Tom McInerney

Interview by Jackie Elger on January 21, 2015

Gender: Male

Parish: Tulla - Derrymore East

Report date: November 2, 2015

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Time Description
File 1 0:00:00 - 0:05:21 EARLY LIFE - Tom was born in Kilkishen on the 7th July 1930 in the house which is now Donnellan's Hardware shop. He lived there until he was 19. His family built a house in Scart, about a mile from Kilkishen. He lived there until he was 33 years then married into the farm of Angela McInerney in Derrymore. His parents were Molly Carmody & Jim McInerney. He had one brother and four sisters. His house in Kilkishen started out as a public house. He recalls a shop in his house run by a woman known as Auntie Mary, (Hargrove). The pub was called McInerney's. His grandfather was John McInerney. His father was born around 1898. He names some of his aunts. His grandmother was Kenna from Ogonolloe.
0:05:22 - 0:11:31 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE/GLENWOOD AMBUSH - Tom speaks of his father joining the local IRA during the War of Independence. He says he lived next door to Paddy Clancy who was a republican and he heard a lot of his stories. He speaks of Paddy's brother Joe, who joined the British army. He recalls a time his father was hunting with Martin Mac, also known as The Neighbour Mac, when they met Joe Clancy, who asked Martin to join the British Army. He tells the story of how The Neighbour got his nickname. He says they deserted the British Army and joined the local IRA. Tom speaks of the Glenwood Ambush. His father and Miko Neville were two of the four picked to go to it. He also mentions the Meelick Ambush. He says the 20th January was the anniversary of Glenwood. They assembled at Fox's Cross. His father was put as sentry and was disappointed as people coming to the fair might recognise him. Tom says a man in Pollock, John Egan, planned the ambush, with the Brennans. He says the Lynchs in O'Callaghan's Mills were well in with the British Post Office. When the Black & Tans looked for his father, his sister would say that he had gone to Lynch's. He says they had a farm of land in Clonlea and his father slept in cornfields there or in Mount Bailey.
0:11:32 - 0:12:23 CLONLEA LAKE - Tom speaks of Clonlea Lake which can be walked across in summer.
0:12:24 - 0:29:27 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - Tom recalls the Black & Tans taking out timber from Clancy's house. He says his mother would talk & collect dispatches out to Kelly's in Oatfield in her shoe. His father, Miko Neville & the Quinns from Tulla were ordered out to Oatfield for another ambush. Tom speaks of the guns they had. He says his father detested the Civil War .They slept in 'Grady's in Oatfield but the ambush was called off. The Quinns walked home to Tulla and were called again the next day. An ambush had been planned for Cratloe but the people there didn't want it. He speaks of an army lorry they were to fire on coming from Ennis and that two lorries from limerick turned back. Some of the men went to Gleeson's pub and left the revolvers in a reek of turf. Tom says the Glenwood ambush was in 1920. He says a Fr Hewitt from Tipperary who was in Kilkishen had been involved in the old IRA. He recalls a time when the lads on the run arrived into Boyle's pub. He says the bridge was up on the road from Tulla to Kilkishen so a lorry couldn't drive through. Lorries came into Kilkishen and took control of the whole street. He says Martin Mac got a bullet in his knee. He was taken in an ass and car to a house between Quin and Kilkishen and the next day was taken up the Shannon to Barrington's Hospital, (Limerick). He speaks of Martin Mac meeting the British Army in Tulla. He says Martin wanted to hold an ambush on the road into Kilkishen but McMahon, whose house the guns were hidden in, was afraid of reprisals. Tom speaks of the training that Martin got in the British Army. He shot the thumb of the driver in Glenwood. Tom speaks of the gun his father got. Says some involved didn't want to talk about it. His father wasn't a De Valera fan and thought the Civil war was ridiculous.
0:29:28 - 0:42:18 GAA - Tom says that Fr Hewitt organised a hurling team and he speaks of a championship in 1923 that was never finished between Feakle and O'Callaghan's Mills in Treacy's field because 'Grady wouldn't get off for hitting Miko Neville. The match was awarded to Kilkishen. He says that was the only playing field in Kilkishen and Tulla. Emigration took the men so there was no team in his time. He says his father was in the team that won a championship. Tom's son, (Jim, 1995) & grandson, (Daniel McInerney, 2013), won All-Ireland medals. Tom speaks of hurlers in his area. He talks about the rivalry between Kilkishen and O'Callaghan's Mills. He recalls how O'Callaghan's Mills got their field. He says his children hurled with Tulla. He recalls recently meeting a man he once played U14 hurling against. He speaks of Fr Solan in Whitegate and Pappy Callaghan from the Mills who were great hurlers. Tom recalls a match in 1963 between Sixmilebridge and Newmarket where the pitch was dug overnight.
0:42:18 - 0:45:18 DANCES - Tom recalls the dances he went to. They would sometimes get a hackney car to dances. He describes the marquee in Kilkishen. Tom met his wife in Kilkishen and they were married in Tulla with the reception in Bunratty. He speaks of great set dances in Kilkishen.
