Paddy Hynes

Interview by Geraldine Greene on December 1, 2012

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1928

Area: North Clare - Carran

Report date: December 5, 2015

Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:01:40 TOWNLAND OF CRUGHVILLE - Paddy says they learned at school that Crughville's meaning is the green high field/green pasture; no houses there generations ago; Irish name in the Demano was “Croagh Maol” - bare hill.
0:01:40 - 0:02:52 ST. CRONAN'S CHURCH/CILLÍN & HOLY WELL - Paddy talks about Termon,St. Cronan's church & cillín, a burial ground for unbaptised children & the holy well - cure for eyes; he tells a story of Mrs McMahon who was blind & asking them as children to guide her to the well; they often “bold boys” & got punished with the leather strap.
0:02:52 - 0:08:24 HYNES ANCESTRY/ LAND/HOUSE - Hynes clan were “blow-ins” - originally came from Galway & previously from Northern Ireland; Paddy's grandfather & his brother owned lots of land in New Quay; Paddy's grandfather Patsy Hynes came to Crughville; the house was a long low house roofed with bangor slates & later raised to a two-storey house but now in ruins; (most Carron houses thatched then); Paddy recites a few lines from an Irish poem learned at school about the Hynes' clan; the Hynes were said to have “blue blood in their veins”; Paddy's brother Micho bought the former teacher's residence next to the church in Carron & lived there with his 2 uncles. Paddy's maternal ancestry - Marrinans: Paddy's mother was Marrinan from Derrymore; her father & uncle came to the Carron/Kilnaboy area (Cloncoose &Teescagh respectively) & owned much lands; they evicted the herdsmen; Paddy tells story of the rafters in the Cloncoose house spliced with iron by the herdsman; Paddy heard his father say that the grandfather came to Carron church with police protection; he was often fired upon with guns in his home; Paddys says he was a tough daring man to live alone in the isolated location in Cloncoose; he talks about his mother's brothers & relations; his mother lived with her relations & attended school in Ennistymon.
0:08:24 - 0:16:23 MATCH-MAKING & PADDY'S GRANDFATHER'S MARRIAGE - Paddy says men had to be around 40 thinking of getting married & matches were often made in rural areas then; Paddy tells the story about Michael O'Loughlin, a neighbour, friend & workmate who went to Kilmaley to make a match for his grandfather with a Hogan girl who had a “£100 going with her”; O'Loughlin made a match with her but the men didn't “fall out” over it & Patsy Hynes made his own match with Catherine Fahy, Doorus, Kinvara; Paddy says they married within a week of one another but that “O'Loughlin may have beaten him to the woman but Hynes beat him to the baptismal font!”
0:16:23 - 0:17:20 PADDY'S MARRIAGE & THE MARRINAN CONNECTIONS - Paddy's wife is Catherine Marrinan; he tells the story of the priest's comments about the Marrinan connection & their intended wedding; Catherine's & Paddy's parents were both Marrinans & Hynes; Paddy's cousin John Joe was the first man Geraldine recorded for Cuimhneamh an Chlair in October 2009 (he passed away in July 2012 at age 104).
0:17:20 - 0:21:36 FAMILY - Paddy's father died from cancer & his mother died at the young age of 54 in 1955; they were neighbours - from the home place in Carron & she a Marrinan from Ennistymon; their marriage was not a match; he says matches had died out then in some areas; 7 siblings - 2 brothers & 4 sisters who went to boarding school to the convent in Kinvara; he recalls cycling there on Sundays (22 miles) & bringing 3 loaves of bread & laundry to them - they were “starved”; all 4 sisters became nuns (two in Mayo, one in Longford & one in America); he had two aunts (nuns) - one in Rangoon, India & one in England; his brother Micho (5 years younger) farmed the second farm in Deelin (between Carron & Belharbour) - his nephew now farms there; his brother Tommy (10 years younger) became a Pallatine priest (attended the seminary in Thurles); Paddy has 3 sisters alive at time of recording.
