Kay O’Carroll: The Northside, Emigration, Childhood Games, Music, Tenements,

Kay O'Carroll


Kay O’Carroll: The Northside, Emigration, Childhood Games, Music, Tenements,


Life History; Cork: Ireland;


Kay O’Carroll describes her early life growing up in Gurranabraher giving engaging and colourful detail about childhood games and activities, the community spirit, women’s work, going out to the cinema and show bands as a young woman.

Kay was born in Wolfe Tone Street and lived there until she was seven when the family moved to Gurranabraher. Her father was born in St Mary’s Road and her mothers family came from Kanturk. Kay went to St Vincent’s School.

Note; This interview was conducted as part of the Cork 2005 Project


15 October 2004




Cork; Ireland; 1950s - 1970s;


Cork Folklore Project Audio Archive






1 .wav File




50m 00s


Gurranabraher, Cork City, Ireland

Original Format


Bit Rate/Frequency

16bit / 44.1kHz


The following is a short extract from the interview transcript, copyright of the Cork Folklore Project. If you wish to access further archival material please contact CFP, folklorearchive@gmail.com

C.O'C: What was Gurranebraher like in the early days?

K.O'C Well I remember my mother now and my aunt when they were young, they used to come up Gurranebraher for their walks, you know their walks of a Sunday, maybe their walks in the evening after school, and it was only countryside, all fields. And then I remember when we were very young my mother would take us up what’s Knocknaheeny now do you know Knocknaheeny up there and I can see her she’d be in the field knitting: they were all knitters: all the mothers were great knitters, the little jumpers and the little dresses because it was cheaper to knit. And we’d be jumping over the ditches going from one field to the other so you see that was countryside to me when I was young, and it’s all built up now, and this place was countryside to people sort of in my mothers area and era, and it’s all kind of built up now. But it was lovely when we came up and no matter where we went, what’s Churchfield now is all fields, so we’d be over around Churchfield and we’d have great laugh, there’d be little ponds and you’d be gathering up the grass, and you’d be putting it into the ponds so that the water would rise you know. Even Sun Valley Drive down there now that’s how we would used to go and come to school, it was all fields, there was one big, big slope and we’d be running up the slope and running down and running up the slope and you might be an hour or two late coming from school and you would be murdered because your dinner would be burnt in the oven or in the pot, but it was lovely. Then we used to go out Fairhill – that was all countryside – and farmers, it was all kind of farming land really: you’d be looking in at the cows grazing, and we used to go . . .



Cork Folklore Project, “Kay O’Carroll: The Northside, Emigration, Childhood Games, Music, Tenements,,” accessed August 20, 2022, https://corkfolklore.org/archivecatalolgue/document/29.