Thomas lives on Beale Strand, at the mouth of the Shannon estuary. He describes his background, saying that his great-great-grandfather, who was a coastguard, transferred from Glandore in west Cork to a house in Beale in 1851, the same house in which Thomas still lives. He talks about his forefathers who were members of the RIC His grandfather was stationed in Kilmallock after the Fenian Rising, and his uncle Jer, was stationed in Abbeyfeale during the War of Independence. Thomas recalls his education, life on the shores of the Shannon, farming, and rural electrification. He relates the story of the Fitzmaurices, whose summer residence was at Beale Castle, the ruins of which stand on his land. It was from the rubble and other salvage from this castle that the Griffin family built the house in which the Donovans now live in the early 1800s. He talks of a famous horse owned by the Fitzmaurice family, known as The Maid of Beale.