John Griffin (b. 1942)
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John Griffin (b. 1942)


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Track 1. Johnny Griffin details his family background, and establishes the relationship between the Griffins and Ashes in the village of Kinard. Johnny’s mother Mary was told by her uncle, Tomás Ashe who was a teacher, that he would bring her to Dublin where he taught so that she would get a good education. Johnny explains that Mary’s father, James Ashe, died when she was a baby, and she was brought up by her mother Kate, the local midwife. He also recalls the Congested Districts Board, and the relocation of the Ashe family (Tomás Ashe, father, mother and siblings) to Kildare to a bigger farm there. He tells the story of his mother being threatened by Free State soldiers. He recalls the 1966 visit of Eamon de Valera to the Griffin home in the village, and also Sean McBride’s visit to the family home. Track 2. The needlework (macramé) made by Tomás Ashe’s sister, Nora, when she was a housekeeper for the parish priest in Ballyferriter is examined. A discussion ensues on pensions awarded, and medals which belonged to his father, Dan Griffin, who was a captain with the local IRA brigade. His father’s involvement in 1962 in the building of a monument in honour of Tomás Ashe in Lispole is described The story is retold, in more detail, of his mother’s brave stance against Free State soldiers in earlier days. Johnny’s own life is discussed, and he recalls his first job in, 1962, working with Danny Joe Griffin, building the stone wall around the graveyard in the village. His time working in the Hillgrove Hotel in Dingle is also recalled. He points out that the outhouses at his home were all built of stone by himself, and also that the thatching was originally his own work. Track 3. On location in the village, Johnny points out the place where Tomás Ashe was reared. Only part of the gable wall of the house remains. The boundaries of land ownership and rights of commonage are discussed. He also points out the rock on the hill, called the Carrig, where Tomás sat and played his bagpipes. The well pump that supplied water to the village houses is pointed out and the holy well in Minard is remembered, along with the Pattern day. Johnny explains that each house at his home had its own name such as pig house, cow house, spud house, dairy house, etc. Trips to the creamery in Lispole are recalled, and returning to his house he points out the traditional furniture and the place where the open hearth used to be. He explains that his mother, Mary, would walk a mile and a half to the main road every week with her butter and eggs to travel on to the market in Dingle to sell them.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Kerry county, seventh series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.58 MB, 13.95 MB, 20.42 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Tomás Ashe

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore