Written by Mary
Sunday, 14 November 2010 15:30
Our dad Martin Duggan was born in 1904 in County Kilkenny Ireland. By the time he reached the tender age of thirty-two he realised that his little village offered little prospect of fame or fortune let alone a livelihood. The problem was that he had too many brothers and as he wasn’t the oldest, he found he was expected to work for his keep and a packet of cigarettes that he had to share!
The Duggan family were village blacksmiths and on that fateful day in 1936 dad was sent to Waterford with £20 to buy tools for the forge. At that time there was a ferry service from Waterford to Fishguard and dad used the money to buy a one-way ticket.
The ticket brought him to Cardiff and a policeman at Cardiff station suggested that he go to Curran’s to find work, which he did. He stayed in a couple of lodgings, including one in Pomeroy Street where the landlady cleaned and polished his working boots every night, much to his workmates amusement.
Eventually after a couple of months he moved into the shanahans in no.12 Tyndall street, which just happened to be next door but one to a lovely young catholic girl (25) Maggie Hagerty (mam). Mind you in Newtown, there was every chance she would be Catholic. Dad often said that he moved to Newtown where everyone was Irish, everyone went to mass, there was the Gaelic league and loads of children................just like back home!!
Courting was a very slow process in those days and they seemed to meet mostly in St. Paul’s. Mam had to go to two masses each Sunday because she sang in the choir at one and played the organ at the other. Dad went to both with her and Benediction ! Our grandmother thought he was very suitable company.
Within a short time they were “walking out together” which involved a lot of going to the old empire with six jaffas, a packet of woodbines and change from half a crown, but even though mam was 26 years old she still had to be home by 10:30, that included just a of couple nights before their wedding, when our grandmother chided both of them because it was 10:45. I think it went something like.......... ”You’re not married yet and whilst you’re under my roof......” You can guess the rest.
They were married on June 11th.1938 in St. Pauls (of course) by Canon Grieshaber and they had 49 happy years together. Mam passed away in 1987 and dad in 1995. The year after mam died dad asked us to take him on holiday to Ireland for the last time, we did that for seven years.