A radio programme on the pailitéirí, the travelling men and women who worked for their bed and board in Cois Fharraige, Connemara from the 1920s to the 1940s, will be broadcast next week.
Máirtín Davy Ó Coisdealbha will present this programme as part of Cosán na mBlianta on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Monday at 1.30pm. It will also be archived for future listening on www.rte.ie/rnag The pailitéirí travelled from place to place depending on the availability of work, and would be given board in the house with the family, as opposed to sleeping in outhouses etc, as did other travelling workers.
In an interview recorded in the 1970s, Seán Toole from na hAille, a man with a wealth of knowledge about local history, speaks to Máirtín Davy about these nomadic workers and describes many of the well-known figures from amongst them such as Máirtín Ceannaí, Páidín Tiobóid, and Banóg.
This is the only interview Seán Toole ever recorded for the radio, and in it he gives a colourful account of the pailitéirí – who they were, where they came from, and what became of them. He will tell stories about Máirtín Ceannaí who would collect unwanted clothing and materials to sell on, the unfortunate Tiobóid who died from eating a poison eel, or Baibín Ghriallais and her male admirer who met with the disapproval of the local priests.