This article is based on part of the diary of Patrick McMahon, a Sixmilebridge, Co.Clare man who returned to his native place on a holiday in 1888, after thirty-four successful years in Sydney. During his year long holiday he kept a daily diary, and his entries give us some interesting sidelights on life in Limerick city and county as it was just a century ago. Patrick McMahon was born on 28th April, 1831, in Clounteen about one and a half miles outside Sixmilebridge on the Newmarket-on-Fergus road and about eight miles from the city of Limerick. He was baptised in the Roman Catholic Church at Sixmilebridge three days later on 1st May.
He had one brother, Timothy, and seven sisters. His father, also named Patrick, had originally come from Ballyroe,a townland between Oatfield and Sixmilebridge. Later Patrick McMahon was to recall the great storm which struck Ireland on 6th January, 1839, which was ever afterwards referred to as ‘the night of the big wind.’
In 1840 he went to school; his first teacher was Pat Slattery, and he was also taught by James Quigley. He records that in 1843 he was attending Mr. Slattery’s school which was then held in Kilmurry Church.
Read full article wirtten by Bill McInerney (Limerick and Kilmurry)