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May Desmond (b. 1911)

May Desmond (b. 1911)

Blackrock, Co. Dublin

 

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May Desmond was recorded in a Blackrock, County Dublin, nursing home where she has resided for several years. She was born in 1911 in High Street in Cork City. On her marriage in 1937, she and her husband began their married life in Marble Hall. She has clear childhood memories of the tension and anxiety which pervaded the city during the War of Independence and she recalls seeing the aftermath of the burning of Cork. Her brother was taught by the artist Sean Keating and he later became a student of Harry Clarke and worked on the stained glass windows of Galway cathedral. May’s working life began when she became a secretarial employee of the newly formed Shannon Scheme in 1929. She had fluent German which was vital to her employment. She later worked for Dwyer’s wholesale drapery in Washington Street and she discusses the various departments in the store in fine detail. In 1937 she married Jack Desmond who, with his brothers, ran Desmonds' Printing Works in Cork and who later worked for the Cork Examiner.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 13.94 MB, 5.73 MB, 17.16 MB, 14.76 MB, 19.97 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork county, first series
Product ID: CDCK01-24
Subject: Cork city in former days
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 78:19


Ted Crosbie

Ted Crosbie

Lapp's Quay, Cork

 

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This recording was compiled on the top floor of the 'Irish Examiner'’s brand new offices at Lapp’s Quay, as Ted Crosbie points out many of the streets and houses of the city, from the commanding view from his office. He details the history of his family and its association with the newspaper. When Ted joined the company he went to Sweden for work experience in the paper mills which supplied the 'Cork Examiner.' His strengths lie in his understanding of the mechanics of printing, and he speaks about the many changes in this arena over the century. He became technical director in 1958, and was afterwards appointed to the Board of Directors. His father was the Chairman, George Crosbie was a director, as was Senator Jim Crosbie. Ted talks about the businesses in Cork in the mid-twentieth century which advertised in and supported the newspaper. He describes the formation of the trade unions at the 'Cork Examiner' in 1968 for telegraphers, journalists, sub-editors, photographers and engravers. This recording provides a fascinating insight into the life and times of a Cork institution.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 54.18 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-21
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Fred Rosehill

Fred Rosehill

 

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The Rosehills are the last of the original Jewish immigrants to Cork city. The family migrated from Belarus in 1885. Fred Rosehill’s grandfather, at the age of 12, came with his father to Cobh (or Queenstown as it was then known), and Fred explains that having misunderstood an announcement on board the immigrant ship and thinking that they had arrived in New York, they disembarked. Fred goes on to describe how the community settled at the head of the river in Albert Road, an area affectionately known as Jewtown. The menfolk were known locally as peddlers and he recalls his own grandfather peddling music sheets from door to door. Fred recalls living in MacCurtain Street, where his father had a small business and later moving to Donovan’s Road. In his early life, he remembers 75 families of Jews in the city. The Rosehills were always connected with music and Fred describes the circumstances which led to his own career of selling fancy goods and of picture framing, and he speaks about how his family was to become the last of what was once a thriving Jewish community within the town.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 39.43 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-28
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Noel Barrett

Noel Barrett

Washington Street West, Cork

 

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This recording took place in Noel Barrett’s shop in Washington Street West where he sells model cars and planes. His passion in life is divided between his love for performing and acting, and his model business. The recording begins with his recollections of his first drama, ‘The Swans of the Lee’ in 1950, and a partnership forged with Pat O’Sullivan, which was to endure all their lives. He talks about the many people involved in theatrical performances, including the costume-makers, the stage-set managers, the scriptwriters, and emphasises the voluntary approach taken by many of these people. He also tells many stories about his days travelling around the country, performing in parish halls, and the excitement and the thrills that the company brought to the community.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 51.58 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-38
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Loretta McNamara

Loretta McNamara

 

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Loretta McNamara is better known to her friends as ‘Lol’ and this recording was compiled at her home, as she reminisced looking through her collection of photographs and programmes associated with the theatre in Cork city. She speaks of her fond memories of performing, and she clearly remembers her first Feis, and her enthusiasm at a very young age for her future as an actress. Growing up in Blarney Street, she later found work in the bookshop of Mercier Press, which was a landmark in the town at that time. She spent 38 years of her life working there, rising to the position of Director. She spoke about the branch of the business at University College Cork, which she managed for 21 years and she had much to say about the challenging academic atmosphere within the college. Lol was quite outspoken about many issues throughout this recording, providing frank accounts of her own views on the work of theatre in the city.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 55.22 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-44
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Eileen Collins and Mary Sheehan

Eileen Collins and Mary Sheehan

Cork city

2009

 

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Track 1: Growing up in North Mall, Cork, in the 1920s and 1930s, and Eileen’s family’s background in the drapery business. Moving to Mount Pleasant. Track 2: Mary Sheehan traces her family and mentions her father, who worked in Queen’s Old Castle draper’s shop. Track 3: The burning of Cork City, and a story about it handed down by Mary’s mother who also worked in Queen’s Old Castle. Track 4: Eileen’s account of her years as an apprentice from 1941 in the drapery trade, working in T. Lyons and Co. In Patrick Street and later moving to the Munster Arcade and then to Queen’s Old Castle. Track 5: Mary’s appointment to the County Council in Mallow. And her involvement in window-dressing. Track 6: Eileen recalls opening her knitwear shop, which she bought from the Pearses. One of her staff members was Michael Twomey’s sister, who inspired her interest in the Opera House performances.


