Work 2 (Cahersiveen NS Folklore Project)

Q: What did your Mother work as?

She was a house wife. She also grew her own vegetables and kept pigs.

Q: What did she have to do to ensure she had a full day’s work done?

 There was no limit to what she had to do. She worked at her own pace.

Q: How many pigs did she keep? What vegetables did she grow?

She kept 3 pigs. She grew potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, onions and lettuce.

Q: What time did she have to get up at every morning?

She got up at half 6 without fail.

Q: Was there a lot of work available back then?

Not a lot of work, most of it was farming or fishing.

Q: Were any of your relatives fishermen or farmers?

All of my uncles were farmers.

Q: Did your Uncles have a lot of land?

They had 60 acres between them.

Q: Were your Mother and your Father well paid?

My Father was self employed and my Mother did not get paid.

Q: What did your Father work as?

He was a Harness Maker and a Harness Repairer. He made saddles and all sorts of things to do with horses.

Q: Was he a hard worker?

Yes, he worked very hard, long hours every day.

Q: Did many people have horses?

Yes everyone, mostly ponies.


Q: How many saddles would he sell a week?

He would sell 2 or 3.

Q: How much for a saddle?

It was 6 pounds for a saddle.

Q: Where did your father learn this?

He learned this special craft from his Father.

Q: What hours did your Father work?

He worked from 6 in the morning to 8 o’clock in the evening. It was back breaking work.


Q: Were your days busy?

Very busy. If I wasn’t repairing, I was making saddles.

Q: Did a lot of people work for your father?

No, it was just himself.


Q: Did he like that?

No he would have preferred to have someone there to talk to.

Q: Was money scarce when you were growing up?

Yes, because the pay for each day’s work was very little and also people had to wait a long time to get paid.

Q: How did your Father get to work?

His store was under his house, but that wasn’t the case for everyone so they would go either by horse and carriage, walk or cycle, if they had enough money.

Q: How did you get to school?

I walked because it was close to my house.

Q: What age were you when you started to work?

I started working at the age of 14.

Q: Did you finish school then?

Yes, most young boys of my age finished

school at 13 or 14 years of age.

Q: Were there many Harness Makers around?

Yes, three or four of them in the town.

Q: Why was there so many?

Everyone had horses, and this was the transport at the time .A lot of people used horses for work .It took the place of a tractor today.

Q: What did your friends work as?

Fishing and farming mostly. Some went around the country. Others worked in England.

Q: If you didn’t work how would you get money?

You wouldn’t, there was no dole.

Q: Did you work, if so at what?

I worked with my Father first .Then I moved to England when I was 18 and worked in the tunnels.

Q: Tell me more about the Tunnels.

Well I worked there for 25 years building the tunnels for the under ground trains. It was very hard work and very hard to breathe down there too.

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