In December of 2019 The History group visited Michael Keogh in his home to learn about his life growing up in The Glen of Imaal. A lovely afternoon was spent in conversation and a lot was learnt about his early life.
Michael was born in 1935 in Stranahely and came from a large family of thirteen. At that time the school had a teacher named Mrs Tutty and the school was at Seskin. The class had six children and the school would have thirty or forty children attending. She was a very decent woman and would send her daughter to the shop in Knockanarrigan to get bread and jam to feed the children before they would be sent home.
The family house in Stranahely was condemned and the family then bought a house in the townland of Leitrim. By the time they moved some of the family had moved away to work. They lived next to the Cullen family and in 1939 one of the family called to the house to tell everybody that war broke out and then rations happened. The family got three loaves of bread a week from Dalys in Donard to feed eleven children. His mother boiled potatoes and a couple of rabbits to feed the family.
As Michael grew up he worked in the forestry and there was 7 horses worked in the area. Pat and Tom Hoxey worked two horses and Paddy Keogh of Coolmoney had a working horse and Ronnie McKeon worked for Mrs Allen in the forestry. Allens left Seskin in 1959.
There was an eight acre nursery in Stranahely and up to twenty men worked, sowing seeds and transplanting and later sending trees all over the country. The forestry came to the Glen in 1926.