Tony Kenny, Michael ‘Paddens’ Tuohy & Alfred Tuohy

Interview by Tomás Mac Conmara with Garry Stack. Also present was Fiona Butléir of Clare Roots on September 9, 2010

Gender: Male

Birth date: Tony Kenny = 1917, Michael Tuohy = 1922, Alfred Tuohy = 1930

Area: Ennis

Report date: December 4, 2010

[bws_pdfprint display='pdf']

Time Description
0:00:00 - 0:02:53 File 1 TONY KENNY'S MEMORIES - Tony Kenny states that he is from Waterpark in Ennis and explains that there are two Drumbiggles in Ennis, upper and lower. His family moved into Waterpark House and their landlord was Lord Inchiquin. There were nine in his family. Tony speaks about some of the teachers he remembers from his time at Ennis National School.
0:02:54 - 0:05:25 ENNIS EXECUTIONS IN THE CIVIL WAR - Tony speaks about a Fr. Considine who was at the execution of O'Mahony, Quinn and Shaughnessy (the last three to be executed by the Free State during the Irish Civil War). He speaks about some of the people he knew from those families. He recalls marching up to Drumcliffe on Easter Mondays and Easter Sundays. He states that John Joe Quinn (brother to Quinn) was in the British Army for 12 years. He speaks about the death of the young Morrissey boy who was shot dead by Black and Tans in Ennis.
0:05:26 - 0:12:32 SCHOOLDAYS - Tony speaks about his time at school. He wanted to spend time caddying at the Gold Club in Ennis. He started caddying in 1926. All the young people at Drumbiggle would caddy for men there. He states that it was the shopkeepers, bank clerks and Doctors were the people who played at Ennis Golf Club. It cost approximately 50 shillings to join the club when he was a child. He would have work from St. Patrick's Day until October at the golf club. Tony stayed working at the Golf Club until he was 16. Tony speaks about working for Paddy Con McMahon in the building of Ennis Hospital. Tony claims to be the last man alive who was involved in the building of Ennis Hospital. Tony speaks about some of the other people who worked with him. There were up to sixty men working on the job, which continued until 1937. File I ends when Michael Padden's Touhy and Alfred Touhy arrive
0:00:00 - 0:02:02 File 2 GRAVES AT DRUMCLIFFE - Alfred Touhy speaks about the burial of Garry Stack's mother when empty cartridges were found. Michael and Tony speak about various graves at Drumcliffe Cemetery.
0:02:03 - 0:08:01 THE TUOHY GRAVES AT DRUMCLIFFE - Michael speaks about a man called Tom Nelson, a man who had one leg and who used to be a patient in the county home. Michael's grandfather Johnny Touhy knew Tom Nelson as he was a handyman also. Tom Nelson was buried in the Touhy plot in Drumcliffe because he would otherwise have been buried in a paupers grave. Michael speaks about his own father's death during the Irish Civil War. His father Martin O'Loughlin from Turnpike was shot outside Lahinch during the Civil War. He was in the National Army. Alfred states that his father (Alfred Touhy) used to go to see him at Ennistymon hospital. He later died in a hospital in Dublin. When Garry Stack's mother was being buried in 2006, Alfred Touhy found two empty .303 cartridges.
0:08:02 - 0:11:24 ENNIS NATIONAL SCHOOL - Michael 'Paddens' speaks about his memories of his teachers in Ennis National School. He describes Principal Johnny Gordon's class as 'the firing squad'. Michael outlines the teachers he remembers and their connections in the town. He speaks about a teacher Finnucane, who later moved to Limerick. His son is the Former Fine Gael TD and Senator, Michael Finucane
0:11:25 - 0:14:07 ENNIS HORSE FAIR - The men speak about that a horse fair that used to occur each Saturday. On May 9 the big fair would be held. Alfred Touhy recalls having to go down to the town to bring the young boys up through the fair as they were too afraid to pass it on their own.
0:14:08 - 0:16:25 POVERTY - The men speak about poverty in Ennis during their childhood. They speak about the types of clothes that they used to wear when they were younger.
0:16:26 - 0:19:35 PASSTIMES - The men speak about their childhood pastimes. They speak about fishing locally. Michael used to fish at the Maid of Erin and also out in Ruan. He recalls getting a bicycle from Dick Bakers in O'Connell street and would use this to cycle to Ruan every Saturday and Sunday. Garry recalls hunting with The Old Mill Street Harriers when he was younger.
0:19:36 - 0:29:09 OUTBREAK OF TUBERCULOSIS IN ENNIS - The men speak about the TB epidemic that was 'rampant' in Ennis during the 1940s. Tony recalls a lot of funerals during this time. There was a sanatorium in Ballyalla, which later was used as a dance hall for a short time before it was burnt. Tony recalls a funeral almost every second day. Michael remembers going to the Sanatorium every day for a year and half when his wife was sick with TB. His wife Maisy recovered. Tony speaks about Garry Stack's Uncle Haulie, who later died of TB in Edenvale Sanatorium. Tony speaks about briefly about his sister Kitty who died from TB. Some of Michael's Aunt's also died from TB in their twenties. He recalls hearing about one of his aunts who sang 'Lay my head upon the rose' before lying down and dying. Michael's uncle was killed by a car outside the Legion, when he was a young man.
0:29:10 - 0:31:01 ENNIS SLAUGHTER HOUSE - The men speak about the slaughter house in Ennis, which was situated above where the Western Garages is now.
0:31:02 - 0:36:21 FRANK MALONE'S FORGE - Michael speaks about Malone's forge. He states that if you had a cart you could get a job drawing stones for the County Council. He speaks about Pako Malone who was Frank's father. Both men worked the forge. The men speak generally about the Blacksmith Forge and the different activities that occurred there. Michael speaks about a Clydesdale horse that his family had. When Bannatymes Bills closes, they left the horse to the Touhy family.
