Interview with Mick Quinn

Interviewer: What age were you when you remember … was it ever crossable when you were small?

Mick: It never was crossable unless on foot you know.

Interviewer: But there was enough to get you across.

Mick: Oh aye you just went across on foot.

Interviewer: And it was all stone?

Mick: It was all stone and there was two archways. My father crossed it with a horse and cart like in his day. He was born in 1900 and it was there at that time and it was there a hell of a lot earlier too.

Interviewer: Do you see the road … the road went up Crooknavick and went down and across here and where did it go when it … it went on up Cloghs?

Mick: No it went up here and it joined another road that came across from Cloughs and it went on up and it went out by Ballyeamon School, where Ballyeamon School was and over into Mullinaskeagh.

Interviewer: Oh right.

Mick: And it headed away out by Barrard then. I can show you that so I can.

Interviewer: I need to see Ballyeamon, I need to take a photo of where Ballyeamon School was. Is there anything left of Ballyeamon School or is it turned into a dwelling house?

Mick: Ballyeamon School is turned into a dwelling house.

Interviewer: So there is something.

Mick: Oh aye that’s there like. Ballyeamon school is there like only it’s a dwelling house now. I’ll show you now.

Interviewer: That would be brilliant. Why do you think it was called … was there ever a battle here? Why was it called Gallowglass?

Mick: I haven’t a clue.

Interviewer: Something to do with the Scottish …

Mick: It must have been. It’s a Scotch name anyway.

Interviewer: Yeah that’s right. You see with all this overgrowth now it’s hard to imagine …

Mick: It’s very hard to imagine …

Interviewer: The road.

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: And was it called anything or was it just …

Mick: No it wasn’t. Do you see Gault’s Road now?

Interviewer: Aye.

Mick: Gault’s Road wasn’t in it. Gault’s Road is a new road as roads go because that would have been in it at the latter end of the 19th century sometime you know because I remember men that worked on it you know.

Interviewer: Building it?

Mick: Aye and this other road … if I was up here a bit I could show you where this road was, the ould road.

Interviewer: Because Ballyeamon School was actually on the old road.

Mick: It was aye.

Interviewer: Yeah. No I don’t think I would have found it on my own, definitely not. So it came down Crooknavick and over, it didn’t go over past that potato place, no? Kind of cut at an angle. That road that the potato place is on is new as well?

Mick: Is it? I’m not too sure about that.

Interviewer: I think there was a road in between kind of like you said at an angle coming down where McAlister’s lane is.

Mick: Do you see that ould road that you were on up where Andrew lives?

Interviewer: Yeah that goes up the Gallows Hill?

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: That comes on up here.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: Comes out up here. Well this road here joined it, this road here you see. This is where the road was here.

Interviewer: Oh right.

Mick: It joined it. I’ll show you. You see that road that I’m talking about, do you see that house there now?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: That’s Danny McAlister, that’s Danny Dan, well that road came in over yonder at thon bungalow. It went up by that.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: And went on up and it came out up at Maroo Bridge and then it went away up … wait until we go on up here a bit to I show you.

Interviewer: Aye it just stopped being used.

Mick: Och well you see they built Gault’s Road.

Interviewer: Yeah. Was Gault, was that one of the townlands?

Mick: No Gault’s Road was named after the man that built it.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: A man by the name of Gault that built it.

Interviewer: So is there a road further on up the Glen from Ballyeamon Road to Gault’s Road. Is there any other sort of road that meets further on up?

Mick: No this is the only road that is connected through here.

Interviewer: Yeah. Whereabouts did you grow up?

Mick: I grew up near Maroo Bridge.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: That place that you were taking about there, very close to it. It’s in the townland of Cloughs.

Interviewer: Did you go to Ballyeamon School?

Mick: I did aye.

Interviewer: Did you like school?

Mick: I did not. I was no scholar.

Interviewer: I know but I don’t think school at that time was maybe as much fun you know.

Mick: The teacher’s then had no sense at all you know.

Interviewer: They kind of made up their own rules.

Mick: And they were for nothing into the bargain because I seen a report on Ballyeamon School going away back oh a whole lot of years you know and …

Interviewer: Oh sugars.

