Patricia McCarthy: Shandon Street, War of Independence, Trades



Patricia McCarthy: Shandon Street, War of Independence, Trades


Life History:


Pat McCarthy (née Byrnes) is from Shandon Street. She grew up in Mahony’s Terrace, overlooking Pope’s Quay which she knew as the Sand Quay. Her father worked as a lorry driver. She remembers Shandon Street having bakeries and butchers. There were lanes off it, and she also recalls a house she calls “the Dolls’ House”, Batchelor’s Quay, which was later knocked down. She recalls Dillons’ milk and cake shop, and Nosey Keefe’s which sold chocolates and cigars.
She remembers her grandmother, who lost three brothers in the First World War, and who she describes as a strong, intelligent woman.
Pat describes the shawls women wore, one black, one cream. She tells a funny story about her sister being christened Valera, after Éamon de Valera. She talks about the power of the church and the issue of contraception.
Men fought in the war because they looked on it as a job; it was not for the British Empire; how they were frowned upon later by Republicans.
Houses were occupied by neighbours in the event that a family died out; there were no property deeds to houses.
There was an RIC barracks at the end of Shandon Street. A Black and Tan soldier called Charlie Chase ruled the area during the War of Independence.
She talks about the lives and status of women and girls.
Trades and skills were kept within families, such as fishing or butchering.
People kept chickens and pigs. She often saw sheep being herded down Shandon Street. A slaughterhouse might only be a field where animals were killed. A pig’s head was a traditional dish on St Patrick’s Day.
She remembers Cork character The Rancher and his getting married.
Skiddy’s Almshouse was a home for Protestants. She lived in the shadow of Shandon Church but never went into it until recently.


24 August 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; 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_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

Click here to access Patricia's entry on the Memory Map


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive


Cork Folklore Project






2 .wav Files




40min 07sec


Civic Trust House

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,

P McC: And of course, we had the fishermen there then on the quay. I mean they used put their boats there and their nets. You know we had.

CO’C: And how many around would there have been?

PmcC; Well, they mostly the fishermen with families, they would go back the generations again, you know. The Flynns, they were mostly families even to this day now they fished down outside Blackrock. The Quilligans, they fish on Blackrock area, that’s their fishing rights now that’s going back generations.

CO’C: And the men that you remember being out here, where would they have lived?

PmcC: Oh they’d lived on Witherington’s Hill or Cobbidge’s Lane. They’d have lived on the lanes around and they actually used have their little boats there and the nets then would be thrown over the quay wall.

CO’C: Okay.

PmcC: You know even in my time. But they were families then again. You know like the butchers were families. ‘Twas all kept within families, the trade, well the fishermen wouldn’t be trades but the trades were and you couldn’t get into them. So if you were, if you had nothing you couldn’t kind of get a trade because ‘twas closed shop. You know.


Cork Folklore Project , “Patricia McCarthy: Shandon Street, War of Independence, Trades,” accessed November 29, 2022,