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Cassie flood – Nearing a Century A happy spirit, hard work and good food seem to be the ingredients for a long healthy life according to 94-year-old Cassie Flood of Deravoy, Monaghan. Cassie was born in Drumfurrer on 9 July 1899. Her father was James McKenna and her mother was Annie, nee McKenna. She had three sisters – Mary Ann, Ellie and Maggie, who died at the age of eight years. Her formal education was received at Bragan N.S. where Miss Maggie Coyle and Master Smyth were the teachers. The master was from Ballybay and he lodged in Coyle’s and then married the daughter of the house, who was his assistant teacher. Cassie has fond memories of her school days and great praise for her teachers. Walked To Her Confirmation Day Her vivid memory also recalls her Confirmation day when, dressed in white with a hat, she and her family walked out the road and met up with the Treanors and together on foot they went to Ballyoisin for the ceremony. Two girls on the day wore blue, while everyone else was in white. Her dress was specially made for her and it was a proud day for her. It was a long journey from Drumfurrer to Ballyoisin and feet were sore and tired when they arrived, but they got a lift home in Lawrence McKenna’s horse and cart. They stopped at Hueston’s Shop on the Broad Road for some sweets and biscuits as a treat. Then it was home, change the clothes and back to work. Christmas Was Frugal Santa always called at Christmas but not with the same lavishness as he might today. He might leave a little toy watch or penny doll. The family always had a special meal on Christmas Day though the turkey was always safe at McKenna’s – they usually had a ‘big fry-up’ and thoroughly enjoyed it after coming home from three Masses on Christmas morning. Expert With Needle In her early teens Cassie learned the art of crochet and lace making and became an expert. She discovered that there were many willing to purchase her products and she specialised in “The Rose and Shamrock pattern”. A neighbour, home from America, bought some and brought it back to the States with the result that lots of orders arrived and Cassie was more or less forced into full-time production. The extra money was very useful in the house and her parents kept pressure on her to complete so much each week. Every Sunday she walked to Fada Kane’s Shop in Killycorn and bought a long spool of thread for her lace making and it cost 6d. This usually did her for the week. A lace making class was held in Ballyoisin school. Cassie did not attend this but rather picked up the craft from her neighbours. Other local girls were involved in the same activity and so, at dark, they would gather into one of their homes, with their needles and thread – work away and chat away but were always home at 10 o’clock. During the slack days they might spend the whole day together producing the lace. If they did not keep at it, their parents would want to know why. These were very enjoyable days and she loved the company as well as the work. Hired Out Towards the end of her teens, she was hired out twice. The first time was just down the lane to a neighbour and she stopped at home. She began work each morning at 9 and finished at 9 at night – seven days a week. Her second placement was also near home, but she lived in. She helped with the milking, butter-making, making home-made bread and cooking, plus all the other household chores. She was never idle but enjoyed her work immensely. Cumann na mBan At this time too she joined Cumann na mBan. Jimmy McKenna (Charlie) and Pat McMeel (Jack) trained them. They held meetings and drill practice and prepared parcels of food and clothing to be sent to the prisoners. She remembers the Black and Tans and can recount stories relating to their activity. She with others could listen out for their lorries and warn people who needed to know that they were coming to the area. She had one very frightening experience when she walked into them alone on a dark night and they questioned her regarding her and others’ activities. Marriage Cassie’s best friend in those days was Cassie Carroll and they went everywhere together, but a man named Paddy Flood came into her life. Their friendship flourished on an on/off basis, though more on than off, and so on the 22nd February 1927 Cassie McKenna and Paddy Flood were married in Carrickroe Chapel by Fr Peter Kieran. James McKenna was bestman and Ellie was bridesmaid. Because of the rules of fasting, the ceremony was early that morning, after which the wedding party went to Flood’s of Ballyoisin for a beautiful breakfast. They had two cars to transport them – one belonged to McKennas (Masters) and the other to John Peter John, who was home from America. After the meal, they all went into a loft in Monaghan and had a drink and a dance. Bestman James played the accordion. Then it was back to Drumfurrer for dinner with all the neighbours and a party that went on till the ‘wee hours’. Paddy was from Deravoy but the bride and groom lived in Drumfurrer for a year or so before moving to Paddy’s home place where his sister Maggie lived. They had two children: Peggy, now McCaffrey, living in Toneygoney, Tydavnet, and Eugene RIP. Cassie herself almost died while pregnant with a third child and spent twelve weeks in Monaghan hospital. Sadly, she lost her baby and it took her some time getting back to good health. She was nursed at home by her sister. Paddy was a very well-known character in Monaghan and worked with the County Council. He died very suddenly in 1964 on the same date as his marriage, February 22nd. While Carrickroe Hall was being built Cassie provided the food for the workers. Johnny McKenna (Charlie) and the Edwards family from Goland were involved and husband Paddy helped out as well. Tea House When the hall, St Enda’s, opened, Senator Johnston began running dances in it. The crowd used to come from all over, from Scotstown, Tydavnet, Emyvale, Augher, and Clogher. Cassie set up a tea house in her home for the patrons. Crowds came for the tea and bread and willingly paid 1/ (one shilling) for it. Susie McKenna (Og) from Brackagh helped Cassie. After the dance the committee would come for their tea around 3am. Cassie always had home-made bread and potato bread for them. Indeed, her potato bread was much sought after and at Halloween she served delicious boxty. Cassie remembers the hullabaloo and cheering on the roads as the people went home from the dances. Close Friends Her son, Eugene, married Mary Teresa McGinley, from Eskra, Co Tyrone, in 1966 and brought his bride to live with Cassie. They immediately took to each other and became very close friends and lived more like sisters than mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Nine children were born – Patrick, Gene, Catherine (USA), Mary (London), Margaret, Fionnuala, Josephine, Eileen and Michael. Sadly Eugene, who was a very popular and well-loved member of the community, died after a short illness in 1986. His death was a severe blow to Cassie and the pain of his loss can be seen when she speaks of him, but she has a strong faith and a great trust in God, which helps her get on with life and care for those around her. Kept Youthful These days she is not as mobile as she was, but her mind is fully alert, kept youthful by the bubbly personalities of her grandchildren. It is obvious she loves them all dearly and takes a great interest in all their doings. However, when pressed, she admitted she had a soft spot for Gene, who is her godchild. She loves the ‘craic’ and while there’s company she’s the last to leave. No one who calls can leave without having a cup of tea and she will join them. As a conversationalist she is fully abreast with world news and is capable of expressing her opinion on any subject. She is an avid listener to news programmes and documentaries. She loves the radio and some television programmes. Apart from current affairs she watches “Glenroe” and ‘The Street’. Her daily paper is a must, which she reads from front to back, and takes particular interest in Gaelic games. She was delighted with “Sam’s” three visits to Ulster recently, but the Derry victory was particularly sweet. Special When in Cassie Flood’s company you can feel the sense of happiness and she exudes brightness and vitality. When asked, she will tell you that her childhood was a happy one, she was a happy teenager, she had a very happy marriage, and she is still very happy. You leave her, knowing that you have been in the company of someone special and our wish for her is many more years of happiness and health. Peadar McMahon (31/12/1993).
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All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Cassie flood – Nearing a Century A happy spirit, hard work and good food seem to be the ingredients for a long healthy life according to 94- year-old Cassie Flood of Deravoy, Monaghan. Cassie was born in Drumfurrer on 9 July 1899. Her father was James McKenna and her mother was Annie, nee McKenna. She had three sisters – Mary Ann, Ellie and Maggie, who died at the age of eight years. Her formal education was received at Bragan N.S. where Miss Maggie Coyle and Master Smyth were the teachers. The master was from Ballybay and he lodged in Coyle’s and then married the daughter of the house, who was his assistant teacher. Cassie has fond memories of her school days and great praise for her teachers. Walked To Her Confirmation Day Her vivid memory also recalls her Confirmation day when, dressed in white with a hat, she and her family walked out the road and met up with the Treanors and together on foot they went to Ballyoisin for the ceremony. Two girls on the day wore blue, while everyone else was in white. Her dress was specially made for her and it was a proud day for her. It was a long journey from Drumfurrer to Ballyoisin and feet were sore and tired when they arrived, but they got a lift home in Lawrence McKenna’s horse and cart. They stopped at Hueston’s Shop on the Broad Road for some sweets and biscuits as a treat. Then it was home, change the clothes and back to work. Christmas Was Frugal Santa always called at Christmas but not with the same lavishness as he might today. He might leave a little toy watch or penny doll. The family always had a special meal on Christmas Day though the turkey was always safe at McKenna’s – they usually had a ‘big fry-up’ and thoroughly enjoyed it after coming home from three Masses on Christmas morning. Expert With Needle In her early teens Cassie learned the art of crochet and lace making and became an expert. She discovered that there were many willing to purchase her products and she specialised in “The Rose and Shamrock pattern”. A neighbour, home from America, bought some and brought it back to the States with the result that lots of orders arrived and Cassie was more or less forced into full-time production. The extra money was very useful in the house and her parents kept pressure on her to complete so much each week. Every Sunday she walked to Fada Kane’s Shop in Killycorn and bought a long spool of thread for her lace making and it cost 6d. This usually did her for the week. A lace making class was held in Ballyoisin school. Cassie did not attend this but rather picked up the craft from her neighbours. Other local girls were involved in the same activity and so, at dark, they would gather into one of their homes, with their needles and thread – work away and chat away but were always home at 10 o’clock. During the slack days they might spend the whole day together producing the lace. If they did not keep at it, their parents would want to know why. These were very enjoyable days and she loved the company as well as the work. Hired Out Towards the end of her teens, she was hired out twice. The first time was just down the lane to a neighbour and she stopped at home. She began work each morning at 9 and finished at 9 at night – seven days a week. Her second placement was also near home, but she lived in. She helped with the milking, butter- making, making home-made bread and cooking, plus all the other household chores. She was never idle but enjoyed her work immensely. Cumann na mBan At this time too she joined Cumann na mBan. Jimmy McKenna (Charlie) and Pat McMeel (Jack) trained them. They held meetings and drill practice and prepared parcels of food and clothing to be sent to the prisoners. She remembers the Black and Tans and can recount stories relating to their activity. She with others could listen out for their lorries and warn people who needed to know that they were coming to the area. She had one very frightening experience when she walked into them alone on a dark night and they questioned her regarding her and others’ activities. Marriage Cassie’s best friend in those days was Cassie Carroll and they went everywhere together, but a man named Paddy Flood came into her life. Their friendship flourished on an on/off basis, though more on than off, and so on the 22nd February 1927 Cassie McKenna and Paddy Flood were married in Carrickroe Chapel by Fr Peter Kieran. James McKenna was bestman and Ellie was bridesmaid. Because of the rules of fasting, the ceremony was early that morning, after which the wedding party went to Flood’s of Ballyoisin for a beautiful breakfast. They had two cars to transport them – one belonged to McKennas (Masters) and the other to John Peter John, who was home from America. After the meal, they all went into a loft in Monaghan and had a drink and a dance. Bestman James played the accordion. Then it was back to Drumfurrer for dinner with all the neighbours and a party that went on till the ‘wee hours’. Paddy was from Deravoy but the bride and groom lived in Drumfurrer for a year or so before moving to Paddy’s home place where his sister Maggie lived. They had two children: Peggy, now McCaffrey, living in Toneygoney, Tydavnet, and Eugene RIP. Cassie herself almost died while pregnant with a third child and spent twelve weeks in Monaghan hospital. Sadly, she lost her baby and it took her some time getting back to good health. She was nursed at home by her sister. Paddy was a very well-known character in Monaghan and worked with the County Council. He died very suddenly in 1964 on the same date as his marriage, February 22nd. While Carrickroe Hall was being built Cassie provided the food for the workers. Johnny McKenna (Charlie) and the Edwards family from Goland were involved and husband Paddy helped out as well. Tea House When the hall, St Enda’s, opened, Senator Johnston began running dances in it. The crowd used to come from all over, from Scotstown, Tydavnet, Emyvale, Augher, and Clogher. Cassie set up a tea house in her home for the patrons. Crowds came for the tea and bread and willingly paid 1/ (one shilling) for it. Susie McKenna (Og) from Brackagh helped Cassie. After the dance the committee would come for their tea around 3am. Cassie always had home-made bread and potato bread for them. Indeed, her potato bread was much sought after and at Halloween she served delicious boxty. Cassie remembers the hullabaloo and cheering on the roads as the people went home from the dances. Close Friends Her son, Eugene, married Mary Teresa McGinley, from Eskra, Co Tyrone, in 1966 and brought his bride to live with Cassie. They immediately took to each other and became very close friends and lived more like sisters than mother-in-law and daughter-in- law. Nine children were born – Patrick, Gene, Catherine (USA), Mary (London), Margaret, Fionnuala, Josephine, Eileen and Michael. Sadly Eugene, who was a very popular and well-loved member of the community, died after a short illness in 1986. His death was a severe blow to Cassie and the pain of his loss can be seen when she speaks of him, but she has a strong faith and a great trust in God, which helps her get on with life and care for those around her. Kept Youthful These days she is not as mobile as she was, but her mind is fully alert, kept youthful by the bubbly personalities of her grandchildren. It is obvious she loves them all dearly and takes a great interest in all their doings. However, when pressed, she admitted she had a soft spot for Gene, who is her godchild. She loves the ‘craic’ and while there’s company she’s the last to leave. No one who calls can leave without having a cup of tea and she will join them. As a conversationalist she is fully abreast with world news and is capable of expressing her opinion on any subject. She is an avid listener to news programmes and documentaries. She loves the radio and some television programmes. Apart from current affairs she watches “Glenroe” and ‘The Street’. Her daily paper is a must, which she reads from front to back, and takes particular interest in Gaelic games. She was delighted with “Sam’s” three visits to Ulster recently, but the Derry victory was particularly sweet. Special When in Cassie Flood’s company you can feel the sense of happiness and she exudes brightness and vitality. When asked, she will tell you that her childhood was a happy one, she was a happy teenager, she had a very happy marriage, and she is still very happy. You leave her, knowing that you have been in the company of someone special and our wish for her is many more years of happiness and health. Peadar McMahon (31/12/1993).
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