Breda Skeados is the middle child in a family of thirteen siblings from the rural West of Ireland, all born in a twenty-year period between the 30s and 50s. Ten survive to this day.
Even during that time, in her hometown of Dunmore, County Galway, families of this size were on the wane. In fact it was so remarkable, some smarty pants composed a rhyme to keep track of all their names in order, a rhyme still recited by children in the region to this day!
Breda was raised in a small house on a small farm, with no running water. She remembers when electricity arrived, and their first family radio! Her story could be taken right out of the pages of another tale of Irish childhood poverty, Angela's Ashes, with its vivid description of a 'miserable Irish childhood'. But it's not.
Instead, it's a story of a family you almost feel you'd like to be a part of yourself.
And there's an interesting segue to discuss the origins of New York's fabulous Irish Arts Center - and we're talking the Big Bang moment of the IAC's universe!
And what's with her Greek name? Well, the answer to that is pretty straightforward, but you'll have to listen to find out. And if you do that, you'll get to discover the really interesting adventures of Ms. Skeados. Plus, you'll get to pronounce her name correctly too!
Links of note to accompany this episode:
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland
Irish Arts Center
Thanks to Purple-Planet and the group Sláinte, of Tacoma, Washington, via freemusicarchive.org, for the music, and also to FreeSound for the sound FX and music !!
Learn more about the work of our friends in Galway City, Ireland, at the Celtic Irish American Academy. You can support their work by donating (in USD $) here: CIAA Scholastic
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