0:21:36 - 0:26:36 NICKNAMES/LAND OWNERSHIP IN CARRON, LANDLORDS/ RENT & GALE DAY - Paddy mentions agro over land & some derogatory nicknames such as “wall-knocker” and “sledger”; vast areas of land was owned by “outsiders” such as Brutons from Co. Meath & O'Deas from Tuam; Blood was the landlord for Termon, Crughville & Rannagh areas; he tells story of the rent owned by his father on gale day & how an undertaker in Ennis gave him the few pounds to pay the agent; consequently Paddy's father used his services for his wife's funeral.
0:26:36 - 0:51:40 SCHOOL DAYS - Paddy says his schooldays were hard & not happy days; he disagreed with his elderly neighbour that “school days were happiest days of one's life”; he recalls corporal punishment; says the teacher was a brute who maimed 3 pupils; he tells the story of the girl whose hair was pulled leaving a grey streak; pupils who could afford to go to college were encouraged in 7th & 8th classes; teachers then were paid according to results; he recalls the deragotory comment made to him - “A Mhichin Hynes! you'll be shovelling muck”; Paddy would have liked not to stay at home after leaving school; teacher's comments to Paddy if he was late for school after chasing the goats in the morning before school (see more in farming section); he went to nearby national school in Carron; it was a one-roomed school with two teachers; large maps partitioned the room; he left school around 1944 at age 16; his early schooling was “all through Irish” until the successive teacher, Killoran from Sligo taught through English; Paddy recites facts learned through Irish; he credits Diffley, a neighbour, a butcher from Kilfenora who educated him & his siblings; he mentions Diffley's wife was McCormack from Kilfenora & in Cumann na mBan (she got a divide of land through her connections in politics); Paddy says he hated school & compares his young grandchild's experience today to his own; he recalls his father passing on the pipe to others in the house after each man had a “gall” of it; his sisters & brother Tommy did the Leaving Cert; they didn't bring firewood to school - each family paid 2 shillings weekly for coal; he says it was the only building burning coal then; he & his siblings walked to school -which was only a few 100 yards away. Sports & games at school: he recalls challenge games in football played between neighbouring schools; boys played rounders; boys & girls had separate playgrounds. The school Paddy attended was built in 1848, it was used as a community centre once the newer school was built & is presently used by the Burren Life project; Michael Cusack, founder of the G.A.A. was a monitor in the Carron school; Paddy's daughter & grandchild attended the newer & present school. Paddy recalls their J.A.M. Miss O'Sullivan who was from Kerry; Carron choir won (2 years in succession) the annual choir plain chant competition held in the diocese of Kilfenora; he tells the story of when the inspector asked Paddy to do a recitation instead after she asked Paddy not to sing as his voice was changing; Paddy obliged & the inspector gave him a long poem/recitation by An Craoibhinn Aoibhinn (Douglas Hyde) to learn off for his next visit - Paddy recites “Seamus O'Brien” which he learned 75 years ago; he refers to the changes in school & discipline; he recalls summer holidays were 5-6 weeks long.
