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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

Everyone is loving this local man's storm memories on the Humans of Longford page

Jack Shaughnessy, FTW.

WE’VE LONG SINCE known that if you want a good story, you seek out the older members of your family.

Almost swaying under the weight of decades-worth of anecdotes, the older generation are usually the only things we can’t swipe or scroll that actually capture our attention – something a recent post on the Humans of Longford Facebook page has proven.

Everybody, meet Jack Shaughnessy.

PastedImage-76030 Source: Humans of Longford/Facebook

As the nation braces itself for the arrival of the Beast From the East, Jack took the time to recall other storms which hit Ireland, and it makes for some compelling reading.

The one I remember as being the worst was 1947….they just called it the Big Snow or just ’47…..God, I’ll never forget that one…no one who lived through it could ever forget it.

After attending a fair in Mohill, Jack vividly remembers leading cattle back through ferocious weather conditions.

It started to snow and snow and snow…it just kept on snowing and then there was a black wind from the east that’d cut you….as a matter of fact the wind today is coming from the same direction.

Jack acknowledged that people today would struggle to envision the hardship such weather brought with it, adding: “We walked those cattle all the way from Mohill to Lettergunnel, Esker. I suppose the young farmers today wouldn’t believe that.”

The blizzard was the worst of all….you had gale force winds driving the snow and this is no exaggeration …there were snow drifts as high as houses.

Before posing for a photo and  – as is the prerogative of every older person – identifying the photographer through an in-depth knowledge of their family tree, Jack brought his story to a close.

Some people say that the snow stayed till the May of ’47 but I definitely remember snow at the back of the quicks up Cairn Hill in June of ’47.

Facebook users are absolutely weak for Jack, with many suggesting there’s more than book or two in the gentleman.

What a pleasure to read, people of this generation are full of history, and should be interviewed more often. When they are gone , a lot of local history goes with them.

“What a truly wonderful gentleman. I could listen to him all day. Reminds me of my grand father. Wonderful interview. And Ciarrai is right there is a great book within him”, added another.

We’re with them on that.

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