THE history behind one of the oldest areas in Ennis has been explored in the newest booklet to be launched by the Clare Roots Society. On Thursday, April 3 at 7pm at the Junction in Cloughleigh Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Mary Coote Ryan, will launch Clare Roots Society latest booklet on Cloughleigh.
The book entitled Old Cloughleigh Road has been edited by Kathleen Barry and Nora Shanahan and gives the historical background to the area.
The booklet shows that the original 33 Cloughleigh houses consisted of a mixture of thatched and galvanized roofs with two rooms and two windows and were subject to annual flooding. These were replaced in the mid 1950s with a new scheme of 24 houses costing £37,000 to construct, consisting of three bedrooms, with two bedrooms having fireplaces and a separate front sitting room, which had the advantage that it could be used as an additional bedroom for the larger families. The major advantage of these houses was the long garden.
The booklet lists all the inhabitants house by house. Both present and past residents reconstruct daily life and the conditions with regard to living in the area and activities that residents were associated with.
Pat Treacy who grew up in the area recalls the plucking of the geese and ducks and the value of collecting the feathers and payment received from Lane’s stores. Declan Coote recalls the ability to roam free and the freedom he had. We learn about the two iconic places in the area Dan McInerney’s and the Whitening Mill.
The Gilligan Family at No 5 were the only residents to have been housed from the Old Cloughleigh area.
Councillor Michael Guilfoyle tells of fond memories associated with ‘Hooker Halloran’ who gave advice to all on how to fish. Barbara O’ Loughlin recalls the effect immigration had on her family. Jean Cullinan tells us of the Games the children played in the area, marbles, hopscotch and skating in the winter. The storey of the Shiny Pennies is told by Carmel (Ryan) Holland while Luke Coote brings back memories of the Old Mill Street Harriers.
From the booklet we get an insight into the arrival of electricity and the subsequent purchase by households of televisions, washing machines, hoovers and freezers which all combined to make life easier for the mothers of the area. The first family in the area to get a house phone was the Woods family.
According to a spokesperson for Clare Roots Society, “The booklet gives us an insight into a time when everyone was self-sufficient and everybody helped everybody else in a time when no door was closed. It was a great time, a simple time, but a very good time.”