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Recordings 1-10 of 25 Next Last
Interviewee: William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 1) William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 1)
Interview location: Bayside, New York, USA
Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-07
Subject: Dismissal from the Gardaí Siochána
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2004
Length: 60:30
Track 1: William Geary recalls his youth, growing up on the farm in Ballyagran, and he also decribes the hiring fairs. He discusses his father's untimely death when William was eight. Track 2: He joined the Atlantic Wireless School in Cahirciveen in 1919 to train as a wireless operator under Principal Maurice Fitzgerald, and he later joined the Birmingham Shipping Line as wireless operator and travelled the world for three years. Track 3: A description of daily life on board ship. Track 4: In 1921, William returned to Ballyagran where he drilled the local Volunteers and he joined the Garda Siochána in 1922, first stationed in Kildare where, he explains, there was strong reaction among his colleagues to the fact that former RIC officers were gaining senior posts in the Gardaí. He describes his memories of being present at Dublin Castle for its formal handover by the British in 1922. He also recalls hearing in Dublin the first gunfire of the Civil War. His transfer on promotion to Clones, Co. Monaghan, and subsequently to the Phoenix Park, Dublin are recalled. Track 5: Serving in Newport, Co. Tipperary, in 1924 and later in Templemore are remembered, as is a bank robbery by the IRA in Roscrea, his arrest of the culprits and his sense that, after this, he was a marked man. He was transferred to Kilrush, Co. Clare, in 1926, where he witnessed much disturbance by an active unit of the IRA in the area, under T.J. Ryan. Track 6: He describes the experience, in 1928, of being summoned to Garda Headquarters in Dublin for a meeting with Chief Superintendent Nelligan and General O'Duffy, during which he was accused of providing information to the IRA in return for a bribe. He was subsequently dismissed from the Gardaí Siochána by the Executive Council.
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Interviewee: William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 2) William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 2)
Interview location: Bayside, New York, USA
Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-08
Subject: Emigration to New York in 1928
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2004
Length: 40:22
Track 1: William Geary recalls his journey to America on the SS Baltic, arriving in New York on 5 December 1928, and boarding in the Bronx with Mary Ellen Keane who had previously worked for his family. His first job was with the Edison Company, and in 1932 he joined the American Post Office as a collector of bills. Track 2: He recalls a number of people who lived in the Bronx at that time. Track 3: William married Margaret Rooskey, originally from Roscommon. He joined the American Air Force, was assigned to Administration in Nashville and later in Memphis, Tennessee. Track 4: He describes his memories of Cahirciveen in 1919 during the Troubles. He recalls the local weavers, the fishing and the wakes and he also recalls the challenge of learning Morse code in the Wireless School. Track 5: The introduction of formal uniform for the Garda Siochána in the early days is remembered. Track 6: William perused old photographs including one of himself and his family outside their family home, Cloonee Cottage, Ballyagran, taken in 1905. Track 7: He provides a description of his experiences at night school in America, where he studied for four years. Track 8: William Geary discusses the 75 long years he spent attempting to clear his name of the wrongful accusation that led to his dismissal from the Gardaí. He finally received a full pardon in 2002.
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Interviewee: William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 3) William Geary (1899-2004) (Part 3)
Interview location: Bayside, New York, USA
Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-09
Subject: Life in a rural village
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2004
Length: 114:51
Track 1: William Geary describes the reconstruction of his family home, originally a Cromwellian officer's residence. The farming practices in Ballyagran, and the breeding and training of horses are described as is the powerful role played by the Catholic Church in society at the time. Formal arrangements and settlements for matrimony are also discussed. Track 2: Memories are described of the local creamery and butter making, the journeyman tailors, who would visit a family home for two weeks and make any clothing that was necessary. He also recalls his teacher, Daniel Quill, and the system of learning by rote. Track 3: Daily life prior to the Troubles is described, with law and order maintained by the Constabulary in the barracks at Newcastlewest. He recalls his ancestral background and his grandfather, who was born in 1815 and was a wealthy man. Track 4: Fr Hurley, the local parish priest,is recalled and the pomp and ceremony of religious observance at the time are described. His uncle, Michael Geary, who paid his tuition fees at the Atlantic Wireless School is remembered, as is the challenge of getting from his home to the school. Track 5: As a student he boarded with Miss O'Reilly in Cahirciveen and he describes his memories of people and places at this time. His colleagues, the crew members of the Birmingham City Line, and the cabin he occupied are all recalled.
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Interviewee: William Geary (1899-2004), part 4 William Geary (1899-2004), part 4
Interview location: Bayside, New York, USA
Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-10
Subject: An early member of the Garda Siochána and his battle for justice
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2004
Length:
In June 2004, I was invited by the Irish American Historical Society in New York to come to the city to address them on my work involving the recording and archiving of local history and folklore. The Society also suggested that I record the memories of William Geary from Ballyagran, Co. Limerick who lived in New York. I was very pleased to be afforded the opportunity to meet this fascinating man, who had lived in three centuries - his young manhood lived in an Ireland in the grip of appalling turmoil. I made my way to Bayside, New York and met William Geary, and his story held such fascination for me, I returned to record him a second time during that week. At that time he was 105 years old, and was to die peacefully less than six months later. William began his life in Ballyagran. He was born in 1899, into a strong farming family. Following schooling locally he travelled to Caherciveen, Co. Kerry in 1918 to train as a wireless operator at the Atlantic Wireless School. Principal Maurice Fitzgerald awarded him a First Class Honour on his graduation. For a year he travelled the world as a ship's wireless operator, and then decided to return home, where he became involved in drilling the local Volunteers in Co. Limerick. In May 1922 he joined the new Garda Siochána and served initially in Newbridge, Co Kildare. He was on duty in Dublin Castle along with many colleagues from Kildare on the day the British flag was lowered and "... the British