Meeting Mike Tadhg O’Connor (89)) of Toorsaleen, Mastergeehy was indeed a great pleasure, because his ability to dig deep into the local customs, and trace families, made this recording very informative. He spoke about the Famine, and the use of commonage in the area. His family and his neighbours were cut off from any outside influences for the majority of his lifetime, they had no newspapers or radio until the 1950s. There were nine children in his own family, one of whom was Jack, the Kerry football manager. Mike pointed out that there wasn’t much time for playing football because of the many hours spent tending sheep and cattle on the hillside. I left promising that I would return one day and make another recording with this remarkable man.
Keywords: Toorsaleen, Mastergeehy, customs, beliefs, family history, The Great Famine, hibernation, newspapers, GAA