Cleary, Thomas (Tommy)
Date of Birth: 7th May 1938
Place of Birth: Roche’s Terrace, Wexford
Date Interviewed: 13th November 2009
Summary: Tommy Cleary was the ninth child in the family – his father died four months before he was born. His mother would not give up her children and went to work in the family poultry business. Tommy describes in colourful detail the various jobs that had to be done – washing eggs for the UK market, killing and plucking chickens, turkeys and geese, collecting the feathers and valuable goose down – nothing was wasted. Kid goats were bought and killed and skinned. Tommy says goat meat was delicious and was sold directly to local customers. They kept pigs in the back garden in Roche’s Terrace and Tommy talks of the difficulties in persuading the pig to walk to the meat factory. He spent many years at sea and recalls a stormy night when the ferry ship Felicity had a near miss with another ship on the Irish sea – hundreds of lives could have been lost if a collision had taken place.