The Museum of Old Irish Ways

The Museum of Old Irish Ways isn’t quite what you might imagine.  You won’t find any golden torcs there.  No bog bodies.  No leprechauns.  No John McCormack.

Museum of Old Irish Ways

What you will find is a collection of artifacts from the fifties, the sixties and some from earlier decades, that evoke an Ireland now slipping into memory.  An Ireland where nobody had a tv and few had a radio.  Where nobody had a mobile phone and only the well off had a landline.  An Ireland where people worked hard to earn a crust.  Anvils, bellows, blow-lamps, tobacco cutters, apple peelers, tractors, phone boxes, petrol pumps.   An entire classroom, where you can inspect actual copy books.  I wonder where Tom Hayes is now?  Leaving Certificate, 1946, Honours Mathematics.  Turn the pages: the binomial theorem.  Newton’s Method.  Trigonometry, integral calculus.  Tom would be about 85 now, an old rural-looking man, and so our stereotypes are blown to pieces.

Museum of Old Irish Ways

There’s a complete pub.  A pub with no beer, as the owner Blacky Connors confesses when I challenge him.

What?  No drink?

No drink, he says, though I was pretty good at leaning on a counter in my day.

These days, he’s turned his obsessional tendencies in a different direction, building an amazing museum of the mundane, of the things we took for granted in previous decades, and it’s not uniquely Irish either, which is nice.  Most of the branded products would be well-known to our British neighbours who lived a very similar life to ours in the old days.  Indeed, many of these products came from Britain, including the apple peeler from S Nye and CO of London, a mightily impressive implement and far more impressive than the spindly little gadget I bought last week.

BP.  Esso.  Maxol.  Castrol.

Massey-Ferguson.  Allis-Chalmers.

Berkel scales.

Rinso.  Cow & Gate.  Cadburys.

Museum of Old Irish Ways

Block-planes, blow-lamps, grease guns like my own father had.  Paraffin heaters.

Handmade tools like the blacksmith’s tongs, fashioned from old files and rasps.   Bellows.  Hammers.

No waste in the old Ireland.  It was a world of recycling.

Museum of Old Irish Ways

I’m astonished by this wonderful museum built by one man out of his own resources because he simply thinks he should.

Support him.  Donate things you have lying around.  Send him a few bob.  Help this man to do a wonderful service to our recent social history without a single penny of government support, simply because he thinks it’s a good thing to do, and because he’s a little bit obsessional about such matters.

Here’s his website: Museum of Old Irish Ways.

And here’s his Facebook page.





9 thoughts on “The Museum of Old Irish Ways

  1. I went to the Model School in the ’70s and we had desks just like those in the photo.

    The pub looks like a great place for a pint and a chat.

  2. Live near Blacky and his wonderful museum and it’s well worth a visit.a credit to him and his family.

  3. Aah, that small tin of Batchelors baked beans. Reminds me of bedsitter days as a student when I treated myself to exotic beans-on-toast after coming home from college lectures. Occasionally I garnished it with an overfried egg.

  4. Its a most wonderful place to go, unique and hidden from the beaten track, this step back in time will get all ages interested, from 7yr olds to 70yrs. To see how our parents, grandparents and even great grand parents got by with basic but inventive methods this is a must see…. and allow yourself 2 to 3 hours.

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