Tom Falvey: Ballyphehane, Market Gardens

Tom Falvey picture 2.jpg


Tom Falvey: Ballyphehane, Market Gardens


Life History: Ballyphehane, Market Gardens, Childhood, Travellers, Sports


Tom speaks about how he was born on Bandon Road. On moving to and growing up on Killeenreendowney Avenue and then Pearse Road in Ballyphehane. The primary school in Glasheen. Activities such as walking the Lee Fields. Playing hurling with the Barrs. On road bowling and famous bowlers such as Mick Barry, Dennis Scully and Mick Sexton. Bowling routes such as Pouladuff Road. Celia’s pub. Memories of hunting and drag hunting. On working in Fords and memories of its closure in 1984. Memories of working in Apple in the 1990s. Odlum’s Mill. On doing a marine-related course and studying Morse Code. Landmarks locally such as the Three Fields and the Well Field. “The Dumpa”. The Black Ash. The Lough. Old cricket grounds near the Lough. The significance of roads in Ballypheane named after Republican martyrs. Padraig Pearse. Hunger Stricker Joe Murphy. Stories heard of the War Of Independence. Old IRA member Connie Neenan. Memories of Tom Barry. The Republican Plot explosion. Plot to blow up De Valera. Hurling, soccer and rugby teams in Ballypheane and the Southside. Underage hurling. The GAA. Local characters Charlie The Bogman, Pat The Picket and Donny Sutton. Pubs in Cork. The Credit Unions. The culture shock of his brother coming back from England with aftershave and deodorant. Market gardens in Ballypheane. The Harris family and their involvement in market gardens. The sculptor Edward Ambrose. Going to see the Pope in 1979. The moving statue of Ballinspittle. Seeing Bob Marley in concert. Togher. Stonemasons. Travellers. Travelling tinsmiths. Barrel top caravans. Memories of the Tuskar Rock air tragedy. The Fastnet disaster. The Buttevant Train crash. “The Battle Of Ballypheane”. Hang Dog Road in Ballypheane and how it got its name. Playing darts and rings.


5 September 2018




Cork; Ireland; Ballyphehane; Pearse Road; 1950s - 2000s


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project









78 m33s


Pearse Road, Ballyphehane

Original Format


Bit Rate/Frequency

24bit / 48kHz


The following is a short extract from the interview transcript, copyright of the Cork Folklore Project. If you wish to access further archival material please contact CFP,

DMC: When you were young now, was there still development going on in Ballyphehane or had it mostly been built at that stage? Or can you remember?

TF: There'd be, say down in Pouladuff Road now, them houses weren't there at all and the square below, there was dump down there.

JF: Which square?

TF: Pearse Square. That was a dump one time. We used call it the dumpa. So that'd be going back now nearly 50 years. But outside of that I mean, the main part of Pearse Road is probably there 75 years. These were the last houses to be built. Started down beyond the church, it goes down to Musgrave Park, even beyond it.

JF: The first road was Kent Road I think they built. Kent Road and then they started bits of Connolly Road and bits of Pearse Road

TF: That was actually built I think direct labour I think they used call it but that was the Corporation and their own plasterers. They don't build nothing now sure they don't? It's gone terrible now though isn't it?

DMC: Were any of your relatives involved in the building of Ballyphehane?

TF: No, I doubt it because the father used to work down the mill, the uncle was in Fords, the other uncle was in Texaco. There was Falvey's builders alright but they weren't related to us. Those builders were on the Northside, on Garynehane Road.

JF: A colleague of ours does a project on Stonemasons and he's done a couple of interviews with a couple of Falveys

TF: And was it good? But there's actually a programme on there. You'd see it. They were absolutely brilliant.

JF: That was brilliant yeah. Jim Fahy made it.

TF: A man down there now was on it. He's dead now. Dinny Murphy. They had their own language and all.

JF: Yeah. The barlog. That's great.

TF: But he used go to work now in a shirt and tie. He was a mason like. He had fierce pride. Pride. That's the way the old tradesmen were.

JF: It's like the church below as well. It's all built by local tradesmen.

TF: I think the Credit Union was about '59.

JF: The first Credit Union in the country.

TF: And they were brilliant actually weren't they? The Credit Unions

JF: Can you remember the Credit Union being in the church?

TF: No

Time Summary

0.00.31 - 0.07.12

Early life. Born on Bandon Road. Roche’s Cross. Moving to Ballypheane. Death of mother. Move to Ballypheane. Aunts and fathers house. Greenmount School. Glasheen Secondary School. How he has bad memories of school in Glasheen, how you’d be terrified of school then. Playing with the Barrs. Walking up the Lee Fields. Bowling, playing football and how they would be out all the time. The Three Fields. The Well Field. Playing hurling when they got to age twelve or thirteen. Going out the road bowling. Going for a spin in the car with his uncle on a Sunday to Kinsale and Garrettstown. Going bowling up Pouldaduff Road by Celia’s Pub. The river by Celia’s Pub. How there was just one child ever collected in primary school. How there was just one car on their road.

Mick Barry the bowler. Other greats of bowling Dennis Scully and Mick Sexton. How he disliked primary school but like secondary school. Going on to CIT and doing a marine related course. Studying morse code.

Going on to work in Fords. Working there from 1979 to 1984. How they knew Fords would be closing in 84 in connection with the Common Market. How it was worse for married men being laid off. How Fords were great employers and would pay for employee’s children to go through college. Fords West Cork connections. How it was a big blow when it closed. The Lough.

Tom starts off by saying he was born on Bandon Road, and then moved to Roche’s Cross. His mother died in 1964 and they moved to Ballypheane then. He says he was born in 1958. They moved here in he was about six. The house where the interview is taking place and where he lived was his aunt’s house. His father’s house was number 223. He went to Greenmount School and then Glasheen Secondary School. He says his memories of Greenmount School are bad memories. He says you’d be terrified of school then and that you’re a product of your times. He says he played hurling with the Barrs up to the age of nineteen. Himself and his friends would go up the Lee Fields walking. They would go out the road bowling and out walking and across the road playing football. He adds that this is basically all they did, there were no computers then so you would be out all the time. He says they would be out the Three Fields and the Well Field. They would be just running around the Three Fields when asked what games would they play. He says when they got to twelve or thirteen they would start playing hurling and football for the Barrs. They would go for a spin every Sunday with his uncle, there was a fellow they knew had a car. They would go for a spin to Kinsale and Garrettstown. They would go bowling up Pouladuff Road by Celia’s Pub. He says they would have played in the river by Celia’s pub as well in answer to a question from Jamie. He says that when he was in primary school there was only one child in the school ever collected by car. He says there was only one car on their road from the traffic lights closest to where the interview is taking place and the lights down by the Lough.

He says he remembers Mick Barry the bowler playing. He says he died in the same home in Ballincollig where Bobby did. (Bobby Moore, his cousin Eleanor’s father). He says he was a great bowler, adding that he and his siblings when Mick Barry was bowling. He lists him off with the other great bowlers Dennis Scully and Mick Sexton. He says you were out all the time as you had no computer or no car. He returns to the subject of school saying he disliked primary school but like secondary school. He says you were a grownup when you go to secondary school by means of explaining this. He says he loved French and Latin. He went on to do a marine course in CIT. He says he studied morse code which you had to do if you were going to be working on ships. He says you would be fixing equipment too but he didn’t finish that part of the course.

He says he then went on to work in Fords. He started in 1979 and finished in 1984. He adds he then went on to Western Digital and then Apple. Returning to the subject of Fords he says they always knew it would close in 84 and this had something to do with the Common Market. He mentions that Dunlops closed in 83 and they were the year after. He says he was so young he probably didn’t care but for married men it was worse. He adds that Fords would give them a great severance pay and would pay to put their children through college. He says they were great employers. He adds that Ford himself was West Cork, Ballinascarty. He says there 800 there at that time and they thought that was a huge amount though nowadays there would be thousands in Apple. When it closed it was a big blow he says especially for families. He says things were very bad that time for jobs. He says there was no one on the Road working. He goes into a general discussion about how Ballypheane picked up and the economy in general. He says the houses locally are there years. The Lough is there hundreds of years.

0.07.14 - 0.09.26

Ballypheane developments when he was young. How the houses down Pouladuff Road hadn’t yet been built when he was young. The dump on the site of Pearse Square. “The Dumpa”. How much of Ballypheane goes back seventy five years. How the houses on the road where he lives were among the last to be built. How Pearse Road stretches to Musgrave Park and beyond. Kent Road, Connolly Road. How the corporation built the houses by direct labour. His father in the mill, his uncle in Fords. The Falvey builders were are no relation. Michael Moores work for the Project on masons. Jim Fahey’s work on masons. Stone Mason Dinny Murphy who would go to work in a shirt and tie. How the old tradesmen were very proud of their work. The masons language barlog. The local church. Ballypheane Credit Union.

When asked was there still development going on in Ballypheane when he was young Tom says the houses down Pouladuff Road weren’t there then. He says there was a dump where Pearse Square is now. He says they would call it the Dumpa. He says that would be going back about fifty years. Outside of that the main part of Ballypheane is seventy five years old. He says the houses where he is living were among the last to be built. He says the houses started way down beyond the church (Ballypheane Church). He says Pearse Road goes down to Musgrave Park and beyond it. James adds that Kent Road was the first to be built then parts of Connolly Road and Pearse Road were added. He says it was built by direct labour as it was called where the corporation would have their own plasterers etc. He says they don’t build anything now. He says he doesn’t think any of his relatives were involved in the building of Ballypheane. His father used to work down the mill and his uncle was in Fords and another uncle in Texaco. He says there were Falvey builders but they weren’t related. This leads into a discussion about Michael Moores work for the Cork Folklore Project interviewing masons. Jim Faheys work in this area is also discussed. Tom talks about a stone mason he knew who is now dead called Dinny Murphy. Tom says he would go to work in a shirt and tie. He adds that Dinny Murphy had fierce pride and that was the way with the old tradesmen. The mason’s language barlog is mentioned. James mentions that the local church was built by local tradesmen. Tom says the credit union ion Ballypheane was built around 1959. Tom doesn’t remember the credit union being in the church.

0.09.28 - 0.13.42

How they would never venture further up Ballypheane beyond the traffic lights.

How his grand uncle Tom Harris was at the first Barrs meeting. Book on the Barrs. His Harris grandmother. The old Harris House on the corner of the Lough. The Harris market gardens. Tom Harris’s horse. The old Garda Station by the Ardmanning. The big old house that was still there when Tom was in his twenties and is long gone. Tom says the Harris Market garden was still there when he was young. How there were other market gardens still in Friars Walk owned by the Scanlon’s, a relative of theirs Mick Carroll still lives on the corner up a bit from Tom. How they had a lot of property that was bought by compulsory order. Tom’s grandaunt Madgie Harris who lived on Pouladuff Road. How when you’re young you don’t take much notice of things.

How he hated primary school. How you would be afraid of the priests. Walking to school in Greenmount. Jumping on the bus. Playing hurling on the street. Having a tennis ball in place of a sliothar. Going to school with a plastic bag for gear. Having one toothbrush at home and no toothpaste. When his older brother Jerry came back from England with deodorant and aftershave and Tom didn’t know what it was.

He says they never went beyond the traffic lights further out Pearse Road. He says they wouldn’t have gone to Tory TopPark. He says they would stay between the traffic lights and they could name everyone in that area. He says they would go to the Lee Fields, or play with the Barrs or go for a spin on Sunday but they would never go further up to Ballypheane beyond the traffic lights. He says his grand uncle was at the first Barrs meeting which he thinks was around 1884. His name was Tom Harris and Tom says his name is in a book about the Barrs. Toms own grandmother was a Harris. He lived in the corner house which is still standing at the corner of the Lough and Pearse Road. Tom says they all had market gardens running back from the house. He says there’s still a bit of land there. Tom says up by the Ardmanning Bar there was a big old house which was the old Garda Station. He says it was a big old house that was still there when Tom was in his twenties but it’s gone now. Tom says the Harris Market garden was still there when he was young. He says a family called the Scanlon’s also had market gardens in Friars Walk, he says a relative of theirs, Mick Carroll still lives up on the corner from Tom. He says they had a lot of property which was all bought by compulsory order. Tom speaks of his grandaunt Madgie Harris who lived on Pouladuff Road. They had a bungalow but it’s long gone. He says those people from when he was a child are all long gone. He says when you’re young you don’t take much notice of things. Some people get older and you’d wonder are they making things up he says.

He talks more on how he hated secondary school. He says you’d be afraid of the priests. You’d be afraid going to school he says. Secondary school was different. He says he’d walk out to Greenmount when he was going to school there. He says you’d walk everywhere. He says he’d walk there with his brothers or maybe a fellow he’d know from across the road. He says lads would be acting the fool and jumping on the bus, these were normal things he says. He says there was more freedom then. He says they would play hurley on the street. They would have a hurling stick but no sliothar, they would have a tennis ball instead. They had no helmet. Tom remembers going to school with a plastic bag, thee would have been no gear bags. He says at home they had one toothbrush and no toothpaste. He adds you’re a product of your environment. He talks about when his brother Jerry who spent years in England came home with deodorant and aftershave and Tom didn’t know what it was. Tom was about twelve at the time and Jerry was seven years older. He asks could young people today relate to that.

0.13.52 - 0.17.30

When Tom went to Southampton in England to work. Coming back after ten months. Western Digital, Apple. Working in Odlum’s Mill for ten years. Cork Milling Company. Grants Mill. Fords, Dunlop’s and Gouldings.

Why he played for the Barrs but not for Ballypheane. The Lough Parish. How they were all Barrs. “The Battle Of Ballypheane”. The row between the local soccer and GAA team in Tory Top Park. Father Fitzgerald.

Fr Ormond who died in the Tuskar Rock plane crash in 1968. Theory that the plane was hit by a missile. How this was a very bad local tragedy and many from Ballypheane were on it. Other local tragedies and accidents.

Tom speaks about when he went to Southampton in England to work. He only stayed there for ten months. He went over there after Fords. He said he wasn’t out of work for thirty years once he came back. He new a man called Tommy Welsh who worked in the mills over there so Tom went over to join him at that. Once he came back he worked in Western Digital and Apple. He worked in Odlums Mill for about ten years. He said it was dusty and he worked in the storeroom. It was a bit primitive. He says the front of it is preserved which was built in the 1930s and the main building was knocked. That was the National Flower Mill. Grants mill was the Cork Milling company. That was the big silo mill situated by where Goldberg’s pub is now. He says hundreds were employed there. Further down you had Fords, Dunlop’s and Gouldings. He says there’s nothing now, in terms of employment. The discussion moves to a brewery that is operating there now where Fords was (the Franciscan Well Brewery).

Discussion moves back to his time playing hurling and Jamie notes he played with the Barrs but he didn’t play for Ballypheane. Tom says they were all Barrs. He says from the top traffic lights above them down to the Lough is all the Lough Parish but the reason he played with the Barrs was that his granduncle and uncle all played Barrs.

James asks Tom if he heard of the Battle Of Ballypheane to which Tom says he heard something about it. Tom says he wasn’t there but he read about it. James goes into the story of how the soccer and GAA teams arrived at the pitch on Tory Top Park on the same day to play their finals. The soccer side put up their goalposts on the Connolly Road side and the GAA on Friars Walk end. Father Fitzgerald had to be called to sort things out to which Tom says in those days priests could sort things. If you saw the priest you’d nearly get a heart attack.

Tom says he does not remember Fr Fitzgerald but he remembers Fr Ormond who died in the Tuskar rock disaster when the plane he was on crashed in 1968. He speaks about the theory that it was hit by a British missile. He says it was a big disaster for Ballypheane with many local dead and that the flight had been going to Lourdes.

(Note: the parish priest of Ballypheane who was killed in Tuskar Rock was Fr Edward Hegarty)

He speaks about other tragedies such as a girl who was involved with soccer who was killed. He speaks about a local girl June Atkins who was killed by a car.

0.17.40 - 0.21.07

Glasshouses in Hartland’s Avenue. Nursery and cricket club on Hartland’s Avenue. How you could walk through where the cricket club was on the way to Glasheen but it is private now. Tomatoes being grown in the glasshouses. Cortex. Musgrave’s. CMP Dairies. Hickeys. How people didn’t have the money then.

The Credit Union in Ballypheane. Building society. How the Credit Union got people out of poverty. The contrast with Gurranabraher which didn’t have a credit union at the time. Credit Unions run by the banks now.

Tom says he remembers glasshouses in Hartland’s Avenue but these are gone years. Tom says if you go past the Hawthorne Bar up to the top of the road on the right was all glass houses and a nursery. He says there was a cricket club there too. He says they were there up to thirty five years but in later years they were nearly all broken. There’s all houses there now he says. The cricket club was there too. It is private now. He doesn’t know what the cricket club was called but at one point you could walk through it on the way to Glasheen but it was blocked off then. He says the glasshouses were still being used when he was young, he says you could see tomatoes being grown. In terms of local industries Cortex and Musgrave’s are mentioned. CMP Dairies also which he says are long gone. Hickeys also. Tom says people didn’t have the money then. A discussion about debit cards follows.

The Credit Union in Ballypheane is discussed. He says his father used to have money in a building society when they were young. The contrast with Gurranabraher is discussed and how it didn’t have a credit union at the time. Tom says the credit unions are run by the banks now. People in the past would be ducking and avoiding paying them but they can’t do that now.

0.21.08 - 0.26.24

Local character Elle Spillane. Charlie The Bogman. How he lived under a bridge and would be swimming in the water. How he used to swim naked.

