Longford town. Parents Thomas Farrell 'Ferefad & Margaret 'Monnie' Farrell Nee Tierney (Delvin). You ever hear of that book 'Valley Of The Squinted Windows', that was about Delvin, where Margaret is from. Infamous for talking about a general generic village in Ireland, but obviously was about Delvin because of geographical landmarks talked about.
I went to School Convent, The boys school, St Michael's, then on to the tech, I had a chance, to go to St Mels, I received a scholarship, but I didn't take it up,had to stay on with Willie Glennon, but got very bored and decided to go to the tech in the end. Can i say both my parents were twins, but no Twins as yet with mine or grand kids. But yeah they were both twins, mothers twin was a priest, and my fathers sister, only passed away recently, she was 105 years old. I Grew up in Killashe street Longford town. I did tiling after school, with a Frank Lulham, for a few years, before i went to Quinco, where Credit Union is now. Used to be a big general store like a supermarket before the new supermarkets came. sold everything form a needle to an anchor. MacManus used to own the fruit and vegetable, and delivered hug amounts of foods, that we use to sell daily by the tonne, and you could buy broken biscuits, there would always be packs that got smashed, sold them buy the weight. You wouldn't believe it now, but Longford was a hive for work for shops for pubs it was such a busy busy place. We sold in seasons, when tomato's came in we sold a tonne a day. I started in general terms before working up to buyer for Quinco. I remember I used to have to clean the windows everyday, no matter the weather. One day i was doing the windows, it was so heavy with rain, I went up to the manager. I said about the rain, being so heavy it was pointless, and he said 'Its a good habit to keep in' when I moved up the ladder I was made sure the next worker did it.but one day I was cleaning the windows when I noticed the business next door a hardware store. The windows looked a but grimy, I just thought why not had half hour to spare gave them a rub, and the John Quinn came out and thanked me and gave me a pound, a pound. I was on 7 pound a week back then, I cleaned them whenever I could, after that. It was hard work, but good work, I remember the cray, when a horse and cart pulled up to the side, I would have to pull the cray like an ass, was like one of them things you see in old films, when you get off a train, like a trolley full of suitcases. That would be so full of product I had to pull and unload, the sweets were the worst, had to store them up the top of the stairs. The owners Nephew, opened up the first Quinnworths, in Stillorgan I believe it was, Dont know of you remember Quinnsworth, was the big shopping center before Tescos took them over, we had one in town, where Mollaghans furniture place is now beside the train station.
Longford was a great place always busy even the night life, where i met herself, Kathleen Dolan, originally from outside of Edgeworthstown. Met her at the Longford Arms dancing nights. we had Longford arms the Annally hotel, Kelly's was a great spot too. Kellys I remember talking to a English gent, was his first time in Ireland , he was saying how amazing it was. You could fall out of one bar and into another without getting wet, where he lived in England you had to travel quite a distance. There was 56 busy pubs back then.When I worked in Quinnco, the volume of glasses we supplied was enormous, on a rental basis, they paid whatever, and paid full for what ever they broke, the amount was a very large amount. And when I was a young still at school, there was a mart held every first Mon of the month in town. Where Boots is now in the Town, used to be Kanes pub and Joe Rileys I used to get half a Crown, for cleaning up all the shite and dirt. But to explain half a crown was like 30 penneys. The Aldephi cinema or picture house, used to be where Aldi is now. Used to be a very big building but only one screen, but the seating was in three sections, first section The pit was wooden benches cheap and the best of crack, You could smoke etc, the middle seats good average seats were 1 and 9 pence, and if you had a girl with you and wanted to show off, you had a back section doubles seats, they cost 2 and 6 pence. I could have went to the cinema for a week on the half a crown. There was a place where you could go to buy loose fags, a tiny shop up the alley on Dublin street across form Milos now, where i think it was Miss Mac Dermott, used to sell them loose, and if you bought two you would get a free match. Not a stones throw away from where i grew up on Kilashee street, now Annally park, in between both was a Bakery and a blacksmiths. Toss pit you could see on a sat eve or Sunday morning, also the bakery, Welches. I remember being sent to get fresh bread, was so fresh was still hot, gave you brown paper bag, to keep it clean and from getting burnt. everybody was working them times, there was no greed. Their was a restaurant there also a miss Mangan ran it, a very simple restaurant but always busy, for worker, spuds veg and meat, nothing fancy nothing special but always busy. Frank Casey, from Keenagh, on Kilashee street where Butchers is now. Was a butcher who killed his own, Miss Mangan that ran the restaurant down the road, would send me up to get 5/6 pound of good frying steak. I would just say its for Miss Mangan, 'I know I know' I would bring it to her she would check quality of it by sticking her finger or thumb in it knowing how good it was. At times when it wasn't good enough to tough maybe, bring it back. Talking about my own life, I went on to work for Jimmy Mullingan, where I worked for 27 years or more. He had a tire place just down from where Tom O'Briens shop was in Teffia across from greyhound stadium is, now its Q&T grocery shop . Not only did we do tires, on weekends for a time myself and Jimmy went on to do a chip van. We couldn't keep up with demand we were so busy., outside of Longford Arms after dances, thousand people, we ran out of chips sometimes was so busy. Retirement now, spend most of my time reading and cooking. but have many fond memories, like when Electric first came, to countryside. The Germans brought it, with technician, but all it was a big generator outside of town. Was only lights at the time, there was no kettles or showers, I used to spend my time in my grans our in Ferefad on school holidays. was late 50s when the electric, came, I remember my gran would when it got dark we would be reading she would switch of the electric and put on the oil lamps on the wall lit by kerosene. what are you doing gran, haven't you electric 'You dont know what that is going to cost you'. You see she had paid for the kerosene already, it was an unknown, value. Used to be traveling shops, too.Came to my grans who would give the man any excess foodstuff, eggs etc for flour raisins currents etc. A neighbor of my grans if i remember correctly, had an ass and car, and would go into town to do his shopping, in Franky Woods place. Where Louis Herterich is now, the alley that led into a stable yard, he would go in and tie up the ass, give a bit of hay. do his shopping and go and get drunk, he was a big man over six foot three, the cart was very small, but he would fall into his cart, and is told the ass would shake his head and bring him home to the front door. we had a horse and cart too, and every Sunday to mass we would go in it, it was gleaming the cart & horse I loved it. Every year, a tinker traveler, would come around and mend all sorts of pots and pans, to a ponger, a big metal two handed tin mug. they were a welcomed sight, and good workers too, never any trouble, they would even sleep in shed sometimes. They were great days, though a long way from days today'.
I asked Tom about what his philosophy is on life.,
You get nothing from nothing