Patricia Doyle

My name is Patricia Doyle, Community Health Care worker, Roscrea 2000. I’ve been married for the past twelve years. I have four kids, and am expecting another baby in May [2007]. I’m 31 years old, originally from Thurles, but I’m in Roscrea the past ten years.

S: I’ll ask a question. If you don’t feel like answering, push the stop button. I’m from Mars. I know nothing and nobody, so I don’t know who the Doyles are. What kind of people are the Doyles? And then I’ll ask you who the MCarthys are. Who all these different families are, why they marry each other.

The Doyles are originally from Clonmel. Who I’d know of the Doyles, now, would be my grandfather, James Doyle, which is my mother’s father. He would have two sons and a daughter – no! He would have a brother, that would be my husband’s father’s father – yeah – Bernard Doyle. And he have – one brother again – that man is now dead. He have another brother but he’s in a home. And he have a sister – no, I don’t think he’ve a sister, now.

S: Well, we kind of went over who the different people were. But, if I was to say the name McGinley, everybody has a clear idea who the McGinleys are, right?


So if somebody says Doyle, what should other people think? What kind of people are the Doyles? What are they known for? What makes them who they are?

Don’t know, really, what they’re known for! They’re just like a small little majority of people. And really, nobody knows Doyles, do they? It’s not a famous name. It’s not a common name amongst Travelling People.

S: I’m not sure if there isn’t completely different Doyle families, too. There might well be.

There might be, but I wouldn’t know, now. But the Doyles who I’d know of, now, would be just Clonmel, and Thurles, which would be my own, kind of, relations. And they’re just a small majority in that way.

S: And you only have family here. I say that because I’ve come across the name Doyle – this is the first family I’ve got, of the Doyles, but the name has come in to other family trees with O’Learys and Dukes and they don’t come in with you at all.


S: So I have to guess they’re different Doyles altogether. Must be. Okay. Well, your family is all in Tipperary. Have you travelled in your life?


And when did your family stop travelling?

When I was about – 12. We never really travelled. My father and mother would be travelling when I was younger, alright, from Clonmel to Thurles, just those.

S: Very local. So you knew everybody.

We just stayed locally. We didn’t broaden out at all.

S: And what kind of work were they doing?

Well, the Doyles, now: James Doyle himself would be building wagons. He’d be, like, a carpenter. Flats, tinwork, tinsmith, buckets, and whatever. And my father did nothing as such, really. Not that I know of, anyway.

S: So your grandfather did these things with his hands – tinsmithing. And when your parents were travelling, how were they making a living? Was your mother selling swag, or were they doing the markets, or horses, or? There’s a million ways people make a living.

On the dole, really. They weren’t really making a living as such. Now and again you might sell a horse or – you know what I’m saying? But, not doing very much, now, to be honest with you. Like, the older men, now, in the Doyles, like, James Doyle he would have been more a man for making a living, than, kind of, even his sons, or my father, whatever. Know what I mean? No, they weren’t really doing much. Not that I can remember of, anyway.

S: And did you ever hear your father and grandfather talking about that difference in generations?

Yeah! It was much easier, in the older times, to make a living. Because my grandfather have kind of, a gift that the younger ones haven’t got, you know? Like, I think the older people just had to do it, and that was it. There were no doles or whatever. They just had to go out and make the money, or do without, starve or whatever. And – they just had to, and that was it! If they didn’t get it theirself, it wouldn’t be given to them. And that was it. Simple as that. So they had to have kind of a trade at something. That was it!

S: So your father didn’t do anything with his hands, that’s kind of gone out, but he doesn’t, like, sell horses or markets or anything like that?

No. We never – McCarthys never did the markets. It wasn’t a trade among them at all. And he’s not into – he can’t do anything like carpentry or anything like that. He wouldn’t have that gift, now. I wish he had! (laughs).

S: Yeah, it’s handy to have someone around who can put up an old shelf. So, what about you? Have you ever done anything?

No. I can do nothing, to be honest about it. (laughs).

