In October 2003 I was invited to attend the Roscrea Conference at Mount St Josephs to launch the Irish Life and Lore collection of recordings in the Midlands. The conference organiser George Cunningham, suggested I make contact with Margaret Doughan of Templemore and endeavour to record her vivid memories of times past in Tipperary and Waterford. Born in 1915 in Waterford city she remembers as a small child watching through the window of her home as the British soldiers on drill manoeuvres on horseback, followed by a brass band, paraded around the streets, an event which occurred three times a week. In the early 1920s the family moved to Puckane in Co Tipperary, and Margaret recalled that one evening some unwelcome visitors arrived at a relative’s house, where her father was taking shelter from a downpour. He was relaxing in bed while his clothes were drying before the fire when an Auxiliaries lorry pulled up outside, and the soldiers trampled through the house. They intended to take her father hostage, but a local RIC man, who happened to be passing, entered the house and succeeded in persuading the Auxiliaries that he had no involvement in the Movement. A few days later, in a nearby house, two O’Brien men were taken away by the Auxiliaries and were later shot. Margaret Kennedy’s aunt, Nora Kennedy, had an interesting story to tell, and Margaret recounted it for me. Nora Kennedy boarded with Nellie Keating, an aunt of Michael Collins, in Drumcondra, Dublin. Nellie was a member of Cumann na mBan. The night before Collins travelled on his fateful journey to Cork in August 1922, he came to the house in Drumcondra at 11 o’clock, to stay overnight. His aunt Nellie made valiant efforts to dissuade him from travelling south, but when his hat and coat were missing from the hallway in the morning, Nora Kennedy knew that Nellie had been unsuccessful and that Michael Collins had left for Cork. Before I left, Margaret Doughan entrusted to me a fascinating collection of letters, hand-written by Dr John O’Donovan, the great Celtic scholar, in the 1840s and this collection of very valuable historical letters is now housed in the Royal Irish Academy, which acquired the collection in early 2004.