Johnny Bell (b. 1930)
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Johnny Bell (b. 1930)


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Kilmead is the native place of Johnny Bell and in this recording he recounts a fascinating history of his family’s arrival from County Meath. His grandfather was a herdsman and his two granduncles were a horseman and a steward, and they all settled locally. Johnny worked for local farmers all his life, ploughing with horses and undertaking general farm work. He declares that he worked as hard as any man from the age of 16. His father worked as a prison officer in Mountjoy Jail during the Civil War and his mother’s people, the Kellys, were strong Republicans and members of the local Fife and Drum Band who would perform at election rallies for Fianna Fáil in the 1920s and 1930s. Johnny discusses local cures, field names and their meanings, the tradition of blacksmithing, his love of farming, and problems with the distribution of land by the Land Commission.

Additional information



Audio series:

Kildare county, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

65.63 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



A life in farming

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe