Voices from the Camps

Mrs. Clancy, by Bill Meek (1987)

Catalina Clancy (née Sills), born on 3 May 1889, daughter of John Sills and Kathleen Mullin. At the time of the interview Mrs. Clancy was 99 years-old.


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My father and mother was from Wexford, and they worked their way up. 
My father was a... mm... worked by the day when he came here first, and my mother worked in Buenos Aires with Dr. Hennessy. 
Then they got married. Old Fr. Flannery is make the matches with the Irish people. The Irish women and the Irish men. 
And they went and worked their way up minding sheep by the month. I went to St. Mary’s [strict] school for four years... And then, what did I do? 
–And you used to look after ______? –Then I got a sweetheart! And got married to Joseph Clancy. We had four children, Paddy, Odhran, and Johnny. And Fr. Flannery used always put Irish names on them. Odhran... 
My father worked for old Michael Brennan, minding sheep. All the ups and downs. We had no way of getting to Mass. We only got to Mass once a year. 
Old Fr. Flannery used say Mass at Michael Brennan’s estancia. And we only got to Mass once a year. And to the sacraments. 
The Wexford people and the Westmeath, they never could pull. They didn’t want their children to mix up with the Westmeath. Tried to keep them with the Wexford people.


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