Joe Keane was born in Roscommon and grew up in Ballyhaunis, where he still resides. His father was a journeyman tailor and he travelled around from town to town. Making suits was a highly skilled job and a suit would last three years, he says. Joe explains that he would have been a mechanic, but because his father needed help he decided to become a tailor. He discusses the materials produced by cottage industries and factories and says that suits were thicker then because there wasn’t as much heating to be had. He remembers three tailor shops in Ballyhaunis at one time. These made men’s clothes while a dressmaker catered for the women. The tools he used were the measuring tape, triangular chalk, scissors and shears. He details the skilled work of measuring people to make a perfect suit and declares that it had to be perfect or he would be disgraced! He tells an interesting story of how one man’s suit lasted twenty-seven years before he came in for a replacement.