Michael ‘Marshal’ McMahon

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara, also present Bridget Garry on January 10, 2011

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1945

Area: West Clare - Coolmeen

Report date: September 19, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:27 FAMILY - Michael speaks about the importance of identity and the fact that he is from Coolmeen and not Kildysart. He states that his nephew is the twelfth generation in Ailroe, Coolmeen. He spoke about six generations of his family on his mother's side. Michael speaks about his earliest memories. He remembers and old man Tommy Kenny who used to ride an ass around the road close to his house. Tommy Kenny was from Bansha. Michael outlines Tommy Kenny's family roots. He speaks about his own family. As he was the oldest he had to stay at the farming even though he admitted that he was not a 'great farmer'. Michael states that it was not a good custom that young men always had to stay at the farm even though sometimes it didn't make sense.
0:05:28 - 0:07:54 SCHOOLDAYS - Michael speaks about his memories of going to school in Effernan, Coolmeen. When he was in school in the early fifties, there were sixty five there. Michael outlines all the families that were providing children to the school. Michael states that in the 1950's there were no weddings and as a result there were no children starting in the school.
0:07:55 - 0:15:40 WEDDINGS AND MATCHMAKING - Michael and Bridget speak about weddings and matchmaking. Bridget states that the last matchmaker in the area was Nel Mc and the last arranged marriage was in 1957. Speaks about the various deceptions that would have occurred in some matchmaking like pretending to have better land or having more cattle than they actually had. They speak about how the dowry was agreed.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:08:25 SPORTS TRADITION IN COOLMEEN - Michael speaks about the tradition of sports in Coolmeen and outlines the many sporting achievements from the area. He speaks about the early GAA in Coolmeen and speaks about the people who kept the club going. He refers to a unique achievement for Coolmeen in that they were the only club to win the Junior and Senior football championship in the one day. This happened in 1922.
0:08:26 - 0:17:17 FAIRS - Michael speaks about the various fairs in Kildysart and outlines the dates of the twelve fairs in the year. Michael complained that in Coolmeen they felt discriminated in because the Kildysart got the day off for the fair and they didn't. Bridget and Michael speak about various fairs around the area of West Clare. Michel speaks about the price for cattle and 'bonabhs' in the fairs around West Clare.
0:17:18 - 0:21:34 FACTION FIGHTING - Michael speaks about the faction fighting that occurred around the area. He mentions a faction fight that occurred which occurred in 1905 between the Reidys and the Keatings of Kilrush. The leader of the Reidys was the Bully Reidy. He refers to a stick called the loading butt, which was a stick filled with led and recalls men whose fathers were involved in faction fighting.
0:21:35 - 0:24:10 HOLY WELLS - Michael speaks about holy wells and that sometimes there was fighting and debauchery at pilgrimages. Bridget and Michael speak generally about holy wells. They both state that the priests didn't support the holy wells.
0:24:11 - 0:26:51 CURES - Michael speaks about cures briefly. Batt Crowley was a local man who had cures for ringworm. Interview is suspended when John Cleary arrives into the room.

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