I was born in Egmont in Sherlock’s farm. We had a small house beside the big house. I think it is there yet. We lived in Ballyadam for a while. There were two houses where Jimmy Egan built his present house. Old Johnny Barry lived in one. I am 58 years living in this house.
When I was going to school my pastime was running and racing and no one could catch me then. There was a little style in the wall beyond where Hassett Egan’s house is and we would go racing. There were a lot of youngsters around the village at that time. I had some great fun with the late Bill Gaffney, God rest him. I went through more fields at that time than roads. I was light and lively that time.
After leaving school I went to work for Michael Lynch of Cregane. From that time I re-member Tom Brennan, Walter Cole and Jerry Jewitt. I spent a little time in England later. I made money selling papers there. I preferred to stay in Ireland. I think people live longer at home.
I remember a Mission in Churchtown in 1932, there was another in 1937. It was all bicy-cles then. They were all outside the chapel gate. I mounted a bike and went off for a cy-cle. But, Mary Shanahan spotted me and she gave Mrs. Tierney the details. Joe Tierney and my brother were also involved. Next morning Mr. Tierney dealt with us with his stick. I can remember him yet; he used to have the stick behind his back and his arms supporting it. I had a few more run-ins with Mary Shanahan also.
My late father worked in Flannery’s Quarry. Owen Egan used to blast the rock. It was a dangerous task for a person without proper training to go handling explosives, but thank God there was never an accident. The work of drilling was heavy, tough and tiring with a big sledge. I never worked there but I did draw water for Regan’s roller on the roads. By God they used to drink barrels. I used to have three barrels and a churn in my horse and cart. I used to get most of the water in Churchtown. There was also a stream in Mount Corbett. I trapped a lot of rabbits with Jimmy Dunne – he was married to Cass Costello at Stephen Colman’s farm near the meat factory. There was a good bit of money to be made from them at that time.
I remember getting the Donkey shod at Sheehan’s Forge. There was Bill and Denny Sheehan. They both were smiths. They shod Loch Lomand for the 1919 Derby. They had it written on the back door with chalk for years. As well as shoeing they also made bands for wheels of carts. I think they came from Sallypark or Daisypark in Liscarroll origi-nally. I often came into the house at night and Bill would be baking a cake in the bastible. I remember the stage – Mick Bill and the Egans were involved in the running of it.
These were simple times and we enjoyed ourselves even though we had little money then.