Food related extract from interview with Mary King, Dangan
Interviewed by Eileen O'Connell and Mary Mullins for Killererin Young at Heart in 1998
Killererin Heritage Society
The following article has been put together for our Gastronomy Galway 2018 project. Mary passed away on 5th May, 2015. Most of the interviewees for our Parish history book were from a farming background and the common themes throughout are diet, threshing, stations, killing the pig, going to fairs etc. I hope you enjoy reading these extracts and that you get a sense of what life was like for past generations in this locality.
Mary was a single lady who lived all her life in Dangan. She recalled what life was like for her growing up.
Houses were mainly thatched but there were some slate houses. They consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen, no bathroom and a loft for storage. ………..
People had nearly all their own supplies, brown eggs for breakfast and porridge for supper. They reared all their own chickens, and the first Sunday of every month a chicken was killed and the family would have it to eat. They would also kill a chicken for Halloween and for St Martin’s feast day on 11th November. They kept pigs and sows which were fed boiled potatoes and would be sold when they were bigger.
Houses had no running water and they would have to draw the water from the well after school. They disliked this job very much as they had to carry buckets to feed the cows. There were plenty of wells in the neighbourhood. Dishes were washed with water from a barrel.
When they were going to the shop by bicycle, they would put the kettle on the range. At the shop, they would buy sugar, tea and a loaf of bread and when they came home the kettle would be boiled. The shop was a visiting place and Mary remembered Crowe’s shop in Brierfield and also that it was the first shop where they could get ice cream. She went to Jim Fahy’s for Christmas shopping on the pony and cart. They would get a bag of flour and supplies for two months. Christmas eve was a fast day but on Christmas eve night, there would be a big feast. Mass on Christmas eve was in Killererin. Santa brought simple things. …………..