I kept turkeys for some of the years. The year before I left Gortymadden, I had seventy turkeys for sale at Christmas and it was a fella from Gortymadden that came with a lorry and weighed them and bought them in the yard. I had a turkey cock, the women came with their turkey hens from miles around the area, because there was not many stations around Hollyhill, where I lived. They would have the turkey hen in a bag, if they were neighbours they walked but if they came on the bike they would have them on the handlebars or the carrier; now of course, they wouldn’t cycle that fast.
Maria Coen had the turkey station
Ms. Doyle was the Poultry Instructress and I knew her from being down in Menlough (I was born in Menlough, then lived in Gortymadden when I got married and later moved to Aughrim) because she covered that area, she was living in Ballinasloe. When I came to Aughrim in July 1953, Maria Coen had the turkey station and they were leaving the area so Ms Doyle asked me to take it over so I did. I would give the women a cup of tea and have a chat and a couple more might come while the first one was still there. We would talk about our children mostly because we all had small children, and they were the good years to tell you the truth, when they were all small and going to school and bringing home friends.
“I’ve lost my false teeth”
One day a women come with at turkey hen, when we had our business done in the yard. I asked her in for a cup of tea, she put her hand in her pocket and said “I’ve lost my false teeth”, the poor woman had soar gums and had taken out her teeth and put them in her pocket, but they fell out. At that time my husband Josie had a trashing machine and thrashed for all the farmers in the area, when the thrasher went in and out of the yard a lot of chaff fell out so there was a lot of it on the ground. After a long search in the chaff we found the teeth. I took them in and washed them. She put them back in and we had a cup of tea and had a good laugh about the whole thing.
I met my husband at a dance in the Hanger Ballroom after the races in Galway. We danced and talked and we did not meet again for twelve months. Josie came to Menlough to buy a tractor, he asked the man selling the tractor did he know me, he said he did, then he said, “There is a dance in Menlough why don’t you come” so he did and we met again and that was that. We got married in 1944 and lived in Gortymadden for 9 years, then came to Moat, Aughrim. We had nine children. I am ninety four and still going strong. I have thirty grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren so far.