marched out and we marched in." Later he was on sentry duty by night at the Castle and remembers rifle fire "... all over the city." He was promoted to Acting Inspector and transferred to Clones, Co Monaghan, and later Templemore, Co Tipperary where two Gardaí were dismissed for their failure to arrest an armed IRA man as the standard of discipline within the Garda force was extremely rigid. On 10th June 1926 he was transferred to Kilrush, Co Clare as Superintendent. The IRA was active in the area, being involved in general harassment such as the burning of farmers' hay, though William contended that compensation was sometimes sought from the Government for hay which was otherwise set alight! On 14th June 1928 he was summoned to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, in uniform, to meet Commissioner Eoin O'Duffy and Chief Superintendent of Detectives David Neligan. He was accused of accepting a £100 bribe from the IRA and was dismissed from the GardaSiochána on 25th June 1928. He was devastated at this turn of events and returned home to Limerick. He made the decision to emigrate to New York, as he now had no prospects in Ireland, so shortly thereafter he booked his passage and sailed to New York, where he boarded for some time with his former nanny from Ballyagran, Miss Mary Ellen Keane. He took various employments over the years and during the Second World War he joined the US Air Force. He married and reared a family, but always endeavoured to clear his name by writing to consecutive Ministers for Justice in Ireland. For all of seventy years he and his friends at home in Ireland never faltered in their efforts to get justice for him, and to have him fully exonerated. Finally, in 2002 John O'Donoghue, Minister for Justice, restored his honour and travelled to New York to meet William Geary personally. After all the long and bitter years of battling for exoneration Mr Geary was elated and relieved and he lived out his final days in peace until his death in late 2004
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File size(s): 34.08 MB
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Interviewee: Michael Howard (b. 1915) Michael Howard (b. 1915)
Interview location: Tarmon, Co. Clare
Audio series: Witnesses to Independence
Product ID: CD1916-28
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2005
Length:
In early April 2005, I was invited to Knockerra National School in County Clare to record local resident Michael Howard, as he spoke to the children of the school and answered their many questions on local history. Several of the children were curious about events which occured during the years 1916 to 1923 and as Michael answered their questions, I decided that I would visit his home to record his memories of those historic days in Co Clare. A few weeks later, I made my way to Tarmon, near Kilrush, where Michael lives in a cottage which has been in the Howard family for four generations - "A great IRA house" as Michael said. He was born in November 1915 and he has a clear memory of groups of men gathering regularly in his house in 1921, before and after a skirmish, and he would sit fascinated to listen to the planning and organising and the discussion of recent guerrilla activities. There was always a scout posted on the road nearby watching out for the military, but as he lived in a very quiet and rural area, the trucks could be heard to approach well in advance of their arrival. On one occasion there were thirty men in the house when the trucks were heard on the road, and there was a general scramble out the back door. Michael named out the local IRA members who were active in the area and who would frequent his house, and on three occasions the Black and Tans came to the house and put the family out in preparation for the burning of the property, but the burning never actually took place. A nearby house owned by the O'Donnell family was used by Eamon de Valera several times as a safe house, and in later years, when he was in the area, he would always pay a visit. The Kilrush Ambush of 1921 was recalled in stirring tones in a fine recitation written by Jack O'Donnell who was a first cousin of the patriot Con Colbert. I enquired of Michael if he had been acquainted with Garda Superintendent William Geary, who was stationed in Kilrush from 1926 to 1928, and who was dismissed from the Force in 1928 for allegedly taking a bribe of £100 from the IRA. Michael became quite animated at the mention of Superintendent Geary's name, and went on to tell me of several occurrences which contradict the recollections of William Geary whom I had previously recorded in the year of this death in New York in 2004. Michael's father was a personal friend of Dan Breen of the Tipperary IRA, who wrote the famous book My Fight for Irish Freedom. Dan Breen once remarked to him that if he could have foretold the way things would go "he would never have fired a shot." Michael recalled for me an extraordinary occurrence from August 1924 when Eamon de Valera came to Ennis, and was arrested and brought to Costello's house. A situation arose which came to involve the Catholic Bishop of Clare, Dr Fogarty and William T. Cosgrave in Dublin. Michael recounted a story told to him by his father, concerning events in Kilrush during the occupation of the town by the Black and Tans. Mr Howard was involved with the Volunteers and he was acquainted with a Tan in Kilrush who would tell him when a raid was due to happen and that Tan could walk around the town at 10 o'clock at night and "he wouldn't be touched - the boys knew him" Michael Howard's wonderfully clear memories of local historical events in Kilrush were a joy to record, and I made a promise to him before leaving that I would return one day soon to sit and reminisce with him once again.
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File size(s): 40.82 MB
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Interviewee: The late William Geary, New York And Kilrush The late William Geary, New York And Kilrush
Interview location: New York
Audio series: Clare county, third series
Product ID: CDCL03-24
Subject: A member of the Garda Siochána, dismissed in 1928 and exonerated in 2000, tells his story
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Recording date: June 2004
Length: 46:00
William Geary's life spanned the whole of one century and parts of two others. He took part in training the Volunteers during the War of Independence. He entered the newly formed Garda Siochána, and while he was stationed in Kilrush, it was alleged that he took a bribe from the IRA. This led to his dismissal, and for 72 years he fought to clear his name.
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Number of files: 1
File size(s): 42.03 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
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Interviewee: Michael Howard Michael Howard
Interview location: Tarmon, Kilrush, Co. Clare
Audio series: Clare county, third series
Product ID: CDCL03-39
Subject: Memories of the Troubles in west Clare (Part 1)
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Recording date: November 2004
Length: 37:39
Growing up in a Republican household Michael has many vivid memories of the Troubles. He also spoke about the incident in Kilrush in 1928, when Garda Superintendent William Geary was dismissed from the force.
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Number of files: 1
File size(s): 34.40 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours
 


