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Shaun Wall (Seán de Bhál as gaeilge)

Rather unfair but not untypical of O'Connor who had an ego slightly larger than Munster and was well able to sneer at the less fortunate or less endowed. Only the lucky few in Ireland got an education prior to 1910. Irish history is only as good as whose version you're reading and it's always good to review the Penal Laws and Catholic Emancipation. In 1916 both of my parents were at primary school. Thirty years previously their parents were all being educated informally. In the previous generation I believe that one of my 8 great-grandparents was unable to write his name or read in either Irish or English.

But even he (or maybe I should say especially he) did not live in a bookless backwards or superstitious home and married a highly erudite and educated wife. He simply never got the opportunity to go to school, but worked a farm from the age of 10. However he was my 'Mama's' daddy and she influenced the next three generations either directly or by proxy.

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