Mary Towler née Liddy

Interview by Jackie Elger on February 7, 2015

Gender: Female

Area: East Clare - Tulla

Parish: Tulla

Report date: December 11, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:04:15 EARLY LIFE - Mary was born on the 19th December 1938. She lived in Newlawn, Tulla and went to Fortane school. Her teacher there was Mrs Meehan. She went to secondary in Tula. She worked in Shannon for two years then went nursing in Burnley, UK. She went to the UK by boat.
0:04:16 - 0:04:51 DANCES - Mary speaks of the curfew at the nursing home in Burnley. She would go to dances in Manchester. She loved to come home to the marquee dances in Kilkishen. She remembers the Clipper Carlton's playing there.
0:04:52 - 0:08:35 NURSING/BURNLEY - Mary was 18 when she went nursing. She met her husband in England. He loved visiting Ireland with her. He loved the open hearth fires and the people. They had their honeymoon in Tulla. Mary worked as a district nurse in Burnley for 20 years.
0:08:36 - 0:14:12 HOUSE/FAMILY - Mary's mother was 92 when she died. Her brother was 66 when he dies. She says four generations on her father's side lived in the house. The first generation had 12 children. Her great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brother all called Patrick. Her mother was Josephine Cotter from Clonbrick, Kilkishen. She enjoyed summer holidays in Clonbrick.
0:08:36 - 0:14:12 BURNLEY- Mary's family had a farm. She speaks of the community in Burnley and the dances in Manchester. She compares nursing then and now.
0:14:13 - 0:16:43 THE HOUSE/BEES Mary recalls her mother cooking over the open hearth. Her mother would send her cakes when she was in UK. Her brother kept bees and Mary still keeps them in the house in Tulla. They are tended by two men from Bolton, UK. She says Mick Noonan taught her brother all about bees. Pa Lynch also had bees.
0:25:15 - 0:34:13 ON CUAIRD - Mary says Mick Noonan, who worked next door at Murphy's, would come to their house on his cuaird and tell ghost stories. Her father would visit Connell's. She recalls some of the stories Mick Noonan would tell. She says all the characters and storytellers are gone now. She speaks again of Mick and bees and also of Mick's son, Jimmy. The woman in the house next door was the matron of Raheen hospital.
0:34:14 - 0:42:51 SCHOOLDAYS - Mary speaks of a Fortane school reunion she organised in 1996, which was 25 years after the school had closed. She describes the school and how turf would have to be supplied. Some of the surnames she mentions are; Bolands; Meehans; Donoghues, McGraths and O'Briens. The school was built in 1886. She speaks of Master Corbett, who taught there. His daughter sent a letter to the O'Callaghans, (Westropps) about trees. The last teacher at the school was John Minogue from Tulla's wife, Kathleen Hayes. She says her townland is Ballinakil but its 'pet' name in Newlawn.
0:42:52 - 0:45:50 SECONDARY SCHOOL - Mary speaks of Sister Bosco at Tulla. She recalls a school report.
0:45:51 - 0:50:53 TULLA PIPE BAND Mary's bother Pat was in the Tulla Pipe Band for 42 years. She speaks of him being a water diviner. He couldn't take money as payment. He would go to the Blacksticks pub with his friend Bury Liddy. She says the Tulla Pipe Band were there when President Kennedy came to Shannon. Mrs McGrath made the uniforms for the band.
0:50:54 - 0:51:52 HURLING Mary loved watching the hurling in Tulla. Her brother played in Goal. Her grandfather, Patrick Liddy, was on the first All-Ireland team.

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