Life and Society in Cork City

Dublin Core


The aim of this collection is to gain an understanding of middle-class life in Cork City during a period of slow economic and social development in Ireland, c.1945-1970. The interviewees were asked questions that create a narrative of their lives but in doing so, also recount memories of gender and class differences set in the context of education, their working lives and their local community. Interviews by Matthew O'Callaghan

Collection Items

Grace describes her parents and her earliest childhood memories. She speaks of where her family lived, in Cork and in Southern England.

Grace talks about her early education near the Lough and the sense of community she had growing up. She also speaks of her father's jobs when she was growing up.

Grace moves from difference of at school between boys and girls, and the differences between rich and not as wealthy. She then talks about starting off working in a prestigious shop within the heart of Cork City.

Graces discusses her job in O'Donovan's Provisions in detail. She speaks of the wages for various staff, the unions they were a part of, and how they compared to other stores.

Grace discusses what social life had been like for her in Cork in the late '40s and through the '50s. She also describes the changes in O'Donovan's over the years as modernity pushes to develop Ireland.

Grace gives a description of what it was like working in O'Donovan's in the later years. She talks of the shop closing and moving on as Cork changes.

Grace talks about her friendships and romantic relationships, how she never got married and why she did not want to lose her independence. She speaks of how she preferred to on her own.

Grace discusses her mother's life in more detail and the difficulties she faced without growing up without her parents for her early years. Grace talks about how her mother's open mindedness reflected on herself, especially regards to religion.

Grace discusses her childhood illness of asthma and how it may have effected her behavior in life. She goes on to mention her interaction with illnesses in Cork as a young teen. Grace talks about the effects emigration had on her life and that of her…

Graces talks briefly on past regrets and her satisfaction with life. She also describes how she perceives the differences in Cork from when she was a child and how children are now in the city.

Grace ends our interview with speaking a little more about the popular activities of social life for Cork City's young people as she was growing up, and how she did not take part in as much as others.

Mary speaks about getting work, her first job, the working life and conditions in Hanover. She also briefly touches on her continued education.

Mary talk of her job in-between work of sewing before moving from the Hanover to Dunlop's working as an inspector. With her father back to work, the family were getting on better.

Mary speaks of working in Dunlop's, the gender differences, and their Union Representatives. She also describes the perception of the representatives, and opportunity in Dunlop's

Mary speaks of getting married, the social norms associated with it and her husband's work

Mary describes her life building a family of her own, and her husband's business.

Mary talks about childhood, growing up and play. As she grew up, she speaks on going to dances as a teenager

Mary speaks briefly on her family experience with emigration

Mary speaks about illness in Cork City in her childhood as well as her mother's illness. It was hard for her family to cope when they lost their family GP who treated her mother well.
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