When the road that now runs from Kilmore by Kilbride Clonfad and Curries to Carrick-on-Shannon was being made, all the local people men and women worked at it. All were paid at the same rate and this was four pence per day. It was started some few years after the Famine, and so potatoes were very scarce. The chief food was Indian Meal and this was shared out in pounds. With the fourpence earned during the day each boy and girl bough(t) one pound of meal each evevning. This they divided into two parts. One half was cooked and eaten with buttermilk that night and the following morning. The rest of the meal they took with them, and made the stirabout or porridge in some hourse near which they worked. This was the only food they had.
The stones they used on the roads were carried in small boxes on the backs. Two straw-rope handles were put in those boxes, and these handles were put in on the arms and over the shoulders. Neither men nor women wore boots or stockings then. All were bare-footed. On this account in olden times all the people had great big feet.
- Joseph Rhatigan