Mick: Oh Jesus you’re up to the arse. Go back the way if you can.

Interviewer: Oh great. Oh Jesus. It didn’t look as soft as …

Mick: No it didn’t. Come up here and you’ll get a lot of grass.

Interviewer: I don’t care. It’s only muck.

Mick: Do you see Gault’s Road running up along there …

Interviewer: That straight hedge.

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: Well do you see that house up yonder, the white house up yonder.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: That’s Charlie McCurry’s, you know the boy that owns Harry’s there. That would be a brother of the wife’s. Well do you see the green field on this side of it.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: At the top of that field, only it’s wild hard to see there’s a red shed, you just see the end of it.

Interviewer: Beside trees?

Mick: Beside trees.

Interviewer: Yeah I can.

Mick: That’s Ballyeamon School, Ballyeamon School is beside that.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: Only it’s kind of hidden with the trees but that’s where Ballyemon School … and that road went along there and it went out by Charley McCurry’s and … come on you this way … and it went into a wee town of houses there they call Mullinaskeagh and then it went up by thon bungalow, do you see thon bungalow you can see as far away as you can see, do you see the road on this side of it going up well that was the ould road.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: And it went on out, then it went on headed towards Barrard so it did. I’ll show it to you later anyway.

Interviewer: I’ll take a picture of it from here so I know where I was talking about. So how far did you live from the school?

Mick: I lived, do you see that bungalow there, do you see the end of it?

Interviewer: Hmm.

Mick: Well there’s a house on the other side of it and that’s where I was reared, just beside that and thon was the school yonder. We went up through the fields just.

Interviewer: It’s far enough.

Mick: You see that ould road went out there now and across Ballyemon Road and went up by O’Rawe’s there and then it joined that ould road going by Andrew’s.

Interviewer: Right and that was the road even before …

Mick: Aye before even any of these roads were made.

Interviewer: Even before Ballyemon Road?

Mick: I think it must have been because I don’t see why they would have that ould road up by Andrew’s if there was a road up here.

Interviewer: Hmm. Unless this one was just like a dirt track as well but was it just a track? It wasn’t paved or anything?

Mick: Not at all. It was only an ould rough road.

Interviewer: So is that what you always call it, Gallowglass Bridge?

Mick: Gallowglass, aye. I think we’ll go up to the Retreat now if you want.

Interviewer: Yeah, brilliant.

Mick: I can’t see any point in going to that ould hollow at Maroo Bridge because there’s dam all there only a lot of ould bushes.

Interviewer: Right. I suppose we’re on this side anyway sure.

Mick: Aye. I’ll show you where it is all right.

Interviewer: There’s very little left of the Retreat Castle isn’t there?

Mick: Ah very little, a wee bit now.

Interviewer: Do you know anything about it?

Mick: No I wouldn’t know a lot about it now.

Interviewer: Do you remember the snow of ’47.

Mick: I do vaguely, just vaguely.

Interviewer: Were you living here at the time?

Mick: I was, aye. I was. I was only six at that time.

Interviewer: Right. So were you happy because you didn’t have to go to school.

Mick: I was happy enough. I can mind it coming, the night it came and I can mind it going away, you know, and in between it is brave and … och there’s plenty of men in the mountain now could tell you plenty about the …

Interviewer: Yeah. I suppose you sort of stayed in and got off school and that was it.

Mick: Aye that was it, aye.

Interviewer: What about ’63 then, was it clearer?

Mick: Och aye, aye. ’63 was a bad fall of snow but everybody had a better way of getting about then. There were more tractors and stuff about you know. In ’47 I think the biggest problem about here was you know everything was kind of ways rationed at that time as they talked about. It was just after the war you know and then there was a lot of vans came round this country too, Glenravel, two grocery vans came round this area and you had your cards as they talked about to get your rations from these two vans and they couldn’t get round and you had no way of getting to Glenravel like because it was too far away unless you could walk it and the snow was very deep. I think that was the biggest problem they had at that time. There was a lot of stock lost in ’47, sheep and that buried.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: That road that goes up by Andrew’s comes out there.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: That’s Knockan’s shed and it went in there and I’ll show you, you just drive on, it nearly run parallel up past these houses down off the road there. You see down there, that field in there, it run along there and up by Mick McKillop’s house here.

Interviewer: Would there be floods down in that Glen.

Mick: No, no. That’s Balleamon School over there. You see where that house is.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Mick: That’s Ballyeamon School.

Interviewer: It’s a new bungalow now.

Mick: It’s a new bungalow, aye, aye.

Interviewer: I suppose you wouldn’t recognise it? There’s not a date above the door is there?

Mick: There was a stone. James McCurry is my brother-in-law, the boy that lives in it. There was a stone with a date on it but I don’t know if he still has it.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: Now that ould road came along there, you see where that gate is there. No you can’t see it. It’s just down about a 100 yards from the road there and it comes along there. It crosses the road up here now again. It crossed this road or this road crossed it.

Interviewer: Aye. I suppose if you looked at houses in the Glen, the houses in the Glen were positioned near it.

Mick: Aye they were on the road. Ballyeamon School was on the road at a time. That road came out there. You see the track went up there and it went away out by ______

Interviewer: Did your father always drive a horse and cart then.

Mick: Och aye, aye, och he did surely.

Interviewer: Do you remember the first car he had?

Mick: In fact he never had a car. Some of us got a car. He never drove a car in his life. An older brother of mine had a car about the house first. He never drove a car in his life.

Interviewer: Just what he was used to.

Mick: Aye he was happy enough. There was no panic in them days. Life was far, far slower.

Interviewer: The pace of life has changed. Do you remember the railway up here?

Mick: That was before my time anyway.

(Up at Retreat House)

Interviewer: It’s a wonder this was never turned into a house?

Mick: Aye your man bought it …The people that lived here in my time were by the name of McNeilly, you know Dick McNeilly there the postman, maybe you don’t know him. He’s a wee boy there in Cushendall.

Interviewer: White hair?

Mick: Aye he would have white hair, aye he’s a wee small fellow and Dick bought it and then he sold it and this man bought it.

Interviewer: Once the roof goes isn’t that nearly it?

Mick: Och aye, aye. Och this ould thing is ready to fall, the ould house.

Interviewer: Is that the track?

Mick: Aye. They say the reason they called this the retreat was that (can’t make this out).

Interviewer: How long was that built there? Was that an actual feature?

Mick: That was an ould quarry that a man about here, he was a road contractor, Willie Graham, and then he stopped there and it was just lying there and people started sort of dumping in it you know unofficially and then they decided to make it a dump at that time. It was a brother-in-law of mine, he’s dead now, he was the sanitation officer, health visitor and me and him nearly fell out about it. He told me he was pushing it to make it a dump and he pushed on so he did.

Interviewer: Would this be the sort of easiest way to get up to the top of Lurig there, you know away down there and then walk up along the top?

Mick: It would be aye. You would go up gradually like but it wouldn’t be the quickest way.

Interviewer: The easiest.

Mick: They come on there with the railway, you know they went on there to the very top and then they thought it was too steep and they didn’t go that way.

Interviewer: Did you ever come across axes or anything from Tievebulliagh?

Mick: No.

Interviewer: You know the _____

Mick: No I didn’t.

Interviewer: You’ve never heard a word about this place, no?

Mick: No.

Interviewer: What about fairies, Mick?

Mick: Indeed there’s fairies all right. I wouldn’t annoy the fairies now.

Interviewer: No. That’s all there is. Is that part of it too?

Mick: That was for dipping sheep so it was.

Interviewer: Ah right.

Mick: It’s hard to make anything out of that now. I don’t know whether Pat Clerkin would know anything about that or not.

Interviewer: I’ve never heard very much about it. Does that go right down to that point down there?

Mick: That goes right down to that, aye. It does surely.

Interviewer: I wonder whether they actually had sleepers and all on it or whether they had just a thing then _______ So what have you heard about the fairies, true or not true, it doesn’t matter.

Mick: Well I heard my mother talking about her mother, that would be my grandmother and she was a Glenann woman and there was one night this wee woman came into the house, a wee small woman came in on a stormy bad night, she came in and she asked them if they would have a bowl of wheaten meal or oatmeal, I don’t mind which and she did give her a bowlful and she said she would come back with it and in about a week’s time she came in again and she had the bowl of meal with her and it was just warm, you know it was just coming out of the mill wherever she got it milled. My mother would have swore to that.

