Seán McInerney

Interview by Jackie Elger on February 5, 2013

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1945

Area: West Clare - Killadysert

Parish: Killadysert - Lackannashinnagh

Report date: September 19, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:22 HIS FATHER'S FAMILY ON HORSE ISLAND, KILDYSART - There were 11 in Sean's father's family. His father was Marty McInerney, his grandfather was Dan his great grandfather was Denis and he thinks his great great grandfather was John. Seán names his father's brother and sisters:- Paddy was the eldest. He became a 'cop' in Detroit. Steve went to Birmingham. John was also a 'cop' in Patrickswell. Mickey worked for a farmer in Limerick. Jimmo worked on the pilot boat at Cappa and built and raced his own currachs. He won a cup at a currach race in Skerries. He says the 3 brothers would race currachs. Danno worked refuelling the sea-planes at Foynes. He then moved to Shannon and finished up manager refuelling the sea-planes. Peter and Tessie would take the people out to see the sea-planes at Foynes in a launch. They charged 2 bob a trip. Seán's father was born in 1906. Peter and Tom stayed on the island farming. Tessie married a farmer in Kilmihil. Peter up until recently lived in Malone's house in Crovraghan.
0:05:23 - 0:07:10 MEMORIES OF HORSE ISLAND - Seán recalls going to his grandparent's house on Horse Island as a child to a house dance. He remembers his father once telling him that he fell out of a boat once and that was the only time he swam in his life. He recalls his father washing himself in the river with a bar of soap.
0:07:11 - 0:10:36 O'GRADY'S ISLAND - Says the little island in front of it is called Apple Island but on the map that is called O'Grady's. Says his grand uncle (his grandmother's brother) Paddy Wall owned O'Grady's. He says his dad was rented out to him for £5 a year when he was about 10. He speaks of the house on the island and the fact that the Larkin's (Jackie's grand uncle) once lived there was mentioned. He mentions a servant boy in Horse island called Patrick Shannon. He describes the work his father did on the island. He says they made their own butter and lime. They would sell them on a Sunday. He says all the islands had a lime kiln.
0:10:37 - 0:12:41 MEEHAN'S ISLAND (HOGAN'S) - Seán speaks of his grand aunt, Mrs Nonie Mooney, from Galway. She was married to Jim Mooney who was a herdsman on Meehan's island. He says his mother would cycle from Galway (Loughrea) to visit her aunt and that's how she met his father. He says his aunt died in the 1950s. Their house was the only house on that island.
0:12:42 - 0:15:26 O'GRADY'S ISLAND - Seán thinks that Tuohy's bought O'Grady's Island from the Walls. Jackie mentions that Michael Kelly from Low Island says that a Tuohy man, who put fire out in Sellafield in the 1950s, might have connections with O'Grady's island. Seán lists the local names for the islands.
0:15:27 - 0:17:21 DANCES/ MUSIC - Seán says his dad would have gone to all the islands for dances / masses. He recalls his father telling a story about a woman dying on the island. He says Morgan McMahon (Canon Island) would make his own fiddles.
0:17:22 - 0:19:42 MCINERNEY'S HOUSE ON HORSE ISLAND - Seán describes his grandparent's house on Horse Island. He shows a photo of their house from a book on Kildysart. He says his grandmother was Bridget Wall from Clondegad. He thinks there was some connection with the Hehir's of Fanny O'Deas. Carmel McInerney recalls when Seán mother died. Seán says his grandfather fell and died on one of the stiles on Horse Island when he was 84 in 1958.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:02:13 SEAN'S GRANDPARENT'S HOUSE - Seán describes his grandparent's house on Horse Island.
0:02:14 - 0:08:38 SEAN'S FATHER AND HIS WORK - He speaks of when his father came out from the island and got land in Lacknashannagh from the Land Commission. Before that he joined the army in the late 1920s where he was a physical instructor. He then worked in Ennis in a quarry making lime for Christy McCarthy. He says two brothers had quarries, Christy & Gerry McCarthy. They produced 99% of lime for the area. He recalls his father then worked as a ganger on the runway at Shannon for Amby McInerney. He says many men from Kildysart went with him. He mentions who would bring them in cars - Micheál Kelly, the McCarthys. He speaks of Micko Keane getting his 1st wage packet there but giving up after 3 weeks. Seán then speaks of his father's work for the Land Commission around Kildysart, mending banks etc. He believes a lot of his uncle's deafness was caused by engines from boats coming in and out from the island.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:03:20 ELECTRICITY - Seán says that Paddy Wall had a shed with batteries and a wind charger. He talks about tilly lamps. He says he was 8 or 9 when they got electricity. Johnny Fitzpatrick wired the house for them. Micko Nash in the village had a wind charger for wet and dry batteries.
