Life’s Story

Life’s Story …at the foot of Slieve Bloom is a project to record, in conversations, the stories of times past in our parish of Camross, Co. Laois through the recollections of many of our senior parish residents.

The idea was conceived by Lar Hogan, Peter Dooley and Paul Dunne. It was born out of a love for local history, out parish and the Slieve Bloom Mountains. We felt it was very important to record the stories, before they were lost. We hope that they will now be preserved for future generations.

While the stories may be of local interest, of the ordinary and everyday life, they provide a great insight into times that are now past, and of life lived at a different pace. The stories speak of a life less complicated, a life with less material possessions. Theyalso a life full of characters and happiness, of a way of life more simple.

Life’s Story currently comprises of a box set of 8 DVD, telling the stories of seven of our senior citizens in Camross. The box set, or individual DVDs, are available to purchase on this site as a box set, or as individual DVDs.

We hope that this is just the beginning, and we intend to continue recording conversations with many more of our people. If you have any suggestions, we would be pleased to hear from you.

All proceeds from the sale of these video DVDs are being divided equally between three very deserving charities:

  • Brain Tumour Support
  • Alzheimer Unit Mountmellick C.N.U
  • Midland’s Parkinsons Association

Technical Note: These videos have been produced using the European standard PAL video format. While this may cause issues with some DVD players in the US, we understand that most US DVD players (particularly the newer cheaper ones) play PAL without a problem. The DVDs will also play on computers using Media Player or Cyberlink Power Media Player 14 (which ships with Windows 10 in some countries) or VLC.

Hannah’s Story

Hannah Dooley has lived in the Glebe just outside the village of Coolrain since she married her husband Denis Dooley in 1962. She is originally from Moneygarrow Co. Wexford.

Apart from a spell working in Dublin, she has been involved in farming and the outdoors all her life. She has two sons, Michael and Paraic.

Hannah , in conversation with Peter, recalls her childhood years in Co. Wexford growing up on a farm. When Hannah finished school she moved to work in Dublin. It is here that Hannah met her husband, Denis, and upon marriage moved to live in Coolrain.

Hannah has many memories of life as it used to be in Coolrain, when the village was a thriving business community. She tells of her love of farming, the outdoor life and horses.

Sam’ Story

Sam has lived in the townsland of the Whitefields, Killanure all his life. Sam went to National School in Offerlane.

He worked many years as an agricultural contractor doing everything from ploughing to threshing to building roads in the forestry. There is very little Sam doesn’t know about tractors or farm machinery. He is married to Mary (Dunne) and they have one son, Cyril and four daughters, Jane, Tina, Sylvia and Doreen.

Sam Chambers talks to Peter Dooley about his lifetime spent in Killanure, working, farming and raising a family.

Sam talks about the hard times growing up, the hard manual work on the farm, and as part of his father’s contracting business. He recounts how he took over this business and developed it, and how this led to his lifelong love of tractors.

Sam recalls his days in Offerlane Schoolhouse, and the 3 mile walk there. He recalls many humorous stories from his younger days.

Con’s Story

Con is from the townlands of Cappaghnahoran, Windsor Coolrain. Con went to National School in the Pike-of-Rushall before attending St. Kieran’s College Kilkenny.

He has had a very varied work life. Con has worked on the family farm, he has helped out in Prescott’s Pub in Coolrain and has worked in such places as the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland before returning home.

In conversation with Peter, Con talks about his father, a former policeman who settled in Coolrain after purchasing a farm. He also talks extensively about his business, first in Dublin and then in the UK. He recalls his many travels throughout the UK in his work, and working in the offshore islands of Scotland.

Mick D’s Story

Mick Dowling is from the townsland of Derrycarrow. Mick has been involved in farming all his life.

Mick has covered nearly every square inch of the Slieve Blooms as a farmer, keen walker and local historian. Mick is a keen traveller and has been as far away as China on his travels.

In his conversations he talks extensively about the history of the parish, farming methods in bygone days and, of course, about his beloved Slieve Bloom Mountains