File 2 0:00:00 - 0:04:31 CATTLE DRIVES - Tom speaks of Batty, (Bartholomew) Mac and the cattle drives. Tom says his wife walked to Kilkishen to school. His father also drove cattle.
0:04:32 - 0:06:58 1916 - Tom speaks of a local involved in 1916 in Dublin-Mick O'Dea from Tulla carried a bullet until the day he died.
0:06:59 - 0:08:30 SCHOOL - Tom went to school in Kilkishen. He names the teachers-Mrs Clancy, (née Tuohy), sister-in-law to the Clancys, then Mrs Conlon.
0:08:31 - 0:11:51 DR FLYNN - Tom speaks of Dr Flynn, Kilkishen. His wife was Brennan from Meelick. Maggie Donohue looked after their children. Tom recalls an accident he had skating on Cullane lake. Dr Flynn often got paid in turf. Dr Holohan got his house afterwards.
0:11:52 - 0:14:44 WORK ON BOGS - Tom remembers his grandfather. Tom worked with his granduncle then worked on council bogs near Kilkishen.
0:14:45 - 0:16.28 WWII - Tom remembers hearing when the war broke out outside Donnellan's on the radio inside. They crushed corn in Tulla/O'Callaghan's Mills. Everyone had pigs. He names people who killed pigs.
0:16:29 - 0:19:52 FIELDNAMES/FAMINE - Tom recalls some fieldnames; The Currach/Curragh; 'Port an hÉain', The Locca; Long Island; The Well Field. There was a 'cillín' behind their house. He thinks there might have been a famine grave. He says his grandfather had to guard his turnips during the famine. He speaks of the workhouse in Tulla.
0:19:53 - 0:25:07 THE BIG HOUSES - Tom speaks of Belvoir House. Wilson Lynch from Belvoir had a special pew in the church. He says Sarah Ann Warrell was a protestant postmistress. He tells a funny story of Canny watching a protestant funeral. He speaks of Tadey Canny hurling for Kilkishen. Mentions Dobbin's House and Hanly's in Sunville. He tells a story about a priest, Fr Gleeson and Hanly.
0:25:08 - 0:30:36 THE IRISH ARMY IN KILKISHEN - Tom says the army were camped in Kilkishen during WWII. The 23rd Battalion won a hurling championship in Clare. They cut turf in the area. They camped on Joe Murphy's land-near Cullane lake. He speaks of an army crash at Sixmilebridge. He says aeroplanes would drop stuff over the bog. The army lads would share a bike to get to Limerick. Tom speaks of a turret on a hill put up by Tomas Steele when Ireland got Catholic Emancipation. He says the government bought it to put an ammunition factory there but the war started and they didn't build it.
File 3 0:00:00 - 0:04:55 ARMY - Tom continues to talk about the army. He says they would drill them on the street. Charlie Lennon came with the army and stayed. Tom sings a song-'Four and Nine'. He speaks of Flapper's, (William Henry) in Tulla. He had a store where the restaurant is now. Tom speaks about how he got the name (he was Meehan before Flapper).
0:04:56 - 0:11:07 MUSICIANS - Tom recalls some local musicians. Francie Donnellan used to sing 'Boys of Barr na Sráide'. He mentions Paddy Canny, PJ Hayes. He remembers people going on their cuaird. They would usually go to a house where there was no woman. His wife's aunt had a house in Oatfield and people would come and play cards every night. One tall lad would step over the half door. Ryan's had bicycles and lads would take them to go to dances. He says there was a dancing platform at Creavagh Cross/Cullane but the IRA took it up to make a bunker.
0:11:08 - 0:16:27 SAFE HOUSES/WAR OF INDEPENDENCE - He mentions some of the safe houses in the area. He speaks of a suspected spy that the IRA caught and shot. Fr Hewitt insisted that they bury him and he was buried at Liddane's. When the troubles were over his body was dug up and taken back to Cork.
0:16:28 - 0:21:21 LOCAL PEOPLE/KILKISHEN - Sheeran in Kilkishen who was a great referee who went away to America. A poet from Broadford called Kennedy wrote a song with Sheeran in it. He recalls a time when they used whips during hurling matches. Mick Carmody on his mother's side played hurling. His mother was the clerk of the chapel in Kilkishen. Her brothers worked in the saw mill in Cullane. Her brother Paddy Carmody fought in WWI and won a Purple Heart. He ended up as Chief of Police at Niagra Falls. Tom names some of the pubs in Kilkishen.
0:21:22 - 0:24:47 BLACKSMITHS - Tom says O'Neill was the blacksmith in Kilkishen. Then Coffey came from Kilrush and took on the job. There was two blacksmiths in Kilmurry. The blacksmith in O'Callaghan's Mills was known as 'The Lovely Moloney'. The blacksmiths in Tulla were Danny Brassil and Paid Coughlan. He speaks of Vaughan the blacksmith in Maghera, Tulla. He speaks of when he got a tractor.
0:24:48 - 0:29:14 VETS - Tom speaks of a man in Kilmurry called Jack Roughan who healed a calf's broken leg with pitch. He also speaks of Paddy Mac from Meelick who fixed a cow's shoulder. He speaks of James Donnellan cycling to Ennis for Fitzpatrick the vet. He says a vet John Carroll would come from Limerick. You could leave a message for the vet at Gleeson's pub in Kilkishen. He speaks of dehorning cattle.
0:29:15 - 0:32:22 THATCHERS - Tom speaks of cutting corn with a scythe. They had three thatched houses and they would have to cut reeds for the thatch. He remembers a thatcher called The Dauber coming from Bog Lane near Newmarket. Other thatchers were Martin Fitzgerald and Jack Collins from Kilkishen. He says the best thatcher they had was Paddy Chaplin from Cratloe.
0:32:23 - 0:35:15 THE BIG HOUSES - Tom speaks of a big house in Kilkishen-Scart House. He speaks of a girl who worked in Cullane House.

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