Memories of Billy Fahy, nephew of Father Tom
Recorded by Helen Tully and Gerry Ahern
We visited Billy Fahy in his home in Gloves, Athenry on the 30th of June 2014, seeking information about Fr. Tom, who was Billy’s uncle.
Pat Fahy was present during the interview.
Fr. Tom was born in Gloves in 1887 to Paddy and Ann Fahy (nee Craven). His siblings were Peter, who was an army doctor, John who lives in Gloves and Margaret Minahan.
He attended Esker National School and received his secondary education in Eskcr diocesan college.
His priestly education was in Maynooth seminary. He was ordained in 1912. He never ministered either as a Parish Priest or Curate. He spent his life teaching Greek and Latin in NUI Galway. There is a room dedicated to his memory in the College.
He lived in a house in Mill Street, Galway. Billy stayed with him for some time when he was aged 17-18 years old.
Billy remembers him as being very strict. One day, Fr. Tom was trying to teach some Greek to Billy and Paddy Minahan. He asked them a question and Paddy answered it and Billy gave the same answer as Paddy. It was the wrong answer and Fr. Tom gave out to both of them. Mary Forde, who knew Fr. Tom, said that he could be very ‘cross’.
One of his best friends was a priest from Eyrecourt.
He kept race horses and hunters. He enjoyed riding and hunting with the Galway Blazers. Billy and Pat said that there is a photo of Fr. Tom on horseback wearing a top hat.
Billy said that Fr. Tom hardly talked about the 1916 Rising in Athenry. While the volunteers were at Moyode, Fr. Tom brought word to Liam Mellow that the British were making their way towards Mayode.
He was on the pro-treaty side (Michael Collins’ side during the civil war.