Personal History – Thomas Francis Mc Manus

Published in Personal History

This story is from a first-hand account from my father. It happened when he was only five or six. At the time him, his parents, and his grandfather, lived in a small house on Curraghill, Drumshanbo, Leitrim.

It must have been 1970 or 1971, when his father bought their first tractor. It was a little Ferguson 20, the one everyone in the area had at the time. There was excitement in the house – never before had the Mc Manus’ had one, and it was GaGa (my great-grandfather) who was going to put it into use first.

GaGa had never used a tractor before. Don, my grandfather, set him at it – starting it up and showing him how to work the attachment on the back. They had a small meadow, and he was going to turn over and line up all the hay. It would only need about an hour.

Time began to pass and GaGa continued working. He didn’t come in for dinner – he just kept going. From the window in the house, Don and my dad could see that he’d finished – all of the hay had been lined up, yet he just kept going. He went over the rows again and again, redoing and redoing what he’d done. They didn’t go out to him, thinking he was just enjoying “playing” with the new toy.

It had gotten dark, and almost five hours had gone past, when suddenly the noise of the tractor’s engine cut off with a coughing sound. Finally, GaGa joined them in the kitchen.

“I was going great until it ran out of diesel,” was all he said.

His son didn’t question how long he’d been out there.

“It’s alright, I’ll get some more tomorrow and bring it down,”

With that Don left the room.

Once he was gone, GaGa leaned over to my father and whispered;

“Don’t tell your dad, but, I couldn’t get the thing stopped!”

He’d gone around and around all day because he didn’t know how to turn it off.


Thomas Francis (FaFa or GaGa) Mc Manus – 1911-2001

Daniel Peter (Don) Mc Manus – 1939-2006

Kevin Joseph Mc Manus

All of Curraghill, Drumshanbo, Lovely Leitrim.


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