Carmel O’Keeffe (née Keogh) (b. 1929) and Peggy Dowling (née Brett) (b. 1929)
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Carmel O’Keeffe (née Keogh) (b. 1929) and Peggy Dowling (née Brett) (b. 1929)


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Carmel O’Keeffe, of Church in the parish of Clara, is a descendant of Myles Keogh, and she grew up in Clifden in Clara. Peggy Dowling was reared at ‘The Pike’ public house, and both girls attended Dunbell school together. Each lady describes the story of her life. They recall the crossroads dancing at Ballyredden and Cuffesgrange, and they remember the challenges of the war years. Carmel O’Keeffe is a founder member of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) in Clara in 1954. Peggy joined the guild later in the 1950s and they both discuss the meetings, the members, the crafts and the very positive changes the ICA brought to the lives of women in the rural areas of Ireland. They recall the introduction of electricity to the countryside, the advent of piped water and the era of self sufficiency. Carmel was a fine camogie player with Gowran, but as the playing of the game was frowned upon by the parish priest and some of the local people, she would hide her camán under her skirt on her journeys to and from the camogie pitch.

Additional information



Audio series:

Kilkenny (Clara parish), third series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

15.09 MB, 11.18 MB, 6.09 MB, 13.03 MB, 19.93 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Early days in the ICA

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe