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Thursday 25 May 2017

Step back in time as young student discusses Curry life in '39

Tubbercurry Talk

Emma Gallagher

The national school scene of the late 1930s before the outbreak of World War 2 was a completely different one to today's. The internet, computers and instant messaging were decades away and instead agriculture, electricity or lack thereof and emigration were among the talking points of the local community.

A local man in Curry recently discovered an essay written by a young student of Curry N.S on July 4th, 1939. James McGuinn said the essay is a brilliant insight into what life was like in rural Ireland at the time.

He added: "Michael H Gallagher was a pupil in Curry Boys School in the thirties. The following essay was written by him in 1939, this was eight weeks before the start of World War 2," James points out.

Michael's synopsis of Curry life during that time portrays a strong sense of community, where the local church, shops, school and garda station played a central role. One of the major changes is the now silent railway. Michael depicted a bustling railway station in the south Sligo village, where eight trains would pass every single day.

The young student writes in 'My Parish': The name of my parish is Curry. It got that name from the amount of bogs all around it. The Coarse river runs through the village. There are seven schools in the parish, namely two in Cloonagh, two in Curry village, one in Broher and two in Moylough. The two schools of Curry are bigger than the other five. There are two churches, Curry and Moylough. We have two priests, a parish priest and a curate. There is a railway station in Curry where people purchase tickets when they are going on a train journey. Eight trains run through the parish every day of the year, three in the morning, two at dinner time and three in the evening.

People emigrating to America and England from this area usually get the train in Curry. Those emigrating to England generally return but those going to America seldom do. Many young people emigrate to England when they are fifteen or sixteen years old. Three young men from the parish were killed in accidents in England last year.

There are four guards in Curry of which Sergeant McCann is in charge. There is electric light in the village but not throughout the parish. There is a small number of shops in the village, grocery shops, public houses, a post office and one butcher's shop open only at weekends. Nearly every townland has a small shop and some have even two.

Sligo Champion

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