Paddy Burns

Interview by Mary McInerney on April 4, 2012

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1928

Area: West Clare - Creegh South

Report date: December 9, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:08:00 FAMILY - Paddy was born in Glasclúin 1928-there were eight in his family. His sister died in her 30s from TB. A brother John Joe died at six months. His brother Gerry stayed on the farm. Paul went to England and then Chicago. His brother Tom and sister Mary had also gone there. Tom was conscripted there at the time of the Korean war but wasn't sent to Korea. He then joined the Chicago police. His sister Angie taught leaving cert in Cavan. She then went to Chicago. His mother was from Glenmore, Kilmihil. She was Katie King. There were 13 in her family. Paddy and Joe King stayed at home. His uncle Paddy was killed in a fire on the bog. He speaks of Vincent O'Shea. His aunt Bridget was a teacher in Lacken school. The rest of his mother's family went to America. His says two great jobs in America were in the police or fire department.
0:08:01 - 0:09:08 DOWRY - He says his mother had a dowry of £368. He speaks of dowries. He believes there was no love at that time only all matchmaking.
0:09:09 - 0:10:47 CRICKETS/COCKROACHES - Paddy speaks of the cricket, (insect). He describes the open hearth. The cricket would eat the woollen socks at the hearth. He says the old people thought it was bad luck for the crickets to leave. He remembers cockroaches walking across the floor.
0:10:48 - 0:12:19 ANIMALS - Paddy says the fire was kept going all the night and a pot of porridge would be simmering all night to feed the calves in the morning. He speaks of how people were careful with their animals as they depended on them. When a cow would calf the calf would be taken into the kitchen. So too was the sow when she was having bonabhs.
0:12:20 - 0:14:14 ECONOMIC WAR/WWII RATIONING - Paddy explains the Economic War. He speaks rationing during WWII.
0:14:15 - 0:17:25 GRANDPARENTS - Paddy's grandparents in Glasclúín were Tom Burns and Bidsey, (née Mahoney). Patsy King and Mary Ann were his maternal grandparents. He recalls his father and mother driving to Glenmore in a side-car. He describes the location of their house. He describes his grandfather.
0:17:26 - 0:20:33 IRISH - He says a neighbour, Mickey Conway would speak to his wife, (Mary Ann Foran), in Irish if they didn't want their children to know what they were saying. He remembers a teacher in Beltard NS called Mr O Dwyer and he gave evening classes in Irish. He speaks of Cáit Ní Bhanín from Connemara who was a teacher in the Tech school in Portumna. She came to the school he was working in in Woodford to teach him Irish.
0:20:34 - 0:22:54 TEACHERS - Paddy says his paternal grandparents were dead before his mother married his father in 1922. He mentions Mr Twomey a teacher in Kilmihil when his aunt Bridgey and his uncle John Joe were there. His father-in-law, Pat Conway, from Glasclúín, served as a monitor in Doonbeg school and he then got into the teacher training college.
0:22:55 - 0:37:34 SCHOOL - Paddy recalls some of the food they would have eaten when he was young. He went to Beltard National School. Tommy Flynn and his wife and a Miss O'Dea taught there. He says the teachers learnt Irish in the Gaelcoláistes when Irish became compulsory. He recalls the marks he got in his leaving cert Irish. He speaks of the pressures that were on the teachers. He mentions Fallon an inspector that would come to the school. He remembers Harry Blake and his family. There were 13 in that family. Five of the girls became nuns in Australia. Harry worked in Moneypoint. He also mentions the Greenes who had 13 in the family. He says the parish priest, Fr Andy McNamara, would come to the school two or three times a week. Bishop Fogerty was their bishop. He recalls him at his confirmation in Doonbeg church. He speaks of Tom Gorman a teacher in Shragh school. The senator Pádraig Ash was a pupil in Doonbeg. He says Stephen Keane from Doonbeg was an inspector who visited Paddy's school in Woodford. His wife Eithne taught in a one teacher school in a place called Loughatoraigh. He speaks some more about the inspectors.

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