School: Grianán (roll number 13178)

Location:
Greenans, Co. Mayo
Teacher:
Máiréad Bean Uí Riagáin

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The French in Castlebar

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0094, Page 247

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In the year 1798 when the French came to Killala some of them went through the Windy Gap and through Sheeane to Castlebar. One gang went through Greenan and as they were passing a house which is now owned by Richard McHale one of the French soldiers went in and and [sic] asked for a drink of butter milk. The other soldiers kept going while the woman of the house gave the soldier a drink. When he had it drunk the woman said to him "Will you sit down and have a smoke?" "I will" he said and the woman handed him her "duidin" as she called it.

When he had smoked enough he gave the pipe to the woman and started off to catch up with comrades. While the soldier was drinking the milk and smoking the officer that was in charge of the army went up on top of a small hll called Crocan and he took out his spy glasses and had a look round to see if there were any red coats in sight. He saw through the spy glasses a big machine gun standing in the middle of the road out from the town of Castlebar at a place called Szelp A' Azardan. He ordered his men to go another road to Castlebar because he said "If we go that

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Collector
Martin Timlin
Gender
male
Address
Gort, Co. Mayo
Informant
Pat Chambers
Relation
unknown
Gender
male
Age
73
Address
Greenans, Co. Mayo
Language
English