The Cork Memory Map Collection


The Cork Memory Map Collection


A place-based interviewing project exploring everyday life in Cork City, with excerpts disseminated on a series of online digital maps.


A place-based interviewing project exploring everyday life in Cork City, with excerpts disseminated on a series of online digital maps.

In 2010, the Cork Folklore Project initiated a new collection and dissemination project, entitled the Cork Memory Map. We wished to step up our interviewing programme and enhance public access to our holdings through the creation of an online map of stories and memories. A central concern in this initial stage was to keep our research agenda as open as possible in terms of generating accounts of everyday life in the city down through the years. As we were not carrying out topic-focussed interviews (in contrast to previous projects on topics such as song in the Northside, drag hunting and occupational lore), the place-based focus enabled us to explore everyday life at different stages of interviewees’ life histories, remaining open to cues from the interviewees while maintaining a sense of direction and purpose for all involved. The fact that the interviews were structured around memories of place, rather than taking the form of life history interviews, also had an impact on the material gathered. The initial phase of interviewing was carried out in the main with older residents of Cork City, Ireland, who grew up in the city centre or adjacent suburbs and who were born between 1929 and 1950. Lasting between 45 minutes and two hours, individual interviews in the Memory Map project tend to follow a similar pattern. A description of the interviewee’s childhood neighbourhood is followed by a succession of ‘grand tour’ questions about daily routines, work and play within the neighbourhood. Places important or familiar to interviewees were explored, as were routes habitually taken through the landscape. This narrative base was used as a springboard for using cues provided by the interviewees as the basis for follow-up questions on significant people and activities mentioned.
A sub-collection of shorter interviews was generated during Heritage Week (20-28 August) 2011. The Cork Folklore Project, in collaboration with Civic Trust House, launched the Memory Map Project with an exhibition and collection event throughout the week. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to ‘put themselves on the map’ through short interviews. The Memory Map also featured in a ten-minute Curious Ear documentary broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 during Heritage Week, and available as a podcast (The Curious Ear/Documentary on One (Cork City Memory Map)

The bulk of the interviews were carried out between July and December 2010 (21 interviews), with 9 full-length interviews carried out in the second half of 2011, along with 18 shorter interviews carried out during heritage week, 23-27 August 2011, and 9 interviews in the second half of 2012. 1 video interview was carried out in January 2014 with Memory Map interviewee Pat Speight. The design for the map and supporting database design was carried out by Cheryl Donaghue (UCC) as project work for an MSc in Interactive Media, with assistance from Colin Mac Hale.
The Project received support for the further technical development of the map from the Irish Heritage Council in 2012. The map itself has undergone various iterations, the most recent being its preparation for use on the Omeka platform by the CFP team and PhD candidate Penny Johnston in 2016/2017.

Existing and subsequent interviews from the CFP collections have also been utilised for the online mapping dissemination project: the interviews designated as ‘memory map’ interviews are those carried out specifically with the map in mind from 2010 onwards. Support: This project was supported by the Heritage Council of Ireland in the Heritage Education Community and Outreach grant scheme, 2012, and also received support from the Cork City Council Community Grants Scheme.

For further description and discussion of the Cork Memory Map project, see:
O’Carroll, Clíona (2011) ‘The Cork Memory Map’, Béascna 7: 184-188.

O’Carroll, Clíona (2012) ‘Cork Memory Map: an update on CFP’s Online Project’, The Archive 16: 14.

Dee, Stephen and O’Carroll, Clíona (2012) ‘Sound Excerpts: Interviews from Heritage Week’, The Archive 16: 15-17.

Clíona O'Carroll (2014) 'The children's perspectives: Place-centred interviewing and multiple diversified livelihood strategies in Cork city, 1935-1960'. Béaloideas - The Journal of Folklore of Ireland Society, 82: 45-65.

