Molly née Neylon Lynch

Interview by Geraldine Greene on April 1, 2011

Gender: Female

Birth date: 1912

Area: South Clare

Report date: December 4, 2015

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Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:05:02 INTRODUCTION - Molly in good health, though has some arthritis and needs to have leg dressed regularly. She still cares for herself, bakes and cooks dinners daily. She went to Dublin recently to visit her daughter and her families. She walks in the farm at mornings in good weather, keeping a check on animals; she attends Mass weekly in Doora.
0:05:02 - 0:08:03 FAMILY/EARLY DAYS/ HOME/SCHOOL - Molly's maiden name is Neylon. Her Christian name is Mary Agnes but called Molly. She is a native of Dysart from near the church. She went to school in Dysart (closed since 70s) - she liked school, recalls hard lessons and learning Catechism; remembers her family saying the rosary at home - her young brother's comments re: the “Pray for us” litany; Molly recalls a neighbouring man “on cuaird” - “came in for company” at night. She was 3rd in the family of 7, 4 boys and 3 girls.
0:08:03 - 0:10:00 LEAVING SCHOOL AND WORKING AT HOME - Molly left school at 14 to help at home; older family members had gone already. Recalls her mother getting up early to make the boxes of butter for delivery (twice weekly by one of her brothers) to the local Ennis convent (50-60 years ago and before the creameries). It was preserved in the dairy, skimmers and barrels were used. She talks about the “lovely fresh butter” so different to today's butter. Molly helped her mother. The family also had a paid girl or woman to help.
0:10:00 - 0:11:53 MOLLY'S PARENTS AND SIBLINGS - Molly's father was from Drumlish, Inagh and her mother was Minnie O'Donoghue from Kilfenora. Her father bought land at Dysart. They had 7 children. Her father died of cancer at age 69 or 70. Her mother lived to 96 and Molly credits her longevity to her -“I brought it from her”. Molly is the only member of her siblings alive. She was 3rd in the family of 7, 4 boys and 3 girls. She talks about some of her siblings, their lives and passing away.
0:11:53 - 0:12:50 HER HUSBAND PAT & MAGOWNA - Her husband Pat passed away 28 years ago in 1983. He was a native of Kilbricken House, his father got the house and farm in Magowna (in Dysart but Kilnamona parish) - it was willed to him by an aunt.
0:12:50 - 0:16:16 SCHOOL DAYS/GAMES/ CHURCH CEREMONIES - Molly and her siblings went to Dysart school. She recalls 2 rooms - the Principal had the bigger one and the assistant the smaller one. She remembers the teachers' names - Master Fitzgibbon, Miss Trousdale and Mrs Considine. She enjoyed her school days though the teachers were strict (“the master was a terror”) and the lessons were hard; they had to obey and do things right.” She recalls games played - skipping, tig, some form of hurling and dancing. Times were different then (70-80 years ago) - families couldn't afford much but everyone was in the same position. They did singing and Irish. Her Holy Communion was in Dysart and her Confirmation in Ruan.
0:16:16 - 0:18:13 HOME AND FARM LIFE - She recalls getting the water at the well down the road, meeting and chatting to others - company and fun. Molly did lots of farm and house work as other family members had left then. Mentions siblings, their lives and passing away.
0:18:13 - 0:22:15 SOCIAL LIFE/DANCES/ GAMES PLAYED IN HOUSES - She occasionally visited relatives in Inagh in her younger days (her father came from Drumlish, Inagh). She recalls the platform and crossroads dancing in Inagh but not in Dysart. Her own family did not have house dances but she remembers some at neighbours, such as Hassett's when girls were home form America. Her family played cards, Beggar My Neighbour, etc.
0:20:47 - 0:21:19 MONEY/PRICES/TREATS FROM VISITORS - She recalls getting 1 or 2 pence (tuppence or halfpenny) and going to Mrs Lillis's shop; also getting sweets & other treats from visiting aunts especially at Christmas time.
0:21:19 - 0:21:43 FAMILY & RELATIONS - Her family did not have relations in the UK or US though she may have had an uncle in the US army but she's unsure if he came home for visits.
0:21:43 - 0:22:30 LEAVING SCHOOL & HELPING AT HOME - Molly left school at age 14 or 15 - she was “kept at home” to help after her father died. She did the baking and cooking as well as outside work. Her 2 younger sisters went to secondary school in Ennis.
0:22:30 - 0:23:47 HOME HOUSE AND FARM IN DYSART - Molly talks about her native house and farm in Dysart and its present ownership. She mentions it's difficult to keep contact with her grandnieces and grandnephews.
0:23:47 - 0:24:10 LEAVING NATIONAL SCHOOL - Molly did not go to secondary school. She would have liked to go and done something like her sisters but she did not have the choice or opportunity. But life “turned out ok” for her.
0:24:10 - 0:24:10 MARRIAGE - Molly married Pat Lynch at age 33. She was “happily married”. They met at dances “easy to meet” - they knew one another as they lived not far apart.
0:24:43 - 0:25:40 DANCES - She recalls the dances which they did at various functions. She recalls the Caledonian set but she heard of the Plain set. They learned them from practicing around the house with others. She mentioned the foxtrot but did not dance it. She often sang in Ruan with the local choir group.
0:25:40 - 0:27:09 CHURCH/ST. TOLA'S HIGH CROSS/HOLY WELL - She attended Dysart church while living in Dysart. She heard of people coming to the St. Tola's high cross, Holy Well & church and praying at if they had pains in their heads. She does not remember cures and didn't have much interest in same.
