This house was in the Noonan family name since the seventeenth hundreds. My late fa-ther came form Walshestown and married in here. In my young days there were many house dances held here. Molly Fleming and Tim Mahony who came form Kilcorney and eventually went to Biddy’s Tree area. Bridie Fleming would provide the music and sev-eral other musicians would join in.
We had cousins form Milford who used to come up to Danees in Liscarroll and when they were over they would come up here and go to bed. There was often a full house up-stairs and downstairs. My brother Denis was a very good hurler. He hurled for Liscarroll, Buttevant and Cork County. Big families were common then. There were sixteen of our first cousins, the Noonans. There were eleven in this house, emigration was the only op-tion for many.
Before my late brother Pat went to America there was a huge get together. The house was full- people were dancing upstairs and downstairs. All the neighbours called the night be-fore. My mother had a Mass in the house a few days earlier. It was tough to see someone from the family leaving in those days. The journey across the sea was slow and the jour-ney to Oregon was as long again overland. It was sad for parents who might never see their sons again.
Phones were not used then and it would take a long time before any let-ters would arrive.
This was also a very important house in the trouble times. It was what was described as a ‘safe house’. It was searched several times. These searches were very stressful for the families involved. I was very young at the time and wasn’t fully aware of the situation.
I went to school in Liscarroll and then went to the Convent in Buttevant where I did my learning. I liked school. I particularly liked History and Irish. When I finished my educa-tion I went to Cork working. I left during the war years for England. I trained for nursing in Essex. I later came home and worked in Ireland for a while, but I eventually finished up in England.
I had a cousin, Etty in Walshestown, Churchtown. She trained for nursing in Liverpool. She later became Matron of Mallow Hospital in Noel Browne’s time. She was a very well qualified person. She was Matron, at a time when Mallow hospital was undergoing very big changes. It was firstly a military hospital, then a T.B. hospital, and eventually a Gen-eral Hospital. She went to her Eternal Rest recently, although I spent many years away from home, I never forgot my own area around north Cork.