Béal Beo

Recordings from the National Folklore Collection


Dudley Folan (aged 60), of Derrygimlagh, Co. Galway.
Proinnsias de Búrca, Irish Folkore Commission, 27 April 1953.
1:16" to 2:59"
Ediphone_152, NFC 1322:37 (Cylinder 105(b))

A revealing account of the construction of the Marconi radio station outside Clifden, in 1905, told by Dudley Folan, Derrygimlagh, Co. Galway in 1953.


In nineteen hundred and five I remember Marconi wireless telegram started here in Conamara and during that time when it started four hundred and seven men in it. They started and making the railway up to the Marconi Station from the public road. People at them times they hadn't clocks much nor timepieces. What they generally used to go by, is by the tide and by cock crowing in the morning. And some of them used to be sleeping along the public road, and along waiting at the Station where the job was to start for they might be there around four o'clock in the morning. Otherwise they'd have to stop there and wait until the hooter blew at seven o'clock in the morning. Those people who was doing this work on the Marconi Station at them times they used to come at upwards of six, and seven or eight miles of a walk in the morning for them from a place called Errisbeg, Roundstone, Calla, Clifden, and even from Ballynahinch. And they used to have to come all these mornings through mountains and upwards of three, four miles, five miles on to six and seven miles walking in the morning and travelling three, four hours before the real time when they'd have to leave home. Wet and all this, they generally worked in drains and bogs, with the dark of the winter's morning and the dark of the winter's night going home.

Seán Ó Raghallaigh, Oiligh, Iorras, Co. Mayo, 1955.

Seán Ó Raghallaigh, Oiligh, Iorras, Co. Mayo, 1955.