Interviewer: What was the wee woman like?

Mick: A wee small woman, just an ordinary enough wee woman but just like a midge you know.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: And she had a shawl on her.

Interviewer: This must have been a good 100 years ago. So why is there no talk of them now? What is happened to them?

Mick: I don’t know. They were supposed to have fought a battle you know somewhere and they said if they lost they never would be back. There was fairy came into a woman there on the other side of the Glen one night and she sit at the fire for a wee while, it was a man, and he sit at the fire and he slept a wee while and he said, he wakened up and he said to the woman, he says, ‘what time is it?’ and she says ‘it’s five to nine’. ‘Oh I would need to be away for I have to be in Ballycastle for nine o’clock’. ‘You’ll never be in Ballycastle for nine tonight’. ‘I’ll be in Ballycastle all right’, he says, ‘for when we go, we go right away’.

Interviewer: Just like sort of magic.

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: So what did he do?

Mick: She just opened the door and away he went.

Interviewer: And what was happening in Ballycastle.

Mick: They were supposed to be going to fight a war in Ballycastle with another clan.

Interviewer: I suppose this isn’t very safe like.

Mick: I don’t know.

Interviewer: It’s not that big is it? Aye there was an upstairs.

Mick: Aye there was because there was a ____ taken from the gable there.

Interviewer: What about these bushes, what has that got to do with them?

Mick: They were supposed to gather round them at night, sing and dance. There would be music coming out of them at night. Nobody would ever annoy them.

Interviewer: Was there something to do with babies, children?

Mick: No I never heard that now. I never heard much about them.

(Can’t make this part of the tape out (wind interference)

Interviewer: Did you grow up on a farm then?

Mick: Oh I did aye.

Interviewer: Do you know anything about the old type cures, you know for different sickness that people or animals have, you know sort of old cures they called them.

Mick: Aye there was ould potions but I just can’t think of them at the minute now. I heard tell of a man who had cancer, about 1920 or around that, he had cancer on his lip, you know on the outside and there was some man in Loughgiel had a potion for this cancer and he put it on it and it took it all out you know and they said this lump that was on his lip they said that it had come out and like it had big roots to it the length of your finger. Well then there was another man took the same thing … that man got cured, like I mind that man well you know and he got cured and he never looked back and there was another man took the very same thing shortly after it and he got the same poltus you know from this man in Loughgiel but his didn’t work and they said that he had no bottom teeth and he couldn’t keep his lip out towards the poltus you know and it didn’t work right but he didn’t live at all.

Interviewer: Was it nature stuff you made things like that up with?

Mick: Och aye, aye. Sulphor was great for making poltus and stuff at that time.

Interviewer: So there was certain people you could have asked or found or went to.

Mick: Oh aye there was people who had charms you know.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: They would still be about.

Interviewer: It’s great to get that one done anyway. You know for each Glen getting the day and time to sort of…

Mick: You need a right good day. There’s no use being out in a wet day.

Interviewer: No. I don’t mind the rain.

Mick: Just you go on up and go round the top of the Glen and I’ll show you where that ould thing is at Maroo Bridge.

Interviewer: Okay. What’s your very earliest memory Mick? Before school?

Mick: Oh before school, aye. It was surely. Oh I can mind going to school all right.

Interviewer: The first day?

Mick: I can mind the first day well.

Interviewer: What happened, bad?

Mick: No but there was an ould teacher in Ballyeamon School they called Miss Thompson. She was, I think she was the devil herself and I was shit scared of her to tell you the truth because I had heard nothing but bad things about her.

Interviewer: Aye.

Mick: That’s another ould road going across there you know and it went away on out by the forestry you know, there’s an ould road there. Miss Thompson was a real ould targ you know and that’s what I was going to tell you … there was an inspector came round all the schools in them days you know, maybe every year or twice a year, maybe every six months the school inspector would be doing a report and I seen the inspector’s report and he hadn’t a good thing to say about her you know. The pupils were very far back in nearly everything you now.

Interviewer: Aye even if she had been strict but taught well you know.

