Sean O’Halloran

Interview by Frances Madigan on February 18, 2011

Gender: Male

Birth date: 1930

Area: North Clare - Noughaval

Parish: Noughaval - Noughaval

Report date: June 5, 2011

[bws_pdfprint display='pdf']

Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:05:24 FAMILY HISTORY - Born in Noughaval, November 1930. Father was Tommy O'Halloran and his mother was Bridget Healy from Killaspuglonane. His grandfather (O'Halloran) was a herdsman and was evicted from Knockauns, Kilnaboy and came to live in Noughaval. His father was born in 1875/76 His grandmother (O'Halloran) was Mary O' Loughlin from Willbrook. His other grandparents were John & Bridget (nee Moynahan) Healy from Killaspuglonane. Seán's present house was built on the foundations of an old house.
0:05:24 - 0:16:05 EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES/PRIMARY SCHOOL - Seán remembers the time when the new family house was being built. He had to stay in Killaspuglonane. Here he started in Moymore school with his cousin John Healy. The teachers in the school were Mr & Mrs Flanagan and his aunt. One of his memories of school (1936 / '37) was of the smell of Van Houten's cocoa. He returned to new house and started school in Kilfenora in 1937. The man who built the new house was Vaughan from Miltown and it was finished off by Seamus Murray. The oldest person he remembers was his mother's aunt, Mrs Vaughan who had a pub on Main St. Miltown. Seán describes Kilfenora school. It was a two storey building with the girl's classrooms on 1st floor. The infants' teacher was Pappy Glynn from Ennistymon and the senior teacher was Paddy Glynn from Lahinch. Seán recalls some of the names of his classmates. He says everything was taught through Irish. According to Seán, Paddy Glynn was a great Fenian man and had a great love of Irish history. He recalls that they produced plays from poems, such as 'The Croppy Boy'. Seán recites some of this poem in Irish.
0:16:05 - 0:17:52 GAA - Seán recalls that Paddy Glynn taught football at school. He says that one of his juvenile teams won the County Championship in 1938 and the same team won the Senior Championship in 1941. Seán's team won the Senior Championship in 1950.
0:17:52 - 0:19:26 CONFIRMATION - Seán recalls his confirmation in Kilfenora Church. He remembers Bishop Browne asking the catechism questions.
0:19:26 - 0:21:58 SECONDARY SCHOOL - Seán left primary in 1944 and spent one year in St Mary's Boarding School in Galway. He remembers being put under taps by some of the older boys. He returned home to farm as he was the only son.
0:21:58 - 0:37:17 FARMING LIFE - Seán describes a typical day of work on the farm. Their bog was a mile away in Ballykeale. It was owned by Paddy Quinn and they rented a trench in it for about £2 a year. He says how they would have the meitheal on the farm in exchange for the use of his father's bull. Seán describes the killing of the pig and the making of the puddings and sausages. He speaks of the Compulsory Tillage Order. They also grew wheat one year on the farm for thatch. He describes the outbuildings on the farm. They had to go about 200 yards for drinking water. He describes some of the machines they used. He remembers that they got their first tractor, a David Brown in about 1958. Seán says that all their fields had a name. He recalls some of the names. Seán describes some of his mother's chores. He says the creamery started there in 1938. His mother also sold fresh butter to Mrs Murphy and Considine's in Kilfenora.
0:37:17 - 0:40:15 WWII MEMORIES - Seán says that the electricity came in 1960. Before that his family used paraffin and tilly lamps. They got a radio in 1938 and he remembers listening to Lord Haw Haw. Seán recalls that an aeroplane came down in Lahinch in 1943. The army blew it up. Seán's uncle made buckets etc from parts of the plane.
0:40:15 - 0:50:52 PASS TIMES - Seán says that playing football was his main pass time. He also remembers hunting for rabbits during the war. He says some travellers, Piggots from Gort, would visit the houses to buy rabbits. They paid about 1-2 shillings for them. He describes gutting the rabbits. He also says that there was a bounty of 5 shillings on a fox. In the winter time he would go to gambling dances in local houses. Seán also liked to read westerns which he borrowed from his uncle who had been in America. For dancing he would go to the Royal Spa in Lisdoonvarna Sean has been a pioneer all his life. He speaks of pioneer dances in Corofin. Sean recalls he smoked Woodbines going to school. John Joe Canole started a cinema in the old school in Kilfenora when Sean was about fourteen. He says that two films would be shown a night. Then films were shown in the town hall in Ennistymon. Seán speaks about how he played football for Kilfenora. He also played for a year with Michael Cusack's in 1962 but stopped when he took over the farm. Seán also recalls playing handball at Burke's Corner but there was no local alley.
0:50:52 - 0:53:48 WORLD WAR II - Seán talks about rationing. He says that tea / sugar / flour were rationed. Tea was available on the black market at £1 for 1lb. Cars were off the road, except priests and doctors cars.
0:53:48 - 0:56:19 FAMILY - Seán took over the farm and married in 1963. He met his wife, Tessie O'Halloran in Lisdoonvarna, at a dance at the Kincora. They had their honeymoon in the Isle of Man. They were there at the time of the TT races. They had 4 children.

Archive conditions of use

Cuimhneamh an Chláir provides access to these transcripts / recordings on the understanding that they are for personal use.  If you wish to use the material in any form of research, publication or presentation online or in person, you will need to specify that use and seek specific permission from Cuimhneamh an Chláir at [email protected]


Your request will then be reviewed by Cuimhneamh an Chláir and will be subject to a licensing agreement (at no cost).


Please enter your email address here to indicate your agreement to the above conditions. We will retain your email in accordance with our privacy policy.


Enjoy the archive!