Margaret Heagney 21st July 2017 Deerpark Social Services Centre, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Interviewer: Clare Doyle (CD)
Interviewee: Margaret Heagney (MH)
CD: And if people were getting married, what would they have at the wedding breakfast? Would they have a big dinner?
MH: No. Because it would be go to the church and come home. There was no honeymoon
CD: Right, and there was no hotel or anything that you went to?
MH: Oh no, they could pay for nothing the creatures! No, at all. Home. And you might have your few friends or maybe a neighbour or two in
MH: I can’t recall, I suppose they do up the table as nice as they could with a nice white table cloth and they’d have serviettes and that kind of thing and …
CD: It’d be a bit like the Stations maybe?
MH: A bit like the Stations, yes.
CD: And would you have good dishes, like if the priest was coming you’d give him the good mug or something, would you?
MH: Yes! There was a row, I can remember them, the dresser! There was a row of jugs along on the bottom and they were absolutely …I don’t know where they ever went but they were lovely. Lovely.
CD: And were you allowed to touch them?
MH: There’d be that size of a jug
CD: And were they for visitors or for special occasions?
MH: Oh, they were for visitors! A cup…you know we often had a cup and the handle would break on it and they mightn’t have enough and you’d have to keep that til we get another one
CD: And the priest and the visitors would get the good, the special food?
MH: The priest would get the best cup or mug and a boiled egg. That’s what it was that time. And he’d be at the head of the table then, and my father, God rest him, would be next and all the neighbouring men would get the breakfast first
MH: And then…
CD: The women would be getting the tea
MH: The women would get tea while they’d be waiting and chatting away in the kitchen
CD: Right. And if the priest went home after that would you have a glass of whiskey or would there be stout or anything?
MH: Oh, we had nothing like that. You couldn’t afford anything like that, maybe the better off people might have
CD: Maybe, yeah
MH: But I don’t know. Because we didn’t Drink
CD: The cup of tea would be nice to get after mass
MH: And I still don’t drink today and my mother never drank, my father took a pint but there was never drink in the house.
CD: There wasn’t a lot…
MH: No, you couldn’t afford it anyway, no.
CD: A bit of whiskey or brandy maybe in a Christmas cake or something, would you?
MH: Yes, you’d have a bit of what we used to call ‘curney cake’, sure, you’d have plenty and what I used to always like about the tarts was when they’d make the apple tart, t’would be the pastry would be made with the full cream.
CD: Oh, very nice
MH: And when my mother saw me making a tart and putting in margarine…
CD: She wasn’t’ impressed?
MH: “What are you putting in the cake?” “Oh”, she said, “no, get cream, buy cream”
MH: She have a big cup of cream and she’d put that into the pastry and a little pinch of sugar and it used be beautiful, the pastry