The following is taken from an manuscript documenting the memories of the late Johnny “Susan” Forker from Dunmore, Carrickfinn in his own words. It was compiled just before his death in 1993 aged 88 years.
A woman of note from Carrickfinn was the late Mary Ann Curran-she used to swing big parties. It was like a wedding, you had to be asked by invitation- two to every house. Often there was uproar when people were left out.
Shopkeepers from Gweedore like Coopers, Devines and Keowns came. From Calhame, men like the late Hughie “Dhoimnic” Sharkey Bunaman known as Sharkey Mhór, John Sharkey from Mullaghduff-a noted step dancer, and his brother Brian he used to sing, and lots of ladies came too. High tea was served and they danced until dawn. Two other important men who came were Hugh Boyd and his brother Johnnie from Carrickfinn; great sportsmen they were for dancing and singing. It makes me sad now to think of the great times we had. My brothers and my cousins were only small at the time and we used to go over to the party and peep in the door. The old man, Neddie, used to let us in so we got some of the spoil. I am sorry for the young people of today they haven’t this kind of past time. Another man who attended Mary Ann’s party was big Tim Rodgers from Bunaman. I remember seeing him dance a step dance on the floor and also seeing Brian Sharkey
singing on top of the old stone wall as night began to fall. Every townland made their own past time. I would say I am the only person left who remembers that night. We had no television than but we enjoyed ourselves all the same.
Mr Richard Given was the school teacher who lived in Carrickfinn. He was from Loughros Point. He married a woman from Carnbouy
Fanny Ann Boyd, a sister of Johnnie Richard’s. They had one son Willie who died at an early age. He often came down to visit us in the winter time as we were all about the same age. A nice quiet lad but like a lot of the young men at the time they died at a young age. We did not get the same medicine or treatment that is going today.
A lot of the old names that were in Carrickfinn are now gone-Givens, Alcorns, John Fosters, Andy DeWards
the Boyd family who lived on the hill-Jimmy Hughies.
The Carrickfinn folk were a close knit community. They always worked together-cutting the turf and thatching the houses. A man from Carnbouy names Richard John Dickie said that there were two days you should not spare yourself-the day you cut your turf and the day you were thatching your home, for the whole year depended on those two day-wise words.
by the late Johnny Forker (1906-1993)
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