Stories from Abroad

Stories from Abroad

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Home from the Bog

Late 1940’s Cavan, Ireland

Submitted by John J. Kennedy

In this late 1940’s photograph, I am pictured with my Father, Francie Kennedy as we returned from Rosie McGurran’s bog with a load of turf. Rosie McGurran’s bog was in the townland of Stranamorth, Blacklion in West Cavan, Ireland.

If you look closely you will notice that the donkey has a pair of creels on his back, which are packed full of turf. The creels were made locally with sally rods which were woven tightly together. Using a donkey with creels had many advantages because they were able to work in any type of ground; in most cases you would not dare bring a donkey and cart into a soft boggy cutaway or the wheels would sink. Because we did not have a bog of our own, my father paid Rosie McGurran a small fee each year for the use of her bog, which was located a few miles from our house. In some cases, a few loads of turf would be considered full payment for the year.   Read More



 Submitted by Edward P Fitzpatrick, MD

Eddie Fitzpatrick was born September 16,1927, the 9th of 11 children and the 8th son of Mary Fitzpatrick (nee Cullen), and Peter Fitzpatrick of Leglass, Glangevlin in west Cavan.  Eddie had two younger sisters, Mary Neary and Rose Maguire (d2017), an older sister Annie Sammon (d 2013), an older brother Michael died accidently while training a horse at 16 yrs of age.  From this family of 11, only his youngest sister Mary Neary is still with us.

Needless to say raising a family of 11 children at the foothills of the Cuilcagh Mountain was a tough and hardscrabble existence.  My father attended Tullycastle national school until the age of 13.  To make ends meet he and his brothers would cross into Northern Ireland, over the Cuilcagh mountain and smuggle flour and sugar in 30-40 pound bags, carrying these bags 7-8 miles over mountain terrain, so they could make a few shillings selling them in the free state.  After finishing school he was sent to work in Fermanagh for his oldest brother Paddy who had a small farm.  My dad worked there until he emigrated to the US at the age of 19 in 1947.  Read more...