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Paddy O’Meara (b. 1920)

Paddy O’Meara (b. 1920)

Mallow, Co. Cork

 

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Paddy O’Meara and his twin brother Dermot were born in Mallow in 1920 into a family of 10 boys and two girls. Their mother was a member of the Egan family of jewellers in Cork City, and Paddy has clear memories of childhood visits to the jewellery shop in the city, and watching the silversmiths at work on the top floor of the building. His earliest memory relates to the relocation of the entire family from Mallow to Youghal during the Troubles to ensure their safety, due to the fact that his uncle Barry Egan was Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork City during Terence McSwiney’s tenure as Lord Mayor. Paddy discusses the Duhallow Hunt with which he and his family have always been deeply involved. He relates the history of the Hunt which was founded in 1715. He also discusses the class distinction which existed in Mallow, as elsewhere, and which manifested itself in the sports of tennis, rugby and the Hunt in earlier days. Paddy O’Meara is a medical doctor who specialised in otorhinology. He emigrated and worked at Northampton General Hospital for a short period where his medical career began, followed by long years of service in his home county.


Number of files: 3
File size(s): 37.15 MB, 15.93 MB, 14.62 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork county, first series
Product ID: CDCK01-20
Subject: An old Cork family
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 74:06


Jim Queally

Jim Queally

 

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Jim Queally began this recording with a description of the street where he grew up, and his childhood days. He gives a chronological account of his life, talking about his fond childhood memories of touring theatres and watching the ‘fit ups’, the travelling companies which brought entertainment to the rural parts of Ireland. His introduction to theatre came as a volunteer working backstage in the old Playhouse in Limerick. He went on to do poster painting for cinemas, and then emigrated to England for a short time to work as assistant stage manager, and he also played small parts in productions there. Returning to Cork in 1964, he worked as a display manager in Queen’s Old Castle, until he got employment with the Theatre of the South Group. In 1970 he worked as an actor in Bunratty Castle. Recorded are many comical anecdotes associated with this part of his life as he recalled some American visitors to the Castle. He returned to Cork to work for Cash’s as a window display manager in the city. Jim also speaks about his involvement in theatre in more recent times.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 64.85 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-05
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Mary Rohan (part 1)

Mary Rohan (part 1)

 

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The home of Mary Rohan was the venue for the compilation of this wonderful recording. She has an outstanding recall of past events and a great ability to articulate her story, at the grand age of 101. The recording was made in four sections. This first section deals with the circumstances surrounding her father’s emigration to America, where he took up a job as a longshoreman. He emigrated from Bere Island. His name was Michael Martin Sullivan, and Mary discusses how he acquired the surname of Martin. Her mother’s maiden name was Harrington, and she was also from Bere Island. They met and married in Boston, and returned home to Castletownbere, where they reared a family. Mary remembers being brought to Cork city on the train, before 1916, and visiting the wholesalers where they would buy merchandise for their grocery business in Castletownbere. The family made great sacrifices for their three children in order to send them to boarding school. It is remarkable to listen to Mary as she describes her memories of the outbreak of the Great War.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 45.19 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-11
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Agnes and Liam McCarthy (part 1)

Agnes and Liam McCarthy (part 1)

 

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Agnes McCarthy grew up in Rock Mill, Kildorrery and in the initial part of this recording, she talks about her upbringing during very difficult times. Her father, Mr Stackpool, was a strong farmer and the Stackpool home was blown up by the British Crown forces in 1921 during the Troubles. She was then sent with her sister to Presentation Sisters boarding school in Crosshaven, and afterwards to Loreto School in Fermoy. Agnes speaks about her sadness at having no real opportunities in life. Her mother had died and her father was never at home, so at the age of 18 she moved to Cork city to work in St Finbarr’s Hospital. Her son Liam took up the story, and spoke about growing up in a small house in Church Avenue with nine siblings. His father Tom McCarthy had a good job, as a tradesman. Some years later Agnes opened a small shop, which became a hub of activity in the area. Liam recalls his involvement in the Gilbert and Sullivan Musical Society and he also sang in the choir of Aloys Fleischmann.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 66.65 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-33
Subject:
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length:


Peter Barry

Peter Barry

 

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Peter Barry, now in his 80th year, still is a senior figure in the Barry’s Tea empire. This recording took place on the Old Kinsale Road, where the Barry's Tea offices are located. The recording began with Peter’s recollections of his family background. His grandfather’s occupation was blacksmithing on the shores of the Blackwater. Around 1890 Peter’s grandfather moved into Cork, where he opened a shop on Princes Street. He was involved in importing tea, and when Peter came into the business, he began to wholesale tea to other grocery shops around Cork city. Peter went on to tell me about his introduction to politics, following in a family tradition. In 1954 his father stood for election, and having spent over a decade in public life, he left office in 1965. He was honoured to be elected Lord Mayor of Cork city in 1962, a position previously held by his father and later by his daughter. Peter also speaks about his own distinguished political career.


Number of files: 1
File size(s): 55.39 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Cork city, first series
Product ID: CDCKCY01-35
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


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


Seamus Walsh (b. 1944)

Seamus Walsh (b. 1944)

Monasterevin, Co. Kildare

2009

 

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Seamus Walsh grew up with bicycles. His father owned a bicycle shop in Monasterevin, which he set up in 1946, during a time when people cycled everywhere and business was booming. Seamus recalls the setting up of the Midlands Cycling Club in which his father was closely involved, and he remembers great days out at sports meetings where cyclists would race around a grass track. Seamus Walsh’s grandfather was a carter from the area who transported stone and gravel from the local quarry for road construction. Seamus’s father drove a lorry for CIE prior to 1946, and also ran a hackney business which was busy during the war years transporting people to the dances in the CYMS Halls in the local towns. Seamus tells a most interesting story about transport during the Emergency period, when two CIE lorry loads of turf were regularly driven from Monasterevin to Dublin and once unloaded, one lorry would tow the other home to save petrol with was heavily rationed.


Number of files:
File size(s): 52.90 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: Kildare county, first series
Product ID: CDKD01-15
Subject: A Monasterevin business
Recorded by: Maurice O’Keeffe
Length: 57:56


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