Martin & Mary Walsh

Interview by Patricia Ryan on April 4, 2011

Gender: Male

Area: East Clare

Report date: August 15, 2011

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Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:01:44 SCHOOL - Martin was born in Moyglass which is 2 ½ to 3 miles from Scrupol and he used to walk to school every day. He talks about one of the teachers, Miss Murphy and she wasn't able to sing and they had to have a singer in every school. They use to pick one of the scholars was pick and PJ Donnellan was picked to teach Martin how to sing.
0:01:44 - 0:06:52 AUSTRALIA AND IMMIGRATION - There were five in Martins family, three boys and two girls. One of them ended up immigrating to Australia. Martin had an uncle back in Quilty who was married to a woman from East Clare, O' Brien. Her brother was over in Australia and he used to come home on holidays. At this time his sister was going to school in Ennistymon because there was no convent in Spanish Point at that time. She would use to get the train home and when it was time to get off she would throw her books out first and then jump out. Her brother convinced her to return to Australia when she was 14 but he was a gambler so when she arrived all he had was a horse that won the Melbourne Cup and he hadn't one penny. This was after the famine and Martin had six uncles there (three O' Loughlins and Three Walsh's). Since the government wanted to populate the country, there was free immigration. One of his uncles, Jack Walsh, ended up looking after the O' Brien Girl. She ended up working in a Hotel and she was married by the age of 21 and bought an eighty acre farm. The day her second child was born her husband burst a blood vessel and died. There was eleven lads working on the farm and one of them was from Kilmihil. He was the foreman. The O' Briens girl ended up marrying him after four or five years. He was Tom Johnson.
0:06:52 - 0:10:35 SCHOOL AND EARLIEST MEMORIES - Martin's family always lived in Moyglass. Martin grew up in a big house and it was the second house slated in the parish of Mullock. The timber for it cost £26. Martin would walk to school and he goes on to talk about some of his earliest memories from Scropul School. He states that they didn't have any shoes. Martin use to hate Irish while he was in school. Football was the main activity played during lunch and the food that they ate was mainly bread and butter.
0:10:35 - 0:13:03 FARM ANIMALS AND FAIRS - Martin says that they use to have goats and Pucks. He talks about Maggie the Sadler who owned three Pucks in Leitrim. He then goes on to talk about the time he went to the Fair in Kilmihil.
0:13:03 - 0:25:24 CUSTOMS AND AEROPLANES - When Martin was younger Santa would visit them but they wouldn't get much. Martin remembers the first time he saw an aeroplane. He was coming home from a Fair in Kilmihil on the 15th August when he saw three aeroplanes. Martin talks about Pat Hogan's wake and tells a few stories that happened around this time. He goes through all the events that would happen right up to the burial. Note: Interview cuts off here but when it resumes Martin continues talking about Pat Hogan's wake.
0:25:24 - 0:26:43 SCHOOL - The school in Scropul was only one room and there was no electrity. The girls were on one side with the boys on the other. There was an open fire and every student would bring sod of turf with them to school. Martin remembers the school been cold but they didn't take any notice of it. The floors were mad e of wood. School would start 9:30 and would last until three in the afternoon.
0:26:43 - 0:28:30 THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Martin says that he doesn't remember much of the Black and Tans but he does remember people talking about them. Martin talks about the bridge at the end of their Avenue been broke. It was broken so a lad wasn't able to across the bridge with a load of turf and go on to sell it in Miltown. This meant he would have to walk an extra three miles to get to Miltown. The price of the turf was three shillings.
0:28:30 - 0:30:32 CURES - There were a lot of cures for cattle. Martin says that the doctor would rarely call to the house. If someone was ever sick in a house then people wouldn't call to the house for ages. Patricia asks what Martin considers to be the most important machine. According to him the most important development was be able to cut hay with horse and machine. He says that they had 40 acres of good land which had to be cut. His father bought a horse and machine in 1910. After this they bought a mowing machine.
0:30:32 - 0:35:20 SCHOOL - Mary remembers her first day at school which was 66 years ago and her neighbours used to bring her to school. Martin starts to talk about a friend of his when he was going to school. Mary said she was good a student and liked all her subjects including Irish. She wasn't fluent at Irish but she was good at mental sums. One of the books that was used by students at that time was 'Kincora Readers'. They didn't have to wear a uniform when going to school and they usually brought bread and butter for lunch. Girls would play different games during lunch time which included 'ring around a rosie' and cricket.
0:35:20 - 0:36:16 AEROPLANES - Mary can't remember the exact day she saw her first aeroplane but she says whenever one passed by she would stop to look at it and listen to it.
0:36:16 - 0:38:29 FOLKLORE AND HEDGE SCHOOLS - Martin says that there would be fairies around the county in places that would be considered haunted. Mr. O' Dea would stay in the school and Mary says he got a fright one night from the fairies. This happened before Mary was going to this school but she used to hear the stories. There was a hedge in Ned's Farm but Mary does think there was one around the Scropul which was built in 1860 by Mark Kelly. Interview Ends.

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