Patricia Reidy Hughes

Interview by Carmel O'Flaherty on January 17, 2013

Gender: Female

Area: West Clare - Kilrush

Report date: December 6, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:04:29 FAMILY SHOPS - Patricia was born in 47 Henry Street, Kilrush. Her father was a draper. Her mother was a milliner-she had trained in London. Her uncle Pat had a shop in the Square. They were both living in Tullahere and Pat brought Patricia's mother with him to London. He brought her into a shop in Oxford Street to train as a milliner and he went to another shop on the same street to train as a draper. The family in Tullahere didn't know what a milliner was and it was explained to them by her uncle that it was a head thatcher. When they came back from London they opened a shop together on Moore Street and then he went up to the Square. He made a match with Jane Ryan, Andy Ryan's daughter. Her father trained in Kennedy's in Ennis and when her parents got married they opened the shop in Henry Street. They had five children. Her sister, the eldest became a nun. Her brother's names were Michael, Martin and Paddy Reidy.
0:04:30 - 0:07:37 SCHOOL - Patricia went to school at three. She was bored stiff and one day decided to stay at the school and wouldn't go home. She recalls Sister Mary Augustine. She remembers the 'siopa' in the infant's school and the coats hanging up. Mother Gerard was a teacher in the primary school, which was the Convent. Sr Mary Alphonsis and Evangelista were her cousins. She mentions playing with Ina McMahon, Marie Ronan., Jenny O'Shea and Breda Tubridy.
0:07:38 - 0:09:58 MILLINERY/TOYS - She says hats were very new and her mother was very good and had lots of customers. Her father was from Tullycrine. She was related to the O'Dwyers who had the only toy shop in the town. She recalls that on the 8th of December the toys would go out on the window of the shop and every child would gather round it. Patricia would be allowed to help in the shop.
0:09:59 - 0:13:30 IRISH COLLEGE - After her inter cert Patricia left the convent. This was during the war. She won a schlorship to Irish College in Carrigaholt. Every night they would have a Céilí. She remembers her brother would cycle from Kilrush to Carrigaholt for the céilís. Buadach Tobín was the Irish teacher and Seán Ó Ceallaigh was the head.
0:13:31 - 0:23:08 NURSING - When the war ended she went to London to train as a nurse. She then went to Glasgow to train as a midwife. She remembers going out on her own on calls. She recalls going out into the countryside to deliver a baby and herself and another midwife ended up being stranded without a car in the dark. They had to call for a taxi from a police call box. When she finished her training she got a job in Croom hospital in Limerick. Her father died and she returned to Kilrush to a job in Kilrush hospital to be near her mother. The Matron was Sr Aloysius Crowley and she was related to Patricia. She was the only nurse with midwifery training.
0:23:09 - 0:26:02 HOW SHE MET HER HUSBAND - After her mother died Patricia returned to England. There she met her husband, Tomas Alexander Hughes. She was working as a nurse at a school for handicapped children in Cobham in Surrey. Tomas was the headmaster there. They married
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:06:04 SONG-“KILRUSH IN CO CLARE” - Patricia speaks of Fr Michael Considine from Kilrush. She says when he came home on holidays he would always visit the school. He wrote a song called “Kilrush in Co Clare”. She recites the song. He was a priest in Australia and she says he died during WWII. She recites a part of another poem-“The Wearing of the Green”. She says her uncle, Jack O'Dwyer and de Valera were friends and they fought together.

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