Treasa Goodwin Smyth
6 November 2009
2 hours, 23 minutes
Ireland House Oral History Collection, Archives of Irish America, New York University
Treasa Goodwin Smyth was born in 1960 in Ireland. She is a twin. Her mother is from Tallow, County Wexford, Ireland and worked as a cook for a few years before marrying her father, a farmer from Cobh, County Cork. Treasa was born and raised on a farm and falls in the middle of ten siblings. Her father died when she was 12.
When in college she developed a passion for playing camogie, an Irish variation of lacrosse, and made it to the Irish national team. She later received an academic scholarship to Gurteen Agriculture College and was the first young woman from her county to earn a scholarship to study farm management. During her studies, she faced resistance and discrimination from her male peers and some superiors because so few women were in the field.
She moved to the United States in the 1980s after giving birth to her son. She has two children. Her daughter was born in the US. When Treasa first migrated she worked as a maid before attending night school for nursing.
Her husband is Tommy Smyth, an ESPN-TV soccer analyst; they enjoyed a 12 year courtship before getting married. Treasa Goodwin Smyth currently hosts a weekly radio show called Ireland Calls on WVOX 1460 AM, in which she interviews Irish personalities from around the world. In 2008, when her husband was Grand Marshal of the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, she took his place in the broadcast booth to announce the parade for WNBC-TV.
Excerpt No. 1
Broken Ankles But Strong DeterminationDisc 1 Track 5 2:26–3:14
Transcription of Excerpt No. 1
TGS: My mother was totally against girl, any girl playing sports. Girls should know their place. You should, you cook, you were excellent cooks, excellent cleaners, and excellent at everything but. I was the rebel in the family, I think. I definitely was the rebel in my family because I would hit that ball day in and out anytime I got a chance. I remember going to the trials at Cork sneaking out the window of the bedroom with my hurly(1) in my hand, yeah and my boots and my plastic bag with my boots in it. I remembered sneaking out and not telling her and that when I went to the try-outs to Cork I broke my ankle and didn’t tell her. I was afraid to tell her. She would have killed me… So I wrapped it up and I shut up.
Excerpt No. 2
Performing the Work of Three MenDisc 1 Track 6 7:45–8:30
Transcription of Excerpt No. 2
TGS: And I remember I had enough of this man. Cause I rang the farm apprenticeship board. I don’t even know if it’s still in existence and I rang them and said you know you need to send a man down here to help me and they didn’t realize it was two farms he didn’t tell them or something and I had done it for like a lot of time. I spent a long time there, and I… afterward, I was very close to graduating to get my farm management cert or whatever, very close to it, but I couldn’t hack it anymore. And it was snowing that day… the farmers… didn’t get back to me and they wrote me a letter afterwards apologizing and had three men on the farm. They apologized and asked me back on the farm and I said, “No.”
- Alexia Townsend (AT)
- Linda Dowling Almeida (LA)
- A hurly is the stick used to hit the ball in camogie. Smyth was trying out for the County Cork camogie team. It is the women’s variant of hurling.