Community Oral History Outreach Officer

Kieran Murphy Community Oral History Outreach Officer (Speaking at the launch of ‘Memories of the Orthopaedic’ event 12/04/2018 in Cork Folklore Outreach Hub, The North Cathedral Visitor Centre with Cork North Community Work Department, HSE. Picture: Alison Miles/OSM PHOTO)

For many years the Cork Folklore Project has collected and shared the stories of local communities. We are delighted that the HSE has recognised the importance of our sensitive and nuanced approach to oral history and its potential uses in serving and bettering the community.

This pilot community oral history project focuses in particular on the myriad health-related aspects of life and work in Cork from doctor’s visits to broken bones, smoking, relationships with alcohol, friendships, life-outlooks, and careers as health professionals to name but a few. Interviewees stress the sense of wellbeing that comes from sharing their experiences through the interview, highlighting the benefits of the oral history process itself.

The careful and respectful approach of the oral history interview is a powerful tool for uncovering unexpected or hidden experiences of great meaning to the interviewee, their family and the wider community. It is a thoroughly enriching experience for the interviewer too, and one which we hope to make available in various forms to as many of the community as possible by sharing life-stories, local history and community health experiences.