The murder of a girl in Black Ash. Going to see Bob Marley in concert in Dalymount Park Dublin in 1979. The Rolling Stones.

Seeing the Pope in Limerick in 1979. How there was a traffic jam from Cork to Limerick and it took seven hours. The racetrack in Limerick. How the pope was waving. The upcoming papal visit. How the pope got a million visitors in 1979 but is just getting half a million now. How his father would and aunts would go to mass every morning. An uncle who would not go to mass. How religion used to give comfort.

Memories of the moving statue of Ballinspittle. Going down to see it but not seeing it moving. How people came from all round to see it. How if you looked at it long enough it with the lights you would think it was moving.

On being asked does he remember local Lough character Elle Spillane he says he heard of her but he doesn’t remember her. He speaks about a character called Charlie The Bogman who used to live under a bridge. Charley Coleman was his real name. He used to be swimming in the water by the bridge. He used to be naked going into the water. He had a house but lived under the bridge towards the Bell Field, it might have been the Snotty Bridge. Tom says he was harmless. He likens him to a new age traveller. He was around for a long time and lived to a good age. He says he had a beard and it was hard to put an age on him. He says you would be half afraid of him as a child.

Tom talks about the case of a girl who was murdered out in Black Ash. He knew the girls father, he worked in Hickeys. He says that was the only murder he remembers locally.

Tom talks about when he went to see Bob Marley in concert in Dalymount Park Dublin in 1979.He says he had a programme but gave it to someone. He went with his friend John Mahoney. He says it wasn’t too long before Bob Marley died. He mentions in passing that he also saw the Rolling Stones in concert. He said it was brilliant to see him. He said the atmosphere was brilliant. He says he used to have all his tapes in the car. It was the best concert he was ever at. He doesn’t recall anything Bob Marley said but he said he would have been half stoned anyway. He doesn’t remember who was supporting. He adds that Dalymount Park is gone too.

He speaks of when he went to see the Pope when he visited Ireland in 1979. He travelled up to Limerick to see him. The journey took seven hours. He says there was a traffic jam the whole way from Cork To Limerick. It was in the racetrack in Limerick which is now gone. He says he passed and he thinks he waved at him. He talks about the upcoming visit of the current pope and compares it with how the last papal visit got a million visitors but just half a million are expected this time. He says that the pope has lost his appeal a bit. The older people loved him he says. His own father used to be going to mass every morning. He says Eleanor (Moore)’s mother would go to mass every morning. His other aunt Bridie would go every morning. He says one uncle wouldn’t go to mass, he jokes that he was a bit of a pagan. He says the religion use to give comfort.

He talks about memories of the moving statue of Ballinspittle in the 1980’s. He says it was a big thing then. He went down there himself to have a look but didn’t see anything. He says if you looked at it long enough in the light it was supposed to move. He says people would be doing experiments. It died off then he says.

0.26.26 - 0.29.46

The Fastnet Tragedy. The Buttevant train crash. When himself and some friends went to France. How they wouldn’t have known what sunscreen was. Staying in a tent. Visiting Paris and Nice. How France is very expensive. Visiting Tallin in Estonia.

Starting working in Apple in 1990. Starting off in the line on quality. Making the boards on PCB. How that closed and was moved abroad. How most of the people he worked with there are now gone from there. How it was all Cork people working there at that time, how it is the opposite now. How they would send a taxi out to collect you for work.

Tom mentions the Fastnet tragedy of 1979. He says he was down by Sherkin Island when that happened. He says everything happened in 79. He also talks about the Buttevant train crash. He says he was in France that year. He says himself and three of his friends went to France. He says you’d have no sunscreen that time, you wouldn’t know what it was. He says they went over in jeans and the sweat was pouring off them. They went camping in a tent and visited Paris and Nice. He says in more recent years he visited Tallin in Estonia, about fifteen years. He says he reckons people don’t have much there.

Tom says he started working in Apple in 1990. He says they’re there since 1980. He started off on the line, he was on quality then. He was then making the boards on PCB but that closed. That was moved somewhere else. Most of his friends he worked with are gone from there and it’s a different kettle of fish up there now, it is now mostly call centre work. He says when he was there it was all Cork people. He says they would send out a cab to pick you up for going to work and you would make your own way home then. He says they wouldn’t do that now and they’re worth a trillion dollars. He says one of his friends is on the production line about ten years. A discussion on contracts and working conditions follows.

0.29.52 - 0.35.10

Tramore Road. How it was called Hang Dog Road. Stories about how it got that name. A tannery that used to be out there and how stray dogs were made into buoys. Musgrave’s getting the name of the road changed. His brother John involved in greyhounds. Hunting with the Southern Hunt Club when they were younger. Going out hunting towards Kinsale, Belgooly. How it’s dying out now as farmers don’t want people on their land due to insurance claims. How they would hardly ever manage to catch anything. How they would be hours trying to find the dogs. Drag Hunting by the airport. How it would end in Billy Halloran’s pub, now known as Bull McCabe’s. Halloran’s orchard. What Halloran’s pub was like back then. Dogs in the pub. Harrier dogs.

Celia’s pub. The outdoor toilet. How the bowling started then. Celia and Jack Neville. How the pub was falling down and many pubs of the time were like then.

The route they took for the bowling, starting by Neville’s. Lamdmarks along the way. The pink wall. The bridge. The pump. The Three Sticks. Tiger Aherne’s. Tiger Aherne the bowler. Finishing by Corcoran’s Bridge. How it was all uphill and all downhill.

