Helen Goulding: Shandon, Catholic Church, Childhood



Helen Goulding: Shandon, Catholic Church, Childhood


Life History:


Helen, nee Bourke was born and reared in Barrack View near the North Cathedral. Her family later moved to Leitrim Street.
She talks about her childhood. People had little but shared a lot. Boiled eggs were eaten at Easter time. Everyone was involved with the Catholic Church, with a confraternity or sodality. She remembers Cork characters Donie Murphy, Andy Gaw and Squeezy Lemon. Helen recalls how she had to do household chores while boys did nothing. She worked in the restaurant trade.
Some houses in Barrack View were later demolished.


2 June 2011




Cork, Ireland, 1950s-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_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;


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. https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/research/corkfolkloreproject/archivepdfs/archive16.PDF

Dee, Stephen and O’Carroll, Clíona (2012) ‘Sound Excerpts: Interviews from Heritage Week’, The Archive 16: 15-17. https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/research/corkfolkloreproject/archivepdfs/archive16.PDF

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) http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2011/0816/646858-curious-ear-doconone-cork-city-memory-map/

To view the Cork Memory Map Click Here


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project






1 .wav File




28min 36sec


Commons Rd, 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, folklorearchive@gmail.com

H G: We, for entertainment, when I got older then we used to go down to the Ark long go. And that was our night’s entertainment and you, there was an Uptown Grill down in MacCurtain Street, that was very popular and you go in there and have something to eat first if you were lucky enough, you had a few bob.

L A: What age would that be then?

H G: Oh, Oh I was about seventeen that time, sixteen, seventeen and you went down then to the Ark and you danced the night away. You, we often went to Majorca but I was never on, you got the bus down in Parnell Place or down in Grand Parade, ‘twould take you down to the Majorca but you wouldn’t get home then ‘till all hours and my mother, she never knew I was down there ‘cause she would never approve that was rough like.

And always, [phrase unintelligible] there was a dancehall up by the Gaiety, up by the barracks, never go there ‘cause the soldiers were there. And you daren’t, we always thought soldiers were bad men, that’s in our, my time, now like and you weren’t allowed, I think I sneaked up there one time alright like [laugh] but that’s the way, do you know there was, we had no telly either, we had nothing. And then when we, father, I’d say we were the first in the road to get the, the telly and then were ‘twas, ‘twas up so high, you’d get a crick in your neck looking up at it [noise in background], [phrase unintelligible] and then ‘twas black and white.

And then, this thing came out a sheet of paper, turquoise and God help us, we were innocent too like, you could nearly see the colour, sure you couldn’t colour in it but you thought you did like. But they were definitely better times because people knew one another and people were all happy. Do you know like, ‘twas only across the road there now and they were, they were great times. The men always went to the pub on a Saturday night and me father had em, permanent tickets for the Savoy, that was a big thing now like, and I often went into him.

I often went in on a Saturday night with him, and I loved Doris Day. I can always remember her, Jesus I can’t remember the name of it now, Midnight Lace was it I think. And Freddy Bridgman would come up with the organ and I thought, I thought he lived down there, he’d come up and you’d say ‘God’ and all the, the songs would come up on the screen and you sang then, Freddy went away but I always, I was young at the time now , I just always thought that he lived underground, you know but they were, I have to say now they were, they were great people.

And I remember my mother had twins when she was forty-six and that was a big thing and then when they were christened, we’d a long stool in the house and everyone in Barrack View was brought in. You’d get no drink like ‘twas just a cup of tea but there must have been cakes at it or something, me mother would have made or something like but there were memories now, I would still hold very close to myself because there were, ah there’s people, most of them have passed on now but I would know their daughters now and nieces and nephews and have to say would often laugh off the good times where your one have it at today. I don’t think you would anyway.