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38 McHale Rd
Castlebar 9.6.74

My Dear Nell

I hope you will pardon me for not writing to you before now & answering your letter. I have been taking 2 tablets per day for blood pressure for the past two years and was in fine form. Early in March we had flu here & I was a bit off colour so I took two Aridine Tablets for two days & on the third day, I had to call our dr. & he sent me to Hospital. I was there for eleven days & the Dr. in the Hospital told me it was the Aradine Tablets that was the cause of the trouble. They didn't agree with the tablet for blood pressure. I am in good form again T. G. & I'll be more careful in future.

It was nice for you meeting Nancy's son. He is a nice boy & was always that way. I met he & Nancy here & he [told] me about paying you a visit & how he enjoyed it. They were over to see George Richardson, he was in Hospital for a few days but he is out & about now & is as good as ever. Bridgie Joyce is not keeping too good & anything can happen, as like the rest of us, she is getting no younger.

Well the rest of us here are all well T. G. but May got a shock when I took bad & as we were alone at the time she didn't know what to do. How ever a neighbor rang for the Dr. & Paddy & when they arrived it was a relief for her. Michael & his family are well & in good shape. His eldest boy Justin will finish Primary School at the end of this month & he won't be 12 yrs until September next. He went through two standards in one year. He is good & as an artist, he took first place in Connaught for children under 12 yrs & at the time he was only 8 yrs. He has too boys & two girls. His eldest girl has Margaret's ways & she won't let her bone go with any dog as the saying goes.

There aren't many changes in Ballyheane recently but the population has fallen very much so there can't be much change. Of course you would see a lot of changes, there are no more thatched houses & when you left I am sure you never expected to see electric currant, the Phone & TV in Hollyhill. I haven't seen a cert of turf [?] in town since the war in the 1940s. The wages for men & girls have gone up very much, wages for trades men in the Building Industry is now �35 per 40 hr week. Labourers that at one time worked for 60 hrs for 12/- now has a rate of �28-11.0 for 40 hrs a non-contributary mortality & pension scheme. The pension is Maximum at 65 years of age with 45 years contributions �485 per yr or according to No of contributions down to �52 per year, ie for 5 yrs contributions. Girls pay now is from �15 to �20 per week & more according to qualifications & responsibility, also 3 weeks holidays per year. All workers are now on a five day 40 hrs work & it's quite common now to see girls driving to work in posh cars & labourers coming into work here in town from as far as Swinford, Claremorris, Hollymount etc. in good cars & no tin Lizies, either.

Well I hope you have recovered from the strain on your spine you got with Margaret & I hope she is gettin on alright. It's a handful for you now trying to cope with her. I do hope she won't be too much trouble. I was very sorry to learn about Dennis' boys, it's sad that all three have died, that was the first time I heard about them & I suppose you have no idea where Patrick's girls are. It was two daughters they had or so we heard. Mrs. O'Hara a grandaughter of Uncle Dennis told me that Dad's only sister Aunt Margarett lived in Boston & was married to a man named Bourke, did you ever contact her. Do you remember Michael Basquill that worked in Roundstone his daughter, you often told me about her & her brother. Well this Mrs. O'Hare met her in Boston, she lives in London. Well I see Jeane, if she hasn't a handful she has a houseful & if it isn't too much trouble will send me a list of them names & ages as it would be nice to pass them on to their cousins. Also if you have any snaps we would be glad to see them. It's surprising how the town changed since you left. In Spencer St, Castle St & Main St as far down as R W Wynnes, the only familys living there now, are Walshes the blacksmith & Willie Staunton coach builder & they will be soon gone as there is only one unmarried girl left in Staunton. Hoping you are all well & say me & May to Margarett.

With lots of love from
May Willy & family





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