Community Memories Project

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Funded by the Irish Public Bodies (IPB) Community Engagement Fund

Summary of Interviews and dates for screenings

1.Canon Séamus Mullin, retired PP, Miltown Malbay, recounts his memories of Kilrush and Scattery Island in his youth, his life as a priest, including as President of  St Flannan’s College, Ennis, and his encounters with significant historical figures.

Date:  Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 8.30pm in the Westbridge.   

2.Nell Gleeson of Killernan (interviewed by her daughter Carol Gleeson) shares memories of country life in her youth, her work in Miltown post office, the development of their renowned music pub and shop in Coore, its closure in 2004 as a consequence of the broader decline in the rural infrastructure, and its use now as her son Derrick’s uilleann pipe workshop.   

Date: Monday, September 17, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

3.Margaret Whelan of Frehane (interviewed by her daughter Helen Whelan), whose farm, unusually, has passed down solely through the female line, shares her memories of school, farming and social life and of funeral traditions in Kilmurry Ibrickane.

Date: Monday, September 24, 2018 at 8.30pm in the Westbridge.

4.Joe Carroll of Freagh (interviewed by Joe O’Connor), a farmer, recalls the account given him personally in his youth by a participant in ‘the rebellion that never was’ -   a planned Fenian attack on Miltown Police Station in 1867 which was frustrated by a sudden overnight snowfall - and talks about the famous Vandeleur Uilleann Pipes owned by his grandfather and now in the National Museum.                                                                   

Date: Monday, October 1, 2018 at 8.30pm in Áras OaC, Flag Rd.

5.Rena Uí Loinsigh (interviewed by Sorcha Curtin), primary schoolteacher in Dunsallagh and later Miltown, recalls student life in Mary I, Limerick and her years as a teacher, including her many initiatives in music and drama. She gives a detailed insight into life in both a small rural school and the larger and newer Miltown school, with which it amalgamated in 1975, and talks of her compilation and publishing of the history of Dunsallagh school and her years of service as Church organist.                                                   

Date: Monday, October 8, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

6.Michael O’Loughlin of Ballyvaskin talks of his youth in Milford House, his enterprising grandfather and father, who founded the Milford Céilí Band (1939-42), his career as a carpenter, and his voluntary work as technical director of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and as Stage Manager for 77 musical society productions.

Date: Monday, October 15, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

7.Michael Falsey of Seafield, the renowned piper, recalls the now little known Irish names of the physical features of the Quilty and Seafield coastline (islands, rocks, harbours, headlands, reefs, seaweeds and seabirds) and the lore associated with them, as well as the Leon shipwreck and the WW2 seaplane crash.  Michael also talks of his working life in London and Ireland and his life as a musician.                                                                      

Date: Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8.45pm in Áras OaC, Flag Rd.  

8.Historic Sites in the Miltown Malbay area

This short video takes a look, with the aid of a drone and with commentary by Cyril Jones, Harry Hughes and Séamus Mac Mathúna, at the the reputed site of the Cathair stone fort, north of the Church, from which Sráid na Cathrach (Miltown Malbay) is named; the site of the Freagh Castle Coastguard Station, where the father of John Philip Holland (inventor of the submarine) served as boatman 1831-49; and Tuama na Spáinneach in Spanish Point, the reputed burial site of the hundreds of Spanish Armada sailors drowned or put to death in 1588 when the San Marcos and the San Esteban were wrecked off the West Clare coast.                                                                          

Date: Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8.30pm in Áras OaC, Flag Rd.

9.Aidan Carroll of Miltown shares memories of his schooldays, of his time in his family’s bakery (one of six in the town) and as an auctioneer, both businesses established by his father Ned (one of 6 Miltown men on the only Clare football team to reach an All-Ireland final, but beaten by Wexford in 1917). He talks of his football career, of aspects of the game then and now, of his service as referee of four Munster senior finals and one Connacht senior final between 1959 and 1961, including on-field insights into Mick O’Connell as a player and the background to his own non-appointment for the All-Ireland final of 1961, leading to his decision to retire.

Date: Monday, October 29, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

10.Judith Ironside of Spanish Point shares her childhood memories in Essex of the outbreak of World War II, her work in the Conservative Research Office, her later life in her husband’s veterinary practice here, the striking differences in funeral customs and attitudes to death between here and England, hearing keening in Kilrush, and life as a member of the Church of Ireland community. She talks of her work in Social Services with Sr Marie Stuart, her Soroptimist work and her pioneering role in establishing Caring for Carers structures locally and nationally.

Date: Monday, November 5, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

11.PJ Murrihy of Shandrum, the well known singer (interviewed by his daughter Moira), shares vivid memories of farming life, days in the bog, saving hay, trapping hares on Mutton Island, and of hurling (as well as football) in Mullagh. He shows a reaping hook bought in 1778 in Kilrush, talks of piper Johnny Doran’s visits and his impact, of his own time with the Kilfenora Céilí Band and the Bannermen, and tells the story of his neighbour Jane Hogan, who walked home from Ennis in 1915 after surviving the torpedoing of the Lusitania.  

Date: Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

12.Memories of Football in Miltown

Cyril Jones, Canon Séamus Mullin, John Reidy and Michael Burke recall the Sling (later replaced by the sideline kick) and other changes in the way football was played and in training and tactical approaches in earlier times; the great Clare and Miltown players; the construction of the pitch and early dressingrooms; hurling and camogie in Miltown; Bord na nÓg; the keen club rivalries in West Clare; and  many anecdotes on the playing of illegal players and other memorable incidents and shenanigans.                                   

Date: Monday, November 19, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.

Kieran Earley of Crusheen, a farmer who, after his emigrant days in London as a youth and his later marketing role with Bord Fáilte, established himself as a major entertainment promoter from the 1970s onwards, recalls his enterprising development of Katy Daly’s in Killaloe-Ballina into a top-class venue, matching the shifting fashions of late 20th century entertainment, from ballroom to cabaret to disco.  He shares fond memories of his interactions with Fr Jack O’Keeffe, CC in bringing many major acts to the Parochial Hall in Miltown.                                                                                               

Date: Monday, November 26, 2018 at 8.30pm in The Malbay.