McDonald, Thomas (Tom)
Date of Birth: 22nd April 1951
Place of Birth: Barrystown, Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford
Date Interviewed: 7th December 2009
Summary: Tom McDonald describes his early childhood growing up in a house just two fields away from the sea at Barrystown in south Co. Wexford. There were old mine pits on their land from which lead and silver had been extracted. It was difficult to make a living from their 14 acre farm and rabbits were a regular part of their diet. Tom’s mother wrote to the Land Commission and they were granted land in Clonroche. However, problems arose and it was two years before their new house was completed. They eventually moved to the Clonroche area in May 1960. Their neighbours were not very welcoming as they believed the land should have been given to a local. Tom talks of the teachers he had and describes the history he learned as “a wonderful mythology”. He has written extensively on Irish history and continues to publish articles. Tom is passionate about hurling and football and talks of the great players and games he has seen. However, his relationship with the GAA has not always been a happy one, possibly because of his outspokenness.