Posted in Posts and podcasts

Hallow E’En – 1938

Collected by Brian MacMahon from Nicholas and Mrs Mac Mahon
Toonagh N.S. Co. Clare
Principal Proinnsias Gordún

First Mammy makes a cake and puts a ring and a sixpence into it. Then whoever gets the ring will be married and whoever gets the sixpence the richest of the family. Then we get a long cord and hang it from the ceiling and fasten an apple and a candle on to the cord to see who would get a bite of the apple.

We get three saucers and we put water in one and earth in the other and salt in the last one. Then we put a handkerchief around someone’s eyes and he would put into one of the saucers. If he put his hand into the saucer of earth he would be first to die; if he put his hand into the saucer of water he would be be first to cross the sea and if he put his hand into the saucer of salt he would be first to be married.
Next we put two beans down on the flag of the fire and name someone to be the husband and wife. We leave the beans there until one of them jumps. If they did not jump the people they stood for would not marry. If one of them jumped the pair would not like one another and whichever of them jumped we would make a show of the person for whom it stood.

Here are some tricks. The First is pinning a cup of water to the wall. First you get a cup of water and a pin and be pretending to another person how to do it. You put the cup on to the wall and put the pin under it. Then let the pin fall and the person goes to pick it up. While he is bending down for it you spill the cup of water on top of him.
Another trick is to place a stick on the ground so that you cannot jump over it. To do this you get a stick and put it up near the wall.
Another still is to kiss a book inside and outside without opening it. Geta book and kiss it inside in the house and go out and kiss it outside.
Putting yourself through the keyhole is another. Write your name on a piece of paper and pass it through the keyhole.
Putting your right hand where your left hand cannot touch it is another. Place it on the left elbow.
The Schools’ Collection, Vol.0613, P.105

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Castlebar, Galway, Gort, Kinvara – 1910

The W.A. Record (Perth, WA: 1888-1922)
Saturday 28th May, 1910 p.4
Castlebar District Council has adopted a resolution calling on the County Council to refuse financial aid to the National University until the demand for essential Irish is acceded to.
The Committee adopted a further resolution expressing disapproval of the action of the Board of Studies of the National University regarding Irish and asking the County Councils to stand from rewarding pecuniary aid until Irish is fairly treated.

Lord Clanricard obtained a number of decrees against his tenants at Gort Quarter Sessions for non payment of rent, and the Irish Land Commission obtained 80 decrees.

Mr Duffy M.P. speaking at a large meeting in Kinvara organised to protest against a refusal by the trustees of the Sharpe estate of a reduction in rents to the tenants, said if the present dispute were not stopped it would eventually involve the other local landlords and the Government in a row, the consequences of which nobody could forsee. Rev. Father Keely, P.P. who presided, said the tenants were determined to persist in their agitation till they had conquered.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Local Happenings – 1921

Collected by Mary Leary, Kinvarra, Co. Galway from Patrick O’Leary (age 70)
There is nothing as terrific as a house burning. It is dreaded by every-body. There is scarcely a town or city in Ireland without its share of ruins of burned houses. Galway comes under the rigour of burned houses as well as every other town and city in Ireland because in a town called Kinvara the ruins of a burned draper’s shop are to be seen.
This draper’s shop is supposed to be burned by the Black and Tans about the year 1921 when Ireland was infested with them. The burning occurred about eleven o’clock on a dark stormy winter’s night. The Black and Tans entered the shop in a wild fury and went to the kitchen where a range was. They spilled petrol in the fire which immediately burst into flames. The blaze immediately reached the roof overhead, and they followed from the roof to the ceiling and thus the goods caught fire.
The occupants of the shop tried to rush to safety and luckily enough they succeeded in escaping from the flames. Their attempts to rescue the contents of the shop were all in vain. All the goods that were in the shop were burned to ashes. Men from the neighbourhood did their best to quench the flames but it was impossible for them to overcome the raging flames. Water was brought in large quantities but the more water was thrown on the flames the wider they spread. Higher and higher they rose until the whole town was illuminated by their lights. The flames could be seen for miles and miles outside the town.
Many lives were in danger in the conflagration. A near-by public-house was beginning to take fire when the occupants luckily felt it taking root. They sprang at once for water and neighbours helped them to extinguish the flames.
No lives were lost in the burning. The fleeing of the occupants from the house at the beginning saved their lives. The wind blew very strong and this made the flames burn through more swift. On that account there was no possibility of saving the burning house. The ruins of the burned shop are to be seen in Kinvarra to the present day. Never will the terrific burning of the draper’s shop be in oblivion by the people of Kinvarra.