0:51:40 - 0:21:54 FARMING/TILLAGE/MEITHEALS/BUTTER-MAKING & CREAMERY - His parents were farmers; he describes the location of the 2 farms, in Carron & Deelin; they did 48 acres of tillage (compulsory during World War 11 & overseen by inspectors); he names the various crops & acreage; he says the Hynes were the only family in Carron with no winterage; the only crop they sold was sugar beet to Tuam; the potatoes were given to the pigs; they had 2 pairs of horses; he describes the work involved & the machinery used; Tadhg Walsh, Boston showed him ploughing skills; his uncle trained horses; Chris Droney did the threshing for them - full day threshing & good night after in the house; they had a housekeeper but not a farmhand; his 2 uncles lived with them; he describes weeding & thinning in the garden; great night of music & dancing after salting the pig; the bladder of pig was used as a football; his mother cooked “drinscinn” for the helpers; they killed 5 pigs, a sheep annually & geese around Christmas time & kids in spring time; Paddy & his siblings were reared on goats milk & the adults drank cows milk; he recalls chasing the goats in Creggs & Coisceim and his teacher's comments; he describes the Meitheal (harvest celebration) held in August & September after the threshing & hay-making; names his neighbours involved; Paddy farmed took over the farm when his father died in 1960 until he retired at age 70 when his daughter & her husband took over. Night classes were held in agriculture & woodwork in Carron with Mr. Henchy in later years. Paddy praises Burrenbeo, Burren Life & Brendan Dunford & compares their expertise to a Dept. of Agriculture visit; payment for day in bog; his family were self-sufficient; he elaborates on their food for meals & the meitheals. Fairs: Paddy recalls the first fairs he went to at Ennistymon on 20th March in early 1940s; he describes the fairs -they got up in the dark to walk about 3 miles to round up the cattle; cattle fed on special meal “cotton cake”; his father sold springing heifers for £13 each; he bought a suit for £1 & a hat for 1 shilling; he gives dates of other fairs: Kilfenora (cattle), Corofin (lambs), Tubber & Kinvara (sheep). Paddy's family did not have a farm-hand; he says farm-hands were often not well-treated; he mentions a neighbour, Andrew Kerin whose lip cancer was said to be cured by a poutice from Owen Hegarty, Kilnamona; Paddy's father bought turf “by the step” between Lisdoonvarna & Kilfenora; neighbours helped in the bog in exchange for service from Hynes's bull (meitheal); cows' dung occasionally used as firewood in the winterages; Hynes kept up to 100 ewes & lambs, cattle, sheep, goats, fowl and milked; his uncle recommended keeping many animals & have income at various times of the year; their dogs rounded up their own goats & kids; he describes his mother making butter & churns & taking the firkins weekly to Jones coach-house in Carron (taken to Corofin by McNamara man); they often helped her; talks about prices & income. Field names: Paddy gives names in both Irish & English; many of those fields now reclaimed/bulldozed; he mentions the council water scheme; their farm sheds' roofs were galvanised; Weather Lore: he talks about local postman, Kerin who was known as the wather man who checked his goats every morning on Sliabh Dubh - a cap on top of Mt Callan was an indication of the day & if farmers should cut hay, etc; he recalls farm chores done as a young boy; he recalls setting snares for rabbits which were rampant in his youth unlike now; they kept some for own use & sold some at ½ crown each to a Gort man who came to Carron weekly; nearest blacksmiths were Curtis in Kilnaboy or Naughtons in Boston; Carron houses were thatched then except for Hynes; Paddy Kerins, the local thatcher, had only the use of one hand & was called “láimhin“; Paddy learned his farm skills from his father & his 2 uncles; he was involved in the IFA in Carron; he did woodwork classes; he built “the world” of stone walls but knocked many to accommodate silage-making; he bought his first tractor in early 1960s; before creameries, people kept milk for own use, butter-making & fed the skimmed milk to calves; then the travelling creamery (from Ennistymon) collected milk near Carron church; he recalls their fine horse) being sold when his father died(customary then); the local landlord had been Blood from Ennis; they grew their own wheat, corn, oats & barley; they were ground in Corofin, Boston or Kinvara; he recalls 7 or 8 army men helping to cut their wheat during the bad harvest season of 1947; farmers & even the priest grew ½ acre of compulsory tillage (wheat) during World War 11 years (for starving Europe); Farming related customs & superstitions: Paddy says people had to put cows in on May Night to prevent bad luck; fear that the butter or cream could be taken; people had to sell the horse when the head of the house died; meeting red headed women going to the fair brought bad luck; the working horse had to sold when the head of the house died. Paddy recalls how good one of their horses was & how upset he was when he had to be sold; his uncle trained horses at home & for others; he recalls the priest's comments about his uncle asleep in the ditch!; he recalls comments from his neighbour (when a fourth daughter was born to Paddy's father) that the foirseach (Irish word for the back stroke in a meadow) wouldn't be cut! Macra na Feirme & I.F.A: Paddy recalls doing stock-judging & helping out at exhibits at the Showgrounds in Ennis; he participated in excursions, night classes & quizzes; he was a member of the local I.F.A. branch.
1:30:21 - 1:33:54 FARMING RELATED STORIES - Paddy tells a story about a father's initial unwillingness to exchange his bull for his son's match. He then tells a story about poitín making & men buying/selling geese's dung!
1:33:54 - 1:33:54 CLOTHES - Paddy's mother made their clothes with a foot sewing machine; she made the dresses for his 4 sisters in the photograph in Cassidy's pub in Carron & his First Holy Communion suit; he recalls holding & balling the yarn; she knitted & darned though her sight was failing in later years; they wore short pants to school; a woman teacher in the summer made clothes; he recalls his father bought a suit for £1 & a hat for 1 shilling after selling cattle at the fair in Ennistymon.
1:35:47 - 1:39:56 SHOPS/PUBS & BARRACKS IN CARRON - Paddy names the 4 shops & their goods of past years in existence up to 1960s - Collions, Diffleys, Kerins & Jones; no shop in Carron now; he recalls some shops, which sold paraffin oil, canvessing against electricity in 1961; the present Cassidys pub was originally the RIC barracks (burned down during the Troubles) & then a Garda station; the old pub was at Jones; he refers to photos displayed in Cassidys of the thatched pub & coach house & also of school group including his 4 sisters.
1:39:56 - 1:44:44 BOTHAR NA MIAS/KILMACDUAGH/POULAPHOUCA FAMINE ROAD/CORCOMROE ABBEY & MEGGAGH FORT - Paddy tells the story/legend of how the horsemen from Dunguaire chased the dishes of food to Duagh's cave & the founding of Kilmacduagh near Gort; he recalls the building of Poulaphouca Famine road; Hynes family have 2 burial plots in Corcomroe; he tells about the possible consequence of removal of stones from Meggagh Fort.
1:44:44 -1:47:57 TRANSPORT - Paddy recalls the first car he saw in Carron in the late 1930s belonging to two sisters (in their late teens); a former army man taught them how to drive; his family had one bike; recalls patching the tyres; he recalls his first bike bought for £8 in late 1930s/early 1940s; repeats about cycling to his sisters' boarding school in Kinvara on Sundays with food for them; his father or uncle drove the side-car; he recalls his parents going to Ennis Show & the horse getting frightened by a low-flying aeroplanes which were practising overhead.
1:47:57 -1:50:52 HORSE RACES, SPORTS DAYS & GAA - Paddy tells a story about the famous horse-races held in Carron; the priest banned them because of rows; Sports Days replaced the races; athletics, cycling races & other events held at the Sports Days; the local sport is football; the local pitch is called Gleann Ciosog - named after Michael Cusack, founder of the GAA in 1884.
1:50:52 - 1:57:21 CULTURE, MUSIC, DANCING & SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENT IN PADDY'S EARLY YEARS - Paddy recalls the dancing master in the various townlands in Carron; he stayed in houses during the winter months & taught step-dancing and played the violin & tin-whistle; Paddy's 2 uncles played concertinas & fiddle; his mother & siblings danced a full set in the house; he tells how his uncle often “kicked them with his straight leg” during a set; they danced Caledonian & Plain sets, waltzes, Siege of Ennis & Walls of Limerick; it was compulsory in his house when he was a teenager; he recalls how his uncles locked their instruments by the hob; Paddy's grandfather Patsy Hynes played the fiddle at house dances; Patsy played tunes at the bedside of friend & musician Pat Clancy before he died. Dancehalls in locality: Paddy recalls cycling to dancehalls in Lisdooonvarna, Corofin & Labane & the demise of ceili dancing as modern dancing (waltzes & foxtrots) & showbands bacame popular. Platform/Crossroads dancing: Paddy recalls platform/crossroads dancing held locally though he was very young at the time; names some dancers & musicians; he was only 4 years of age in 1932 when bonfires blazed at a platform dance outside Jones's to mark de Valera's election.
