Anna Ní Fhicheallaigh (c1842–1931) of Crumpaun, Glenade, Co Leitrim
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Although this speaker lived in Connachta, we include information about her, since North Leitrim — like Gleann Ghaibhleann — belongs to the Breifne dialect area. She was recorded at University College Galway on 13 September 1930.
According to the information recorded on the Doegen speaker questionnaire in September 1930, Anna Feely was born at Clocheach (recte Cloichreach ?), Glenade, 85–90 years earlier. Her father was a farmer from Clocheach and her mother came from Learga na bhFeadóg. In response to questions, the speaker stated that she spent all her life in Glenade. She did not attend school. She gave no occupation. Irish was her mother language, and she could also speak English. She could not read or write.
Mrs Feely was born Nancy Gilroy (stressed on the second syllable of the surname), and this is how she continued to be known locally. She was also known, it appears, as Nancy Brian Tom. She married Bryan Feely on 1874/01/08 (church records). Births registered to the couple included Mary (1875), Bryan (1877), Bridget (1879), Patrick (1882) and James (1887).
The family lived in the townland of Crumpaun, in the district electoral division of Aghalateeve. In 1901, there was Bryan Feehily (50), wife Anne (45), and sons James (13) and Cormac (11). In 1911, there was Bryan Feely (69), wife Nancy (69), son James (25) and grandson Edward McTernan (5); the marriage of Bryan and Nancy had taken place 37 years before, and six of the seven children were still living in 1911. James (or Jimmy Briney Red) was to be the last surviving local member of the family. Cormac went to America in 1913, aged 21, to his sister Mrs Kate McDermott in New York.
Nancy Gilroy was well known to Tomás Ó Máille, who mentions her twice in An Béal Beo, on page 5 — Anna Níc Ghiolla Ruaidh — and page 89. Professor Ó Máille was the leading organizer of the Connacht Doegen speakers.
Nancy Gilroy died on 1931/11/01 at the stated age of 87. She is most likely buried at Conwall in Glenade. Her husband Bryan pre-deceased her on 1916/02/27 at the stated age of 68.
Thanks are due to Willie Joe Clancy, Glenade, for much of this information.
Recent references to Nancy Gilroy include:
Tomás Ó Máille, An Béal Beo, 1936, pp 5, 89.
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