To view the Cork Memory Map Click Here


2010 - 2013


Catalogue Numbers:

CFP_SR00387_sheehan_2010; CFP_SR00388_sheehan_2010; CFP_SR00389_healy_2010; CFP_SR00390_kelleher_2010; CFP_SR00391_crean_2010; CFP_SR00392_mckeon_2010; CFP_SR00393_twomey_2010; CFP_SR00394_stleger_2010; CFP_SR00395_speight_2010; CFP_SR00396_lane_2010; CFP_SR00397_obrienoleary_2010; CFP_SR00398_jones_2010; CFP_SR00399_saville_2010; CFP_SR00400_magnier_2010; CFP_SR00401_marshall_2010; CFP_SR00402_marshall_2010; CFP_SR00403_murphy_2010; CFP_SR00404_prout_2011; CFP_SR00405_walsh_2011; CFP_SR00406_prout_2011; CFP_SR00407_newman_2010; CFP_SR00408_newman_2010; CFP_SR00409_leahy_2011; CFP_SR00411_newman_2010; CFP_SR00412_newman_2010; CFP_SR00413_finn_2011; CFP_SR00414_ohorgain_2011; CFP_SR00415_oconnell_2011; CFP_SR00416_sheehy_2011; CFP_SR00417_mcloughlin_2012; CFP_SR00418_gerety_2012; CFP_SR00419_kelleher_2012; CFP_SR00420_byrne_2012; CFP_SR00421_cronin_2012; CFP_SR00422_ohuigin_2012; CFP_SR00423_meacle_2012; CFP_SR00424_horgan_2012; CFP_SR00425_lyons_2012; CFP_SR00427_goulding_2011;


Heritage Week 2011: CFP_SR00429_casey_2011; CFP_SR00430_tomas_2011; CFP_SR00431_newman_2011; CFP_SR00432_stillwell_2011; CFP_SR00433_oconnell_2011; CFP_SR00434_lane_2011; CFP_SR00435_montgomery-mcconville_2011; CFP_SR00436_ocallaghan_2011; CFP_SR00437_corcoran_2011; CFP_SR00438_jones_2011; CFP_SR00439_ohuigin_2011; CFP_SR00440_mccarthy_2011; CFP_SR00441_crowley_2011; CFP_SR00442_obrien_2011; CFP_SR00443_jones_2011; CFP_SR00444_mcgillicuddy_2011; CFP_SR00445_delay_2011; CFP_SR00446_murphy_2011;

Video Interview: CFP_VR00486_speight_2014


Cork, Ireland, 1930s - 2010s,


O’Carroll, Clíona (2011) ‘The Cork Memory Map’, Béascna 7: 184-188.

O’Carroll, Clíona (2012) ‘Cork Memory Map: an update on CFP’s Online Project’, The Archive 16: 14.

Dee, Stephen and O’Carroll, Clíona (2012) ‘Sound Excerpts: Interviews from Heritage Week’, The Archive 16: 15-17.

O'Carrol, Clíona (2014) 'The children's perspectives: Place-centred interviewing and multiple diversified livelihood strategies in Cork city, 1935-1960'. Béaloideas - The Journal of Folklore of Ireland Society, 82: 45-65.

The Curious Ear/Documentary on One (Cork City Memory Map)


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project




Audio; Video


58 .wav Files
1 .mov File

Collection Items

Liam Ó hUigín: Henry Street, Bonfire Night, Childhood Games, Messenger Boys.
Liam was born circa 1940. His father was a docker. His mother died when he was 10 and his aunt reared him; she was a widow at 32 and had her own children.
He was a messenger boy in the 1950s; he talks about the job and its good and bad aspects. He…

Pat Speight: Northside, Childhood Games, Schooldays,
Cork Storyteller Pat Speight (b. 1940s) was born near the North Cathedral, known by locals as the North Chapel. His first house in Cork he thinks was a kind of tenement, with three families living in one house; his father later bought out this…

Breda Sheehan: Blackpool, Childhood Games, Slogging for Apples
Breda (born circa 1950) grew up in Spring Lane, Blackpool. It was an industrial area with Goulding’s fertilizer factory and Ellis’s quarry.
She remembers a childhood game of swinging on a rope put up an ESB electricity pole. She remembers a number…

Breda Sheehan: Halloween Games, Childhood Games, Family
Breda (born circa 1950) grew up in Spring Lane, Blackpool. As a child she used to play in The Glen, which was then in the countryside. The neighbourhood houses were small, with an outside toilet, so that every Saturday the children were washed in a…

Geraldine Healy: Children's Games, Schooldays, Western Road,
Geraldine grew up near the top of Western Road. She describes the area and comments on some changes that have taken place there over time. She talks briefly about her schooldays.

