Sean O’Halloran 3

Interview by Frances Madigan on February 22, 2011

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1930

Area: North Clare - Noughaval

Parish: Noughaval - Noughaval

Report date: July 26, 2011

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Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:11:58 NOUGHAVAL SETTLEMENT - Sean explains Noughaval means new settlement. Sean doesn't know exactly how old the settlement is but assumes it goes back to the Middle Ages because the monastery dates back to the 11th Century and the Church dates back to the 6th or the 7th Century. Both the old church and the new church were dedicated to St. Mochua. There is also a well in the area dedicated to the Saint. Someone from Munich inquired about the church because it's believed that St Mochua set up a church in Munich. Sean tells a small poem about the Saint. When he finish's telling the poem he continues to talk about the Saint and his travels. There are some indications of a smaller and older Church which is known as the O' Davoren Church. It's believed that name comes from the reformation and Sean tells the story.
0:11:58 - 0:15:18 ROUND TOWERS AND GRAVEYARDS - The monastery had been rebuilt a couple of different times. Stones from a Round Tower were used in some of the construction. The north-west corner has been identified as a possible location for a round tower. The graveyard is still in use today. At the entrance to the graveyard there is a stone which is known locally as the bandle stone and the official name is the market stone.
0:15:18 - 0:17:33 MILLS - There was a flax mill located five miles from the monastery. Noughaval is located on the old road route from the sea inland. The bandle stone would indicate that Noughaval was a market settlement.
0:17:33 - 0:27:40 NOUGHAVAL CHURCH AND ITS CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES - The present church was built in 1941. It was built for the coast guard in Ballyvaughan. Previously, this church belonged to the Church of Ireland but it went into disrepair. Bishop Browne recognised the beautiful stone work so he bought the whole building for £25. At the same time as this the roof of the Galway prison was bought also and then put on the church. The church construction included a cavity wall and stone work on the outside. It took two years to complete and was finished on the 1st August 1943. There were twenty seats from the original church kept. The old church was also a school. There is no available picture of the old church according to Sean. An artist came in and did an impression with the memories of the locals. When people were going to mass they would tie their horses to the Market Stone.
0:27:40 - 0:29:03 STATIONS OF THE CROSS - The stations of the cross were in the old church and they were kept in Sean's house while the new church was under construction. Sean talks about a picture that was taken during the commemoration of the new church.
0:29:03 - 0:33:06 HEDGE SCHOOLS, FORTS AND CASTLES - Sean talks about his interest in local history. He attributes some of his interest to the North Clare Historical Society. There was once a hedge school operating in the Noughaval area. Evidence for this can be seen in present day field names. Sean says there is a couple of Forts located on his land. You were not meant to interfere with them as they were fairy forts. There were no Castles in Noughaval but there was one in Ballymurphy but its no longer standing.
0:33:06 - 0:38:11 CAVES - The Caves of Kilcorney were also known as the Caves of the Wild Horses and Sean talks about these. He father told him about some German cavers coming over investigating in 1913. He spends a small bit of time talking about them exploring the caves. He says they never got to finish their exploration due to the break out of WWI. If there was heavy rain the caves would flood dangerously high. He says that people in the vicinity would be able to hear the water roar. Sean talks about why the caves were named the caves of the wild horses. At some point as artist came to visit and did a drawing of the horseman, the hound and the fox. The painting was so good that it is now maintained.
0:38:11 - 0:39:10 KILLEENS - There used to be a Killeen in the locality. This was where unbaptised children were buried as they couldn't be buried in consecrated ground. Note: Interview ends

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