Mothers of Modern Ireland

Mary McDonnell, Clare

18th July 2008

Auntie Mary As I mentioned in previous posts

Lorna is filling a gap for us this week as Tom had to leave us for London. Don’t despair, he will be back but three is a good number and we had to have a replacement. Fortunately Tom’s replacement, Lorna, also came with a wonderful great aunt born and bred in Co. Clare, just what we were after! It took a very long time to get to Aunty Mary, a four hour drive from Sligo add on the extra from Ennis to Labasheeda. Hardly anything in the line of questioning or prompting was needed for Mary as she had so much to say, Shane could hardly get a word in and I had was kept on my toes as Mary was so animated that she kept moving out of shot in the throws of story telling. Mary’s interview was the first to have a strong political current running through it and in that I am referring to the politics of the time. Most of the ladies we have met so far have been a little detached from their ancestors 500 year plight against the British, a sign of the times thankfully, peace is more prevalent in the Ireland we know now. Mary’s account of injustice by the ruling class was vivid and though much of it occurred before even her time she felt passionately about it and pulled no punches to accommodate me and my English accent which was of course much appreciated! I could easily romanticise about these old tales of heroism and neglect but the stark reality is that these things are never as clear cut as they would seem in tales. The abuse of power is as real now as it was then albeit in other areas and all too often the happy ending is a long time coming if it comes at all. Aunty Mary was a delight to interview I hope she will enjoy watching herself as much as we did! DSC_2824.JPG

- Hannah