Séamus Devane (b. 1931)
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Séamus Devane (b. 1931)


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The Devane family came to Ardmore from west of Dingle in the mid 19th century. The Ardmore area held many smallholdings which made life quite challenging. Seamus’s grandfather lived in one of the low thatched cottages until 1912 when a two storey house was built for the family. Seamus lists the names of some of the small fields, including the Flaxfield and the Liosfield, and explains that he himself removed one and three quarter miles of ditches in the 1950s for land reclamation. This helped to get rid of the plentiful rabbits which thrived in the ditches, and also solved problems in relation to rights of way. The Land Commission reassembled families, including the Murphys who had been neighbours of the Devanes who were relocated to the Midlands. These relocations helped to improve the living conditions of the remaining farmers, Seamus explains. Matchmaking in earlier days is recalled, as is the work of matchmaker James Garrett. The tradition which existed prior to matchmaking is explained in that a young girl from a local farming family would be taken by another family in the neighbourhood, the son of which would later marry the girl. Seamus explains that his mother took charge of the poultry and would bring the eggs and churned butter to Dingle town and to Casey’s shop in Lispole village for sale. The Economic War in the 1930s is recalled by Seamus who explains that he would walk cattle to Dingle to find the fair field packed with other farmers and their stock. Much of the dealing was done while travelling to Dingle when cattle buyers from places such as Mayo would be encountered. A lot of corn was grown locally during the Emergency period, and Seamus worked on a reaper and binder on iron wheels at this time. The train which ran between Tralee and Dingle is recalled, as is the stationmaster, Peter Casey. Seamus was a member of the Dairy Disposal Board and became chairman for Dingle when Kerry Co-Op was established, and he mentioned the positive benefits of owning shares in this great company. The pre-historic sites on his land are discussed, as is the discovery of a stone cross which dates to the 6th century and is now in the Ballyferriter Museum. The quarry which borders his land and its effects on the landscape are discussed.

Additional information



Audio series:

Heritage Collection 2016


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

57.1 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Farming Life in Ardmore

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore