PJ McCarthy

Interview by Jackie Elger on April 3, 2014

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1932

Report date: November 13, 2015

Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:04:38 FAMILY BACKGROUND - PJ was born in February 1932 in Labasheeda. He had four sisters; Mary, Cathy, Bridie & Patricia. His father's name was Seán McCarthy and his mother was Catherine. His father was in America to help out on the land because his brother who was in the old IRA was interned in the Curragh. His mother whose maiden name Nolan was from Clohanmore in Cree. She had been ten years in America. She had gone out to America from Cobh on the Mauretania. She worked as a cook in New Haven, Connecticut. His parents met on the boat coming back from America and were married in Cooraclare church around 1925.
0:04:39 - 0:08:09 PJ'S UNCLES AND AUNT - PJ speaks about his uncles Patrick 'Bird' McCarthy and Tommy McCarthy. They were interned in the Curragh. He says nobody could beat Bird at chess. Tommy was as carpenter and he learnt his trade in Kildysart. He married Eily Corry from Labasheeda and when all the trouble was over he had to go to America. He had to go in through Canada. He went to Buffalo and worked in the steel factories there. He said he came back to Ireland in his old age and he worked on building the new post office in Ennis. He says Jim Moloney of Labasheeda and his aunt Margaret met in New York and married. They had three children, Patsie, John & Mary.
0:08:10 - 0:12:15 SCHOOL - PJ went to Kilkerrin school. He says the teachers were horrible. He says the teachers were Mr Anderson and Mrs Keane. PJ says he used to read a lot. He would be sent the “Reader's Digest” from America.
0:12:16 - 0:18:09 MUSIC/DANCE - He recalls hearing a song with the words “Scattery is an island of great beauty…” He speaks of the Dan Furey weekend. He talks about James Keane. He says Dan Furey taught his family to dance.
0:18:10 - 0:21:50 PJ'S FAMILY - PJ speaks about his own family. His grandfather started the farm. His name was Pat McCarthy. He worked in a mine before he came back to buy the farm. He bought the land from a landlord.
0:21:51 - 0:23:49 FARMING - PJ started farming at nine years of age. He recalls going to the creamery. He says it was a hard life for his parents.
0:23:50 - 0:28:15 LOCAL PEOPLE/MUSIC/WALKS - PJ says his father would go on the cuaird over to Moloney's. He speaks of a man called Jack Sheehy. He had a sister Kate who was married to Paddy (Dan) Birmingham. PJ would go to him to get his hair cut. PJ speaks of John Linnane who used to play fiddle. He also speaks of Barney Moloney who learnt the fiddle from Dan Furey. He recalls local musician Jack Murrihy. He speaks of a walk that is done every year in memory of Patricia Corbett.
0:28:16 - 0:29:04 CHRISTMAS - PJ recalls his memories of Christmas. They would bring turkeys in a boat to Glin. They would go in Miko Mac's boat.
0:29:05 - 0:34:52 BIRD MCCARTHY/WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - His uncle Bird would go on his own to Glin and buy calves. He recalls a story about Bird and a calf in the boat. He lived to be 99. He speaks about when Bird would be on the run and go to 'safe' houses. He speaks of the Falahees, Dan, Mick, Joe, John. Also Mary & Kate Falahee-they were in Cumann na mBan. PJ talks about the Black & Tans. His sister Bridie was married to Peader Clancy's nephew. He says his uncles got a bit of a pension afterwards. His wife's father Jack Eustace was also in the old IRA. He stayed with PJ's aunt Margaret & Jim Moloney in America. He came home and married Mary Bridget McMahon. He speaks of the Civil War.
0:34:53 - 0:37:51 WWII - PJ speaks about rationing. They brought the wheat to O'Connor's in Kildysart. He names some farmers that grew beet and describes how they grew them and what factories they went to.
0:37:52 - 0:40:31 CUTTING THE HAY/CORN - PJ describes cutting the hay with horses. Says he was very fast at binding corn.
0:40:32 - 0:42:15 THE FAMILY HOUSE - PJ's grandfather slated his house & sheds before a lot of houses were slated. His grandfather built the family vault in the graveyard.
0:42:16 - 0:45:39 CHRISTMAS - They would have a goose for Christmas dinner. It would be cooked over the fire. He describes how they would put candles in turnips in the windows. The man of the house would light the candle. PJ sometimes got the job of lighting them. His father would bring in holly & ivy. PJ speaks of the wren coming around.
0:45:40 - 0:48:39 EASTER/STJOHN'S EVE/ST MARTINS DAY - PJ recalls eating hens' eggs at Easter. He speaks of the geese were hatching at that time. PJ says the bonfires on St John's Eve was a big thing. He speaks of cockerels being killed for St Martin's Eve/Day.
0:48:40 - 0:49:38 MATERNAL GRANDFATHER - He remembers his mother's father. He recalls the road up to Cree.
0:49:39 - 0:51:47 LISTOWEL RACES - PJ remembers going to the Listowel Races by boat. He says Pádraig O'Brien, Kieran Murphy, Michael & Tom Creehan went with him. They would get the bus from Glin. He recalls one stormy night where they had to sleep in a hay barn in Glin.
0:51:48 - 0:55:20 LABASHEEDA - PJ names some of the shops and pubs in Labasheeda.. He describes Vincent McGarry cycling with buckets of milk. He says John Keane and the Farrells were some of the first people to have cars. His father went to Dublin and bought a car.
0:55:21 - 0:57:31 ST KIERAN'S WELL/HOLY WELLS - PJ speaks about St Kieran's well. He says people go there for eye cures. He recalls his father going to it when his eye was injured with a briar and his eye didn't bother him again. He says there is a story that the well relocated.
0:57:32 - 1:02:45 INCIDENT WITH A HORSE/BLACKSMITHS - PJ recalls an incident he had with a horse and car. He speaks of Jim Sullivan a blacksmith in Labasheeda. He says he could drive the nails with his left or his right hand. He wouldn't tolerate bad talk at his forge.
1:02:46 - 1:07:34 ELECTRICITY/MILKING - PJ worked for a winter with the ESB putting in electricity. He describes the work. People thought they would have to spare it. It allowed them to get a milking machine for the cows. His father had got a Lester engine for milking before the electricity came. He describes the process. He speaks about milking these days.
1:07:35 - 1:14:48 FAIRS - They would go to Kildysart fair with the cattle. He recalls the cattle buyers. He says the cattle would be lame from the bad roads. It was a long walk to the fair. They would take the 'Pole' road to Kildysart (from Moyfadda). It was called that because there was a line telephone poles there. There was also a fair in Labasheeda, (19th April). He says there wold be some fine singers at the fair. He speaks of the Pecker Dunne.
1:14:49 - 1:19:38 SEAWEED/TURF - He describes himself and Pat McMahon cutting and saving seaweed in May and taking it to Glin's in Kilrush. He speaks of farming today. He says the tea coming out to the meadow was great. He speaks of cutting turf at Tullycrine and Ballydeneen.
1:19:39 - 1:21:23 ANIMAL CURES - PJ speaks of animals getting the Black Quarter/Leg. He says they would give the animals porter.
1:21:24 - 1:23:52 INTERESTS/SPORT - PJ says he was interested in plastering. He speaks of the Liam McCarthy cup coming to Labasheeda the previous week. He says Martin Fitzpatrick is a great athlete from Kilmurry McMahon.
1:23:53 - 1:26:39 HAUNTED HOUSE - He says there is supposed to be a haunted house in the area. It was said they could see a light in the house from Glin. He tells a story of some men hearing voices at night.