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Padraic Mulligan

Interviewed by Diarmuid Mulligan

Diarmuid: How long have you lived in the area?
Padraic: 62 years.

Diarmuid: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Padraic: I remember all the summers working outside, saving the hay, the freedom of being out on the land, and my cousins coming home from America and good times with them. I remember picking fruit with a neighbour of mine P Reilly. Lord have mercy on him down the lane, picking strawberries. I picked 14 stone at half a crown (in old money), per stone. I had one pound thirty pence for my day’s work, which was a lot of money. I wanted to buy new football boots. The fruit was then put in barrels with acid preservative and was sent to Lairds in Drumshanbo – their label was ‘Bo-Peep’.

Diarmuid: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Padraic: All my friends had to go away to America, Australia, or Canada. It was a problem for the football teams here. Now a lot of people have set up businesses here in the parish. All around here are tradesmen and they have their own businesses.

Diarmuid: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Padraic: Talking to people, meeting neighbours on the lane, and chatting on the phone helped me get through. Being with my family, working on the farm- all these things helped me get through lockdown. My family gives me joy.

Diarmuid: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Padraic: Community is your neighbours, the area you’re from, your football team, the characters and the people that you’re meeting daily. To stay connected, I go to the mart in Carrigallen and I go to the pub- Pat Murtagh’s in Arva and Eamon Gray’s Hotel. I’m bringing my three boys and their friend Zaza to a family funeral in Kerry today. I went with my wife and the boys to Gulladoo for a swim in the freezing cold lake – they loved it! I visited my mother-in-law Peggy afterwards with them. I ring my brothers and sisters and stay in contact with them.

Diarmuid: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Padraic: There’s a great future for the area, especially with the internet. The brains of the area should get together and try to work out a way to keep the young people here. Believe in yourself.

Shown below is Diarmuid’s creative response to his interview with Padraic- a drawing of the Netflix logo with a keyboard.