Peggy Kelleher: The Lough, Marriage, World War 2



Peggy Kelleher: The Lough, Marriage, World War 2


Life History:


Peggy (born 1930s) grew up in Hartland's Road, near The Lough. She was an only child. Her father, William Power, from County Waterford; he worked at the Munster Arcade and lived through the Burning of Cork by the Black and Tans in 1920; he was involved in the old IRA and the War of Independence. Her parents married in 1928. Her mother, Gertrude Murphy, came from Youghal, and worked in the Post Office; she was an independent woman whom Peggy describes as a feminist.
Local shops were almost like community centres, where news was exchanged. She remembers a house shop run by the Carey sisters, and a local butcher that sold meat displayed uncovered.
She talks about childhood games, being watched over by mothers, and early bedtimes. Reading books was popular in her house.
Her father worked for 40 years without illness by died from cancer at 57.
Gas for cooking at home was rationed because of the Second World War. She recalls the jobs she used to do around the house as a child.
She recalls a story her father told about a marriage match.
Peggy describes the meal times of the day and what was eaten. The meat had to be bought fresh each day. The only fruit and vegetables used were those which happened to be in season. Fish had to be eaten every Friday; sometimes it was dried, salted fish.
She recalls childhood games; boys and girls played separately.
She went to a private school and then to commercial college, and ended up working as a dentist’s assistant. She got married when she was about 23.
She recalls teenage dances, hanging around in groups rather than as couples, and dances monitored by nuns. Girls expected to be married by the time they were 25.
Peggy compares the lives of modern children to that of her generation and wishes the present generation learned that happiness was simple and not based on materialism.
She recalls a number of pranks she played as a child.


21 July 2012




Cork, Ireland, 1930s-2000s


Other Interviews in the Colection:

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_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

Published Material: 

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)

To view the Cork Memory Map Click Here


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project






1 .wav File




79min 21sec


Mardyke Walk, Cork

Original Format


Bit Rate/Frequency

24bit / 48kHz


The following is a short extract from the interview transcript, copyright of the Cork Folklore Project. If you wish to access further archival material for this interview or other interviews please contact CFP,

J E: Em how would you think the the kids of today’s lives would be different to yours and what kind of message might you give to younger generations.

P K: To young children, to young generations. Oh my Goodness em you know well there times are so different for them now that the thing I suppose to try and make them realise that the simplest things can be most enjoyable and most entertaining. That they don’t have to have everything they see advertised you know? That family and friends are much more important than material things. It would be hard for them maybe to understand that now. Em certainly eh there’s such a gap there I suppose there are two generations now between when I was a child and the little children growing up now and there’s such a gap in in experience and em oh you know that the computer age having come in and the television age having come in that it got terribly hard to explain to children the happiness that the children of my age had in the simplest things of life and what gave them the biggest thrills in life would be just not understood by the children nowadays. I suppose if the Grannies of nowadays talked one to one with the little children of nowadays they’d be absolutely fascinated but it would be as it is actually a different age they’d be talking about because no more than my age group would understand what the Victorian age was like and what children had then as compared to what I had, growing up. So it would be very difficult only to tell them to keep simple and to keep, have a great regard for for people rather than things. That people are what matter, I would say. That the kindnesses and the neighbourliness that we had as as children em should be kept going with the children nowadays. I think that’s really as I say it would be very hard to make them understand you know that the things that they can buy aren’t as important as the things that they have and the things that they are themselves because they’re very precious and every person is precious, you know?

J E: Em.

P K: So that’s that’s really all I could say about it and about those little ones.


Cork Folklore Project , “Peggy Kelleher: The Lough, Marriage, World War 2,” accessed August 12, 2022,