Geraldine Rattigan nee Collins

My name is Geraldine Rattigan, previously Collins. I have two children, one is gone eight, the other is eighteen months. Their names is Daniel and Adam, and my husband is David. I’m living in Trim, in a house, and I’m very happily married. I’m loving my life.

S: Dublin, Meath, Westmeath and Offaly, were Rattigans. Do you know what part of the country the Rattigans would call home?

Ehm – it would be between Offaly and Westmeath.

S: Where are most of them buried, then?

Let me see – Mullingar.

S: Okay. So, you go to Mullingar for family funerals?

A lot of them does, yeah. Or Tullamore.

S: Okay. Offaly/Westmeath. Fair enough. And, off the top of your head, what names would you say the Rattigans marry in with most?

Oh, God! God! I wouldn’t think there’s a particular number of just one particular family. They marry into a lot of different names.

S: Which would they be, mostly?

They’d be about the same now, but different people. They wouldn’t be one particular family that they’d marry into.

S: No, not necessarily one other family, but, like, ten other families. There’s not that many colours there!


S: There’s not that many different families. I’ve 163 Traveller surnames. There are not 163 colours there! [both laugh]


S: So it’s not as widespread as you think it is. What was I going to say? Going back a generation or two, what would the Rattigans have done mostly as work? What types of work would they have done?

I’m not sure.

S: No?

No, I’m not sure, because I only know the Rattigans through me husband. So I wouldn’t really…

S: Well, what about your husband’s father, say? Would he be an aged man?

He’s in his fifties. But my husband was reared with his granny and grandfather, the McDonaghs, so…

S: Okay! So he wouldn’t…


S: So what can you tell me about the Rattigans? What makes Rattigans special? Now that you’re a Rattigan and not a Collins anymore, how did that change your life?

Well, the way I look at it, it changed me life for the best, because I’m happy with who I’m married to, so… It wasn’t just for me to take a particular name just to… suss out a name and say, right, I’ll go for that. Just, when you fall in love, you fall in love! [laughs]

S: Were you match made?


S: Right!

No, no, we made our own. So that’s really the story about that.

S: And did you meet him here, like, in Navan? Were you…?

In Navan. He was in England for four and a half years and came back then to Trim, which is nine miles away. And then he got a job here in the centre.

S: Oh, right!

And we were related, so we knew one another. So it started from there, then.

S: Right! Okay, fair enough. I guess that’s all! Thank you!