My late husband’s mother came from Ballinaboul. She lived in the cottage where Mrs Doherty lives now. From an early age he worked with horses in Clashganive with Vin-cent O’Brien. He went to all the big races in England. In earlier times he had to walk the horses to the railway in Buttevant and when the races were over the trains would often come back to the station at one or two o’ clock in the morning and it would be a case of walking them back to the stables again. There were no lorries in those times. He had a great love for horses. If he were here today he would give you many stories of events that happened at those races.
In later years he devoted a lot of his time to the Community Council. Both he, Christie Danaher and John Ryan Purcell worked in the seventies and before for the good of the parish. Jimmy was a very particular man. In money, he would account for money down to the last penny. He was also a very good scholar at school long ago. He had a grand writ-ing hand. He never went anywhere on holidays. However he had one special devotion. He used to love to go visiting grottos. This was his day out. He would take off every year and I would have to be with him. To sum up he was a very exact man. There were no half measures. It would have to be right. If you borrowed you would be reminded. He would say sometimes: ‘You couldn’t keep tract of stuff that way’.
I grew up in Rockchapel. I did not like school. There was too much of the ash plant in my school days. You would be terrified.
When I left school I went to card games at night and house dances and cross roads. The music was mostly fiddles. I used to play the Jew’s Harp, I still have it here. I had an uncle who was a great singer. He used to go out through the country. His name was Phil Lane. He sang all the songs at the time. He sang the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ very well.
I was twenty years old before I drank a pint. It was all work in my country from dusk to dawn. I went to England to work at three pounds a week. It was tough for the Irish when anything went wrong in England. The Irishman was blamed for everything. I was never in an aeroplane.