School: Béal Átha Conaill (2)

Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan
M. Laing

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Old Crafts

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0968, Page 034

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Page 34

Old Crafts.
About 45 years ago a Kerry cow was drowned at our house. My uncle boiled the fat of the cow and dipped a piece of linen into the fat which made a tallow candle. The candles were not very plentiful at the time.
About 50 years ago there was a lime kiln in one of our fields. My uncle got the stones for it along the Mucklagh lane. The fire was lit at one o'clock in the morning. The lime was not sold. They kept it for their own use and put it on the farm.
Mr. James Donoho, Snugborough, could put six bed of thatch on a house twenty five feet by twenty feet in size. He thatched with straw. Sometimes he used scallops and sometimes he sewed it with a long needle and a "hairy ned" rope. There was always a boy attending the thatcher who pointed the scallops. The thatcher charged 2/6 a day along with his meals.
About fifty years ago, there was a man named Paddy Gallagher who lived in Ballyheady mountain in a little hut built with sods, and the roof thatched with heather. He earned his living by thatching. It took him most of his time thatching the houses in Ballyconnell town as there were only a few houses slated there during his time. He pointed the scallops at the side of his fire at night.

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Mr Brian O Grady
Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan