was and is something very special to me. Just to enable you to get
your bearings and help your minds eye picture some of the places mentioned
on your section of the Loftus home page. Carradoogan lies in the foothils
of the Ox Mountains which form part of the borderline between Sligo
and Mayo. Dont imagine the Ox Mountains are like the Rockies, highest
point is about 1250 feet with Carradoogan at about 250 feet. The area
around is very poor ground many stones and rocks. Its a small village
only 7 occupied houses when I knew Pat and Honoria of the second family
of your great grandfather.
house closest to the mountain was the Walsh's-thats my family, 50
yards from these was Noone's (maybe the same Noone's as his first
wife), 10 more yards to the Loftus'ses, then 50 yards to the Mulownies,
then 300 yards to three houses very close together belongings to the
Slacks, The Murrays(maybe this was his second wife's family) and the
Barrats.The Loftus house still stands. I saw it three months ago!
Pat left his house and his farm to my cousin who has since taken
over the Walsh family farm and recently bought the farm and house
from Dominick Igoe who must be the great great grandson of Dominick
Noone! So the Walsh's own half of Carradoogan now!
so long ago, in my time (I'm 53) nothing much grew on the land it
was so poor, Potatoes, corn, hay, everybody kept one or two cows,
a few chickens, two sheepdogs (cannot remember the names of Pat's,
but he had two. One bitch who had a foul temper and one of her sons
who had an even fouler temper, if that was possible!) and lots of
sheep that ran wild on the Ox mountains and were only brought down
two or three times a year to be dipped and sheared.
is about 6 miles northwest of Ballina (thats on every map of Ireland).
1.75 miles West of Carradoogan) is the nearest village with a Church,
so all married in Attymass, Attymass is Big-all of 20 to 30 houses
with a Post Office (its closed now) and a Hotel (and it aint the
Hilton!) It sits on the edge of a lake called, yes you've guessed
it, Attymass Lake. Kigarvan, the cemetery is about 2.5 miles North
of Carradoogan, a very peaceful place, on the side of a hill in
the middle of nowhere, until recently,(its closed now) contained
all the remains of the people of Carradoogan, why they were buried
there I do'nt know cause there is a perfectly good graveyard in
Attymass!, My Grandfather and Grandmother are buried there, I went
there with my father to see the grave about three months ago (the
Irish are great for visiting graves!)
had not heard of a place named Cartron in Mayo until I looked at
an old map tonight and about 1.5 miles Northwest of Carradoogan
is a lake called Cartron Lake, must be the same place!
you know all about Carradoogan and its surrounds, Now The Loftus
House, In my youth it was a typical Irish Cottage, the ones you
see on the Post Cards, Whitewashed with a Thatched Roof, I can see
Pat now re-thatching a part of it perched on the end of an old wooden
ladder. Outside was the road, if you can call it a road, to the
side was a small barn which was separated from the house by a small
garden which ran around the rear of the house. Across the road was
where Pat kept his cart (he always had a Donkey) The Door was at
the end of the house and lead straight into a room that would be
about 10 by 15 foot, at the top of the room was a door that lead
off to a small bedroom. In the large Room was the usual open Turf
fire which everything was cooked on, and to the right a bed that
was in a kind of an alcove, it had a curtain drawn over it.
always though that Pat and Honrita were man and wife until once,
I must have been about ten, I heard them raising voices to each
other and on passing this "scandal" on to my Grandmother she started
to laugh and explained to me that they were brother and sister!
Honrita was know as Annie, or I assumed it was Annie, but on reflection
it was always pronounced "awn ee"
Pat and Honrita were diminutive, Pat would have been about 5'2,
Honrita about 5' but for all his lack of height he must have had
some spirit as at about the age of 25 he joined the army as a volunteer
to fight during the "Troubles", he rose to Sergeant and received
an army pension from the Irish Government.
was always smart, he alway, I think, wore a tie and outside the
house a flat cap and always but always carried a stick (except when
going to mass)
talked to himself a lot! and if I remember, when I overheard him,
his conversations were well peppered with swearwords! Maybe he had
rows with Honoria all the time and that was his way of getting rid
of the frustration, I find myself doing the same thing when my wife
and I have "words".
always wore what the Irish call a "pinny", how can I describe it,
like housecoat made of cotton that wrapped around one and was secured
at the back with two pieces of the material formed into a belt and
tied in a bow.
too was alway, as the English say, "spick and span" and she kept
here face powder in a large jar on the dresser and would apply this
liberally to here face with a large "puff" at frequent intervals,
it just looked like flour and when I pointed out to my grandmother
that Annie put flour on her face from a jar on the dresser, another
long laughing session took place until it was explained to me that
it was face powder, not flour!
talk to my Father and see if he can add any more stories, he spent
much time with Pat as it was the way, years ago, that all the men
from the Village went to England every year, as a gang, for about
two months, to work in the East of England during Harvest Time and
Potatoes Picking time and the money they earned then, which was
a fortune in Irish terms, kept the family for the rest of the year.
father emigrated to England and married my Mother who was from another
part of Mayo in 1940 and settled in an Industrial Town called Bolton
which is about 30 miles from Liverpool. There were no trees in Bolton
then, no wide open spaces, it must have been difficult for my Father
to come to terms with the place. I came along in 1943 and when I
was about 6 months I was shipped over to Carradoogan to escape the
bombs of Mr Hitler and stayed there with my Grandmother until 1946.
England we have a very long School holiday from Mid July till the
end of September and for these 6 weeks, from the age of 10, I would
travel over to Carradoogan, by myself ( I knew the way by then!)
and would spend my time running wild around the mountains, shearing
sheep, milking cows, feeding pig-God how I loved the place! how
different to my own Home town! My heart still flutters when I see
the place, but then again weren't the Irish always a romantic race.