I visited the cottage of Din Joe O’Shea (80) in Castlemaine on a day when the turf fire was burning and the door was wide open, typical of how country cottages always used to be. We sat by the fireside, and spoke about the Fitzgeralds, the Cronins and the Evans family, who migrated in 1929 to Edenderry in Co Offaly. I was most interested in hearing this, because I already had a recording of the Evans family and their story from the time they arrived in Edenderry. Din Joe spoke about his own father’s work, the picking of apples in the late summer, and selling them in all the fairs around up to the end of March. Din Joe himself worked for the Land Commission, looking after the banks of the rivers in the locality.
Keywords: Irish cottage, turf, Congested Districts Board Act, migration, Edenderry, Land Commission, Fishing, river,