Paddy Mongan

Interview by Edel Greene on November 11, 2009

Gender: Male

Area: Ennis

Report date: December 5, 2015

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Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:03:00 INTRODUCTION - The Mongan family originates in Roscommon; no memory of cures used in illness, visited doctor like settled people.
0:00:00 - 0:03:00 TINSMITHS/TRAVELLING - Father and grandfather were tinsmiths, talks about travelling the country, counties travelled, because of travelling didn't receive much formal education.
0:04:51 - 0:06:50 TRANSPORT/CRAFTS - Mode of transport used, horse-drawn caravan, few cars around; type of caravan, travellers were great craftspeople, crafts dying out.
0:06:51 - 0:09:50 ORIGINS OF TRAVELLERS - Origins of Travellers-from time of famine. He tells some stories and sings.
0:09:51 - 0:15:00 GHOSTS - Staying in haunted locations in general. Two ghost stories from Lees Road, Ennis, one witnessed by interviewee and another a story told about his cousin and granduncle at same location.
0:15:01 - 0:17:00 RELIGION - Importance of religion to travellers and settled people alike. Speaks about holy wells, visited them in Clare and Westmeath, no memory of saints associated with them or specific locations.
0:17:01 - 0:19:00 TRAVELLER LANGUAGES - GAMMON AND CANT - Asked about Traveller languages Gammon and Cant. Spoken by parents, knew it himself but forgotten due to not being spoken much. Was neither encouraged nor discouraged from maintaining it, he believes the languages originated from Celtic.
0:19:01 - 0:21:00 CALENDAR CUSTOMS - Calendar customs, few celebrated, no memory of them, apart from May 1st, describes decorating Maybush with flowers and ribbons. The decorating was undertaken by children, something that was carried on by both Travellers and settled people.
0:21:01 - 0:22:50 FUNERALS - Says they were sadder affairs then, long period of mourning, no playing radio or going to pictures for 12 months after a death.
0:22:51 - 0:23:50 MARRIAGES - Marriages arranged in the past, something that's changing now. In the past girls wouldn't be allowed go with or talk to boys before they were married, girls not allowed go to the pictures.
0:23:51 - 0:28:00 FAMILY LIFE - There were three children in his family, brother and sister, chores, tough life, winters harder, more frost and snow. Lack of facilities, settled people didn't have them either. He settled in a house in 2002; his feelings about being settled, the advantages of having a house.
0:28:01 - 0:29:50 OLDEST TRAVELLER - Travellers lived to great ages in the past, his grandmother lived to 97 years.
0:29:51 - 0:33:50 IRISH HISTORY - Learning about Irish history from family - told about 1916 Rising, odd stories about the Black and Tans but not spoken about much by either Travellers or settled people, much as the IRA isn't spoken about today. Remembers older Travellers signing republican songs, about James Connolly and Seán South, can't remember much as the singing of them died out.
0:33:50 - 0:35:00 TRAVEL TO ENGLAND - Went to England in 1995 for two years, brother staying there who travels back and forth between Ireland and England. Reckons he won't travel again, will end his life where he has settled now.

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