Paddy Hurley
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Paddy Hurley


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Track 1: Paddy Hurley describes the occupations and businesses of his neighbours in the Athea, and of his father, a publican, whose family lived on the premises. He recalls his primary school and his secondary education at St. Michael’s, Listowel, travelling there by pony and trap each day. Track 2: A descriptions of the publican’s business, the price of beverages, the busy days of Confirmations and other religious ceremonies, when it was customary for the women not to enter the public bar but to partake of sherry or port in the family kitchen. A noted thatcher and stonemason of the area, Dan (Bailey) Ahern, is recalled. Track 3: Paddy explains that Athea had five tailors – the Griffins, Moores, O’Connors, and two Shine families. He recalls walking cattle to the local fairs during the years of the economic war, sometimes starting out at 2a.m. if the fair was some distance away. Track 4: Having sung an old ballad, Mother Macree, Paddy discusses the various entertainments in the pub during the 1930s, and also mentions Kelly’s dancehall in the town. Collecting mailbags of feathers in the area is recalled, as are the women who were excellent pluckers. Track 5: The real fear and tension caused by the Black and Tans who would frequently visit the pub and demand drink, and on one occasion they shot dead his sister’s dog. Memories are stirred of his neighbours, the Colbert family, one of whom was Con Colbert who was executed in 1916 for his part in the Rising. Track 6: The high standard of education in the area and the excellent and inspiring teachers who taught him are recalled. He recalls the fit-ups and the plays that would travel to Athea and the circuses which visited, included Baileys, Powells, Duffys and Fossetts. Paddy Hurley concluded the recording with an old ballad, “My heart is in Killarney.”

Additional information



Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

53.07 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Life in a rural town in Limerick

Recorded by:

Eddie Barrett (grand-nephew of Austin Stack)