School: Carnadough (B.), Newtowncashel

Cornadowagh, Co. Longford
P. Eustace

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Travelling Folk

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0753, Page 409

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Some twenty years ago an old man named Paddy Flagan used to visit this Parish twice a year or so. He used to stay in the same houses all the time and have his own food. When the people of the house were going to bed every night he used to lie on a bag and sleep at the fireside. People used to be pleased to see him coming, for he had all the news of the country-side. He was good at giving advice on rearing children and had many cures. While staying in the house he used to work and mend his clothes and boots. Other People come around every month visiting the houses these are called beggars or tinkers, they sell saucepans, gallons, ballads and many other things. These People go in Families or in bands. They deal in horses, and donkeys, and the often swop a donkey, or a horse with a farmer. When the women are begging or asking alms they would say "In the honour of God" will you give me a grainin of tea or sugar. The principal families of tinkers that visit my district are O'Learys, Nevins, Powers, Laurence, Wests and many others.

Tomás Ó Féicin
Caltragh More, Co. Longford