Mick: No she was just going to have things her style.

Interviewer: Was there a house, was there somewhere the teacher lived nearby?

Mick: No not Ballyeamon. She stayed down in Cushendall and she walked up every morning.

Interviewer: Did she?

Mick: Oh aye she did, aye. Then when I went to school she wasn’t there, like I wasn’t very long with her and she left, she is buried in Cushendall graveyard there but she was a terrible woman. Then there was a teacher came from Armagh, she was a Miss Dougan. She married a man ____ from Cushendall. She was a Miss Dougan and she came there. She stayed there and then she got married and then after that … the St. Louis nuns they used to be in Glenville.

Interviewer: Oh I didn’t know nuns were in it.

Mick: Oh aye the St. Louis nuns were in it. They had a kind of a place there for teaching one. There was ones came there, stayed over you know.

Interviewer: Like a …

Mick: Like lodged there you know. I can’t get the name.

Interviewer: I can’t either.

Mick: Ballycastle Convent was the same.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: Well the St. Louis nuns would …

Interviewer: Boarders.

Mick: Boarders, they kept boarders in Glenville and then there was two ould nuns came to teach us in Ballyeamon School.

Interviewer: How many was in it? Was it just a one-roomed school?

Mick: It was a one-roomed school, aye but there was two sides to it you know what I mean. There was a division in the middle of it. When you went in you had to turn either right or left. The babies were in the low side and the seniors were on the left-hand side going in the door. There was a fireplace fair in the middle of it when you walked in the door. There was no partition or nothing like that in it.

Interviewer: Two teachers?

Mick: Two teachers, aye.

Interviewer: How many pupils?

Mick: At one time when I was in it now, I think there was 60 at a stage but I know when my older sisters when they went to school I think there was only around about 20 in it.

Interviewer: Aye.

Mick: They gathered up at the time I was there and the nuns took some of their boarders up and they taught them in Ballyeamon there.

Interviewer: Did yous learn Irish?

Mick: We did but Jesus I hated it and I regret that wild badly now.

Interviewer: It’s different when you are having it forced into you.

Mick: Aye ould them Irish plays, it was all them old plays they were doing and you weren’t interested either. I remember doing one of them ould plays and I was Tom Thumb.

Interviewer: In Irish?

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: What is Tom Thumb in Irish?

Mick: Jesus I couldn’t tell you. There was a big woman lived up there Mrs McVeigh and she was Mother Goose.

Interviewer: It must have been at Christmas, was it?

Mick: I could have been. I mind she came out with wings on her.

Interviewer: It’s those things you would love to have photographs of isn’t it?

Mick: Do you want to see Ballyeamon School? I could take you in to see it you know if you want but maybe you’re not interested.

Interviewer: I would love to but it’s half three do you not have to be …

Mick: Not at all.

Interviewer: Yes I’d love to see it. Are we past where …

Mick: No, no just as you go down round the next bend take it slow. Just take it easy now. Do you see thon bend down yonder? There will be nobody in it. It’s a brother-in-law of mine that owns it. That’s another brother-in-law up there.

Interviewer: Do you prefer living in the village?

Mick: Och I don’t mind but I’m up here all the time anyway. I have a bit of ground taken there and a bit of ground down the road and I farm a wee bit. I worked in Belfast all my life.

Interviewer: Really. Whereabouts?

Mick: I worked for Calor Gas, down in there where the Shipyard is but I drove a lorry for Calor Gas all my life, 32 years I travelled to Belfast and then I got arthritis. This is it.

Interviewer: Oh this is it.

Mick: I took arthritis and I have two plastic hips in.

Interviewer: Oh God.

(SIDE TWO)

Mick: That’s the County Road there now so it was.

Interviewer: Where?

Mick: That below, where we came in there. That was the County Road at a time and when we were at school we came in there. James made that road new there. The wee gate came in there. Do you see where that gap is in the wall there?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: The wee gate came in and you come up steps and you were straight in where he has the door here yet and when you went in there, there was a fireplace sitting fair at the back of it and the school was all open then and it was just one big room that there. Like that school is no bigger there … that house is no bigger than it was you know. That is the same size as it was and James set these trees.

Interviewer: Aye.

Mick: That school is the very identical same size.

Interviewer: Are those the wee steps?

Mick: Them is the wee steps only there is a pad goes down there and there’s three more steps there but he has all that filled up. Like this here was away down you know and he filled that all with soil there. There was pad in the middle of the yard there and there was three more steps. You come in kind of level there and there was three steps and maybe another three steps and then these three steps or four steps and that’s the way it was. It wasn’t that length in at the back. They built that wall there.

Interviewer: Is this where yous played then?

Mick: We played here and there was two ould toilets round the back there.

Interviewer: Two ould what?

Mick: Two ould toilets you know round the back, ould dry toilets.

Interviewer: Are they gone?

Mick: Round the back there in a coal house, that was it.

Interviewer: What was it like for heating? What was it like in the winter?

Mick: Foundered, that’s what it was like. There was a wee stove sitting at the back of it, a wee round barrel of a thing and when the milk started … I mind the first time the milk came to the school, you know you used to get a third of a pintor two thirds of a pint , I think they were a wee third of a pint bottles you know and in the winter time they would have been sitting down there and them frozen you know, half of the milk frozen and they used to take them up and set them in front of the fire to warm them, to get them thawed out. That was Ballyeamon School.

Interviewer: What did yous do for lunch?

Mick: You had a piece with you.

Interviewer: Was that it?

Mick: That was it, aye. You had a piece with you.

Interviewer: They don’t know they’re living now.

Mick: They don’t, Jesus don’t be talking.

Interviewer: It’s even changed from when I was at school. We used to get the wee bottles of milk too.

Mick: Did you, aye.

Interviewer: They were roasting in the summer when you wanted them cold and freezing in the winter when you wanted them warm.

Mick: Are they stopped now altogether? I think they must be.

Interviewer: They stopped just after I went to secondary school.

Mick: Is that right.

Interviewer: That would be 15 years ago. A good bit now but they were great. At least you were always getting something … Would he mind me taking a picture?

Mick: Indeed he wouldn’t.

Interviewer: No date?

Mick: No I’ll find out the date. He knows it you know. He had a stone with it on it. Do you see that away straight in front of you, the wee road in yonder among the trees that’s the road that goes over by Charlie McKillop’s potato factory.

Interviewer: Whereabouts?

Mick: Do you see a bungalow here just, over yonder.

Interviewer: Sideways, aye?

Mick: Aye sideways. Do you see the one with the gable towards you here?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: And a big hedge on this side of it, well the road is just to the right of it there and there’s another ould red building on the other side of the road.

Interviewer: Oh yes.

Mick: Well that’s the road that goes across by Charlie McKillop’s so it is.

Interviewer: So how far was it by foot from your house? Did you go by bike?

Mick: No never, no.

Interviewer: No.

Mick: Well we would have went down through here. There was another wee gate there where that big gate is now and then you went down a pad down the middle of the field there and out on to the road down there, you know where that bus is away down there, if you wanted to go that way down the road and up but we usually went down here the short way, down the fields.

Interviewer: Did you go bare foot in the summer?

Mick: I did surely, aye. So did everybody at that school.

Interviewer: It must have been hard putting your boots on in the winter then when you weren’t used to them.

Mick: It was aye. Your feet got as hard, you know you could walk on the road, you could walk on anything you know.

Interviewer: Yeah. Some view.

Mick: Aye. There’s a photo somewhere you know, I have it somewhere, a photo of Ballyeamon School, I don’t know what year that would have been, it must have been 1952 or ’53, or ’51 or ’52. We were all standing at that wall there, I mind the whole class getting our photo taken.

Interviewer: That would be brilliant to see.

Mick: Aye there’s plenty of them about you know. I think there is one of them in the Central you know but we have one over in the house somewhere. I’ll give you a copy of it.

Interviewer: That would be great, aye. I could scan it in sure.

Mick: I will surely.

Interviewer: And hand it back to you on the spot.

Mick: Oh I’ll get my hands on it. I just couldn’t put my hands on it now but I’ll get it all right.

Interviewer: It’s good to see that now. I wasn’t sure where … I wouldn’t have been sure what lane to take. Did you leave at 14?

Mick: I left here about 13 and went down to St. Aloysius. I went to it for about a year just. Just you watch there, you’re very close to that ould wall there. Oh you’ll get turned all right. Oh no problem turning, just back away.

Interviewer: It’s very quiet up here even though the road is just down there a wee bit.

Mick: Och it’s very quiet now.

Interviewer: What was St. Aloysius like?

Mick: Och it was a shambles at that time I was at it. It had just been opened new. The ould headmaster is just there today, Peter Paul Delargy.

Interviewer: Aye that’s just what I was saying I should have went to …

Mick: It was a wild handling because there was youngsters from Carnlough and Cushendun and Cushendall and Glenann and Ballyeamon and all arriving in and they had to get sorted out. I was there less than a year. As I say I learned nothing because they were just getting things sorted out.

Interviewer: Was there a uniform at that stage?

Mick: No there wasn’t, no.

Interviewer: What did you do when you left there?

Mick: I went to work at the Kilns over here, you know the ould lime kilns up there.

Interviewer: Ah right.

Mick: I worked there for a time.

Interviewer: Was that not bad for you that stuff?

Mick: Och it wasn’t good. It was very dusty. I don’t think it did anybody much harm like.

Interviewer: Who ran them?

Mick: James Delargy and Sean Delargy. Nobody wanted to burn the lime. It done the same job without being burned if you know what I mean, it was crushed to a powder and it done the same job.

Interviewer: Is that where Barrard is now?

Mick: No, no it’s in the Glen, it’s limestone. Barrard is blackstone. No it’s in the Glen. There’s two ould kilns there yet.

Interviewer: Is that where there’s a house just kind of down a sharp dip?

Mick: That’s right.

Interviewer: There like a lot of _____ about?

Mick: Aye there’s a lot of ____ about and there’s maybe an ould car sitting in the ould quarry. Just down round this bend just you stop. Just you pull in there. This is where I spent many an hour. This is a wilderness of a place. That ould mast yonder, just up among them trees there. There’s dam all to see you know, it’s just a hollow in the ground you know. It’s even all growed over now you wouldn’t even see where it was you know. Like it’s a waste of time going near it.

Interviewer: Not even a mass rock?

Mick: No there’s nothing, dam all. There never was a mass rock at it, Caroline, no but they called it the mass hall. There was supposed to be mass said there in penal times or whatever you know. They said that anyway. There’s no word of anything else. They said about that friary, I never heard tell of that.

Interviewer: What townland is this?

Mick: This here is Muroo.

Interviewer: M-U-R-O-O.

Mick: Muroo. That’s that lane. Do you see that lane there going down there that way?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Mick: That’s the one that takes you across Gallowglass Bridge.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: But it’s shorter coming the way we came to it rather than going that way to it you know.

Interviewer: Yeah. And where did you say that led up to, the school?

Mick: That there goes up, that goes up there by these two houses, you see them is the Darragh’s houses there. The lane goes up by that and then it turns off to your left and it goes straight out by the school and it goes on over into a wee townland they call Mullinaskeagh.

Interviewer: That wee stone where the wall was, that wee road that’s that road that you would come on to?

Mick: That’s that road, aye. That’s right and it went across here. There was another road then started from, do you see that ould lane there?

Interviewer: Hmm.

Mick: It come in from Clough side, you know from Clough Road, right up by Alex McKillop’s and Danny Dan’s and Mooney’s and it came out there and it crossed the river here, there was a fjord here you know and it joined that road there. You know that was the Clough Road there, I suppose maybe that was the Ballyeamon Road here they would have called this at a time but that was the Clough Road that came out there and it went across the river here and this was a fjord here. There was no bridge, it was before Muroo Bridge was built.

Interviewer: Could you still get across it? Is there still a bit of a fjord?

Mick: No not really, no.

Interviewer: I didn’t realise this was so high.

Mick: No, nobody realises that Muroo Bridge is as high.

Interviewer: I thought it was just a wee stream underneath, you know quite low down.

Mick: No that’s Muroo Bridge, now Murro Bridge is higher that a hell of a lot of people think you know. It went across there somewhere, the fjord is about there they say just below the bridge. If you want to go down in there and take photos from in below Caroline I’ll wait on you.