0:27:09 - 0:28:55 FAMILY & THEIR BURIAL PLACES - Her parents are buried at Dysart. Her husband is buried in Doora, at the only vaults in Killoo graveyard with other Lynch family members.
0:28:55 - 0:28:55 MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN - Molly married Pat Lynch at age 33. Her husband Pat was a native of Doora but he got the place in Magowna from his aunts. He died 28 years ago in 1983.
0:29:20 - 0:30:55 FAMILY & THEIR BURIAL PLACES - The Lynch family in Magowna attended Dysart Mass but paid their dues to the parish of Kilnamona. Her husband Pat expressed his wish to be buried in Killoo and Molly will be buried there too.
0:30:55 - 0:32:41 HER FAMILY & THEIR SCHOOLS - She had 4 children, Michael (the eldest runs both farms now - in Magowna and Doora), Mary, Anne and Nora. They attended Toonagh NS. The girls boarded in Bruff, Co. Limerick as they had an aunt, a nun there while Michael attended St. Flannan's in Ennis and then agricultural college in Co. Meath. She and her daughter speak about the college in Meath.
0:32:41 - 0:36:40 MAGOWNA AND KILBRICKEN HOUSES - Magowna probably 200 years old and Kilbricken maybe 120 years old. She recalls Grandma Lynch, the new bride coming from Limerick and being taken to Kilbricken by coach from Clarecastle. She tells the story of her introduction to the family. Molly moved to Kilbricken House 30-35 years ago after Michael got married. He ran the farm after his aunts passed away. She mentions the caretaker often stayed in the “big house”. She recalls the extensions to the Kilbicken House - the original house was where the present kitchen is. There was a kitchen garden where the sheds now stand and a farm entrance and separate house entrance (from different roads). She recalls hearing that there were two maids and a jarvey but she's unsure if this is true. Molly mentioned the caretaker and his wife who lived overhead. She recalls the improvements done to the house. There were 12 children in the Lynch family, seven girls and five boys but the eldest son died.
0:36:40 - 0:37:43 DIFFERENT TIMES - Times were different then with no running water and a girl came in to help with the washing. Molly remembers electricity coming to Magowna (house at Dysart had it first) - it was like “heaven on earth” and “they didn't know themselves”. She recalls milking 10-12 cows by hand as well as looking after the children.
0:37:43 - 0:38:28 MAGOWNA CASTLE - Magowna castle is in ruins, only a shell with one remaining wall. Her daughter Nora recalls accessing it via a path (now overgrown) when they were young.
0:38:28 - 0:39:39 FARMING/ANIMALS/MARKETS/FAIRS - They kept cows, ewes, lambs, geese & goslings and had their own crops, eggs, butter, potatoes and vegetables. She milked cows by hand as they had no machine then. Most people then were self-sufficient. They went to the markets and fairs mostly in Ennis and maybe occasionally in Corofin. They mostly got their provisions in Ennis.
0:39:50 - 0:40:10 TURF AND BOGS - The men got the turf at the bog in Inagh but Molly didn't do “that type of work”.
0:40:10 - 0:40:29 CURRENCY - She recalls the old money - shillings and pence and getting the new currency in the 1970s and then the euro in the 1990s.
0:40:29 - 0:42:03 MASSES AND STATIONS - She recalls having family masses in their house in November and May but not Station masses for all the neighbours although some neighbours held them. She recalls having a mass in the house when her father was unwell. She was not involved with dramas or plays. She sang with the choir for some events.
0:42:03 - 0:44:33 TRANSPORT & WEST CLARE RAILWAY - She recalls walking from to the station house in Corofin and travelling on the West Clare Railway to Lahinch. Later their father drove them in the horse and side-car to Lahinch for a Sunday outing. His niece had a hotel there. Molly never learned to drive (unlike most women now) as her children were young and she was tied down. She recalls her husband having a car when her third child was born in hospital.
0:44:33 - 0:45:08 HOME CRAFTS - Her mother did lots of home crafts and dressmaking. Molly recalls knitting socks at school.
0:45:08 - 0:46:03 LISDOONVARNA - Molly and Pat often went to Lisdoonvarna for a week's holidays - she recalls staying in Lynch's hotel and her husband enjoying the dances and singing. He sang “The Last Rose of Summer” the year before he died.
0:46:03 - 0:47:22 AEROPLANE - Molly recalls her first time hearing an aeroplane. She has flown to Kent in England and Lourdes with family members.
0:47:22 - 0:48:47 CHANGES - She attends mass but not the local day care centre and is not involved on local organisations. She says people have all the modern conveniences now compared to her young days. There are fewer people in the countryside and less people/neighbours to help.
0:48:47 - 0:49:17 OLDEST PERSON - She isn't sure if she's the oldest person in Doora - mentions Mrs Garvey (who passed away after this recording).
0:49:17 - 0:52:05 MOLLY MOVING FROM MAGOWNA TO DOORA - Molly moved from Magowna to Doora nearly 35 years ago when her son Michael got married. He ran the farm after his aunts died. She remembers Kilbricken house being renovated, getting electricity and oil-heating. She recalls the aunts using the dining room, having a fire lit there, setting the table and hauling the food and ware from the kitchen. She mentions a maid and a workman. It was a different era then.

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