Maureen McDonagh

Interview by Marie Cahill on June 14, 2012

Gender: Female

Birth date: 1928

Area: North Clare - Carran

Report date: December 9, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:14:47 LIZARDS IN THE BURREN/WILDLIFE - Maureen speaks of the lizards that can be found in the Burren. She also speaks of some of the other wildlife in the Burren including the animals her father would trap and kill and sent to MD Smith in Dublin. Her mother once told her a story about a beetle, the Dar Daol, [Devil's Head], who was said to have spied on Jesus. She mentions some of the animals that would be hunted. She speaks of some of the goats she had. She says they were seen in the past as the poor man's cow.
0:14:48 - 0:20:22 CHRISTMAS - Maureen says they would have her own reared turkey or goose at Christmas. She speaks of the candles in the windows. She describes some of the presents she got. She has an ornament 'Our Lady of Knock', which she bought when she was ten for two shillings. She wasn't allowed out on the wren but they would go to the wren dance. It was held across the road in Michael Water's house.
0:20:23 - 0:26:52 MUSIC/FIDDLE - Maureen played the fiddle until she got married. She would play for sets at Kelly's with Julia Ann Grady-Miko Grady's sister. The first tune she was taught was 'Miss McLeods's Reel'. She says they would have cuairdaí visiting them. Her father stopped the dancing as they had boarded floors and it was getting chipped with the boots. John Joe Howard taught her to play. She says he was a strict teacher. Her school teacher was retiring and she gave Maureen the fiddle as a present when she was about 12.
0:26:53 - 0:30:26 SCHOOL - Maureen would have liked to go to secondary but she had to stay at home on the farm. Her favourite subject was Irish. They would speak Irish when they were playing. Her parents didn't have a word of Irish. She remembers her mother and her aunt taking her on a day trip to see the Twelve Pins in Connemara. They had a lift with a traveller, Christy Conway.
0:30:27 - 0:32:07 POLITICS - Her parents were de Valera supporters but would never discuss it outside. She says politics or religion should never be discussed in a pub.
0:32:08 - 0:34:00 WEDDINGS - Maureen says there was on fuss made on wedding days. She went on her honeymoon to her sister-in-law's in Kerry.
0:34:01 - 0:38:40 STORIES - Maureen says they were told by the teacher to collect folklore from the old people. She remembers of story of a man who hid gold and couldn't find it again, which she heard from Mike Ford, Knockane. She tells another story of two men, (one was John Joe Howard), playing the fiddle up a mountain in front of Knockane village, pretending to be the fairies. Another time John Joe Howard put a sheet around him at a graveyard when a Dr Flaherty was going by. She speaks of a man in Gort called Sacko and he could cast his voice and he taught John Joe Howard to do this.

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