Joe Heaney: Early Life (1)

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  • Teideal (Title): Joe Heaney: Early Life (1).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 841403.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): Joe’s background.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Joan Rabinowitz.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 07/04/1982.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): radio programme (KRAB).
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Growing up

Jobs before school; no shoes; milking the cow; took the donkey for a basket of turf; children would carry a sod of turf under their arm to school.

At National School

Teacher’s name was Mister O’Connor from Mayo, and his wife. Went out of his way to try to get good students a scholarship. Treated children very well out of their own pocket. No dole at this time, money very scarce. You’d try to assemble sixpence for Féile Eoin, but it was hard. Teacher was respected. If he said to go straight home from school, you did. Children never called their parents by their first name; that was unthinkable. Children had to go to church, no choice in the matter. After school, there would be privilege of staying up an extra hour for the one who did an extra chore. At Christmas, you were lucky if you got a handful of raisins. You had to be good all year! And you weren’t supposed to see Santa Claus!

Siamsa Tine

Once supper was over in the evenings, the storytelling and singing would begin. The children were supposed to be in bed by nine; but Joe would creep to the top of the stairs, having greased the door with some candle grease so it wouldn’t squeak.


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