Number of files: 7
File size(s): 3.69 MB, 4.43 MB, 4.09 MB, 10.14 MB, 18.09 MB, 4.18 MB, 10.86 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork Theatrical Collection
Product ID: CDCKCY02-19
Subject: The drapery business in Cork
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 48:26


Walter Coleman (aged 56), John Byrne (aged 54) and Beatrice Byrne (aged 50)

Walter Coleman (aged 56), John Byrne (aged 54) and Beatrice Byrne (aged 50)

Charlotte Street, Carlow town, and Dublin Street, Carlow town, Co. Carlow

2007

 

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I met Walter Coleman at Charlotte Street where his grandfather started a motor business in 1903. The building is the same as it was in those days and now houses a bike business. The Colemans have been in business in the town since 1859. My journey then took me to the Byrne family in Dublin Street, where stories were recalled about the old shopkeepers along Dublin Street in earlier days.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 49.93 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Carlow county, first series
Product ID: CDCW01-44
Subject: Carlow Town's old stock
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Length: 54:39


Thomas Kirwin (aged 64) (part 2)

Thomas Kirwin (aged 64) (part 2)

Ballymurphy, Tullow, Co. Carlow

2007

 

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The Kirwin house in Tullow was the venue for this fascinating recording. Local historian Thomas Kirwin studied the families and careers of local businesswomen during the late 1800s and the early years of the twentieth century. This recording provides an informative narrative on the way of life of some formidable and able women of earlier times in Tullow.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 37.15 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Carlow county, first series
Product ID: CDCW01-48
Subject: Business women in the early 1900s
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe
Length: 40:39


Feargal Quinn (b. 1930)

Feargal Quinn (b. 1930)

Leinster House, Dublin

2012

 

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Track 1: The family originated in County Down; recalled the story of how his parents met. His grandfather’s grocery business in Newry. Discussed how his father, having been in New York for five years, returned to his parents’ business in Newry in 1924, bringing many new ideas from America. Starting his own business, a grocery store in Kilmainham. Memories of his uncles, Seán and Patrick, who were active in the Republican movement in Northern Ireland. Track 2: Opened the Red Island Holiday camp in Skerries and another site in Bray Head; these were the first of their kind in Ireland. Track 3: Recalled his first-hand experience in Europe, learning innovative ways of self-service in the food retail sector, and honing his skills for the supermarket business in Ireland. Track 4: The spread of the Quinn Supermarket chain to areas outside the city; the confusion caused by sharing a name with Pat Quinn of Quinnsworth, and the consequent name change to Superquinn in the 1970s. His insistence on stocking local and seasonal produce of premium quality and successfully advertising the fact. Track 5: Recalled Ireland’s entry to the Common Market and the impact of this on the retailer and consumer. Track 6: Discussed his interest in politics and his election to Seanad Éireann in 1993, of which he continues to be a member. His opinion on ways in which the Senate could be made to work more effectively. Track 7: Discussed his family’s political background as supporters of the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and being active in the ‘Green Cross’, a charity for Irish political prisoners.


Number of files: 7
File size(s): 8.56 MB, 6.67 MB, 6.83 MB, 15.32 MB, 5.47 MB, 10.36 MB, 9.59 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Fingal (north Dublin), second series
Product ID: CDDNN02-08
Subject: Business and politics
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 69:90


Christopher Gaisford St Lawrence (b. 1930)

Christopher Gaisford St Lawrence (b. 1930)

Howth, Dublin

2012

 

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Track 1: Background in England and, on the death of his uncle, inherited Howth Castle Estate, at the age of 25. Track 2: Recalled in detail the dairy at Howth, the quality of the milk, the herdsmen, the mode of transport used to supply the milk locally and the area supplied. Track 3: The development of a golf course in 1973, the first municipal golf course in Ireland. Memories of his late wife Penelope Crewe. Track 4: Recalled the family’s ownership of Baldoyle Racecourse and his days stewarding there. Track 5: Discussed ground rents in the last century, and the right of estate tenants to buy their land. The sale of a portion of the farmland, in order to retain the estate’s viability.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 5.47 MB, 19.14 MB, 9.85 MB, 10.60 MB, 15.52 MB
Bitrate: 160 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Fingal (north Dublin), second series
Product ID: CDDNN02-11
Subject: Howth Castle
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 53:22


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