James asks Tom about Tramore Road and if they knew it under a different name. Tom says they did but he struggles to remember what it was called. Jamie suggests Hang Dog Road and Tom say’s this was what it was called. He asks why it was called that and James goes through a story of how there was a tannery and they would bring stray dogs out there to make buoys for fishermen so they would hang the dogs there. James’s says Musgrave’s got the name changed. Tom says his brother John is involved with greyhounds. His brother Dennis was involved with them as well. Tom goes on to say when they were younger himself and his siblings were involved with the Southern Hunt Club who were based on Bandon Road. He says they would go out hunting anywhere, Kinsale, Belgooly but its dying out now as farmers won’t allow access to their land. He says if a fellow broke his leg on their land he would make a claim. He says its not very fashionable now but anytime they went hunting they’d catch almost nothing, anything they’d find would be half dead from disease. They’d be hours trying to find the dogs then. It was good in the Winter he says. He says they would have drag hunting then up by the airport and it would finish Billy Hallorans pub which is now Bull McCabe’s. Billy Halloran owned Halloran’s Orchard and when he sold that he opened the pub. Tom knew Billy well and he had the pub for years. He adds its still there though now more like a restaurant. He says the pub was very old fashioned back then , there would be dogs in the pub. He says its different back then. People would keep harrier dogs in the home. People wouldn’t have a harrier in the house now.

Tom speaks about Celia’s pub. He says it was falling apart. The toilet was on the outside he says. The bowling would start there. He mentions Celia Neville and Jack Neville who ran it. He says it was “falling down” but that’s how pubs were like then, rough and ready and dark. He speaks about the freezing cold of the outdoor toilet. He says you can still see the wall of the old pub down where it used to be.

Tom talks about the route of the bowling. You’d start by Neville’s and he talks about landmarks along the way such as the pink wall which belonged to Barrett’s. The bridge. Maddens corner. The pump. Up Matthew Hill and the Three Sticks, up to Tiger Aherne’s, Tom adds he was a bowler. They would finish by Corcoran’s Bridge, it was all uphill and all downhill. He talks about the traffic nopw and how there are hundreds of houses up Pouladuff and there were harldly any cars back then. He says people haven’t time for things like bowling as time is at a premium.

0.35.22 - 0.41.25

Playing Rings and darts. Ma Dullea’s pub. How these pastimes are not as popular these days. Playing cards. The decline in the number of card playing teams. How in the past you could drive after a few pints. Discussion of recent road crash in Donegal. Man who he knew who lived in Donegal and who described it as a kip. Socialising in Barrack St when younger. De Lacey House on Oliver Plunket St. The Gilt Edge pub on Washington St. The Grand Parade Hotel. How then you would walk everywhere and people didn’t do cabs. Fordes pub. Bradley’s pub. Current pubs on Barrack St. Comparisons with Barrack St and Shandon St. Eugenes pub on Shandon St which was owned by Theo Cahill of the Dixies. Anthony “the Bishop” Coughlan. The Chimes bar. More discussion of Cork pubs. How he likes to support the small pubs and shops. Pat Buckley’s bar by the North Infirmary. Dennehy’s pub on the Coal Quay. The Harp bar.

Tom says he plays rings and darts, his local team would be in Ma Dullea’s pub. He would be playing all over the Southside but this has also declined in popularity. He says playing cards has gone the same way. There were once sixty four cards teams but there’s only eighteen now. He says before you could just drive away in the morning after a few pints but you can’t now. There follows a discussion about a recent fatal crash in Donegal. Tom says they are mad for rallying up there. He says he knew he knew a man who lived in Donegal and who said it was a kip. Tom says when he was younger he would socialise mainly on Barrack St. He says he would also go to De Lacey House on Oliver Plunket St which was great for ballads. He also mentions the Gilt Edge pub which is now Preachers. The Grand Parade Hotel. He says you walked everywhere and that time people didn’t really do cabs. Everyone gets cabs now and he quips people have got lazy. He says he never goes into town by night now socialising. Tom says he goes these days to Fordes pub on the bottom of Barrack St. There follows a discussion about Bradleys pub on Barrack St and a barmaid called Lavinia and a discussion on who owns it. A discussion on Barrack St and its pubs follows such as the Pigalle, Tom Barry’s, the Brown Derby and Barbarella’s. Comparisons are made with Shandon St and improvements made to Barrack St. He says Shandon St has gone “cat”. A discussion on Shandon St follows and the Old Reliable and Eugene’s which Tom says was owned by Theo Cahill of the Dixies. A further discussion on Eugenes follows in which Tom speaks of a regular Anthony Coughlan known as “the Bishop”. Tom says the Chimes pub is now gone which was Dinny Donovans place. The Shandon Arms is discussed. The Wolfe Tone is mentioned as closed. Tom says the Gerard Griffin pub is open again. The Tower pub is mentioned as closed. Tom says he likes to support small pubs like small shops, you would like to see them kept open. Tom expresses surprise when James says that Pat Buckley’s pub by the North Infirmary has closed recently. Tom asks is Dennehy’s on the Coal Quay still open to which James says it is. Tom speaks more of Forde’s pub. He speaks about the Harp bar near where he lives.

0.41.28 - 0.48.05

How their aunts Kitty and Bridey would do the shopping when he was young. A small shop down Pouladuff Road. Hegarty’s Shop. How there were no supermarkets then. Corner shops that would have a book marking what you owed and you pay at the end of the month. The gasman calling around. The gas meter. Going off on a holiday once a year with the aunts. Staying in a caravan in Garretstown.

One of the Harris’s whose job it was to light the public gas lamps. Toms father who used to drive the horse and cart for the Harris’s to the Coal Quay. Memories of seeing horses and carts around. A man who kept pigs and who would come around on a horse and cart collecting slops. Murphy’s bacon factory. Lunham’s bacon factory on Tramore Road.

Bonfire Night. It being held just across from where they lived. How when they were young they would be singing around the fire. How in later years it got messier. Weeks of preparation collecting material, tyres and wooden pallets etc. How it was the highlight of the year along with Halloween. Young and old alike participating. Playing the squeezebox. How you could leave your door open that time with the key in the door. How people could walk in and ask if they had sugar or some milk. Leaving the key in the door up to twenty years ago. How if a neighbour wanted a hand with something you would help them out. Community spirit in Ballypheane.

