A visit to the Joyce home in Graiguenamanagh, built in 1733, and lived in one of the principal leaders of the 1798 Rebellion, provided the perfect setting to record John’s stories. The conversation began with John’s own genealogy. A business in the town, established in 1860, was run by his father and mother and continues today under the same name. In this interview John talks about the starch factory in Graiguenamanagh, the first in Ireland, established in the 1840s. He also spoke about the great importance of the canal in the development of the town. It was known locally as ‘The Hatchery’.
John Joyce spoke about many of the highlights of the town’s history in a chronological look at the story of Graiguenamanagh, from the arrival of the monks in the 13th century and including its vicissitudes over the years. He mentioned the 1798 Rebellion, the Whiteboys, the Famine, local evictions, trades people in the town, abductions in the early 1800s, and the massive drop in the population after the Famine. All of this makes for fascinating listening.
Keywords: 1798 Rebellion, Graiguenamanagh, local historian, local history, the Whiteboys, the Great Famine, family history, merchants