Pádraig O’Cahillane

Interview by Jackie Elger on January 17, 2013

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1925

Area: West Clare - Killadysert

Parish: Killadysert - Inishloe

Report date: January 20, 2013

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:56 PLAYING FOR CLONDEGAD - Pádraig speaks about playing football in 1944 for Clondegad when they won the county final. He played under the name of McNamara. He remembers that the following year when he played for Kildysart there was an objection about him from Caherea and it went before Canon Hamilton. He says that a Seán Kelly decided to plead the case in Irish. Jim Moloney and Paud Griffin, the chemist where with him. Pádraig was from the West Kerry Gaeltacht and was able to speak perfect Irish to Canon Hamilton. He says there was a replay and they went on to win the junior championship in 1945. He mentions that Flan McCarthy played fullback.
0:05:57 - 0:10:51 FIRST JOB ON LOW ISLAND - Pádraig speaks about the spelling of his surname and that he was from the Dingle peninsula. He recalls the first day he travelled to Low Island. He was to be collected in a launch, from Askeaton, by Micky Kelly. The weather was bad so he had to stay a few nights with the brother of the teacher he was replacing. She was called Bridgie Stack. The Stacks were from West Kerry. He recalls that his aunt and the Stacks moved to Co. Meath in 1938 as they got land from the Land Commission. It was Pádraig's first job. He had just finished training at St Patrick's in Drumcondra. He stayed on the island with Pat Joe & Nora Lillis. He says they had no family. Her brother was the postman, John Joe Kelly. Pádraig says he would travel out with him to Kildysart every Saturday to collect the post.
0:10:52 - 0:14:27 SUBBING - He recalls that there was a delay in getting his first pay packet. He mentions a brother to Bridge Stack - John, who taught in Dublin and another brother, Pat, in Co. Meath. He says that if he was subbing for a teacher it was the teacher that paid him. He recalls that after Low Island he subbed in Kildysart for Mrs Griffin. He then subbed for Seán Kelly in Coolmeen. He says he stayed in Lacknashannagh in Bianconi's old house with John & Jenny Clancy (nee Keating), while working for these schools. Then, he says, Seán Kelly was transferred to Barefield and he subbed for him there.
0:14:28 - 0:20:15 TEACHING ON LOW ISLAND - Pádraig says there were 13 pupils in the school. He was told to not let the numbers fall below 13 or the school would have to close. He says Ginnanes came from Horse Island and he thinks all the rest were Kellys. He said there were two Tuohy sisters (Bridie & Kate) and a brother Michael on the island but he didn't think they had any children. He says Paddy Kelly's family had about six / seven children in it. He recalls that Michael Kelly was the only son of John Joe the postman. He says that Ena Kelly was a widow and she had one or two children.
0:20:16 - 0:23:49 LIFE ON LOW ISLAND - Pádraig recalls Michael Kelly bringing people to mass on a Sunday in his boat. He says the islanders were self-sufficient. He remembers that the bacon there was beautiful. He says Pat Joe Lillis had a gun and would kill geese on the river. He remembers picking potatoes with Pat Joe. He describes their house. He says Bridgie Stack had stayed with them too.
0:23:50 - 0:26:29 TEACHING JOBS - Pádraig describes the school on Low Island. He recalls meeting the school inspector Tom Moriarty who was from Kerry too. He spoke to him about the school teacher exams. Pádraig left Clare for Birr, Co. Offaly, then Dublin and then eventually Limerick.
0:26:30 - 0:30:40 SELLING THE PIG - Pádraig recalls the time he brought bonabhs to market in Ennis from Low Island. They borrowed a donkey from Connelly's the butchers in Kildysart.
0:30:41 - 0:33:02 KILDYSART - Pádraig speaks of the islanders coming out to do their shopping in Kildysart. He mentions some of the shops and pubs. He speaks of a publican with the nickname 'Hungry Monday'. He remembers Mrs Pender, the teacher in the girl's school. He taught her son James.
0:33:03 - 0:36:31 TEACHING - Pádraig says he started teaching in Low Island in September. He says he didn't go to confession because he was only used to making his confession in Irish. He says he had to bring his own chalk and duster into school but that there was always a stick provided
0:36:32 - 0:58:56 ENTERTAINMENT - Pádraig says in the evening he would go walking and would row in a boat around the island. He says there were dances but he didn't dance as he could only dance a Kerry set and they would dance the Caledonian. He remembers that in the house that he was staying in there was a concertina kept by the fireplace. He recalls the first time he asked a girl to dance a set. He says there was a big ball night on Canon Island and people from the other islands came to it. He thinks it was at the Hastings house. Pádraig says himself, Michael Kelly and his uncle Tommy Kelly would play football. He speaks of the matches he played for Ballynacally. He says he would have a pint in Bernie Lilly's in Kildysart when he was teaching there. He says that Donal Moloney from Kildysart played centre field with him. He also remembers Tom Casey from Lacknashannagh playing football with him. He tells a funny story about how he and Pat Clancy travelled to a match by 'borrowing' an ass car.

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