Interviewee: HANNAH McCONNELL (née McConway), BORN 1913, MOVILLE HANNAH McCONNELL (née McConway), BORN 1913, MOVILLE
Interview location:
Audio series: Donegal county, first series
Product ID: CDDL01-38
Subject: Long memories of Inishowen
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2010
Length: 66:56
Hannah McConnell was born in 1913 and grew up in Leckemy on the Inishowen peninsula. Her mother died while Hannah was very young and she and her six brothers and three sisters were reared by her aunt. Hannah’s early days were challenging as she had to work very hard and her schooling was limited. She has a wonderful recall of 1922, when her three brothers, George, Harry and Joe, joined the new Garda Siochána force. She discusses the Economic War of the 1930s in fine detail. The town of Moville in the 1920s and 1930s is described as are the dancehalls and the general entertainment and pastimes. Hannah worked in a drapery shop owned by the McLaughlins for three years followed by various other employments. She then returned home to Leckemy to care for her father and her aunt until their deaths. She later married and moved back to Moville.
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Number of files: 4
File size(s): 6.89 MB, 3.69 MB, 16.57 MB, 34.02 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours
 


Interviewee: MICHAEL KILKENNY, BORN 1918, DUBLIN (Part 1) MICHAEL KILKENNY, BORN 1918, DUBLIN (Part 1)
Interview location:
Audio series: Donegal county, first series
Product ID: CDDL01-47
Subject: A ministerial driver
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2010
Length: 72:49
Michael Kilkenny was born and reared in County Leitrim and as soon as his education was completed he joined the Garda Siochána. From 1939 to 1947, he served in Dun Laoghaire and in Lauragh in County Kerry. In 1947, he was appointed to Rathfarnham in Dublin and he began his career in 1949 as a Garda driver for Dan Morrissey T.D., Minister for Industry and Commerce. Following the subsequent change of government, he was appointed to drive Ministers Dan Spring, Frank Aiken and Frank Ryan. He gives a great account of his time with all these politicians. In 1952, he was appointed as driver to Seán Lemass and in 1953, as driver to Taoiseach John A. Costello. Michael discusses his experiences during his working life and the life of a politician and its demands.
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Number of files: 5
File size(s): 13.55 MB, 15.91 MB, 8.22 MB, 8.62 MB, 20.23 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours
 


Interviewee: MICHAEL KILKENNY, BORN 1918, DUBLIN (Part 2) MICHAEL KILKENNY, BORN 1918, DUBLIN (Part 2)
Interview location:
Audio series: Donegal county, first series
Product ID: CDDL01-48
Subject: A ministerial driver
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Recording date: 2010
Length: 39:08
In the second recording, Michael recalls his time as a driver for Dan Morrissey T.D. While he himself was not driving Charles Haughey, he was very well informed by other drivers of Mr. Haughey’s less than mannerly treatment of them. Michael explains the logistics and system involved in driving the government ministers and relates that Paddy O’Neill was his superior during most of his career as a driver. He describes humorously the occasions when Minister Erskine Childers would decide to take the wheel himself much to the consternation of the appointed driver. Michael served as the very first driver to the newly-appointed Minister Jack Lynch. He retired in 1981.
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Number of files: 4
File size(s): 7.55 MB, 9.10 MB, 7.59 MB, 11.52 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours
 


Recordings 1-10 of 25 Next Last

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