WLR Documentaries and Dramas

Muintir na Déise: Tony Toibin

Muintir na Déise: Tony Toibin
Mary O'Neill
Mary O'Neill

In this episode of Muintir na Déise, we hear from Tony Toibin.

Each episode in this series features an individual who has been closely associated with or has lived all his/her life in Gaeltacht na nDéise.

This second series of Muintir na Déise features people from An Rinn, Waterford's Gaeltacht.

The programmes are presented by Waterford and Ring native, broadcaster and writer Catherine Foley.


The participants tell their stories of growing up, finding work, getting married, rearing families as well as their beliefs, wisdom and reflections on life as it was lived in this corner of Waterford during the last century.

This all-Irish series celebrates their lives as well as showcase the wealth of Irish that is still spoken and used in the Ring and Old Parish Gaeltacht area.

About Tony Toibin

Having spent the greater part of his adult life working in Dublin Tony Tóibin retired to his birthplace of An Sean Phobal.

His education was cut short and he says with a laugh “I spent one day in 6th class.” After leaving school at a young age, he went to work for a local farmer.


After a few years, along with two of his brothers, he got a job in Youghal Carpets where he worked as a weever.

In 1965 he met his future wife Mairead Nic Chárthaigh and it wasn’t long before they eloped to Dublin to marry and made a life for themselves. They lived in the capital for the next 40 years.

Tony’s first job was working for CIE sweeping the platforms, washing toilets and keeping Connolly Station clean. He worked his way up through the company and became a train driver.

Always outspoken he became a workers’ representative.

In 1991 he was elected to the board of CIE as a spokesman for the union members.

His next job was with SIPTU and this brought him to Brussels. He was often at the Labour Court also, representing union members where he was a negotiator and always a force to be reckoned with.

To listen to the full conversation, click the link in this podcast.

For more Muintir na Déise podcasts, click here.