Life in Dadreen

My story is about what my grandfather can remember himself and what he was told went on in Dadreen for the past seventy years.

In 1922 my great-grandfather was given a piece of land from The Land Commission here in Dadreen and a house built on the land. The family moved all the way from Carrowniskey to Dadreen by the old reliable ass and cart. My grandfather, James Gallagher was born in Dadreen on the 23rd of October 1926 to Tom and Alice Gallagher and was the first of the Gallagher’s to be born in Dadreen. In 1930 when he was four years old his father, Tom bought a 14.9 Ford car and became the first person to own a car the Killary side of Killeen. Also in the 30’s James started school in Thallabawn National School which was at the time four houses down the road and even to this day it is still four houses away. In 1934 my grandfather’s older brother, John died in a drowning accident down at the Silver Stand just half a mile from his home.

In the 30’s which was the time of the “Economic War” my grandfather can remember going the fifteen miles to Louisburgh to buy or sell a few cattle with his father and says he will never forget the price, which was two pounds and ten shillings. In 1937 my great-grandfather bought another holding of land close to the holding he had got from the Land Commission where his son and a grandson still live today. In 1939, during the Second World War, when granddad was thirteen, he can remember his father saying that the car would only be used for emergencies and that the tank was full of petrol so that would lessen the chance that he would have to sell the car because petrol was scarce. Many other things were rationed such as flour, sugar and other basic foods.

The next year he finished school and was put to work straight away on the farm, unlike nowadays where you sit back and decide what career you want. In those days you worked like a slave and didn’t think twice about anything else. In 1946 grandfather’s sister Beecy died. In 1948 after the war another car was bought at the price of £250 which was about the same price as the first one. Then two years later my grandfather got his first driving license. As recreation my grandfather and his brothers and sisters went to dances in a local barn known to them as “Mickie Keane’s” in Aillemore. And if that was not enough they also went to card games in each other’s houses.

After almost thirty years and still without a wife he took a sudden fancy to a young woman. Nora Frazier from the neighbouring village Barnabawn, and three years later they were preparing to be married.

They went on to have a family of seven children and they now live in retirement in Thallabawn.

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