S: Rearing 4 kids is a lot, you know? Okay. So, the Doyles would have been known for – correct me if I’m wrong – not the markets, but the tinsmithing and –

The wagons. Yeah. Making the wagons.

S: And did either side of your family ever do, like, entertainment at the fairs? Whether that would be singing, or dancing, or three-card tricks, or anything like that?


No entertainment. Okay. And, just stuck to Tipperary the whole time?

Stuck to Tipperary, yeah. We’re boring! (both laugh)

S: Sure, it takes all kinds!

We’re a boring group!

S: And, I’m just looking at the list: there’s very few names you marry in with, though. You either marry out altogether, marry country people, or you marry –


S: Yeah. Cawley, Donoghue, one McInerney, just, one McDonagh, just, which is a miracle because the McDonaghs are everywhere. Yeah – Donoghue and McCarthy seems to be it, the main names. Would that be right?

That’s it, yeah.

S: So – oh, here’s a question! How did you get together with your husband? Were you matched? Or did you meet up? Or what?

No, we didn’t meet up. We were living down the road from one another.

S: Oh, of course,

It was our own idea.

S: And what age were you when you married?


S: The whole idea of getting married is that you’re going to stay together for ever and ever till you die. So, you’ve a much better chance of doing that, if you have a lot in common. I know people do go mad, and marry people they’ve nothing in common with, but where you have a pattern like this, where people marry the same surname over and over again, it leads me to think that they probably have a lot in common, they get on together well. So what is it about the – the Doyles, McCarthys and Donoghues seem to get on well, from these names. Right? So they must have something together, in common, that sets them apart from names you don’t marry in with.

I think it’s because they don’t travel much. They’re kind of based in the one area, and it’s kind of just those families, Travelling families, that’s in, kind of, that area, and that’s what I always thought it was: the fact that they don’t get out and travel and meet other Travellers. Because in fact they’re all kind of marrying either in to one another, or going away to England.

S: But are there any other Travelling families around here, besides those few surnames? Are there any Travelling families around here that your family doesn’t marry into?

Not really. They kind of just pick and marry who they want, theirself. Let it be Donoghue, o r –

S: But is there any other families around here, that doesn’t come up on your tree?


S: Hutchinson! You don’t marry in with Hutchinsons – there’s not one.


S: Is there – not to be speaking ill of anybody, but let’s say if you had gone to you parents and said “I’m madly in love with this Hutchinson fellow” – would they have been happy about that?

Yeah! If I was happy. It was my choice like.

S: So they wouldn’t have said, “Agh! You’re not going to marry one of them!?” No?


S: Is there any families you were told not to mix with? That were around here?


S: Okay. I was just wondering.

We’re not that narrow-minded! (both laugh)

S: You’d be surprised at the vicious stuff people say about each other. It’s amazing! And, what always makes me laugh – call them the Reds and the Blues, right? The Reds will say, (whispers) “You know those Blues? They’re terrible! They do this that and the other!” And then I talk to a Blue, “Do you know them Reds? They’re awful!” And they say the exact same things about each other. They really hate each other! But your family doesn’t hate anybody, right? You’re just nice people.


S: What am I leaving out? Names – Reilly came up once or twice, just – Reilly is a big Tipperary name, isn’t it? Oh – Ryan You’ve no Ryans. Are there Ryans around Roscrea?

No. Travellers, Ryans?

S: There are Traveller Ryans, but maybe I’m mixing it up because Ryan does seem to be the most common country name in Tipperary. Maybe that’s it. I travel around the country so much that my head is just –

The Reillys really came from Clonmel.

So they’d be semi-local, as well. How far is Clonmel from here?

50 miles.

S: 50? Oh, it’s quite far, then!

See, I’m not originally from Roscrea. I’m originally from Thurles. I’m only here six year.

S: And how did you come to live here, then?

I just moved up.

S: The whole family?

No! (laughs) Just myself and my husband.

S: Oh, yourself and your husband. Was your husband from around here?

S: Okay. Did he know people here?

We knew – yeah! People here. But we just decided to move here.