People ate two meals a day – in the morning and evening. Often working men had to work before their breakfast. Wealthy people (those who could afford to grow wheat on their land) ate wholemeal bread and milk for breakfast while poor people ate oaten bread. If they were very poor and oaten bread was not available, then potatoes and buttermilk were eaten for breakfast and dinner. Rich people could also afford a pig which could be killed at the end of the year. Sometimes this meat was shared with a neighbour. When the women were cooking the potatoes, the men would go to the lakes to catch fish. They would make a float from rushes so that they could stand. Sometimes if the fishing was very good there would be enough fish for the evening meal too. In one house in Milltown where an old lady was having the station mass, tea was served to the priest and this was a great occurrence as it was the first-time tea was available. There were no cups, and ‘into mugs she poured the tea’.
Fartamore, (Brooklawn), Co. Galway
Collector: Ide Ní Mhanghain
Informant: James Mangan, Liskeevy, Milltown, Co. Galway
Duchas, ‘The Schools’ Collection’, www.duchas.ie