0:36:22 - 0:50:21 EMPLOYMENT AND SHOPS IN ENNIS - The men speak about drawing stones in Ennis. One of Garry's relations (Joe Stack) used to draw stones for MJ Baker. The men speak about various quarries in the town of Ennis which was used to produce stone for Cusack Park and other developments. Tony men speak about coal boats, coal yards and timber boats in Ennis. They would arrive to the quay in Clarecastle and be brought to Dan McInerneys. They speak about a row between men from Ennis and Clarecastle about how far the material would be brought from Ennis. This row involved a Mick Neylon from Corofin. They speak about local butchers including Martin Moloney. They speak about the Shinnors. Francie was a paymaster in the Board of Works. They also had a paper shop in Ennis. The men speak about various shops in the town of Ennis. Michael states that most of the shops in Ennis were of English origin. The men speak about Knoxs shops on Abbey Street. Tony states that in Knoxs there was only two staff (Molly Fahy and Mrs. Loom?) who worked behind the counter. He had seven townie labourers. Tony names out the local labourers from Ennis town that worked in Knoxs. Tony states that when he was a child, very few people from the town would be working behind the counter. Michael states that people from the country would work for cheaper in the shops and would generally get the jobs behind the counter. Garry recalls how the payments were processed in the shops. It was tube that would be operated from upstairs, usually by the owner of the shop.
0:50:22 - 0:52:44 TRADES IN ENNIS - The men speak about various trades in Ennis that are now gone. They speak about Peter O'Loughlin, who was a wheelwright. Peter O'Loughlin was former member of the IRA. File II ends for a cup of tea
0:00:00 - 0:06:13 HANDBALL - Garry speaks about a handball court that was in at the back of Moroney's Pub on Chapel Lane in Ennis town. Garry recalled seeing Pat Kirby from Tuamgraney playing handball with a golf ball. HURLING - Michael speaks about hurling with the Dal Cassians. He states that he could never understand why 'The Dals' were broken up. Michael speaks about the men he hurled against over the years. He speaks about Mikey Grady from Bodyke, who was on the Bodyke 1947 champions.
0:06:14 - 0:07:13 BUILDINGS - Tony speaks briefly about buildings that he was involved in when he was working.
0:07:14 - 0:13:44 URBAN ELECTRIFICATION - The men speak about the arrival of electricity to Ennis. They speak about the lights that were in the town before hand. Michael worked with the ESB for a number of years. His uncle Paddy Touhy got him the job. Paddy was involved in the War of Independence. Michael wasn't sure if he was out with the 'Gods'. Tony states that when electricity came first, it was put in places that suited the rich people. Tony outlines where the poles were erected when electricity came first. Michael speaks about his early years working for the ESB. The men speak about the change that the electricity brought to both rural and urban areas. Alfred states that 'the old people' before the arrival of electricity would make you open the front and back door if there was lightening so that it come in and go out.
0:13:45 - 0:15:58 THE BANSHEE - The men speak about the Banshee and the Coiste Bodhar in Ennis. They refer to a number of incidents where people were reputed to have heard the Banshee or say the Coiste Bodhar.
0:15:59 - 0:17:21 PITCH AND TOSS - Garry speaks about playing Pitch and Toss in Ennis. The men explain who it was played and where.
0:17:22 - 0:21:08 THE TRADITION OF VISITING IN ENNIS - The men explain that the tradition of cuairt which was strong in the country was not an aspect of the town in the past. However, Michael states that there was always someone coming to their house which was described as halfway house. There were not many open hearth fires in the houses in Ennis. The men describe the grates which were prominent in the town of Ennis. The also speak about the cooking and baking that was done around the fires in Ennis. They speak about hospitality in general in the town.
0:21:09 - 0:29:40 THE CARMODY HOTEL DISASTER - The three men outline their memories of the Carmody Hotel Disaster in January 1958. Tony Kenny was present after the collapse and went into Carmody's Hotel to help bring the bodies out. He recalls going in the window with Seán Caufield to try to help take people out. There was also a Friar called Keane from Lissycasey who took the bodies outside the windows. Tony speaks about handing the bodies of the dead people out the window. He recalls lifting the body of Ernest de Regge and recalls seeing the silver from the auction piled in the middle of the room. Michael and Alfred also recall their memories of the event.
0:29:41 - 0:39:37 WAKES AND FUNERALS - The men speak about Wakes in the town of Ennis. They recall various wakes and stories about funerals in Ennis. Tony recalls a story he heard from his father about two Nolan brothers who were in the Boer War with the American army. He speaks about when one of the brothers died and his brother slept in the same bed as the corpse when everyone left the wake. Tony speaks about issues around inheritance involving Johnny Griffey.
0:39:38 - 0:46:31 SHOPS IN ENNIS - Tony speaks about a time when there were seventeen bakeries in the town of Ennis when he was a young man. He states that there were seven butchers in Parnell Street. He recalls free meat being given out in 1934. Tony also states that there were approximately thirty tailors in Ennis. The men state that Copeland, father of current Louis Copeland ( came down by train and gave out cheap suits around Ennis, which took the trade away from local tailors. Munty Dobe was a local man who helped Copeland. This undermined the local tailors and signalled their demise. Alfred speaks about the bacon that was imported into Ennis in the past. Tony speaks briefly about the journey tailors in the past. File ends

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!