Johnny Chris Kelleher: The Evening Echo, Schooldays, Tuberculosis
Johnny Chris was born in 1929 in Fair Lane, later called Wolfe Tone Street. His mother, Mary Margaret Kelleher (1901 - 1970) was married twice; her first husband died of TB in 1924; she had to get a job selling newspapers to support her family. His…

Marie Crean: South Parish, Cinemas, Black and Tan’s
Marie was born (in the 1950s) and reared in High Street, in the South Parish, off Douglas Street; she thinks the street was formerly Quarry Lane. Some of her area was altered to make a new road. She went to school in South Presentation.
She recalls…

James 'Jim' McKeon: Northside, Sport, Writing,
Jim (b. 1940s) remembers that his father worked for the railways and had a tied cottage in an area known as Kilbarry Cottages, or Railway Cottages. Then the family moved to Paddock House, Fairhill. The house was at the top of Washbrew Lane, and came…

Brenda Twomey: Coal Quay, Peg Twomey's, Childhood Games
Brenda talks about the Coal Quay, and about her family’s shop Peggy Twomey’s , also known as the Food Emporium. She describes the business as her mother’s concern. She talks about the family nature of the business. She feels that Cork Corporation has…

Breda St Ledger: Blackpool, Childhood Games, Family Life,
Breda (b. 1949) grew up in Thomas Davis Avenue, in Blackpool. The houses were built new in the 1960s. They lived with a relative who told her and her brother scary stories. She went to the North Presentation Convent school.

She talks briefly about…

Seán Lane: Blarney Street, Butchers, Bowling,
Seán Lane was born in 1942. His parents were both from Blarney Street, where he was raised. His father was a bacon butcher.

He talks about his childhood. Children were always on the lookout for any opportunity to make a penny, such as cow-herding…

Pat O'Brien: Northside, Pubs, Childhood,
Pat O’Brien, talks of various locations on the Northside. Pat describes what activities he would have taken part in as a child in these locations.
He talks briefly about the pub trade. The Holy Hour was observed within the city limits (a break…

Eileen Jones: Blackpool, Shawlies, Sunbeam,
Eileen Jones (b. 1931) was born in Millfield Cottages. When she was 4 years old her family moved to Welsh’s Lane in Blackpool; members of her extended family lived nearby. Her mother was born in 1896. Her father was a builder’s labourer.
There was…

Pat Saville: Blackpool, Working Life, Sport,
Pat Saville was born in 1946. He had a twin brother, Charlie, and an older brother, Ray. He moved from England with his family when he was 4 years old. He grew up in Welsh’s Lane, Blackpool. His father died when he was 10.
He describes the shops and…

Noel Magnier: Gerald Griffin Street, Shops, Box Cars,
Noel has written a book about growing up in Cork in the 1940s and 1950s, called Is That You, Boy? He was born (1939) and reared in Gerald Griffin Street. He has 4 siblings. He recalls the shops and businesses on the street.
Denny’s cellar was a…

Mary Marshall: Blackpool, Childhood, Hunting,
Mary grew up in Thomas Davis Street, Blackpool. Both her parents were from Blackpool. Her mother liked to use Grand Parade library, and her father was an avid reader who told stories from Greek mythology. At the time the area bounded onto the…

Paddy Marshall: Blackpool, Pidgeon Racing, Cinema,
Paddy was born in 1941 in Great William O’Brien Street, and grew up in Narrow Lane, nearby; he describes the area around it which constituted his neighbourhood. He came from a family of 10. His mother was from Watercourse Road, his father from Narrow…

Denis Murphy: Blackpool, Pubs, Food,
Denis was born in Dublin Street, Blackpool. [1960s.] His family owned a pub there called the Bowler’s Rest. His parents were from West Cork. He went to school in Rathpeacon.
Millfield Cottages were built near the mill houses that existed there since…

Helen Prout: Fairhill, World War 2, Worklife,
Helen established the Cork Youth International Film, Video and Arts Festival in 1980 and has spent her life voluntarily teaching thousands of young people about film and the arts in workshops all over Cork.

In this interview, Helen recalls life in…

Donnie Walsh: Gardiner's Hill, Sport, Republicanism,
Donie was born in 1948. His family lived in Stream Hill, and then in Gardiner’s Hill. He used to visit his grandmother’s house in Carrigadrohid, which had no running water nor electricity. He talks about going to the well and collecting…
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