Thursday, 25 September 2014

Couldn't have wished for better

I was born in a one-room hut in 1935. What kind of upbringing did I have? Brilliant -- couldn't have wished for better. No electricity, no running water, no central heating, no indoor toilet.

Under any circumstances, it would be a great youth -- we got to spend a lot of time with my mother and father, and they were disciplinarians, so we always had to be on our best behaviour. Yet we had total freedom to run around.

We used to play hurling, as Irish children still do -- but what we used to call hurling was a kind of guerilla warfare; when two teams met there were terrible rows.

I didn't think I'd reach this age, I've reached my sell-by date. I wouldn't want it to be too long; modern medicine keeps you alive far longer than life has meaning.

-- memories of miner Tom Shaw, recorded in 2010.  Photo courtesy of

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