Tom says he knew nothing about shopping growing up as their aunts Kitty and Bridey would do all the shopping as they reared them. He mentions a small shop down Pouladuff Road, Hegartys Shop that is long gone. He says there were no supermarkets then, there were small corner shops and he says they were robbing people. They would have a book in the shop marking down what you owed and you pay at the end of the month. The gasman would come then and he might give something back, he adds there was a meter for the gas and points where it was in his house though it is now blocked off. He says they would go off once a year for a holiday with the aunts and they would be bored and wanting to come back after a day. They would go to Garretstown or somewhere like that staying in a caravan. Their uncle or someone that they knew would drop them down.

Tom mentions a relative, one of the Harris’s who worked in the gasworks and whose job it was to light the public gas lamps. This was going back many years he says. He says his father told him he used to drive a horse and cart for the Harris’s down to the Coal Quay. Tom says he remembers horses and carts around himself. He remembers a man who kept pigs and who used to come around in a horse and cart and collect slops. Tom speaks about Murphy’s bacon factory and Lunham’s which was up Tramore Road. He says a lot of the big supermarkets got rid of a lot of these places.

Tom speaks about Bonfire Night. He says there would be across from where they grew up. He say when they were young they would be singing around the bonfire but in later years it got very messy. He says you would be involved in collecting the material, timber pallets and tyres but mostly timber. He says it be prepared weeks in advance. He says the corporation would sometimes take away the pile of material. He says it was one of the highlights of the year along with Halloween. He says young and old would be out and people would be playing the squeezebox and the banjo. He says you could leave your door open that time. People could walk in and ask if they had some sugar or a drop of milk. He says that’s how it was then. He says they would leave the key in their front door up to twenty years ago. If people wanted a hand with something you would give them a hand. A general discussion of community and Ballypheane follows. He speaks about community spirit in Ballypheane. He talks about community spirit in rural places such as Skibbereen which he would visit. He speaks about how neighbours helped out when he had to look after his uncle. He mentions how he has the key for his neighbours for helping out. He speaks about a woman whose neighbour helps out with giving her eye drops.

0.48.09 - 0.51.55

Playing in the Lough Leagues. Danny Coughlan. Playing with the Barrs through Greenmount School. Cork players Gerald Mack and Peter Doolan how they started off with the Barrs. How the Barrs would come to the school to ask them to play with the team. When the Barrs were based on Bandon Road and then moved to Togher. When you had to pay to go to Barrs matches. How to an older generation they would be a Bandon Road team. The Ballypheane team considered junior. Gerald Mack. The pressures of running a team. Having to turn up Saturday. How he used to run a team but wouldn’t do it again. How he has great time for the GAA. How people who criticise it are those who wouldn’t give the time for it. How people in Ballypheane didn’t have much to do with soccer or rugby. He mentions Sundays Well and Dolphins rugby teams. He says of Dolphins that not many people in Ballypheane had anything g to do with them and they all came from other pats of the city. He says the only local of note to play with them was Phil O Callaghan.

Tom says he played in the Lough Leagues hurling. He says that was with Danny Coughlan. He says the Lough Leagues have been brought back recently. He says Greenmount School was also the Barrs. He says famous Cork players Gerald Mack and Peter Doolan started off with the Barrs from when the Barrs would call out to the school. He says in later years he was involved in street leagues for about eight years with Out The Barrs. He says the Barrs were originally based on Bandon Road and then moved out to Togher. He says they never really interacted with the local community in Togher but they had to go somewhere. He says out the Barrs you had to pay to get into matches when he was young. He says nowadays they are seen as a Togher team but to the older generation they would be Bandon Road. He says they had a pitch in Togher years ago but they were considered Bandon Road. He says the Ballypheane team were only considered junior. He says Ballypheane had some good players like Gerald Mack whose father played with the Lough. You can’t get people to run a team now he says, he did it for a while but he wouldn’t do it again. He says you have to turn up Saturday and Sunday mornings. He says then a mother might be an hour late and you’d have to wait around minding their child, he jokes that it was like a babysitting service. He thinks the GAA are a brilliant organisation. He says they had nothing to do with Casement soccer team, it was all GAA. He says it was the same with rugby. He says of Dolphins Rugby Team that not many people in Ballypheane had anything to do with them and they all came from other pats of the city. He says the only local of note to play with them was Phil O Callaghan who played with Ireland and the Lions. He says rugby was a different kind of middle class game.

052.00 - 0.57.45

Stories told heard about the War Of Independence period. Connie Neenan whom Neenan Park is named after. A story heard about a girl who was shot dead on Washington St. Storys read about atrocities. How parts of Cork City were very republician. Story about how Connie Neenan was supposed to have stolen a load of money.

Family links with the sculptor Edward Ambrose. How he was sent to Rome by the people of the Lough Parish. Tom’s brother going in to see his work in the Crawford. The Crawford Schools new premises on Grand Parade. How this used to be a gentlemen’s club.

Work social clubs. Dunlop’s club. How Fords didn’t have a club. Odlum’s Mill club. Apple club.

Joe Murphy Road. Joe Murphy who died on hunger strike. A story heard that his aunts friend Peggy Murphy’s father was the man the British had been looking for. Joe Murphy’s nephews the Delaney’s. How the council were prevented from knocking the Joe Murphy house.

Tom says you would hear the odd thing about the War Of Independence period. He says when they were out the Barrs Neenan Park they would play Neenan Park which was named after Connie Neenan. They would hear a story about a girl on Washington St and a bullet hit the ground and killed her. He says you’d hear that and wouldn’t know if it was true or not. He said you might read books and read about how Connie Neenan was supposed to have shot young lads. He says parts of Cork City were very republician. He says people say about Connie Noonan that he stole a load of money. Connie Neenan is long dead he says.

Tom speaks of the famous sculptor Edward Ambrose who was a relative of his grandmother. He went to Rome and was sent there by the people of the Lough Parish. Tom says he lived past the lights on Pearse Road. Tom say his elder brother went down to the Crawford to see his work and said shure he’s dead years. Tom did some research on him and he has some work in the Crawford School. Talk then turns to the Crawfords new premises on Grand Parade which used to be a gentlemen’s club. He says CIT bought that.