1:57:21 - 2:01:00 HISTORY/POLITICS/BLACK & TANS AND RATIONING - Paddy remembers his Marrinan grandfather being in jail in Limerick though unsure why; Paddy heard older people talking about the Black & Tans, road blockades & the failed Sheshymore ambush in Carron between local “bush-strikers”/fowlers & landlord McNamara; Paddy has a copy of the poem which local man Peter O'Loughlin (grandfather of Comhaltas man) wrote about the ambush; Paddy says his family weren't much affected by the rationing as they were fairly self-sufficient - they grew their own wheat for flour, were reared on goats' milk & had own crops.
2:01:00 - 2:04:58 ELECTRIFICATION & FACILITIES - Paddy recalls electrification in the late 1950s; he lists the facilities people have now compared to the 1950s; they washed in a large galvanise tub in front of the fire on Saturday nights & had a dry toilet. Health & Maternity: Paddy & his siblings were born at home with the help of mid-wifes/nurses; he tells a story about his father's comments when another daughter was born (typical of perceptions then).
2:04:58 - 2:18:24 CHURCH TOPICS, MISSIONS, SACRAMENTS, SEASONAL CUSTOMS - Paddy talks about Carron church 150 year celebrations; diocese of Kilfenora; Carron, Noughaval & New Quay; recalls some history of the church; Paddy served Mass; recites a few lines of the confiteor in Latin; recalls the rosary being said nightly at home & tells a story about their neighbour on cuairt; he tells some stories of the missions, sermons & confessions; fasting was strictly observed at Lent; marriages disallowed except on St. Patrick's Day; he describes the subscriptions/dues read out from from the altar; each family had own pew; describes an argument over pews on Palm Sunday; recalls Chalk Sunday; they did the rounds at St. Brigid's Well in Liscannor on Garland Sunday; he heard a custom about taking an ear of corn from the crib was considered good luck; he tells a story about a local romance finishing when the man broke his contract to “do the Nine Fridays”; he tells story of his uncle Tom Hynes being sacked as foreman in Ennis when the Bishop had to let himself into the shop.
2:18:24 - 2:20:50 INVOLVEMENT WITH LOCAL ORGANISATIONS & PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL EVENTS IN PAST YEARS - Drama: Paddy recalls the setting up of the Carron Players by McMahon, local teacher & raising £600 for the teacher's residence by putting on plays in North Clare & South Galway. LDF/LSF: Paddy was a member of the local branch when he was younger & took part in processions, parades, guards of honour; he mentions pairs kept nightly watch over the rifles in the barracks.
2:20:50 - 2:38:32 CULTURE/ MUSIC/DANCING & SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENT IN PADDY'S LATER YEARS/ RECORDINGS/SONGS/STORIES/RECITATIONS & PERFORMANCES - Stories: Paddy tells a story about his friend Johnny Lee, Corofin borrowing his wheelbarrow when working for Pat Linnane & building Carron school; Paddy jokes that his wheelbarrow was used in building many schools in North Clare! Paddy recalls visiting Brud Petty, a storyteller (now deceased) in Doolin many years ago, spending many hours there but only getting one long story! Sources: Paddy credits Kieran Moylan, Kinvara with “getting him off the mark” performing in Dunguaire Castles; Moylan siad there are 3 stages in learning a poem or recitation & encouraged Paddy to start at the last verse Paddy regularly participates in Kerry & Clare local radio recordings; he enjoys music & singing sessions, tells stories & gives recitations in local venues; he participates in the Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann summer seisiúns & travels on trips nationally & in England. He knows many songs in English and also some in Irish songs which he learned at school. He recalls how he met Robbie McMahon, Spancilhill many years ago & jokes about the Hynes families! He says he has a “ceochan” (a frog) in his throat. He previously referred to Micheal O'Loughlin, a Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann President who was a Carron native and his neighbour (his father Peter composed the Sheshymore Ambush poem). He recites a tribute he wrote some years ago to his good friend Chris Droney, musician from Belharbour. He recites a poem about his beloved Corofin - “ The Real Corofin” written by Frank Cormican in 2008 (a native of Roscommon, lived in Dublin, spend much time in Clare and passed away in 2010).