Delia Henry Memoirs, Charlestown in co. Mayo

Friends

Now, I would like to step outside the School environ and write about neighbours and friends.

One very dear and important lady in our village was Maire Sheain, the local tailor's wife. She was small in stature, rotund, but not over stout, snow white hair, which was always shining and clean, with a nice apron over her dark clothes, the usual colour for married ladies. She was what was referred to then as stone deaf.

She filled the important role of Midwife for the area, until a local girl qualified in the late 1919's. The local area being Killaturley and Barnacogue. No one ever heard her complain of her malady, which occurred in her middle age. She was always in good humour and full of fun and laughter. To put her point home she would poke the listener with her clean fat hands.

The house consisted of two rooms and like the "Old woman of the Roads" she had a dresser full of shining delph, which she washed monthly. She also catered for a family.

I remember seeing the Tailor sitting cross legged on the kitchen table, doing some hand sewing and was delighted to take the spools when the thread had been used.

In our kitchen there was a line of new spools on wire from wall to wall on which clothes, when ironed, were laid across to air. This was of course long before the hotpress era.

© Delia Henry 2002 Cathal Henry