Timmy McMahon's Forge, Clarecastle

The skill and strength of the blacksmith has been bending metal to the desired shape for well over 4000 years in Ireland.  Using the heat of the fire in his forge to make the metal flexible, he then shapes it using a variety of tools, many of which he makes himself.

In Ireland, the blacksmith traditionally played an important role in the community; he not only shod horses, ponies and donkeys as a farrier, but also repaired agricultural implements, shod wheels and often made gates and railings. It used to be that every town and village in Ireland had at the very least, one forge and a blacksmith. The Irish blacksmith provided an important service for those who had horses or for people who required his skills in metalwork.

Before cars, tractors and other heavy-duty motorised equipment took over day-to-day haulage tasks in agriculture and transport, the horse was a vital component of society. The blacksmith not only ensured that horses were shod, but also made and maintained useful metal items used around the home or on the farm.

Remembering Timmy McMahon 1917-1988, his father, John Joe McMahon, his grandfather, John McMahon, his uncle Thady McMahon, Lawrence McMahon 1803-1883 and so on. Tales of Clarecastle McMahon smiths stretch back to  Cromwell’s time.

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