Michael ‘Hookey ‘ Farrell

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara on April 26, 2011

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1919 - 2011

Area: East Clare - Whitegate

Report date: December 8, 2011

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Time Description
1:12:41 - 1:16:57 THE BANSHEE - Tells a story about a man (Patty Hogan) coming from the Fair of Woodford when something went out in front of him crying. He later went to Coffeys and the Banshee followed him all the way down there. He claimed to have seen the Banshee on this occasion as well as hearing her. Michael states that the house he was reared in (Tintrim House) was supposed to be haunted but that he never saw anything. His brother Paddy did claim to see something on one occasion. Michael later discovered that it was three horses and one of them was black.
1:16:57 - 1:30:46 FAIRS - Speaks about going to the Fair of Scariff at 2.00am in the morning. It would take Michael thee and a half hours to walk his cattle to Scariff. Speaks about selling cattle at the Fair of Scariff. Speaks about the Fair in general and recalls selling cattle from the Connaught Road where Michael would also position himself. Michael regarded himself as a 'tough seller'. Speaks about selling Bonabhs at the Fair of Scariff. He would put his pony into Bill Jone's yard. Recalls how a sow they had at home made enough to put people through school. They would approximately ten bonabhs a year.
0:00:00 - 0:02:17 File 2 FAIRS (CONT.) - Speaks about travelling home from the Fair and how his pony knew the road and new all the pubs. He was bringing a bonabh home and it managed to escape but a neighbour picked it up and brought it back to him.
0:02:17 - 0:03:13 KILLING THE PIG - Tom Tuohy used to kill the pig in their area. Tom Tuohy also used to kill pigs for people. Describes how they killed the pig.
0;03:13 - 0;04:28 WAKES - Michael briefly recalls the Wakes and speaks about the clay pipes. He states that people used to throw them at each other. Interview Ends
1:08:25 - 1:09:38 OGONNOLLOE SPUDS - Recalls selling spuds in Limerick. States that you could sell the Banners in Limerick for chips but the Champions were the best. They used to love hearing their uncle blow the whistle for the dinner because they'd get the champions.
1:09:38 - 1:12:41 SOCIAL LIFE - States that Paddy O'Brien in Rineskeagh, Whitegate was a great storyteller. Speaks about Dan Slattery who used to work with him and states he was a very funny man and great to tell stories.
1:03:12 - 1:06:16 TRADES AND TRADESMEN - He says that Tommy Harn from Killaloe was a great carpenter. Speaks about making Súgáns. States that John Tuohy was the best man locally to make creels and wheels for cars. Jackie Tuohy, his cousin was also a carpenter. Jackie used to build boats also.
1:06:16 - 1:08:25 MAY EVE/NIGHT - Michael describes May Day and May night. He would have to cut down branches off the May tree and place the branches from the tree in every field of his uncle's (Johnny Farrell) farm in Ogonnolloe. He would also have to put one in the spuds at the back of the house.
0:43:24 - 0:45:31 TRADITIONAL MUSIC - Michael speaks that there was a bungalow (Lucas's Pub). Martin Grace and Michael's brother Paddy (accordion). Michael states that he played the fiddle until his mother died. A woman called Margaret Malone used to teach them how to play music. Margaret's father was a great traditional musician. Michael's brother Johnny played the fiddle. Michael states that his brother Billy went to live with their uncle in Ogonnolloe the night his mother was buried.
0:45:31 - 0:51:37 CORN AND HAY - Speaks about making a handstack of corn. He describes the way that he would make it. A man from Galway called Mickey McDermott showed him how to do it when he was a young man. Michael also explains the best way to make a tram of hay. Speaks about using a scythe and the skill in edging it. Michael recalls cutting the headland of his farm with a scythe as it was compulsory when the tillage came in. He refers to Mick Flannery from Coose who would be able to cut a large swarth (sic.) of hay with a sythe.
0;51:37 - 0:59:13 FARM MACHINERY - Michael speaks about the change to farm machinery he witnessed. Speaks about the tillage and how you it had be done every year for seven years. States that the Gadraí were very strict in enforcing the tillage. He describes the tillage requirements. Michael's brother Paddy used do the thrashing for people all around their area. He would be thrashing up until February. State's that Michael Corbett used to do the thrashing in Ogonnolloe but Tom Barton had an older piece of machinery before that. Speaks about Paddy thrashing in general. Recalls Fran Sampson who had a horse drawn thrasher. Refers to Mickey Jordan (Native of Lisdoonvarna) in Whitegate who was good at fixing machinery.
0:59:13 - 1:03:12 BLACKSMITH - Michael states that the closest Blacksmith to his house in Tintrim, Whitegate was Ned Doyle. Ned Doyle was a native of Laccaroe, Feakle who had been a member of the IRA. He also states that Palk Minogue's father was also a local blacksmith in Boolagough between Whitegate and Mountshannon. Recalls going to Ned Doyle's forge. He states that Ned Doyle once told him that he went to the two masses in Whitegate because it was the only way he would meet people (to pay him). If he went to one, they could be at the other one so he went to both.