Talk moves to social clubs in the places he worked in. Dunlop’s had a social club and Fords had none. The mill had a sort of a club. He says Apple had a brilliant social club and he says he had brilliant nights out with them. He says they’re planning on having a 30th anniversary reunion for the Apple staff. He says Apple was the only job he was in where you could sit down and work, every other club you were standing. He says he was never at the Grocers Club which James says is one of the last clubs of its type in town and across from the Ivory Tower.

James asks if Tom has any stories about Joe Murphy whom Joe Murphy Road is named after. Tom says Joe Murphy lived down Pouladuff Road and he was the Granduncle of one of Tom’s friends. Joe Murphy died on hungerstrike during the War Of Independence. Tom says one of his aunts friends Peggy Murphy it was supposed to be her father they were looking for but he’s not sure if this is true or not. A discussion of Joe Murphy’s hungerstrike in Cork Prison follows. He says he knows Joe Murphy’s nephews the Delaney’s who lived in his old house and it has a plaque on the wall. He says that the council were trying to knock Joe Murphy’s house one time but they were stopped from knocking them.

0.57.48 - 1.02.00

The significance of place names in Ballypheane named after Republican martyrs. Wondering why they were named after them and not out in Bishopstown or Douglas. Being proud of the street being named after Padraig Pearse. Willy Pearse, Padraig Pearses brother and how he was also executed. The school the Pearse brothers ran. How some people locally are named Pearse after Padraig Pearse. People ringing about broadband and spelling it incorrectly. The 1966 50’th anniversary commemorations of 1916. The attempt to blow up De Valera at the Republican Plot at St Finbarr’s Cemetery. Jerry Madden who survived the explosion and lost an eye and a leg. How the bomb went off too soon killing one of the plotters. Tom Barry. How he would see Tom Barry Around town drinking. How Tom Barry’s sister used to be in the Red Cross with Tom’s sister Helen. How Tom Barry was private and would not talk about the Flying Column days. How he would see him and people would say that’s Tom Barry. About the terrain down in West Cork and its suitability for fighting an enemy.

James asks did it mean anything to him growing up with all the place names after republican martyrs such as Pearse Road, Kent Road etc. Tom says he used to wonder why they were named after them and not out in Bishopstown or Douglas. He says they were proud of being named after Pearse. He talks about the Plaque to Pearse down the road and mentions that Pearse brother Willy was executed as well. A discussion about the Pearse brothers and the school they ran follows. Her talks about the way some people in the area are called Pearse after Padraig Pearse and spell it the same way.. He says people would ring about broadband or whatever and would be spelling it Pierce. Tom speaks of memories of the 1966 50’th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. James asks him about the bomb plot to blow up De Valera at the Republican Plot. Tom says he knew one of those involved who survived, another plotter was killed he says. Tom explains that De Valera was coming down. He doesn’t know whether the plotters were trying to kill De Valera or not. James goes on to say that De Valera was set to be there at three O Clock and they set the bomb for the wrong three O Clock and the bomb went off prematurely. He speaks of Jerry Madden who came from a Republican family and who lost an eye and a leg who died up to a few years ago. He speaks about how you would see Tom Barry, the Old IRA commander around. He sassy if Tom Barry around you wouldn’t say anything to him. Tom says he would see him around town drinking. He says Tom Barry’s wife used to be in the Red Cross with Helen, Toms sister. He says he doesn’t think Tom Barry wouldn’t discuss anything about the War Of Independence or anything like that, he thinks he would be private. Tom never spoke to him himself but he remembers seeing him around and fellows saying that’s Tom Barry. He says he works for the Vincent De Paul and he goes down to West Cork a lot and he says you can see how its great terrain for mounting an ambush. A discussion follows where James says he’s from East Cork, Youghal.

1.02.05 - 1.13.40

Wren Boys on St Stephens Day. His cousins the Colemans in Halfway. Martin Coleman Cork hurler. The Coleman’s petrol station and post office in Halfway. How rural areas are in decline. The Wren Boys outfits, how they hardly ever came around in the city. Trick Or Treating on Halloween. How they never went beyond the traffic lights when they were young. The dump. “The Dumpa”. How they used to play in this. How recycling has taken over. The old city dump. How travellers used to be there collecting stuff. The travellers in Black Ash. Old barrel top caravans. A place in Blarney that would hire them out to tourists. A traveller man who would come and fix his grandmothers pots. How industrial farming and the Traveller Act brought in by Charley Haughey. Toms Grandfather Jerimiah Falvey who worked down the docks and died in 1946. Tom’s uncle Derry. How Toms family lived for a while on Grand Parade and his older brother was born there. How two uncles and two aunts lived locally. His aunt Kitty Falvey getting married. How people would stick to their own place then. Tom going up the Northside to play hurling against the under age Na Piarsaigh. He also mentions Brian Dillon’s up the Tank Field. Playing against the Glen. How there was a big rivalry between the Barr’s and Blackrock and the Glen. How one they would be all fighting and it’s more refined now. How you need rivalry in sport.

Cork versus Kilkenny 1972 his first All Ireland. Cork winning the football in 73. Pairc Ui Caoimh. The old Athletics Ground. Croagh Pairc. Thoughts on the upcoming Liam Miller testimonial match. The GAA ban on foreign sports. Story from James about how he played both rugby and GAA and the GAA changed the days of the training. Tom on how the Barr’s would have an awkward relationship with the soccer club Greenwood. Christy Cooney GAA president. Declan Dalton. Joe Deane.