0:03:21 - 0:06:22 FARMING / FISHING / SEAWEED - They farmed pigs / sheep / cattle on the island. Seán speaks of them eating rabbits and wild duck. He speaks of them fishing for fluke in the creek. He says they ate carrageen moss and sea grass on the island.
0:06:23 - 0:07:27 RIVER PILOT - Seán speaks of his uncle who was a river pilot. He would drive to Kilrush to pick up a ship.
0:07:28 - 0:11:06 WORK AT SHANNON AIRPORT - Seán speaks of the time he worked in the restaurant at Shannon airport when he was 18. He says he was there when Kennedy came and he also recalls a singer (Pat? or could be Michael) Holiday. He speaks of a near miss that this singer had on the runway. He also remembers meeting de Valera and Archbishop McQuaid. He says he went to hotel school at Rockwell in Tipperary and de Valera often visited there.
0:11:07 - 0:15:48 DE VALERA - Seán says his grandfather, Dan, was one of de Valera's helpers whenever he came to Kildysart. His grandfather also had something to do with the workhouse in Kildysart. He says he gave tea to soldiers. He says his dad would bring the IRA volunteers across the Shannon. He speaks of John Clancy and his brother Tomas from Glencanane being on the run. He recalls a story of John escaping from the barracks.
0:15:49 - 0:18:05 BOATS - Seán says his uncle in Kilrush put a lorry engine into a lighter (boat). He would bring people into Scattery Island.
0:18:06 - 0:21:49 O'GRADY'S ISLAND - Seán speaks of Apple Island and O'Grady's Island. His grand uncle sold it for £2000. He says a footballer who played for Everton was a 2nd cousin of his. The Wall's came from Darragh.
0:21:50 - 0:24:24 FORTS - Seán says there are 15 forts in the area. He says Horse Island fort is the main one and from that you can see 7 other forts. He says that there is a legend that when Cromwell came to Canon Island the monks fled to Horse Island with their gold.
0:24:25 - 0:26:00 SWIMMING CATTLE - Seán says they would swim cattle across from the islands. He speaks of cattle swimming to Apple Island. He says that if a pig tried to swim it would cut its throat with its trotters.
0:26:01 - 0:28:57 PLANES CRASHES - Seán speaks of John Joe Kelly the postman from Low Island. He speaks some of the plane crashes. He says his father saw where one of the crashes happened. He says they had a door of an airplane that they would use as kids for a ski.
0:28:58 - 0:36:54 INCIDENTS WITH WATER - He speaks about Bianconi's railway. He says his dad got paid £5 to get rid of the engine. He says his dad broke it up and it is now out in Cornal (the gap between O'Grady's Island and Kildysart). Seán says he once went out in the water in a pig's trough and shovel. He tells the story of how he was nearly drowned in a well at the age of two. He says the islanders treated the water with respect. He thinks that at one time after a plane crash and the islanders got paid £2 for each body that was found.
0:36:55 - 0:46:12 VEHICLES - Seán mentions some of those that left the islands. He speaks about Bianconi and that he choked on a sausage and he also talks about the railway. He says there are two sections of a railway tracks left on a bridge at the end of Lacknashannagh road. He says he had the first car in Clare led by Jackie Casey and that the registration of the car (CE10) is in Mitchell's pub in Kildysart. He says his dad had an old car (possibly a baby Ford) when Seán was young. He says he also had a lorry. He remembers him cutting and delivering turf with George Casey. He recalls a funny story of him wiping the windscreen of the car with a wiper he kept inside the car.
File 4 0:00:00 - 0:13:39 LOCAL NAMES - Seán (and Moira) names people that lived in Lacknashannagh and along the road towards Kildysart. He says the cinema was built with sand from the islands. Moira says that Peg Mac's (from Woodlawn) husband's father was drowned coming out from one of the islands (possibly Willie Cannon's Island or Shore Island). Seán thinks Mrs Fitz. taught on Horse Island and then she taught in Kildysart. He recalls some of the teachers in Kildysart school.

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