0:28:58 - 0:31:01 THE NICKNAME 'HOOKEY' - Michael states that there was a man named Hookey Brooder (sic.) who lived out passed the Half Barrel pub. When Michael was at Denis Mulvihils playing cards with the three Bolwers, Denis Brien and Matt Treacy. While the men were chatting Denis Brien as a question about the Hookey Brooder. Another man said 'cher we have a Hookey here' pointing at Michael.
0:31:01 - 0:33:32 SCHOOLDAYS - Speaks about going to school with himself and Jimmy Grace would be together. Relates how they would often be kept late for talking. His teachers were Davis and a Curtin woman from Ennis. Speaks about other teachers he recalls.
0:33:32 - 0:36:13 ENTERTAINMENT - Speaks about platforms that were used for dancing in the area on Sunday evening. Michael states that people would come from Whitegate and other areas for these dancing. They would also play Pitch and Toss. Speaks about playing Pitch and Toss. Says that Micky McDermott was a great pitcher buth Michael beat him. They threw the coin onto the 'Mushy' (sic.). When Michael was in Ogonnolle, they would use bottle caps instead of money.
0:36:13 - 0:43:24 OGONNOLLOE - Michael states that the hurling field in Ogonnolloe belonged to Jimmy Farrell. He speaks about Mick Gibbons who lived near the Shannon in Ogonnolloe. Speaks about Foley's Cross which takes you up towards the Piper's Inn in Ogonnolloe. Speaks briefly about bringing potatoes from Ogonnolle to the market in Limerick and selling them for 3p per stone. Speaks about going to a hooley in Bodyke.
0:21:30 - 0:28:58 TWO AND A HALF YEARS LYING IN BED - Speaks about an accident when he was a young boy playing with his brother Billy which left him with a severe limp for the rest of his life. He speaks about having to spend three months initially in bed but this didn't help. He was then sent to Cappa hospital in Dublin. A man called Ralph (sic.) brought him to Dublin. Speaks about Bowler Tuohy's wife dying after getting kicked by a cow the morning he was being taken to Dublin. Michael spent two and a half years in hospital tied down to a frame in Dublin without getting out of bed. The 'knuckle in his hip was out but the operation compounded the problem instead of helping. Michael describes how he was tied to the frame in the bed and explains how difficult it was. He was given some schooling in the hospital. After coming out he spent three and a half years in a splint. He speaks briefly about spending time in Ogonnolloe making mats and straw hats. He made one for a neighbour who still has it. Speaks about his own patience. His family could visit him five times a year and he recalls how his mother would be very upset when she was leaving him after a visit. Michael speaks about his slow recovery.
0:05:26 - 0:11:56 BLACK AND TANS - Michael recalls Black and Tans coming into the room in his home. When the Black and Tans came into the room, there were eight of them in the one bed. They had ordered his mother to put on eggs to feed them. He states that the Black and Tan that came into the bedroom told them they had a neighbour downstairs who was going to help them clear a bridge. Michael mentions Paul (sic.) Kelly and his brother who were training a young horse. They took Paul Kelly to Scariff and kept him for the night. Michael speaks about Jim Mulvihil (refers to his son having just left the house before the interview started). Mulvihil was carrying a shovel and was forced into the Black and Tans lorry and taken to Scariff. He was held until 6.00pm the following evening. Michael speaks about Tom (Bowler) Tuohy and Ned Doyle (both from Feakle) who were neighbours of his. Both had been active members of the IRA. He mentions that Paul Kelly used to be feeding the men on the run. He also mentions Martin Murry who used to take guns across the mountains for the IRA. Murry's brother was Mickey Murray in Ogonnolloe. Michael's brother Paddy and Ned Doyle were great friends. Refers to Tom Mc (Vol. Thomas McNamara from Mountshannon). He was married to Delaney (whose brother was a butcher in Mountshannon).
0:11:56 - 0:17:55 SCARIFF MARTYRS - Michael outlines what he knew about the incident. He speaks about the Conway brothers and what they said over the years. Their sister was Teise. Michael believes that the Egans came from Coose.
0:17:55 - 0:21:30 EARLY LIFE - Michael speaks about his family and uncles. Speaks about how the neighbours helped after his father died in 1927. Speaks about Jim Kelly who helped a lot with the affairs of the farm. Jim Kelly died in Dublin after an operation and Michael speaks about how lonesome he was after he died.
0:00:00 - 0:05:26 File 1 FAMILY BACKGROUND - Michael speaks about his parents James O'Farrell and Agnes Gleeson (The Fields, Tipperary). Recalls going to visit his uncle Denis with Biddy and Paddy his brothers. He speaks about his mother's parents who he recalls from holidays in Tipperary. Recalls how his grandfather John Gleeson would wash his face outside every morning no matter how cold it was. Michael's father died in December 1927 and his mother died ten years later on 31 January, 1937. They were both 56 when they died. Michael recalls how his mother used to miss her home when she moved to Whitegate first. She used to travel home with a Hackney driver called Paddy Lyons.

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