Tom says there would have been Wren Boys around on St Stephens Day. He says he never did it himself but they would have called locally. He speaks of cousins in Halfway who were very into it. Tom’s family would visit them and they would come up once a year. He mentions Martin Coleman who played in goal for Cork hurling. His mother and his mother were sisters. They were very big into the Wren Boys in the country now. He says they would call once a year. They had a petrol station and a post office down there but there’s nothing there now he says. He speaks about how rural areas are being devastated. He says the Wren Boys would be wearing all kinds of things on their head and you’d be half afraid of them. He says they hardly ever came around in the city just a few young lads messing. He says they would trick or treat on Halloween. He says they wouldn’t have a bonfire locally on Halloween but some other places would. He says as young lads they wouldn’t be fighting with youths from other areas, he jokes they weren’t worth it. He says they never strayed beyond the traffic lights. He says they would be called in around nine O clock when they were around fifteen. He talks about The dump or “The Dumpa” as it was known locally. He says it would be all rats but nothing like the dumps now. He remembers the old city dump. He says now it’s all recycling. He says then there would be all beds and clothes thrown around and the travellers would be there loading their vans with stuff. He speaks of the travellers who would camp in Black Ash. He says he found them all right, they would be doing their own thing. He never went down to have a ride of the horses as he’d be afraid of a horse. He supposes some fellas would. He says there would be caravans parked down there. He recalls seeing the old barrel top caravans. He says there was a place in Blarney that would hire out these and they were very popular with tourists at one point but he supposes they wouldn’t be able to travel on the roads these days. He remembers a traveller coming around fixing his grandmothers pots and his grandmother would give him some money. A discussion follows on how they draw social welfare these days and how industrial farming has affected their lifestyle and also the Traveller Act brought in by Charley Haughey. He say when he was young they were fine. He says his grandmother is dead since 1966 so it was before that. He says his Grandfather Jerimiah died in 1946 when he was 63 and he worked down the docks. He had a bad heart. He had a son called Derry, Tom’s uncle. Tom says they lived in Pouladuff at first before moving to Ballypheane. Tom can’t remember any of his own time living in Bandon Road when he was young. He says his family lived prior to that on the Grand Parade where his older brother Jerry was born. He says his father lived in another house when they got that house when Tom’s mother died, the house he lives in now was his aunts house. He says his family lived at 220 and 223. He says there were two uncles and two aunts living locally then one Aunt Kitty got married, she is the mother of his cousin Eleanor Moore. He says then you kept to your own place.

Tom says that he himself would go up the Northside playing hurling against Na Piarsaigh underage and Brian Dillon’s up the Tank Field. He says other than that some people wouldn’t go outside their own road. He says he didn’t care about the fact that he was going up the Northside. It was like an outing going to play. They would be going playing against Na Piarsaigh, Mayfield, Brian Dillon’s plus the Glen and Blackrock and also Douglas. He says there was big rivalry between the Barr’s and the Glen and Blackrock. In the past they would be fighting and “having murder” but it’s more refined now. He says you have to have rivalry and it can’t be a gentleman’s game.

Tom says the first ALL-Ireland was in 1972 which was Cork and Kilkenny in hurling. He says Kilkenny won that. He says he went to see Cork win the football the following year. He went to loads of All Irelands after. He has been to the new Croagh Pairc as well as Pairc Ui Caoimh. He speaks about the old Athletic Park that was there before Pairc Ui Caoimh. He speaks about the newly built Pairc Ui Caoimh and compares it with Croaic Pairc. He speaks about the upcoming Liam Miller testimonial match which he thinks will be brilliant. He speaks about the foreign rules ban and about how they allowed Michael Jackson and American football. He says that when you see in a village the GAA pitch and the soccer pitch is better then you know they’re not cooperating. James tells a story of how he used to play rubgy and also GAA and that when the GAA found out they changed the day of training to coincide with it so he had to make a choice and choose rugby. Tom says the Barr’s would be like that with the soccer club Greenwood. He says Greenwood would be trying to help with the Barr’s would be awkward. He says the Barr’s haven’t won anything in years. James says since Christy Cooney took over as GAA president the money has been flying into the clubs. A discussion about Youghal follows and players such as Declan Dalton and Joe Deane are discussed. Tom says Joe Deane is a small man but tough.

1.13.50 - 1.18.33

More on Ballypheane. Pat Allen “Pat The Picket”. How he was a great character and was well loved by all. How he would dress up in outfits including as Santa. How he died of cancer. How he would have placards for every occasion. Another character called Donny Sutton from Tory Top Road. How Pat The Picket would be wearing a black bin. How he started protesting when he was young. Pat The Picket. Going to the Republican Plot in St Finbarr’s. A man who is involved in the volunteer pipe band. How in days gone by the priest or doctor would have done house calls but that’s no more.

James asks Tom about legendary stories about Ballypheane. Tom says that they never had much to do with Ballypheane. He does speak about the well known character. Pat Allen who was better known as Pat The Picket. He says he knew him well. He was a great character and people used to love him. If you had a grievance he was the man to go to. He would dress as Santa and all kinds of outfits. He says he was great for the community. Tom says he died of cancer and wouldn’t have been much older than himself. He thinks he had a brother who died as well. He would have a placard for every occasion. He speaks about another character called Donny Sutton from Tory Top Road. James talks about him that he’d be wearing all kinds of outfits like Sergeant Pepper and A Roman Centurion. Tom goes on to say that Pat The Pickett would be sometimes dressed in a black bin. Tom say Pat was always doing the picketing and protesting since his teens. Tom says he would be brought to court and the judge would say to fine him a pound. He would always be out the Republican Plot. He says they would never go to St Josephs Cemetery, always the Republican Plot in St Finbarrs and they would hear the marching band coming and they would go out with them, people would bring their children. He says not people go out now. He speaks about a man who is the volunteer pipe band, his name is Donie, he doesn’t know his surname.

He says there wouldn’t have been stations in the house, that would have been a country thing. He says in days gone by the priest or doctor would have called out to the grandmother but that sort of thing is gone by the board now, he says there’s no house call’s now.

The interview is brought to an end and Tom jokes that we’ll have to come back in ten years. end of interview.

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Interview Format



Cork Folklore Project, “Tom Falvey: Ballyphehane, Market Gardens,” accessed August 12, 2022,