into the nearby lake; recalls going on the ass & cart with her mother. Children had little freedom then, no money, many jobs at home & on the farm; drawing water from the well; she recalls digging spuds at neighbours; little money; children visiting others' houses; life different then to now; Maggie laments passing of neighbours in Ruan & old houses; Maggie talks house-building in recent years & about emigration now; people content then - all in same situation. Children not spoiled then; good memories of growing up in Ballyteigue Farming; milked cows; land wet - now has much planted; effects of rain & frost on land & fields in recent years; family always kept a garden; her uncle had a paid farm worker on their farm in Kilnamona.
0:03:37 - 0:04:17 SCHOOL DAYS - School days in Moyree, Ruan (now closed); she & family often walked barefoot to school; recalls Confirmation practices & taking the shortcut to Ruan; Recalls teachers' residence was added to the school; recalls Miss Fitzgibbon, Miss Louise Burke & Miss O'Dea, Kilfenora; has mixed feeling re: school days; liked reading, Irish & history; 1 classroom; pupils/families “brought the fire”; no light - paraffin lamp on the walls; recalls teachers & their families; needlework & knitting; Maggie preferred sewing to knitting; recalls the Inspector coming; no sport at school; some hurling at Ruan. She left school at 16; too far to go to secondary school in Ennis; some neighbours cycled to Ennis or boarded there; most finished at national school as they couldn't afford boarding; subjects she liked & disliked; teachers often did summer Irish courses.
0:10:00 - 0:14:03 MOVING TO KILNAMONA/MARRIAGE/SIBLINGS - Moving to Kilnamona at age 18 to her aunt's & uncle's house & farm - milking cows & cooking; she disliked it at first - it was different to life in Ruan; tells of her aunts and uncles in in Kilnamona & Ruan; her aunt died followed by her uncle died in 1947 at age 87; she met her husband at Kilnamona when he was home on holidays; marriage was not a match; got married to Michael (Micho) in 1941 at age 23 & settled into life at Kilnamona; she was last of the females in her family to wed; her brother John married after Maggie; her husband's brother was killed in the Second World War in 1941 in Egypt at age 23; information about her husband's siblings; Maggie recalls cycling & visiting her relatives at Inagh; Moved from old house to present house 1961.
0:10:00 - 0:14:03 Recalls cycling from Inagh to the holy well in Miltown & home to Ruan for the house stations
0:14:03 - 0:19:00 Returning home to Ruan after moving to Kilnamona; she often stayed there until she had children; her brother alone after his wife died; her mother eventually moved to Maggie's in Kilnamona; her mother died at age 87 in 1960.
0:21:36 - 0:22:00 SPORT & GAMES - Games played - hurling at Ruan; Maggie has always enjoyed going to hurling games; many of her grandchildren & great grandchildren are players & many have been on local club, schools and county teams; talks about her grandsons & hurling.
0:23:40 - 0:24:48 TRANSPORT - She didn't learn to drive though her brother encouraged her to; recalls going to Ennis on the ass & cart with her mother; her brother John (12 years between them) had a donkey then he got a pony & trap.
0:24:18 - 0:27:27 FAMILY - Maggie names her children; her children born in hospital in Ennis & baptized straight away; talks about her husband's father being blind but not able to see his grandson; 2 daughters in America; her husband died in 1975; her sisters died in America in 1970 & 1973; Maggie has 26 grandchildren & 20 great grandchildren; family coming to Clare for occasions - weddings & her 80th & 90th birthday celebrations; her dog.
0:27:27 - 0:32:15 LIFE NOW - Weather now & weather in past; recalls bad rain in 1951; good health; lots of visitors; has home help now; attend Mass & goes many places; attends & enjoys the Day Care Centre in Kilmaley (previously went to Ennistymon); Maggie occasionally goes to pubs Changes & comparing life now to past & many changes; house-building in recent years; Maggie occasionally goes to pubs & music; women now V in past; parents didn't let them out in past times; life better generally; Geraldine refers to the 1949 video re: life in Kilnamona which Maggie has seen - her daughter married to youngest of family of 16 (brother of film maker who lived in USA); talks about names now V in past Maggie has travelled to USA to family members 9 times, first time in 1967; Health now; rarely in hospital for illness; her children born in hospital in Ennis & baptized straight away; she didn't learn to drive though her brother encouraged her to; her life in present days & activities; keeps contact with family - visits, by phone but she doesn't write as much now. her husband's brother was killed in the Second World War in 1941 in Egypt at age 23 - killed in a transport accident.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:01:04 Going to the well; field name; hard work; no desire to return days of hard work with no electricity; though people were happy & content -all in same boat; farming people helped one another - making reeks & threshing; her brother John grew corn in Ruan as did Geraldine's grand-father Henry Greene (& Maggie's neighbour) in Kilnamona.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:00:40 File 3 Maggie went to dances in Ruan - rarely to dances in Ennis; didn't go out when her children were small.
0:00:40 - 0:01:30 Involvement in ICA for many years; recalls when she & friend enjoyed tea & a smoke after a meeting.
0:01:30 - 0:02:47 MIKE MCTIGUE, BOXING CHAMPION - Maggie remembers hearing about McTigue & has literature about him; marriage connection between her nephew & McTigue family.
0:02:47 - 0:05:02 WAR YEARS - Recalls World War II, local men involved, rationing books, eg. flour & washing powder; her sisters in America often send home packets of tea; her sister's return boat trip to America postponed for many months because of war & neighbours not being able to return home; mentions Titanic & only survivor who died previous year.
File 5 0:0:00 - 0:01:34 Trips to America - First time to New York in 1966; big change from Ireland; mentions visiting & meeting people; nights in her house before her sisters emigrated.