Cleere, Thomas James (Tommy)
Date of Birth: 8th December 1930
Place of Birth: Coolanick, Oylgate, Co. Wexford
Date Interviewed: 15th October 2008
Summary: Tommy Cleere remembers attending Oylgate N.S. where 3 teachers were in charge of 80 to 90 children. He left school at 14 and went to work on the family farm. He describes how his mother was rarely out of the kitchen and tells how a pig would be butchered and pickled to feed the family for a few months. Tommy talks of the historic connection between Oylgate village and the Power family. The cottages in the village housed workers who, when they were not working in Power’s Distillery in Dublin, would supplement their income catching salmon in the Slaney. The current Post Office in Oylgate was originally Lady Power’s stables. Tommy talks of how he joined the Pioneers Total Abstinence Association and remained off drink for all his life. For entertainment he would cycle to Enniscorthy to go to the local cinema. He remembers one frightening incident when he and a companion were travelling late on night on the “bog road” and saw something strange in the gloom.