Landscape as Witness - Field Trip: Day 22
Taking advantage of the good weather, I decided to travel to Corofin to call into another person that I had been recommended to speak with. As it was on my way, I also made plans to stop into Kilnaboy to talk to somebody who was supposed to have great knowledge of the area. The route that I took passed through Creevagh, and led to an incredibly steep and windy track down to the main road. Although this was much faster than taking the road from Carron to Leamaneh, the steep decline wasn't ideal for the brakes on my bike that I am trying to preserve.
I didn't have an address for the man in Kilnaboy, so I proceeded to call into various houses around the village. Soon enough I was led to the brother of the man in question, and was pointed down the road to an old white cottage hidden amongst the undergrowth. The owner was indeed full of local knowledge, and was as equally fascinated with history as I was. The house he was living in was built during the 1700s, as was the forge built across the way. Both were in remarkable condition. He had been able to preserve the forge so that plenty of original tools were still on display inside, including a fully functioning bellows and two pike heads that were forged there for use in the 1798 rebellion. Although we arranged that I could drop in next week to record a conversation for my project, we ended up talking for over an hour about a variety of different topics, each one as engaging as the next.
I then continued on to Corofin, which was only a few kilometres down the road from the village of Kilnaboy. Again I hadn't been given a specific address, so I called into a local shop and was pointed in the right direction. Unfortunately the man that I had been hoping to talk to was currently of ill health, however his wife suggested that I leave my number and that they would ring me in order to organise a meeting at a later date. As I was about to leave she suggested that I visited the workhouse in Portumna, as it was still in excellent condition. She also mentioned that there was a talk on in Ballyvaughan on the 21st of August about the workhouses of the area, something that should be incredibly beneficial to my research.
As I made my way back to the research facility, I opted to stick to the main road rather than take on the hill up to Creevagh. As I was entering Carron once more, I remembered that I had been given the name of a farmer in the area to talk to about my project. Since I was passing by his house on my way back to the facility, I decided to call in. After explaining my research to him, he informed me that he wouldn't be able to assist me as that particular history was simply too far in the past for it to have been passed down to him .
Considering I have reached the halfway stage of this field trip, I will now be focusing more on the photographic aspect of the project for the remainder of my time here. I have two more recorded conversations lined up next week, one on Monday just outside Carron, and the other on Tuesday in Kilnaboy. Afterwards I feel that I will have obtained the locations of a sufficient number of constructions to photograph, for now. This is not to say that the oral history aspect of the project will not continue until the 31st of August. At the same time I am wary of the mistakes that I made during the last field trip, leaving the photography until the final week and therefore producing images that I felt weren't of a high enough standard. Hopefully I will be able to benefit from that experience over the coming weeks, and do justice to the history that I am hoping to document.