Michael Joe Flanagan

Interview by Carol Gleeson on October 4, 2011

Gender: Male

Area: North Clare

Report date: November 13, 2015

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Time Description
FILE 1 0:00:00 - 0:07:54 BACKGROUND/TUBRIDYS/FLANAGANS/OTHER LOCAL SURNAMES - Michael's great-grandmother was Nora Tubridy. The Tubridy's are thought to have come from the Armada. When they came in from the Armada they were hung off the cliffs and executed. Michael says one man hid in a well ad a woman by the name of Reidy picked him up and they had no name for him only Tubber. He thinks that is where the name Tubridy originated from. Michael was born in Shanaway, Miltown Malbay. He was there until he was 59. The Flanagans originally came from Roscommon but they went to Scotland and they joined the army with Sarsfield and they were at the battle of the taking of Bunratty but they deserted. One said he would let off his horse and wherever the horse went he would build his house and the other one went to Cranny and built a house there. Michael's people came from Cranny to Shanaway. Pat Flanagan married Alice Healy and he is descended from them-he was his grandfather's father. His grandfather is dead since 1953. He mentions the O'Neills and some surnames that the land is divided between. He talks about Paddy Harnett's great grandfather. Hayes had no land and he was hunting with terriers and the landlord Crowe was passing and Hayes gave him the military salute and Crowe gave him land. The Cotters came from Kilmaley. He learnt a lot of information from Joe Burke & Seán Talty, Catherine Moloneys' husband.
0:09:42 - 0:10:22 WORK - Michael worked with the County Council and the ESB. He speaks of working in the bog at 14 years of age for £2 12 & 6 a week. The turf was going to institutions like Our Lady's Hospital during WWII.
FILE 2 0:00:00 - 0:03:29 PISREÓGS - Michael talks about pisreogs including the putting the 'big of your head' in the churn. He speaks of cutting whitethorns on May night. If people had a toothache they would get a skull from the cemetery and they would take to the blessed well and drink from it. He tells a funny story about this.
0:03:30 - 0:05:40 KILLERNANE CEMETERY - Michael talks about Killernane Cemetery and who was buried there. In olden times the coffin would have been brought on shoulders down the mountain and if the weather was bad the body would be buried on other land temporarily and he thinks some bodies were never taken up.
0:05:41 - 0:08:40 MUTTON ISLAND - He names families from Mutton Island-Kelleher, Gallaher, Power, Creehan & Stack. Some were there up to 1921. Michael's grandmother, Nora King, came from Ryan's Row, Quilty. She spent a few nights on Mutton Island with the Gallaghers. Her father cured and shipped fish. There was a cemetery on Mutton Island and they would be buried there from the mainland but if the sea was high they were buried on the sand hills and some were left there. He speaks of the wrecking of the ship the Leon in 1912.
0:08:41 - 0:13:10 SHANAWAY - He talks about the houses in Shanaway. They were thatched house and the houses that were built north & south fought the storms better. He speaks of the night of the Big Wind and another storm the night of Mick Roche's wake which was called Mick Roche's Storm. He speaks of Campbell, in his father's time), a Church of Ireland man who was a foreman for Leaconfield for drainage. He had a son Billy who was postman but marched instead of working on the 12th July. They also had a shop. He speaks about the Downes.
0:13:11 - 0:17:03 QUARRYING/CUTTING STONE - He tells a story about Jacky Burke and the building of Doora, (Mullagh), school. He talks about people cutting/quarrying stone. Burke cut the tombstones with the crucifixion on them in the cemetery but he didn't cut his name into any of them. A Crawford man in Letterkenny also cut some of them.
0:17:04 - 0:22:53 SCHOOL/COORE - A man called Mescill, who taught in the Carronrue thatched school, cut the stones in Quilty. He speaks of a school in Shanaway and Leaconfield. He names some of the people who went there. It was there until 1909 when a new school was built. Coore school was built in the 1880s. Michael continues to speak of some of the surnames of Coore and where people lived including Kennys and Gleesons.
0:22:54 - 0:24:49 HENNESSYS - Paddy & Joe Hennessy were in the volunteers in Miltown and they were shot at Canada Cross. There was a Reidy man with them. The football field was named after them. There was a woman called Bridgie 'The Cook' Reidy who had a travelling shop at Coore church every Sunday morning. She would have Easter eggs a penny a piece. She would also be at St Joesph's well the 19th March. She reared the Reidy man.
0:24:50 - 0:27:18 SHIBÍNS'/SHIBEENS - He thinks they were connected to the Hennessys who had the 'shibín' in Coore. There was also a 'shibín' at Downes'. He tells a story about a priest and card playing. In olden times there were no seats in Coore church.
0:27:19 - 0:29:20 HOLY WELLS - Michael says St Joesph's Well was a great place for people to meet on the third Sunday after Easter. He speaks of the rounds. He remembers when the second holy well was built in the '40s. The old well would get dry in the summer.
0:29:21 - 0:00:00 MATCHMAKING - Michael speaks of a Collins man and who his daughters were married to. One of them married Michael's great-grandfather John McGuane. He was old when they married but she died and he married again to a woman with the surname Fox. He says the postman would bring the account of the matches and it was left then to the matchmaker. He speaks of walking the land. He tells a story about matchmaking from Shanaway. He speaks of 'picking of the gander' and tells the story of a house wedding.
FILE 3 0:00:00 - 0:03:56 ARMY - Michael says people joined the army for £1.08 a week. More wouldn't take the King's shilling. He speaks of a recruiting officer trying to recruit a man in Ennistymon. Michael's uncle from Quilty, Steve King joined the army. He lost a finger at Flanders. He names some people from Quilty were in the navy. He speaks of Gerard 'The Bull' Sexton. He was herding on Mutton Island for eight years. He speaks briefly of the news of the ambush coming to Shanaway.
0:03:57 - 0:11:50 THE FAMINE/STONES He tells a story of O'Donoghue at Gallery's Bridge losing his land after the famine. He remembers his grandfather saying that two men came to the cemetery to die. He talks of a place called The Pensioner's Step. He speaks of some of the landlord including Crowe, Marcus Keane from Beechpark and Stackpoole. He talks of an ogham stone that is thought to be a forgery and a wedge tomb in the locality. He recalls the story associated with it of Diarmuid and Gráinne. He speaks of Jacky Burke and cutting limestone.
FILE 4 0:00:00 - 0:01:21 STORY - Michael tells a story about a man called Moloney who was thought to have been drowned but was actually arrested on suspicion of being a spy.

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