'We went ahead with a low-key wedding'

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Dublin Core


'We went ahead with a low-key wedding'


Frank remembers getting married.


Frank Gaynor


Trinity College Dublin




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Frank Gaynor

Is Part Of

Marriage and Family


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Kenya, Africa

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


Shortly after returning from Kenya I met Monica. She introduced me to a new circle of friends and a range of new interests. Travelling in groups of six to ten we shared many enjoyable occasions, including memorable Saturday night sessions in the Sheelin Shamrock Hotel (now a nursing home), which was situated in Mount Nugent, County Cavan. We also had some great weekend breaks in Connemara. One Sunday morning we returned from mass in Lettermore just in time to see a dog, with head held high, running off across the rocks with our breakfast sausages strung out behind him. In smaller groups we attended a number of dinner dances; some I recall were in Dublin, and others were in Ballinasloe. On these occasions the dress was formal; the men wore black suits, white shirts and bow ties, and the ladies wore long evening dresses. When Monica visited me in London she noticed that there was a shortage of sugar in my bedsit. To overcome this we managed to turn stealing a handful of sugar out of a Lyons cafe into what felt like a re - run of the great train robbery. It was during this visit that Monica convinced me that I should first get a teaching qualification and then decide what I wanted to do. This plan was put at some risk during one of Monica's visits to Galway. Following a ceili dance in Carraroe I left Monica behind with friends and got a lift back to Galway with the band, arriving in Eyre Square at 5am. At 9am I was starting to write my final examinations. I passed without distinction. Monica was born in County Monaghan, near the border with Northern Ireland. While still in primary school her family moved to Mullingar. Her father, John McQuaid, was a very active man. He was a progressive farmer, always open to new ideas, never afraid of change and prepared to take risks. On his new farm near Mullingar he developed and managed a successful dairy business. He exported cattle to England and played a leading role in developing markets for Irish cattle in Banbury and Ulverston. He also owned and trained racehorses. While I had been travelling to GAA matches in Mullingar, Thurles or Dublin, Monica had been travelling with her father to England, or following the fortunes of their horses at race meetings around Ireland. One horse, Glasslough Monica, was named after her. At one of the last race meetings held in Mullingar, before the racecourse closed, I stood proudly beside Monica and her father in the Owners and Trainers enclosure. John McQuaid died suddenly on Roscommon racecourse in 1968 about three weeks before we had planned to get married. We went ahead with a low - key wedding and toured Northern Ireland on our honeymoon. That was the last peaceful summer in Northern Ireland for many years. Monica carried many of her father's genes. She was very active, full of ideas and always ready for a new adventure. When an opportunity arose for us to go to Africa, Monica had the courage to make the move, but not until we had somewhere to call our own. We managed to get together 800 pounds in cash. After discussing our options with a bank manager we purchased a package of property in Rochfortbridge. Included in the package was a house in the village which was badly in need of attention, a green field of five acres, and two acres of bog. We now had our feet on the property ladder and were ready for Africa.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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