'Who could believe that someone could be so generous. I think it was like winning the lottery the excitement of it all'

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'Who could believe that someone could be so generous. I think it was like winning the lottery the excitement of it all'


Margaret remembers how her family received a cheque of 500 pounds from a friend in America and her mother's efforts to supplement the family's income.


Margaret McLoughlin


Trinity College Dublin




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Margaret McLoughlin

Is Part Of

Childhood and Early Life


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Dromahair, Co. Sligo

Temporal Coverage


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I can't say what year we bought the house. Seemingly a great friend of my father's went to America years before and hadn't enough for his full fare so my father made up the balance. He did very well in the states and years later out of the blue they got a letter with a cheque for フᆪ500 pounds. Who could believe that someone could be so generous? I think it was like winning the lottery the excitement of it all. After a lot of discussion it was decided they would buy the house from the Doctor if they would sell and they did just that. When Frank Lord have mercy on him, had gone to America and was drafted into the army he was able to send part of his wages home. This was a wonderful boost so my mother saved as much as she could of that and eventually got the thatched roof off and the house extended a bit. She was a terrific worker. She did everything she could to supplement our income. She always had a few hens which supplied us with eggs that is if Mc Garrels greyhouds didn't get them first. Before Christmas she would purchase a goose which she proceeded to fatten up also one year she got a few turkey eggs which were hatched but that didn't work our as they developed some disease. We also had a Bantam cock. We got attached to them and hated when it was time for them to be killed. All our clothes were made by my mother. Everything was handed down. Coats were ripped and turned completely. Even the bed clothes were hand made. The sheets were flour bags which were washed and bleached and ripped and then sewn together for sheets and pillowcases. The pillows were made from the goose feathers and what a mess it used to make when she was filling them. The patchwork quilts were made from Daddy's pattern books. Jumpers were knitted and at one stage I went with my mother to classes for spinning and actually made a pair of socks from the sheep's wool. When we got the wool the first thing that had to be done was give it a good teasing to get rid of the knots. Then it was oiled with linseed oil. Then carded. The cards were two wooden bats like table tennis bats but a rectangular shape and they had little nails out of them. The wool was stroked from side to side until it was smooth and then it was made into a roll like a sausage. One then took the sausage and it was fed into the spinning wheel until it was fine thread. There was also an art in it but I'm afraid mine didn't turn out so fine. It was quite lumpy but it made great strong socks for my grandfather


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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