People of the Wild Atlantic Way –
Nora Barry – Bantry, West Cork.
‘I was born on a farm about ten miles from Bantry in a valley called Cappabue North. To get to school in Cappabue South we had to cross over a mountain, which we did twice a day, forty minutes there and back in our bare feet in all kinds of weather including rain and storms. Thunder and lighting would be the only thing that might stop us. If an inspector or priest was visiting the school we would bring our shoes in our bags and put them on when we got there.
When we returned from school we were expected to help out on the farm, bringing the cows home to be milked and other jobs. Depending on the time of year and if the weather was good we would work in the bog, stacking and turning turf to dry before bringing it home by horse and cart.
There was no electricity, my mother would cook on an open fire using a bastible pot to bake bread and cakes or roast a chicken. Summer would bring the smell of new mown hay and time off school, we were free to roam, there was a river down at the back of the farm where we would paddle and swim. The highlights of the year were the Threshing, Wren Balls and the Stations.
We lived in a community of farms, everybody was in the same boat, nobody begrudged anybody anything and were happy for each other. We had an idyllic childhood and were happy and healthy and would rarely see a doctor.’