Manuel De Lucia

Interview by Mary Morgan on November 2, 2010

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1940

Area: West Clare - Kilkee Lower

Report date: December 11, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:02:09 FAMILY BACKGROUND - Manuel was born in Belfast but moved to Kilkee in the spring of 1941. He was born on 22/11/40. His grandparents came from Italy. Both his parents were born in Northern Ireland. As was common in Italian families at that time his father was sent back to Italy to go to school. His grandfather was a stone mason and terrazzo, (tile worker) and he worked on churches in the north. Manuel's father then learnt the trade.
0:02:10 - 0:05:41 FAMILY BUSINESS - For the first seven years in Kilkee they lived in a business on the main street of Kilkee. It was Duggan's at the time and is now a drapery called Moloney's. When Manuel's father took it over from Manuel's mother's uncle it was the Savoy Café. The uncle surname was Marsella and he had fish and chip shops in Limerick. The lease finished in 1947 and then they moved across the road. His mother was Jean Divito also of Italian descent and his father's name was Antonio Dilucia. His mother is dead about 12 years and his father is dead about 55 years. He has one brother and two sisters. Two children died as babies. Manuel was thirteen when his father died. He worked in the café. He recalls how his father made ice-cream. His sister Bernadette ran the café and she inherited a special recipe for vinegar.
0:05:42 - 0:10:39 CHILDHOOD MEMORIES - Manuel remembers swimming off the pier when he was seven when his friend, Francie Nolan, pushed him in to teach him to swim. He speaks of the day he made his holy communion. He was dressed in an admiral's outfit. He remembers giving him £5. Some of his friends lived in Corry Lane. They would build a hideout in Morgan Greene's wood on the Kilrush road. John Haugh was one of his best friends. They would take the West Clare to Limerick. He says the fare was about one and six pence. He recalls the dog they had.
0:10:40 - 0:13:56 FISHING/DIVING - Manuel speaks of the pasta recipes that were passed down to his sister. He ran a seafood restaurant called 'Manuel's'. He speaks of diving and recalls how he would go out spear fishing in the bay for plaice and flounder. In 1960 he took up scuba diving. He was involved with the Gardaí searching for bodies.
0:13:57 - 0:16:20 FAIRS - Manuel recalls a cattle fair on the first Monday of every month. He recalls the café full of farmers. They were the only café in town at the time. Kilkee had 36 pubs at one time. He thinks the population at the time was around 1500. He says there are about 20 of those pubs gone now.
0:16:21 - 0:17:45 HACKNEY CAR - Manuel's father was also a hackney driver with a large American car.
0:17:46 - 0:20:18 SCHOOL - Manuel speaks about his schooldays.
0:20:19 - 0:21:02 WWII - He recalls finding timber boxes with black carbon sticks during WWII. They were used for searchlights on the ships.
0:21:03 - 0:21:44 FISHING - He recalls the canoes going out to catch herrings and mackerel. His father would buy whiting and cod from the currachs when they would come in.
0:21:45 - 0:23:28 CALENDAR CUSTOMS - He remembers dragging the May bush around the field. He speaks of going out on the wren on Stephen's day. He says there was a shop in Kilkee called Buckley's and the the woman who ran it was called Chrissie McNamara. She would have toys laid out at Christmas.
0:23:29 - 0:24:18 PLANES - He remembers having trips to see the clippers at Shannon.
0:24:19 - 0:26:05 ELECTRICITY/TELEVISION - Manuel says the electricity in the past wasn't always reliable. He was in Dublin the night they launched Irish television. He speaks of the sheet you could put over the television to give the screen colour.

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