Seamus Claffey (b. 1931)
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Seamus Claffey (b. 1931)


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Track 1: Being a member of the fifth generation of the Claffey family to operate a business in the Main Street in Ferbane. Grandfather and great-grandfather were blacksmiths and also plough makers and farriers. Described the forge, a long, thatched building with outbuildings and stables. Recalled the stables which were used to rest the horses overnight. Track 2: Recalled a number of local tradespeople of Ferbane – tailors, harness-makers and coach builders. Memories of his father, a horse dealer during the years of the Great War. The high rate of infant mortality in the 1930s, which included a number of his own siblings. Track 3: Memories of ‘The Emergency’ in Ireland, food rationing, horse traffic only on the roads, business in general in Ferbane being stable, due to the proximity of the bogland and the need for farriers. Track 4: Discussed the time when his grandfather began an undertaking business, using horse-drawn hearses, as did his father. Seamus himself subsequently took over this business. Track 5: The general health and nutrition of people down through five decades of the twentieth century, and the outbreak of tuberculosis, which devastated the lives of so many.

Additional information



Audio series:

Offaly county, seventh series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

10.68 MB, 11.44 MB, 4.34 MB, 8.33 MB, 6.76 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Blacksmith, undertaker

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore