Kay Lambe (b. 1933)
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Kay Lambe (b. 1933)


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Kay Lambe is related to two of the participants in the 1916 Rising. Thomas Rafferty was her mother’s brother. Kay explains that she was reared by her maternal aunt, Kitty Rafferty, when her mother became unwell. Kitty and her husband Paddy Doyle had no children. Kay recalls hearing Paddy in conversation, and saying that Thomas Rafferty was killed by “one of his own” at Ashbourne. Paddy and Kitty Doyle lived in Lusk village, and Kay remembers seeing three bullet holes in the front door of their home, fired by a person unknown. Paddy never spoke about the Battle of Ashbourne, she says, and she recalls an occasion when she found a gun at her home. Kay has Paddy’s two medals from the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. In her childhood the medals were locked away, she remembers. She speaks about Thomas Ashe and describes his importance in the village of Lusk. She examines some photographs relating to her uncle’s grave and to his comrades. A newspaper article regarding the memorial to Thomas Rafferty and Thomas Crennigan is also referred to. She explains that during her childhood, adults did not speak about the struggle for independence. In as much as she knows, her aunt and uncle were supporters of de Valera. Thomas Rafferty is buried at Lusk, and the inscription on his gravestone is written as Gaeilge. The memorial Mass and the military funeral are described. Paddy’s brother, Jack Doyle, and his sister lived close to Kay’s family home. Babs ‘Josie’ Doyle is remembered. Kay became ill with tuberculosis and spent time in a sanatorium being treated by Dr Noel Browne from Galway. It was there she met her husband, Joseph Lambe, who came from Co. Offaly. She recalls Lusk village and the neighbours of her childhood, and she says that Paddy Doyle played hurling for The Towers Club. Her siblings who are still alive are mentioned. A photograph of Paddy Brogan and Paddy Doyle is examined. Paddy Doyle’s nickname was ‘Killarney’ and Kay discusses its possible provenance. Kay’s father was a member of the Cavanagh family from Skerries, and a photograph of the family at the monument in Ashbourne is examined. He worked as a head ganger for the County Council and also in the billiard hall in Lusk.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

41.81 MB

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Product ID:



Thomas Rafferty (Interviewee’s uncle), Paddy Doyle (Interviewee’s uncle-in-law)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore