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Elaine Johnson

‘Tríocha bliain ó shin a tháinig mé anseo, i 1985. Bhi sé difriúil. Tá dá clann Johnsons ar an mbaile agus bhí aon duine dhéag sa dá chlann, beirt is fiche idir an dá chlann. Bhíodar ar fad ag gabháil leis an bhradáin — bhí suas le 30 bád sa bhá. Bhí siad ag teacht ón Daingin, fiú amháin Cromán.

‘Nuair a bheadh an iascaireacht ann bhí se comh cúramach. Bhí buzz milteach ann. Bhí ana bheocht san áit. Nuair a thagas na iascairi isteach istoiche, bheadh fhios agat dá mbeadh ana chuid iasc ar an mbád. Nuair a cifá bád ag teacht to dtí an gcé, ana comhartha ab ea é. Bheadh an chuid éisc acu. Bhí siad comh sásta.

‘Nuair a thainig ar an mbaile ar dtús, bhí an seana cleas anseo. Mo athair céile Tommy Johnson, Michael Johnson in Oifig an Phoist. Bhí Jim Begley and Mary Begley i Tigh Begley. Bhí Johnny Frank Ó Suilleabháin nach mór imithe ach bhí aithne agam air. Bhí Boycey, siar ag a bPointe - carachtéir ab ea é. Bhí Paddy Gloster ann — Bobby a glaotar ar. Bhí gaol agam féin le sin.

‘Nuair at a tú ag maireachtaint in áit mar seo, páirt don maireachtaint timpeall na imeacht go dtí an siopa 20 babhta sa lá. Is minic a deireadh Phil Johnson domsa near theadhsa isteach — cé mhéid babtha atá tú tagtha isteach anois. Sin an fáilte a bheadh aici romham.’

‘I came here 35 years ago, in 1985. It was different. There are two families of Johnsons in the village and there were 11 in each family, 22 between the two families. They were all involved in salmon fishing. There were up to 30 boats in the bay and they were coming from Dingle, even from Cromane.

 

‘When the fishing was there it was so busy. There was an unbelievable buzz. There was great life in the place. When the fisherment would come in at night, you would know if they had a lot of fish aboard. A great sign was when a boat would come to the quay — they’d have a big catch. They’d be so happy.

 

‘When I came here first the old crowd were here. My father-in-law Tommy Johnson, Michael Johnson in the Post Office. Jim Begley and Mary Begley in Tigh Beaglaoich. Johnny Frank Sullivan was more or less gone, but I knew him. Boycey was back at the Point — he was a right character. Paddy Gloster was another — Bobby he was called. I was related to him myself.

'When you are living in a place like Baile na nGall, part of living was going to the shop 20 times a day. Often when I'd go in Phill Johnson  would say "how many times have you been in now". That's the welcome she'd have for me.'