Interviewer: Sure I know where it is now, I don’t want to be …

Do you see that gate there, you come in there any time you’re up because that ground is mine.

Interviewer: That’s okay.

Mick: Any time you come in, come in that gate there, now that’s wild mucky, keep up tight here and you can go down in there and take a photo of it because I would like somebody to take a photo of it because nobody ever takes a photo of it.

Interviewer: I’ll just take a photo where this hollow is supposed to be.

Mick: Aye.

Interviewer: I know there’s nothing …

Mick: Well that’s where it is up in just above them trees there there’s a wee hollow of a place and they said mass in it.

Interviewer: Maybe in winter is better to see?

Mick: It would be easier seen in the winter all right because there’s wild foliage now.

Interviewer: No you can’t make anything out. I can’t get over this bridge, honestly.

Mick: Is that right.

Interviewer: It’s so high up.

Any time you want you know I’m not that busy.

Interviewer: Well that’s good to know.

Mick: Any time you want I’ll go with you anywhere you want to go.

Interviewer: Yeah that’s brilliant because there would be different wee things and you know say if I couldn’t get Malachy or somebody if they were away somewhere it would be good to ask.

Mick: No don’t be a bit feared to ask.

Interviewer: Especially saying you’re sort of handy too. You don’t realise it goes down so much. There is nothing else down this side now.

Mick: There shouldn’t be no.

Interviewer: There is no standing stones or anything round this part of the Glen really.

Mick: No there’s not, no. I think that ould thing there in Clough I think that’s in the townland of Ballure you know. Pat Clerkin usually takes people to see that I think.

Interviewer: ____________

Mick: But it’s in the townland of Ballure.

Interviewer: I’ll get him to direct me to it.

Mick: He would know all about it.

Interviewer: Has this road has been resurfaced or something?

Mick: I don’t know.

Interviewer: Parts of it. Do you remember the first tractor your family got?

Mick: I do surely, I do an ould Fordson.

Interviewer: A ford.

Mick: A Fordson, F-O-R-D-S-O-N.

Interviewer: What different did it make to the farm?

Mick: Och it made a hell of a difference from the ould horses. The farm wasn’t big you know. A lot of people had only one horse in this part of the country you know in this part of the country. I’m sure you heard tell ____ and maybe your next door neighbour and you ____ together and he got yours and you were always waiting on somebody else and when you got a tractor you were sort of independent, you could do your own. It made a difference now.

Interviewer: But did that stop community spirit?

Mick: Aye it would have a bit, aye it would have because before that you helped me and I helped you. It was better craic you know in them times. There was always great craic you know if there was a crowd there saying for dropping spuds or tying of corn. There was always a bit of craic you know.

Interviewer: What about corn pulling? Did you do that? Was it stopped by the time you grew up?

Mick: Oh no it wasn’t, oh I pulled corn.

Interviewer: What was it like?

Mick: Oh it’s heavy ould work pulling corn . The pulling the corn wasn’t the worst of it, it was, you had to put in ould dams and taking it out of the dams was the worst, it was a smelly, dirty ould job and them times there was no … they have good oil skins in it now.

Interviewer: Waterproofs?

In them days you had dam all. Maybe a pair of ould leggings was all you had you know. You were wet from morning to night. You wouldn’t have thought much of the boots they had in them times.

Interviewer: What about the smell?

Mick: Oh it was rotten. It was just like silage there.

Interviewer: Right.

Mick: Oh just rotten. You got used to the smell. When you were working a wee while you didn’t seem to notice it you know.

Interviewer: Where was the dam up where you were?

Mick: Ah nearly everybody had their own dam. Everybody had a dam on their own farm.

Interviewer: Was it not hard to pull?

Mick: Oh they dug them out with a horse and cart and carted it out with a horse. There was good money in it.

Interviewer: Yeah. What time of the year was that?

Mick: That they pulled … oh it would be after August. Just let me out here.

Interviewer: Thanks very much Mick

Mick: Oh no problem.

Interviewer: Because I called unannounced. Thanks for all your help.

Mick: Any time give us a shout Caroline.

Interviewer: Okay thanks a lot, cherrio.

Mick: Bye, bye now.

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